Desert National Park
The tourism of Rajasthan in North-west India largely depends on its places and forts, pilgrimage centers and wildlife sanctuaries. It is a misconception that deserts or desert area cannot support wildlife. But this is not true and the royal state of Rajasthan bears witness to this. The renowned Thar Desert known as the 'ocean of sands' provides an ecosystem that is perfect for a varied wildlife. Desert national park lies in the vast stretches of sand in the Thar Desert. This is one of the significant national parks in the state.
This is the largest national park in the state and the second largest national park in the country, the first being Hemis Altitude national park (3350 sq km.) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Area, location and topography:
It covers an area of 3150 sq km. It is located in the Jaiselmer district of Rajasthan and is very close to India-Pakistan border. It is very interesting to know that the desert supports a wide variety of flora and fauna in the park. Around 20% of the park is sand dunes. A major part of the landform is covered by craggy rocks, vast sand dunes and compact salt lake bottoms, etc.
The area is marked for sparse vegetation. You will also find patches of sewan grass and aak shrub. Lakes like Padam Talao Lake, Milak Lake and Rajbaug Lake are the primary sources of water for the wild animals. You will find the floral species like Palm Trees, Dhok, Romj, Bear, etc. here.
The faunal species include Desert Fox, Bengal Fox, Black Buck, Wolf, Chinkara, Desert Cat, Hedgehog, etc. The main attraction of the avian population here remains the Great Indian Bustards which are large but graceful. A lot of tourists visit the park in order to watch this endangered species.
Besides this, you can also catch the sight of other species like partridges, bee-eaters, Sandgrouse, larks and shrikes. These are endemic; while hobard and demoiselle crane visit the park in the winter. You will also find shrikes, spotted eagles, gray partridges; raptors like falcons and kestrels, tawny and steppe eagles, long legged and honey buzzards.
Reptiles such as monitor lizard, krait, spiny-tailed lizard, saw-scaled viper, russel vipar, etc are also found in the Desert national park.
Ideal time to visit:
The best time to visit the park is between October and March. During that time the temperature remains moderate and you can have the best view of the wildlife as well.
You can stay in any hotel in Jaisalmer.
If you are in Delhi, the national capital, then you can board train from Delhi that will take you to Jaisalmer. Then you have to take some private vehicle to reach the park.
From Delhi, RSRTC Buses regularly ply to Rajasthan. The distance between Delhi and Jaiselmer is 882 km and Jaisalmer and the national park is 40 km.
Delhi is connected to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan by air. Thus you can travel from Jaipur to Jaiselmer and then reach the park.
Some extra dose:
For some extra fun and adventure go for a jeep safari and camping in the park. However visitors should obey the rules and regulations of the park and should not harm the ecosystem.
The Sudarshi Water Hole where you can take a glimpse of 4-5 Indian Bustards at a time, Sam sand dunes, Gadsisar Sagar Tank, etc. are some of the major attractions.
With lots of adventures sports and wildlife attractions in desert national park and pristine natural setting of the Thar Desert, your trip would surely be a delightful experience in your life.