Sunday, June 25, 2023

Sariska Tiger Reserve

Sariska Tiger Reserve UPSC

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a popular wildlife sanctuary and tiger reserve located in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is situated in the Aravalli Range.

The reserve is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal tigers. Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and was later designated as a tiger reserve in 1978 under the Project Tiger initiative by the Government of India.

Sariska Tiger Reserve also has a rich historical significance. It is dotted with ancient temples, ruins, and forts, including the Kankwari Fort, which is situated inside the reserve. This fort was once used as a prison by Emperor Aurangzeb and is now a popular tourist attraction within the reserve.

Table of Contents

  • Sariska Tiger Reserve Location
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve History
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve Area
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve Hills
    • Aravalli Range
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve River
    • Ruparel River
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve Flora
  • Sariska Tiger Reserve Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Top Things to do in Sariska Tiger Reserve
  • Kankwari Fort
  • Temples in Sariska Tiger Reserve
    • Neelkanth Temple
    • Pandupol Hanuman Temple

Sariska Tiger Reserve Location

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan, India. It is situated in the Aravalli Range, approximately 107 kilometers (66 miles) from the capital city of Jaipur.

Sariska Tiger Reserve Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Sariska Tiger Reserve is Jaipur International Airport. It is located in Sanganer, approximately 107 kilometers (66 miles) from the reserve.


Sariska Tiger Reserve Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Sariska Tiger Reserve is Alwar Junction. It is located in Alwar city, approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the reserve. Alwar Junction is well-connected to major cities in India through regular train services.

Sariska Tiger Reserve History

The history of the Sariska Tiger Reserve is closely linked to the conservation efforts in India and the protection of its wildlife, particularly the Royal Bengal tiger.

Hunting Reserve: Sariska was originally a hunting ground for the royal family of Alwar. 

Wildlife Sanctuary: With the decline in tiger populations and growing concerns about the loss of wildlife habitat, the area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955. The sanctuary covered an initial area of 273 square kilometers (105 square miles).

Tiger Reserve: In 1978, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary was designated as a tiger reserve under the ambitious Project Tiger initiative launched by the Government of India. The project aimed to protect and increase the dwindling tiger population in the country. Sariska became one of the nine tiger reserves in the first phase of the project.

National Park Status: In 1979, Sariska wildlife sanctuary became a National Park. 

Poaching Crisis: Unfortunately, in the early 2000s, Sariska Tiger Reserve faced a major setback when it was reported that all the tigers in the reserve had been poached. This revelation shocked the nation and raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of tiger conservation efforts. It highlighted the need for improved security and better management of tiger reserves.

Resilience and Restoration: In response to the crisis, the authorities took immediate action to address the situation. The reserve was revamped with enhanced security measures, increased patrolling, and the introduction of new tigers from other reserves to restore the population. In 2008, Sariska Tiger Reserve was reopened for tiger tourism with the reintroduction of tigers.

Note- Sariska Tiger Reserve is the first tiger reserve to have successfully relocated Royal Bengal tigers in India.

Historical Importance: Besides its conservation significance, Sariska Tiger Reserve also holds historical importance. The reserve area is dotted with ancient temples, ruins, and forts, including the Kankwari Fort, which is situated within the reserve. These historical structures add to the cultural and heritage value of the reserve, attracting tourists interested in both wildlife and history.

Sariska Tiger Reserve Area

The Sariska Tiger Reserve has a total area of 1,203.34 square kilometers (464.70 square miles), which is divided into two main zones:

Core/Critical Tiger Habitat: The core area, also known as the critical tiger habitat, covers an area of 881.11 square kilometers (340.15 square miles). This region is specifically dedicated to the conservation and protection of the Royal Bengal tigers and their prey species. It is the primary zone where tiger conservation efforts are focused.

Buffer/Peripheral Area: The buffer or peripheral area of the reserve spans an area of 322.23 square kilometers (124.55 square miles). This zone surrounds the core area and acts as a transitional space between the reserve and its surrounding human-dominated landscapes. The buffer area provides additional protection to the reserve by regulating activities and human encroachment in order to minimize disturbances to the core habitat.

Both the core and buffer areas together constitute the Sariska Tiger Reserve, with a combined total area of 1,203.34 square kilometers (464.70 square miles). These designated zones play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance and conserving the diverse wildlife species found within the reserve.

  • Core/critical tiger habitat : 881.11
  • Buffer/peripheral area : 322.23
  • Total : 1203.34

Sariska Tiger Reserve Hills

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Aravalli Range, a range of hills that runs through Rajasthan. As such, the reserve is characterized by its hilly terrain, which adds to the scenic beauty and diverse habitats within the park.

The Aravalli Range in Sariska Tiger Reserve consists of rugged hills and valleys, offering a picturesque backdrop to the wildlife sanctuary. The hills vary in elevation, with some reaching heights of around 500 to 600 meters (1,640 to 1,970 feet) above sea level. These hills are covered with dry deciduous forests, rocky outcrops, and lush vegetation, providing suitable habitats for a range of flora and fauna.

The hills in Sariska Tiger Reserve not only contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the landscape but also play a crucial role in the conservation of wildlife. They provide shelter, hiding spots, and vantage points for various animal species, including the elusive Royal Bengal tigers and leopards. The undulating terrain also creates diverse microhabitats, supporting a wide array of plant species and smaller animals.

Moreover, the hills of Sariska Tiger Reserve are home to several ancient temples, ruins, and historical structures that add cultural and historical significance to the area. The Kankwari Fort, situated atop a hill within the reserve, is one such example of the historical heritage nestled amidst the hills of Sariska.

