Known for the forts and palaces, Rajasthan is also popular for rich wildlife. Ironically the state has a good treasure of flora and fauna in the national parka and wildlife reserves. One such remarkable national park of Rajasthan is at Kota – Darrah National Park. Spread in a hilly terrain, the sanctuary is actually a combination of three wildlife reserves namely Darrah wildlife sanctuary, Chambal wildlife sanctuary and Jaswant Sagar wildlife sanctuary. Darrah National Park comprises of large forest tracts which were formerly hunting grounds of Kota Maharajah. Later he handed it over to the Government. In 1955 the area was declared as a protected area and visitors now require to seek permission from the local forest ranger to visit the park.
The park is a home to many species of animals and birds. Seeing both, the hostile and coy beasts, is very exciting. Here you can explore the wild side of Rajasthan. The wildlife variety includes panther, wolf, sloth bear, chinkara and leopard. Sometimes closed during the monsoons, the park is also a home to spotted deer, wild boar, bears, sambars and antelopes. You will even spot a number of birds and reptiles.
In and Around
Tourist Attractions in Darrah National Park
The adventurers can seek satisfaction here by undertaking thrilling jungle safaris. These wildlife safaris can bring the animal and man close. You can observe the wilflife from close and enjoy the daily regime of these wild animals.
You can enjoy trekking here. The trekkers just need to have good pair of shoes and binoculars and here we go on trekking exploring some trees and plants of medicinal values that come en route of our trek.
Places to Visit
There is an old fort in this place. Founded by Jhala Zalim Singh, who was the Dewan of Kota in 1791, he was interested in the place because of the hunting grounds and its strategic importance against the Marathas. He built a fort and a cantonment in this place.
This is inside the fort
There are the remains of a Sun Temple built during the 10th century. The Garh Palace, now in ruins is situated 6 kms. from this place. There are ruins of an ancient town of Chandrawati near here said to have been destroyed by Aurangazeb.
There are ruins of old temples built during the seventh and eighth century on the banks of the river. The banks of the river are known and becomes active as the Chandrabhaga Fair, dedicated to the river is held in the month of October/ November during the Kartik Purnima. Thousands of devotees take a holy dip in this river on that day. This fair attracts visitors to the place so that they can get accustomed to the rituals and customs. There are many competitions during the fair that involves animals and also a moustache competition.
The reserve is closed when incessant rains occur. The monsoons month lasts from July to September. The best season to visit the sanctuary is during the months between February to May. The visitors can explore the wild side of Rajasthan during this time enjoying the comfortable weather.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Kota is at Udaipur. A small aerodrome is located in Kota but it is currently not operational. The Udaipur airport is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai etc.
Kota lies on Delhi Mumbai rail route and several trains operate to and from Kota.
Around 50 km from Kota. The main bus station in Kota is located on Bundi Road near the eastern bank of the Chambal River. There is a good bus service from Kota to Ajmer (6 hours) , Chittorgarh (6 hours), Jaipur (6 hours), Udaipur (6 hours), Jodhpur (11 hours) and Bikaner (12 hours). The district is well connected with neighbouring districts and with major cities outside the state. National highway No.12 (Jaipur—Jabalpur) passes through the district. The total road length in the district is 1,752 km. as of 31 March 2000.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
There is a rest house run by the Forest Department with basic amenities. There are no hotels in Darrah. The nearest hotels are in Kota. Travellers to the National Park can avail of the choice of various hotels in Kota. Some of the hotels are:
Bainsrorgarh Fort Hotel
The Palace, P.O Bhainsrorgarh,
Via Kota, Bhainsrorgarh,
Welcome Heritage Umed Bhavan Palace
Palace Road, Kota, Rajasthan 324001
Hotel Meera Inn
Station Road, Bhimganj Mandi,
Kota, Rajasthan 324002