Sariska, in Rajasthan, the erstwhile royal preserve of the rulers of Alwar, became a sanctuary in the year 1958. The sanctuary came under the Project Tiger in 1979 and became a national park in 1982. It is located at Kankwari fort, near Alwar, on the Delhi - Jaipur Highway. The terrain is predominantly hilly, as it lies in the Aravalli range. It has total area of 788 sq. kilometres, with a core area of approximately 474 sq. kilometres. The beautiful Siliserh Lake runs along the edge of the reserve, with a quaint hunting lodge overlooking it.
At last count in 1985, there 35 tigers were reported. Other carnivores
of the area are the panther, jungle cat, jackal and hyena. Three
caracals were also reported during the last census in 1985. Other
animals include the sambar, chital, wild boar, hare, nilgai and umpteen
The bird-life comprises of the pea fowl, gray partridge, quail, sand
grouse, tree pie, white breasted kingfisher, golden - backed woodpecker,
crested serpent eagle and great Indian horned owl.
Magnificent ruins peppered around the neighborhood of Sariska add to
the region's fascination. The Neelkanth (Shiva) temples (6th-13th
century AD) are just 32 kms from the Park and the ancient Kankwari Fort
inside the Reserve, is where Emperor Aurangzeb once held his brother
Dara Shikoh captive. A beautiful palace complex built in 1902 has been
converted into a hotel.
All visitors to Sariska Tiger Reserve need entry permits to get into
the park. for these permits, available at the office of the Field
Director, or at the gate to Sariska.
The town closest to Sariska is Alwar, and the park itself lies off the
Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur highway, just over 100 km from Jaipur, and about 200
km from Delhi. Alwar, a mere 21 km from Sariska, is the nearest
railhead, and has frequent trains from Deeg, Bharatpur, Jaipur and other
towns. In addition, the high-speed Shatabdi Express comes daily from
Delhi, except on Sundays. The train stops only for two minutes at Alwar,
so you’ll have to be quick on your feet, getting on or off.
The nearest airport is Jaipur, which, by virtue of its being the state
capital, and an important tourist destination, is well connected to the
rest of the country.
Hot to get there
Regular buses connect Alwar to Delhi and to other towns and cities
within Rajasthan as well. From Alwar, there are buses to Sariska, and
rented vehicles or taxis can be taken to get to the park. Within
Sariska, jeeps can be hired from the Forest Reception Office to tour the
park. The other option for avid wildlife-watchers is to hire a machan or
hide near one of the water holes.
Best time to visit
Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year, although certain
jungle tracks are closed during the monsoon and the breeding season. The
best time to visit the park is late in the winter around January or
February. If you don’t mind the heat, April to June is a great time
to see animals at the water holes.
Accommodation and other facilities
Hotel accommodation is available in close proximity but outside the
park limits. The RTDC has two hotels on the periphery of Sariska, and
the forest department operates a small rest-house. A room at the
rest-house costs between Rs 300 to 700 per night, while rooms at the
RTDC hotel range between Rs 700 to 1,900 per night.
A little further from Sariska is the Hotel Sariska Palace, a heritage
hotel where a double room costs between Rs 3,000 – 4,000 a night.
Rates at the nearby resorts are also approximately the same as at the
The other option is to stay at Alwar, which offers accommodation
facilities ranging from budget to deluxe.
Further information on Sariska can be obtained from the Field Director,
Sariska Tiger Reserve, Distt Alwar, Rajasthan, or from the offices of
the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC).