Sariska national park is part of Sariska tiger reserve in Alwar district of Rajasthan, India. It lies in 110 kms north-east of capital city Jaipur. It is a scrub-thorn arid forest zone thus forest is dry deciduous type. Here we can find grasslands called meadows and rocky hills thus geographical conditions are ideal for big cats survival. As it was part of Alwar princely state thus the was used as a private hunting preserve for local rulers and their guests. After Indian independence, it was first declared as a wildlife reserve in year 1955. Later declared as tiger reserve in 1979 and later declared as national park. Usually, national parks were upgraded to tiger reserve but here case is opposite. This forest is ideal for big cats but due to poaching and poor management, nationa park lost its tiger population. Later with re-introduction of tigers, here population is reviving successfully.
History of Sariska forest is associated with the history of Alwar district as it was under the rule of Alwar princely state. This forest was used as private hunting preserve. Before Alwar princely state, it was under Amer kingdom of Jaipur, during 11th century. Old name of Alwar was Alpur. Rulers of Jaipur and Bharatpur maintained their influcence on this region. Later local ruler of Alwar, declared himself independent in year 1770 and thus it became under Alwar state. Sariska forest was declared as wildlife reserve in year 1955. In year 1978, process was initiated to include this wildlife reserve in Project tiger and thus in 1979, it became Sariska tiger reserve. With this declaration, wildlife conservation efforts were taken in more effective way and poaching activities reduced in this forest. This has resulted in to gaining popularity as tiger safari destination. Later, taking advantage of poor park management, organized poaching gangs became active and carried out tiger poaching. This resulted into complete loss of tiger population, revealed in 2003. This caused adverse impact on its popularity and thus tourism reduced in this national park. With re-introduction of tigers, now tiger population is gradually improving and now tourists are once again visiting this safari destination.
Rajasthan is very popular tourism state in India. While doing Rajasthan trip, we covers mostly heritage tourism destinations. In order to make do tiger safari in same state, majority of tourists goes for Ranthambore. Due to over-crowding, it is not possible for visit popular safari zones in Ranthambore, without doing long advance booking. After Ranthambore, Sariska national park is the best option for tiger safaris. Its location is of great advantage for tourists in Delhi and Jaipur. Here core zone safaris are easily available.
Let us check out safari timing of Sariska national park.
Here we have shared Sariska national park safari details. Here jungle safaris are operated in both core zones and buffer zones. Tourists have first preference to undertake jungle safaris in core zones, due to high probability of tiger and other mammals sighting. Core zone safaris are operated from October to June months and remain closed in monsoon period. During monsoon period, buffer zones remains open for tourists. Here jungle safaris are done by using open jeeps and canters, as seen in other national parks of India. Jeeps safari can be exclusive or sharing mode, as per guest preference and availability of permits. Two rounds of jungle safaris are operated in a day i.e. morning-safari and afternoon-safari. For jungle safaris, two popular gates are used as Gate-1 (Sariska gate) where interpretation center is located and Gate-2 called Tehla gate. Here Gate-1 Sariska gate is important as it is older gate with access to Zone1, Zone2 & Zone 3. These 3 zones are popular among wildlife lovers. Zone 4 is accessible through Tehla gate (80kms from Gate-1).
Here we have shared information about Sariska national park flora and fauna details. This vegetation comes under Tropical Dry Deciduous forest, Tropical Thorn Forest. Here dominant vegetation types are Anogeissus forest, Boswellia forest, Acacia mixed forest, Butea mixed forest, Ziziphus woodland. While doing jungle safari we will notice scrub-land and riverine forest. Here average rainfall is approx. 600 mm. In below given table, we have arranged a small checklist of trees, mammals, birds and reptiles. This checklist will be helpful during jungle safaris drives to know how many species we have seen during safari and what more we can expect.
|Acacia Catechu||Tigers||Red Spurfowl||Common Worm Snake|
|Boswellia Serrata||Leopards||Eurasian Griffon||Sand Boa|
|Lannea cormandalica||Spotted Deer||Indian Scops Owl||Asian House Geoek|
|Flame of the Forest||Stippped Hyena||Indian Cormorant||Common Garden Lizard|
|Arjun||Sambar Deer||Indian Lark||Indain Ery|
|Commiphora wightii||Wild Boar||Asian Pied Starling||Russel's Wiper|
|Sterculia urens||Nilgai||Rufous Treepie||Common Cobra|
|Emblica Officinalis||Grey Langur||Black Stork||Desert Monitor|
|Terminalia belerica||Rhesus Macaque||Indian Pitta||Common Krait|
|Indian Jujube||Black Buck||White Eyed Buzzard||Slow Worms|
Sariska national park lies in Alwar district, eastern part of Rajashtan state. It is well accessible by surface transfer, train and bus option. Travelling to Sariska national park is possible throughout the year but main safari season is from October to June months.
|Destinations||Gate-1: Sariska Gate
|Gate-2: Tehla Gate
|Bharatpur (Keoladeo National Park)||150||150|
|Ranthambore National Park||200||170|
|Jhalna Wildlife Sanctuary||100||110|
Sariska national park is mostly visited from October to June months. Here tigers are the main safari attraction. Best time to visit Sariska national park for tiger safaris is from February to May months. It is considered as the best time for tiger safaris during which probability of tiger photography remains high. If you are visiting Sariska for overall wildlife or for leisure purpose then November to March period is good with wonderful climatic condition and better chances for birding. If your interest is on butterflies study and photography then prefer the period of mid of September to January. During this period, we have chance to find wide variety of butterflies.
If you are planning for Sariska national park trip then follow one golden rule to plan 60 to 90 days in advance. Advance planning will help you to do safari permit bookings in advance. This will inturn help us to get safari permits of preferred safari zones thus over all trip experience will going to be good. Hotel rooms are offered mostly in double and triple sharing. Similarly maximum 06 tourists are allowed in single safari vehicle thus keep your group size as divisible by 2 or 3. Try to have your hotel or resort, close from Gate-1 as it is older gate and allowes access to popular safari zones. If you are planning for October-November or February to March months then you may go with tented accommodation option but if your plan is for Dec-Jan or April to June months then try to stay in cottages or rooms. Here majority of resorts don't have inhouse naturalist facility thus we recommend to carry your own wildlife notes like birds checklist brochure or books to have better understanding of forest experience, during safari drives. If you are doing frequent photography than must carry your lens cover or cloth to cover your camera to avoid dusts, during vehicle movement.
Sariska national park is average in terms of popularity. With the re-introduction of tigers and slow increase in their population will take some more time for new hotel brands to venture in this region. Here we can find budget to deluxe category of accommodation options. If you are looking for budget hotel options, then look for hotels in Alwar city area. This will increase your travel time to reach entrance gate. If your interest is on resorts then check-out resorts nearby to Gate-1 (Sariska gate). If your interest is to avoid crowding situation then consider accommodation options near by Gate-2. It is a newly opened gate thus number of options are limited here. In future, it may increase.
Sariska national park is very conveniently located at eastern part of Rajasthan, which is popular for heritage tourism. While planning for Sariska national park trip, we can add many popular tourist destination in our tour itinerary like Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Keoladeo national park, Jhalna leopard reserve, Pushkar, Chambal Sanctuary etc. It can easily be clubbed with Golden triangle tour. Sariska national park is also very suitable for getaway trip from New Delhi as distance is manageable and road connectivity is very fine.