Probably the most visited park of India, Sariska wildlife sanctuary is a favorite among the travelers because of its close proximity with major cities like Jaipur and Delhi. Once the hunting reserve for the royal family of Alwar, the park was declared to be a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1958 and came under the Project Tiger as a tiger reserve in the year 1979. The national park of Sariska is located along the Aravalli hill ranges in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. This park although larger than Ranthambore is less commercialized and has a lesser number of tigers. However the topography of both the parks is the same.
Sariska wildlife sanctuary covers a large area of 800 kms out of which, 480 sq. kms form the core of the forest of this national park. The dry Deciduous and Thom forests support an increasing population of sambhar, nilgai, chausingha, cheetal, leopard, hyena, jungle cat, and jackal apart from tiger. The sanctuary also inhabits species of birds like shrike, parakeet, grey partridge, golden backed woodpecker, peafowl, crested serpent eagle, babblers and owls. The best vehicle for visiting the park is a jeep that can be arranged by the forest reception office in the city of Alwar.
Situated off Delhi Alwar-Jaipur road at a distance of 107 kms from Jaipur.
As the legend goes, it is believed that Pandava brothers had found the area in the dense forest here to hide during the 13th year of their exile. This place is located at a distance of 24 kms from Sariska.
The city established by Madho Singh, the brother of Akbar's famous general Man Singh in the year 1631 provides a breathtaking view of its remains at the outskirts of Sariska. Famous for two of its temples carved in stones and marbles with floral fringes, decorated walls, ceilings and pillars, this extensive city of Bhangarh is located at a distance of 45 kms from Sariska.
Kankwari and Neelkanth
Kankwari and Neelkanth are two other famous excursions from the wildlife sanctuary of Sariska. Kankwari is a beautiful fort overlooking a lake and surrounded by forest-covered hills on all sides. It is believed that Dara Shikoh, the heir of Mughal throne was enslaved here. It is situated at a distance of 20 kms from Sariska.
On the other hand Neelkanth is a fortified temple town that existed seven centuries ago. The sculptured temples of Hindu, Buddhism and Jain religions are often compared to those of Khajuraho. It is located at a distance of 35 kms from Sariska.
At a distance of 19 kms from Sariska are situated several ancient temples of indefinite antiquity. This place is also famous for its sulphur springs where one can take a dip and cure his skin ailments.
A cenotaph of King Bhartrihari, who renounced the world 21 centuries ago and wandered around these places in penance, is established here. A fare is held here every year in the month of September and October and a six-hour long epic musical drama is staged during the fare. It is at a distance of 6 kms from Sariska.