Situated in the Aravalli hills of the Alwar district of Rajasthan state, Sariska Tiger Reserve
is the former hunting ground/preserve of the Maharajas of Alwar. Being a part of the Aravalli Range, the area of Sariska is rich in mineral resources. Having two large plateaus, Sariska is a wide valley and shares the similar terrain with ‘nearby’ Ranthambhore National Park. In 1955, Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary and in 1978, it was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India’s Project Tiger. Sariska is the first tiger reserve in India to have successfully relocated the Bengal tigers – which is one of the most attractive features of this reserve. Despite the impressive prey density and the recent reintroduction, tiger sightings
remain incredibly rare. Due to the reduced conflict with tiger territories, leopards remain a little more likely at Sariska than in any other tiger reserve.
The forests are lush in monsoon and winter season however during summer season, there is a shortage of water in the park. So in consequence the mammals head towards water holes which provide good chance of viewing wildlife. Sariska is dotted with places of historical as well as religious interest, including the ruins of the Kankwari Fort, e.g. the Bharthari Temple, the Budha Hanuman Temple, the Neelkanth temple as well as the large Siliserh Lake. Found in the large numbers around the hot and cold springs of Taalvriksh, Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys. The topography of Sariska supports dry deciduous forests, hilly cliffs, rocky landscapes and scrub-thorn arid forests. Hence Sariska is very good for bird-watching as well. Here, the broad range of wildlife is a wonderful example of ecological adoption and tolerance, for the climate is variable as well as erratic here.
Flora, Fauna & Avifauna
- The forests in Sariska are dry deciduous, with trees of Dhok, Acacia, Ber and Salar. The dominant tree in the forests is dhok and others are ber (Zizyphus maudrentiana), khair (Acacia catechu) and tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon). At Sariska, the vegetation remains lush green during the monsoon and dry in summer.
- Apart from the Bengal tiger, Sariska is home to numerous carnivores including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena and Jackal. These feed on an abundance of prey species such as Sambar, Chitel, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar, Langur and Rhesus Macaque. Indian Porcupine and Indian Palm Civet are sometimes seen.
- Sasrika is also ethereal for bird watchers as the avian world is also well represented with a rich and varied birdlife. Some of the bird spices found here are Bush Quail, Crested Serpent Eagle, Golden-backed Wood Pecker, Grey Partridge, Indian Peafowl, Sand Grouse, White-throated Kingfisher and the Great Indian eagle-owl.