Sariska Tiger Reserve River

Ruparel River flow through the Sariska Tiger Reserve and serves as an important water source for the wild animals in the reserve. The river originates from the Udyanath peak in the Alwar district of Rajasthan and flows through the districts of Alwar and Bharatpur before joining the Yamuna River between Agra and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

The presence of the Ruparel River within the Sariska Tiger Reserve would indeed contribute to the availability of water for the wildlife and add to the biodiversity of the reserve. 

Sariska Tiger Reserve Flora

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is characterized by two main types of vegetation: Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests and Northern Tropical Thorn Forests.

(1) Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests: 

These forests dominate a significant portion of the Sariska Tiger Reserve. They consist of trees that shed their leaves during the dry season to conserve water. The vegetation includes species like Dhok (Anogeissus pendula), Khair (Acacia catechu), Tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), and various other tree species adapted to dry conditions.

(2) Northern Tropical Thorn Forests: 

This type of vegetation is found in areas with slightly drier conditions within the reserve. It is characterized by thorny shrubs, bushes, and small trees that have adapted to survive in arid environments. Thorny species such as Acacia nilotica (Babul) and Prosopis cineraria (Khejri) are commonly found in these forests.

Note- Dhok (Anogeissus pendula) is particularly abundant in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, covering over 40 percent of the forested area. Dhok trees are well-adapted to dry conditions and have a significant ecological role in providing shade, food, and shelter to a variety of wildlife species.

Sariska Tiger Reserve Fauna (Sariska Tiger Reserve Animals)

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is renowned for its diverse wildlife and serves as a crucial habitat for various animal species. Here are some of the notable fauna found in the reserve:


  • Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Leopards
  • Hyenas
  • Caracal
  • Jungle Cat
  • Sambar Deer
  • Spotted Deer
  • Four-horned Antelope
  • Nilgai
  • Wild Pig
  • Common Langur
  • Rhesus Macaque 
  • Small Indian Civet 
  • Rufous Tailed Hare 
  • Common Mongoose 
  • Ruddy Mongoose 
  • Palm Civet 
  • Pangolin 
  • Porcupine


  • Peafowl
  • Grey Francolin
  • Whiterumped Vulture
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • Aravalli Red Spurfowl
  • Indian Cuckoo
  • Common Sand Grouse
  • Indian Pitta
  • Great Horned Owl


  • Indian Python
  • Indian Cobra
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Russell's Viper
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Common Indian Krait
  • Indian Star Tortoise
  • Fan-throated Lizard

Top Things to do in Sariska Tiger Reserve

When visiting the Sariska Tiger Reserve, there are several activities and experiences that visitors can enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Sariska Tiger Reserve:

  • Wildlife Safari
  • Tiger Spotting
  • Birdwatching
  • Nature Walks
  • Visit Ancient Ruins
  • Visit Siliserh Lake
  • Photography
  • Stay in Jungle Resorts

Kankwari Fort

Kankwari Fort is a historical fort located within the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India. The fort holds significant historical and cultural importance. Here are some key details about Kankwari Fort:

Location: Kankwari Fort is situated atop a hill within the Sariska Tiger Reserve, approximately 20 kilometers from the entrance gate of the reserve.

Historical Significance: The fort is believed to have been constructed during the 17th century and has witnessed various historical events. It is most famous for being the place where Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, was imprisoned by his younger brother Aurangzeb during a power struggle for the Mughal throne.

Architecture and Structure: Kankwari Fort showcases a blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. The fort is surrounded by thick stone walls and has several chambers, rooms, and open courtyards. It offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Tourist Attraction: Kankwari Fort has become a popular tourist attraction within the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Visitors can explore the fort's ruins, climb its ramparts, and learn about its historical significance. The fort also provides a vantage point for wildlife enthusiasts to spot animals and enjoy the scenic beauty of the reserve.

Temples in Sariska Tiger Reserve

There are two notable temples located within or near the Sariska Tiger Reserve:

(1) Neelkanth Temple:

The Neelkanth Temple is an ancient temple located within the Sariska Tiger Reserve. Built in the 6th century, this temple is known for its collection of intricate and erotic statues. It is said to bear a similarity to the famous Khajuraho temples, which are renowned for their detailed and expressive sculptures. The Neelkanth Temple is a significant historical and cultural site for visitors interested in exploring the region's architectural and artistic heritage.

(2) Pandupol Hanuman Temple:

The Pandupol Hanuman Temple is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, situated near the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The temple holds religious significance and is associated with the Pandavas, the protagonists of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. According to legend, the Pandavas sought blessings from Lord Hanuman at this location during their exile. The temple attracts devotees and visitors who come to pay their respects and seek blessings.

Sariska Tiger Reserve UPSC Questions

Q. Where is the Sariska Tiger Reserve located?/Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in?/Sariska Tiger Reserve in which district?/Sariska Tiger Reserve is in which state?

A. Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in Alwar district of Rajasthan, India.

Q. When did Sariska become tiger reserve?

A. Sariska was declared a declared tiger reserve in 1978 under Project Tiger.

Q. Which river passes through Sariska Tiger Reserve?

A. Ruparel river passes through Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Q. How many tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve?

A. Sariska has a total of 27 tigers.

Q. What is the Sariska Tiger Reserve known for?

A. The Sariska Tiger Reserve is known for several notable features and attractions. Here are some of the key aspects for which the reserve is renowned:

  • Royal Bengal Tigers
  • Wildlife Diversity
  • Natural Scenery
  • Historical Sites ( Kankwari Fort)
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Conservation Efforts

Sariska Tiger Reserve

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