Abode of Great Indian Bustard
The Desert National Park is situated in the Indian state of Rajasthan near Jaisalmer. It is a protected sanctuary. The park is considered not only the largest in the state of Rajasthan but among the largest in India. The catchments area of the Desert National Park is around 3100 sq. km. The desert is a harsh place to sustain life and thus most of the fauna and flora live on the edge. Nevertheless this place attracts large hoard of migratory birds due to its close proximity to Bharatpur.
Flora: The terrain of the Desert National Park of India is made up of craggy rocks, compact salt lake bottoms and inter-medial areas. Huge sand dunes, forming about 20 percent of the park, are one of the most distinguishing features of its landscape. The flora of the Desert National park comprises of Dhok, Ronj, Salai, Bear and Palm trees.
Fauna: The wildlife here includes the spiny- tail lizard, desert monitors, sand fish, chameleons, and snakes that include the deadly viper and krait. Other important wilds found here are the desert fox, and Bengal fox among many others. Blackbuck Antelope, cervicapra Rajputana chinkara (mountain gazelle), Gazeella gazelle, Indian fox Vulpes, Bengalensis and desert cat Felis libyes are also found.
Avifauna: The avian population in this sandy habitat is vivid and spectacular. Birds such as the sand grouse, partridges, bee-eaters larks and shrikes can be commonly seen. Demoiselle crane and houbara migrate to the park in the winter. The tawny and steppe eagles, long legged and honey buzzards, falcons and kestrels are also seen.
Gadsisar Lake: It is a marvelous rainwater conservatory that was built in the 14th century and is surrounded by intricately carved petite temples. To reach this lake, one has to pass through a fascinating gateway made of yellow sandstone, known as Tilon-ki-Pol, which greatly accentuates the lake’s natural beauty. This lake is home to various migratory birds, which makes it even more enthralling.
Sam Sand Dunes: are located close near to the Desert National Park and is one of the most popular tourist sites around Jaisalmer. These dunes are an absolutely delightful and picturesque stretch of desert in the entire western Rajasthan. One can enjoy the wonderful views of sunrise and sunset from here.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the park is in November to March.
How to Reach
By Air: Jodhpur is the nearest airport at a distance of 290 km.
By Rail: Jaisalmer is the nearest railway station at a distance of 40 km well connected to Jodhpur, Bikaner and Delhi.
By Road: Regular buses from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur ply to Jaisalmer. Daily buses are available from Jaisalmer to Desert National Park.