The Sariska Tiger Reserve is one of the best places to spot a tiger in India. Located in the Alwar District of Rajasthan, this area was earlier a hunting reserve frequented by royalty but was opened to the public in 1958 when it was declared to be a protected Wildlife Sanctuary. In 1978, it was give the status of a Tiger Reserve as part of Project Tiger and then made a National Park in 1982.
The Sariska Reserve covers a massive area of 881 square kilometers and has a rich biodiversity consisting of deciduous forests, dry grasslands, thick shrubbery and rocky green patches. Due to the varied landscape and geography of the area, a number of tigers and other interesting creatures live here which are fascinating to observe and fun to spot.
Things to do in Sariska
It is fairly easy to visit the Sariska Tier Reserve as it only 100 Kms from Jaipur and 200 Kms from Delhi. One can easily drive down to Alwar for the weekend or for an extended trip, as there are a lot of things to do here. Here are a few of the most important activities and tourist attractions in this natural wonderland:
Jungle Safari: The main reason people come to Sariska is for going on a jungle safari inside the Tiger Reserve. Even if one doesn’t spot a tiger, it is a great place to spend time in an unspoiled natural forest. Besides tigers, this area is also home to other interesting species of wildlife such as the Indian Leopard, Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Honey Badger, Sambar Deer, Monkeys etc.
Besides animals, the sanctuary is also home to a number of beautiful and rare species of birds such as Grey Partridge, White-Throated Kingfisher, Woodpeckers, Eagles, Owls, etc. Many birdwatchers also come here to observe rare birds and to take photographs of birds in their natural habitat.
Hot Air Ballooning: If you are a thrill seeker or an adventure sports fan, you can try Hot Air Ballooning in Sariska. A small basket is attached to a big balloon and then hot air is pumped in to make it airborne and to maneuver it. From heights of over 800 feet, guests can get a birds eye view of the lush forests and interesting topography of the area.
Kankwari Fort: Located deep inside the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, this is an ancient fort that has an impressive and interesting architecture. This fort was used by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to imprison his brother and was also the site for many battles and sieges. Today, one can explore the surrounding areas and discover the secrets of this ancient fort.
Neelkanth Temple: One of the oldest structures in this area, the Neelkanth Temple is an impressive sight to behold because of its evolved architecture and intricate carvings. The complex houses over 300 different temples that date back to the 6thCentury A.D., which makes it a haven for archaeologists and interested tourists alike. If you like old temples, you will love this place.
Talvriksha: Located near Narayanpur in Alwar, Talvriksha is about 10 Kms from Sariska. It is a natural hot water spring whose waters are said to have miraculous healing powers. A bath here is said to cure many ailments like skin diseases, blood pressure, arthritis etc. and nearby, there is a temple and a holy tree called Talvriksha.
Where to stay
If you are travelling to Sariska and are not sure where to stay, look no further. The one of the best hotels in Alwar is Dadhikar Fort. This is an authentic Fort that was built more than 1100 years ago and is surrounded by the beautiful Aravalli Hills. Today this fort is a heritage property that has a hotel inside it where guests can stay.
With all modern amenities and luxuries, staying at the Dadhikar Fort is the perfect combination of authentic ancient architecture blended with contemporary creature comforts. Staying here is truly a sublime and enriching experience because it allows guests to enjoy the magnificent architecture of the fort and learn more abut the illustrious history of the place without any of the hard work and discomfort that comes with it.
When staying at the Dadhikar Fort, guests can also explore many tourist attractions and activities in the vicinity. From here, it is easy to visit the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary and other forests. There are also some very interesting ancient cave painting that are said to be over 7 thousand years old within a 2 Kms of the fort.
The best part about staying at Dadhikar is their food. Exquisitely prepared Rajasthani dishes are given a royal touch and served in an immaculate environment for an unforgettable fine dining experience. The stunning views from the rooftop restaurant and the sounds of local folk music accentuate the flavors of your meal and make this a must visit place for any serious traveller.