The Keoladeo Ghana National Park or Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is situated in the country's northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi. The name Keoladeo is derived from the name of an ancient Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva in the sanctuary, while the Hindi term Ghana implies dense, thick areas of forest cover. This former duck-hunting reserve of the maharajas is one of the major wintering areas for large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Some 364 species of birds, including the rare Siberian crane, have been recorded in the park.
It was Prince Bhamji of Morvi state in Gujarat who converted this area into a world famous wildlife reserve. Duck shoots were first organized in the area by the rulers of Bharatpur, in honour of Viceroy Lord Curzon and his party on 1st December, 1902. The exploits of all visiting dignitaries since 1902 have been engraved on stone plaques standing near the Keoladeo Temple. Conservation efforts, originally started by Dr. Salim Ali, received a further impetus when the area was deemed a national park in March 1982. In 1985, Bharatpur was accepted as a World Heritage Site.