Enclosed within the dramatic, shadowy folds of the Aravalli Hills, the Sariska Tiger Reserve & National Park is a tangle of remnant semideciduous jungle and craggy canyons sheltering streams and lush greenery. It covers 866 sq km (including a core area of 498 sq km), and is home to peacocks, monkeys, majestic sambars, nilgai, chital, wild boars and jackals.
Although Project Tiger has been in charge of the sanctuary since 1979, there has been a dramatic failure in tiger protection. In 2004 there were an estimated 18 tigers in Sariska; however, this was called into question after an investigation by the WWF. That report prompted the federal government to investigate what has happened to the tigers of this reserve. A reintroduction program is attempting to re-establish a stable tiger population, but you’re unlikely to see one.
Sariska is in any case a fascinating sanctuary. The best time to spot wildlife is November to March, and you’ll see most wildlife in the evening. The park is closed to safaris from 1 July to 30 September. Your chances of spotting wildlife at this time is minimal, in any case, and the park is only open for temple pilgrimage.
Private car access, as opposed to the gypsy and canter safari vehicles, is only allowed on Tuesday and Saturday to visit the Hanuman Temple. Tickets and vehicle bookings may also be made online.