Distance from Delhi - Around 200 Kms via NH 48
Time Taken - About 4 Hours
Gates - Sariska Gate and Tehla Gates
Nearest City - Alwar
Website for Online Booking - sso.rajasthan.gov.in
Sariska National Park is around 200 Kms from New Delhi and is one of the closest National Parks from the NCR and thereby has gained a lot of popularity as a weekend getaway.
Even though it is such a frequented decision, lot of people book the Safari offline and stand in long queues at the National Park to do so. Luckily for us, I managed booking the Safari online and thus got saved standing in the huge queue which was the biggest advantage.
Booking the Safari online is not that easy as a Google search for online Safari Booking in Sariska would give us multiple results but all of them would lead to private company pages having much misleading urls that one would think they are government site. While searching for the same, I came across websites such as www.sariskanationalpark.com , www.sariskatigercamp.com etc. but these are all private companies which have names similar to that of government websites.
For the government site one needs to log into the following website - sso.rajasthan.gov.in . This is Rajasthan governments single sign on page for such purposes. One needs to create a user id and password and register on the site before proceeding to book a wildlife Safari.
Once that is done, log in to the site and click on the icon - Forest and Wildlife which would redirect us to another page belonging to the forest department. Out here one then needs to click on the option of 'Advanced Wildlife Booking' as for Sariska current booking is not allowed and one can do online bookings till one day prior via this mode. I remember that I had made my booking at around 11 pm for next day afternoon safari.
There are two gates in Sariska - the more famous (and close to Delhi ) - Sariska Gate and the further away and less frequented Tehla Gate . Both the Gates have two slots - morning and evening and there are three routes - route 1 to 3. As far as routes are concerned , they are more or less inconsequential as one is mainly at the mercy of their Jeep driver once inside the forest and there are no routes marked out there. Apart from Jeep, there is also an option of taking a Canter in case you have a small group or are travelling solo. While booking a Jeep, a person can fill in upto 6 people for a single car.
One pays the fees only for the no. of people filled in the form. The caveat here is that in case you are only two of you and you decide that you do not want to share with anyone else then you have to pay the remainder while taking the physical ticket from the counter at Sariska Main Gate. In case you are not interested in shelling out extra money then share the Jeep with other travellers and hope you find someone whose Jeep is not already full.
The Online Booking System is not entirely online and as mentioned above one needs to present the online copy and fill up a form at Sariska Gate as well. But there is a separate window for Online Bookings and the queue is not as long and it definitely takes far lesser time than the offline booking counter. It is here and after this stage that vehicle as well as a guide is assigned . As far as the cost is concerned it turned out to be roughly Rs 1530 for the two of us. In case the entire Jeep is being booked, the charges would definitely b le slightly higher. But it is advisable to book the entire cab as our experience was not the greatest while sharing the cab with other people .