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Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary

Once the hunting reserve of the maharajas of Alwar, in whose jurisdiction it fell, Sariska's forests are typical of the Aravallis with their undulating terrain of low hills, teep escarpments, wide valleys and hill plateaus. A atural habitat for the tiger, it ould have held a commendable population of these tigers had the forests around the park not been vandalised in the recent decades. Today, the region is a ajor milk pocket, and cattle have eroded the forestlands and pastures around the park, so that the population of wildlife has shrunk to the limits of the park alone. Human population and the resence of religious spots around and inside the park have further led to the deterioration of the environment.

For all that, Sariska is a heavily forested reserve, and a drive through the park shows up a large number of deer species (sambhar, chital, nilgai) as well as largurs that inhabit the tree cover. Also residents of the reserve, though almost as elusive as the tiger on account of the cover of vegtation, are leopard, jungle cat, jackal, hyena, and wild dog. Observers often gather at hides close to waterholes to view and photograph wildlife thougt, of course, they cannot stay beyond evening light. When deer come to feed at these waterholes, they attract the presence of leopards, tigers and wild dogs, especially in summer when all other sources of water shrink and vapourise.

Like all parks, there is also a variety of birdlife in Sariska that includes the gray partridge, whitebreasted kingfisher, golden- backed woodpecker, serpent eagle, great Indian horned owl, and others.

Base: Sariska has accommodation to offer outside the park, in the state owned tourism complex, as well as in a former royal hunting lodge. Sariska is connected with both Jaipur and Delhi. Best time to visit is winter, though chances of tiger sighting increase in the summer; the park is closed in the rains.

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