Sariska Reserve and National Park
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is one of the most famous national parks in India located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. Originally a hunting preserve of the erstwhile Alwar state, the area was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978, it was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger scheme. The present area of the park is 866 km². The park is situated 107 km from Jaipur and 200 km from Delhi.
There is an ancient isolated fort in the forest reserve. This fort is said to be built by Aurangzeb to imprison his elder borther Dara Shekoh. The fort is called Kankarwari. The fort is not well maintained but the views are nice and provide breathtaking panaromic view of the valley. It is a steep climb to the top of a hill where the fort is built.
There are the ruins of a temple complex where excavations are still occuring and one of the prominent temples is the Pandupol temple and not the Neelkantha temple, as some people mistake it to be. Legends says here Bhim was tested by Lord Hanuman for strength and humility. The ruins date back to a period between 6th and 13th century. The broken yet noble statues lying littered on the grounds tantalisingly tease and will not yield their secrets easily. It is a fascinating place for those that have a passion for romance with the past.
Flora and fauna
Some of the wildlife found in the Sariska Tiger Reserve include the Bengal tiger, leopard, jungle cat, hyena, jackal, chital, sambar, caracal, langur, wild boar, four-horned deer (chowsingha) and several species of birds. The reserve's tiger population nearly disappeared in 2005, however after sustained efforts by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and state government of Rajasthan, the crisis was averted. There are no Tigers, currently (2008). However the forests do have Deer - Sambar, Monkeys and Nilgay.
Three tigers were relocated in Sariska from Ranthombor tiger reserve in 2008 & 2009. on Aug 2013 there are 9 tigers in sariska ,of this 2 are born in sariska rest are relocated from Ranthombor.
Best time to view the park is from November to March.During summer climate is hot and humid.Park remains closed from 1st july to 3oth september.
By AIR - Nearest Airport is Jaipur(115km)Even Delhi is not far(195km)
By Rail Route - Nearest railway station is Alwar. From Alwar it takes around an hour to reach Sariska(35km).
By Road - There is frequent bus service from Jaipur and Delhi
Sariska is 195 km from Delhi and 115 km from Jaipur by car. Road condition is pretty good. From Delhi take a digression from Dharuheda on SH25 that will take you directly to Alwar through a newly constructed toll road. From Alwar, Sariska Booking Office is hardly one hour drive.
Park remains open from 1st october - 30 th june. From 1st july to 30 th september, forest department has banned entry of private vehicles going towards Pandupole temple located inside the reserve. Now devotees need to use shuttle service available at Sariska Gate and Tehla Gate to visit the temple. Earlier private vehicles were allowed every Tuesday and Saturday.
When park opens then you can hire safaris which would take you to off tracks.Hiring of Vehicle cost Rs 1700 for 3 hours,Hence if you would like to experience off the track jungle then you have to hire the vechiles available at the reception. For Indians tiket is Rs 80 per person.
Diesel/Petrol Jeeps cost around RS 800/1000 for three hours hire, or Rs1700/2000 for a full day, max 5 people. Note that you will also have to pay admission for the jeep.
The reserve is also the location of several archeological sites such as the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and Garh Rajor temples from the 9th and 10th centuries. The 17th-century Kankwadi fort, located near the center of the park, was where the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb briefly imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh in the battle for succession of the Mughal throne. The area also has historical buildings associated with the Maharajas of Alwar such as the Sariska Palace, which was used as a royal hunting lodge of Maharaja Jai Singh.
On the way back to Alwar from Sariska, do make it a point to visit Siliserh RTDC hotel Lake palace. The view of the hotel overlooking a vast lake is breathtaking. Worth enjoying a tea sitting on the terrace.For this you have to take ticket of Rs 50 per person which is adjustable in bill. Do boating in lake siliserh which cost around Rs 600 for a boat.
Outside the Pandupol temple, ensure to eat the bhajiyas, kachoris etc with the traditional khadi. This is one of the best things to be done inside the jungle.
PTDC Hotel Tiger Den ph 2841342, Dorms/Single/Double Rs50/600/700
For Luxury hotel " Sariska Palace" located just at the gate of national park. other resorts are "Tiger Camp Resort", "Alwar Bagh Resort" and Sariska Inn" they cost arround Rs 3000 per night.
Camping gives you a chance to stay with nature. There are many private camping sites where you can stay.
Bhangarh. If you are at Sariska, you may reach for Bhangarh. A rickety road on the left just after Sariska Booking Office will take you in an hour to this place which is considered among the top haunted cities in India.
Jaipur. There are frequent bus's from Alwar (express Rs14, one hour, at least hourly), These also head onto Jaipur (RS65).
Busses stop out the front of the reception office.