Sariska National Park : The Oft Overlooked Forest

We were on a long research trip, driving through many small cities of Rajasthan, including Alwar. Known for its delicious milk based desserts (mithais), Alwar is also right next to Sariska National Park, a fact that we of course, could not overlook. So obviously, a quick plan was made to visit Sariska and go for at least one Safari into this beautiful forest.

Situated in close proximity to Delhi and Jaipur, Sariska National Park is often overlooked for its more glamourous sibling, Ranthambhore National Park. Sariska is a beautiful forest, has tigers, leopards, sambars, chitals and many many birds, migratory and resident. It is definitely worth a visit.

Though Sariska has tigers, that is noty what should be your only goal or visiting the park. Sighting a tiger is very difficult and you shold consider yourself lucky if you get to see one. They may not be immediately visible, but they are around. They say “you can’t see a tiger but the tiger can see you.” Many people get disappointed when they can’t spot one, and I have seen some people get angry with the safari and hotel staff as well. If you want to see tigers that badly see them on some YouTube videos. Enjoy the forsest for what it is, the landscape, the trees, the smell of the forest, the numerous birds and animals, some commonly see, some rare, some resident, some seasonal migrants. If you are very lucky, forget the tiger, you may even spot the extremely elusive but beautiful Caracal!

If you are visiting Sariska, do also visit Lake Siliserh. It is a beautiful lake amidst the hills of the Aravallis and has an old palace converted into a hotel : The RTDC Hotel Siliserh Lake Palace. You could visit this place for a lunch or tea or even to stay. We haven’t had a great stay experience at Alwar so offhand cannot recommend a place, but we do highly recommend visiting Sariska National Park.

Booking A Safari In Sariska National Park:

Safari bookings can be done at the park gates. Sariska has two gates, Sariska and Tehla, and there is a 55km difference between them. I haven’t been able to locate an online website for safari booking so do your own research or land really early (like maybe 6am for the morning safari or 1:30pm for the evening one). There are gypsy jeep safaris (more expensive, can carry only 5 tourists) or Cantar open trucks (can carry many more and also cheaper). Book what suits you.

A Black Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) in a water body on our safari route.
Brahminy Mynas (Sturnia pagodarum) are also quite easily seen here.
The Indian Muggermach Crocodile ((Crocodylus palustris). Who doesn’t love winter sun?
Grey Heron
A Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) in the waters of Sariska National Park
Jungle Cat in Sariska
A Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), not related to the domestic cat on prowl in Sariska National Park. These are fairly common but difficult to see.
Indian Grey Langur with child
A mother Grey Langur (Semnopithecus entellus) with child.
A pair of Pied Avocets ((Recurvirostra avosetta), winter migrants to Sariska National Park. This park gets plenty of winter migrant birds.
Sambar Deer
A male Sambar (Rusa unicolor). These handsome deers are food of choice for the Tigers here.
indian Softshell Turtle
What looks like an Indian Softshell Turtle…
Wild Boar Indian
The Indian Boar (Sus scrofa cristatus).
Lake Siliserh
Lake Siliserh. Worth visiting.

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