Sariska National Park lies in the Aravalli hills and is the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Alwar. Sariska itself is a wide valley with two large plateaus and is dotted with places of historical and religious interest, including the ruins of the Kankwari Fort, the 10th century Neelkanth temples, the Budha Hanumab Temple near Pandupol, the Bharthari Temple near the park office, and the hot and cold springs of Taalvriksh.
The large Siliserh Lake is at the north-eastern corner. The forests are dry deciduous, with trees of Dhak, Acacia, Ber and Salar. The Tigers of Sariska are largely nocturnal and are not as easily seen as those of Ranthambhor. The park also has good populations of Nilgai, Sambar and Chital. In the evenings, Indian Porcupine, Striped Hyaena, Indian Palm Civet and even Leopard are sometimes seen. The forests are lush during and immediately following the monsoon, but during the dry months of February May there is a shortage of water and in consequence mammals are attracted to water holes.
Sariska in Alwar district beholds the legacy of the Maharajas of Alwar since the ruins of pavilion and temples of the then ages within the Sariska zone bring the glory and richness of Rajputana period. The 17th century old Kankawadi Fort, at the center of the reserve has a long and tumultuous history. This fort was being built by Jai Singh II. The fort is being known for the imprisonment of Dara Shikoh by his brother the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb for the succession of the throne.
The presence of prominent temples actually brings great traffic creating some problems to the wildlife although, but still they are really significant. The center of Sariska is also being famed for Pandupol, one of the retreats of Pandavas and the famous Hanuman temple is the reason for the favorite pilgrimage site. Significantly, the Nilkanth temple built by the Barjgujars and the Bhartihari temple is also being crowded with many pilgrims frequently. The Neelkanth or Rajor Gath was the capital of Bargujars and Raja Bhartihari, the ruler of Ujjain mediated at the Bhartihari temple.
ClimateThe Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary experiences extreme weather conditions. Summers months are from April to June when the temperature rises to a high around 38. 4°C. Winters are from October to March when the temperature drops to around 15°C. The monsoon season does not receive very heavy rainfall. The tourists should carry light cotton clothes during summers and light woolens during the winter.
The forest type in the Sariska tiger reserve is Dry deciduous, represented predominantly by dhok (Anogeissus pendula), tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon) khair (Acacia catechu) and ber (Zizyphus maudrentiana). The vegetation at Sariska remains lush green during the monsoon and dry in summer.
The park is home to numerous carnivores including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Civets Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger. Their common preys are species like Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur. Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys, which are discovered around Talvriksh.
Most importantly, Sariska also represents great amount of the Avian world including Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Woodpecker, crested Serpent Eagle and The Great Indian horned Owl.
Places of Interest
Kanakwari Fort –
One of the best illustrations of a jungle fort in India, the Kanakwari Fort lies within the Sariska reserve area within the ranges of 18 kms from the entrance gate. The spot is obviously hard to find as it lies deep inside the tiger infested forest.
This was the place where Prince Dara Shikoh, heir to the Mughal throne, was held captive by his brother Aurangzeb. A steep rise of stairs will lead to the fort to bring the faded ancient wall paintings that still reflect the Rajputana eloquences.
Sariska Palace – The Sariska Palace inside the reserve area was once the hunting lodge for Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur. This is the most visited place for the number of tourists, even if they are not dwelling for the tiger tours in Sariska. The palace is decked with sprawling lawns, antique furniture and interesting photographs of the Royal Shikar of the 1920s and is now converted into a museum.
Naldeshwar Temple – The Naldeshwar Temple is being located at some distance away from the reserve area at the Alwar-Jaipur highway joining Sariska to Alwar. This temple is easily accessible by foot once reaching at the highway. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is surrounded by dense greenery to bring a pristine environment for much overwhelming moments. This 18th century old temple showcases some different ambience around the deserted land of Rajasthan.
Neelkanth Temple – The temple of Neelkanth, dedicated to Lord Shiva is encircled by the Aravali ranges and is quite closer to the Sariska reserve. This ancient temple also looks like a rocky museum which is studded with sculptures, carvings and scriptures similar to the ones excavated at Khajuraho and so also has some historical importance too.
Bharthrihari Temple – Located at 30 kms away from the Sariska reserve, this temple is dedicated to an ancient sage Bhartrihari to attract many Hindu devotees. This temple stands above the samadhi of Yogi Bhartrihari Nath and is known for its excellent Rajasthani style of architecture.
How to Reach
The wild life enthusiast can reach Sariska National Park by air, rail or road.
By Air :- Jaipur is the nearest airport from Sariska at a distance 107-kms. Delhi 163 km is the nearest airport, which is well connected to all the major cities, which includes Mumbai, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
The nearest railway station is Alwar, which is 37 kms from Sariska.
Sariska wildlife sanctuary is situated off the Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur Road.Alwar is 36 kms, Delhi is 200 kms, Jaipur is 101 kms from Sariska.Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur. Regular services link Alwar with key destinations in and not far off Rajasthan and Delhi. The roads are very good, and it takes around 3-4 hrs from Jaipur.Tourist can also hire taxis to travel by road to Sariska.
Location- This sanctuary is situated in the district of Alwar in Rajasthan and lies about 110 km from Jaipur.
Best Time to Visit:- Sariska wildlife sanctuary can be visited throughout the year, still the beast period is during the months of October to June.