Sariska Tiger reserve is located in Alwar district of Rajasthan. The reserve is surrounded by Aravali hills, one of the oldest mountain range in India. It was hunting preserve of erstwhile Alwar state. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1958 and came under Project Tiger in 1979. Besides Kankarwadi fort, the reserve also encloses a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman at Pandupol. The temple is believed to be a retreating place of Pandavas. The area also houses buildings associated with erstwhile kingdom of Alwar such as Sariska Palace.
The landscape of the park ranges from undulating plateau to plains. It is rich in minerals and mining despite being banned, continues to be a major threat to its biodiversity. The vegetation is dry deciduous type. Flora found here includes dhok, bamboo, ber, khair,bargad and kattha. The region shelters enchanting fauna namely the Indian leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, Indian jackal, chital, sambhar, nilgai, chinkara, four-horned antelope, wild boar, hare, hanuman langur, rhesus monkeys. The most attractive feature of this park is Royal Bengal Tiger. It is the first tiger reserve to have successfully relocated tigers. The park is also a bird watcher’s paradise. Many scrubland birds such as grey partridge, white-throated kingfisher, Indian peafowl, bush quail, sandgrouse, treepie, golden-backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and the Indian eagle-owl are found here.
When to go
The best time to visit the park is from October to May.
Around 2004, Sariska got devoid of Tigers due to rampant poaching. In 2008, the authorities introduced some Tigers from Ranthambhore and it has worked well for Sariska. Today the forest department is highly vigilant about Tigers and monitors the movements regularly. As of early 2017, there are 14 Tigers in Sariska.