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RANTHAMBORE - THE Tiger Reserve

DISTANCE FROM MAJOR CITIES

Madhopur:

11 km

Jaipur:

145 km

BEST TIME TO VISIT:

November to March

Ranthambore, which receives thousands of visitors each year, is famous for its tigers, whose population it seeks to increase and sustain. Year after year, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve continues to attract not just tourists but dignitaries as well. The U.S. President Bill Clinton, during his recent visit to India, found time to visit Ranthambore despite his busy schedule. Nevertheless, the king of the jungle obliges both dignitaries and the common tourists with his benign presence.


LOCATION

Ranthambore reserve is situated in India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan, near the town of Sawai Madhopur, midway between Bharatpur and Kota townships. It is surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravali hill ranges and is very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. The entire area has sprawling tracts of the desert and semi-desert vegetation.

PAST

Originally a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1980, it became a national park and listed among the reserves protected under Project Tiger (1973). Presently the Kaila Devi Sanctuary, also famous for its tigers, and Mansingh Sanctuary also form part of Ranthambore Reserve.

ATTRACTIONS IN RANTHAMBORE

Tigers can be spotted quite often in their natural habitat even during daytime. They have been frequently seen at the edges of three lakes—Padam Talab, Raj Bagh Talab and Milak Talab. The park also has panthers in sizable numbers, though they have been spotted generally at the outskirts of the park perhaps due to the inevitable conflict with the tiger population, which command the ‘superior’ position amidst the predatory cats. For spotting panthers, Kachida Valley is regarded as the ideal place.

Other mammalian species that have made Ranthambore their home are antelopes, nilgai, sambhar, chital, sloth bear, wild boar, chinkara, porcupines, jackals, leopards, jungle cats, fox, caracals, hyena, gazelle, Indian hare, mongoose and jacanas. Sambhars are in abundance at the park and form the prime target of all the predatory mammals.

There are about 264 species of birds found within the park including painted storks,

white-necked storks, black storks, peafowl, crested serpent eagles, Bonelli's eagle, Indian horned owl, quail, partridge, spur fowl, paradise flycatcher and jacanas. During winters migratory birds like graylag goose, ruddy sheiduck and pintails may also be spotted. Monitor lizards and marsh crocodiles are also found here.

The park’s topography varies from secure forests to open scrublands. Vegetation is of the dry deciduous type, with dhok being the most prominent tree. Ranthambore’s water bodies are known to have lovely lotus flowers and water liis situated. Among the park’s other oddities is the forest rest house, Jogi Mahal, the premises of which sports the second largest banyan tree in India!

Ranthambore is one of the most suitable places for wildlife photography in the world. The park may be toured in a jeep or lorry-van. A guide and a park ranger generally accompany tourists. There is a network of four gravel tracks inside the park for safaris. Ruins within and around Ranthambore bear a testimony to its royal past. There are lake palaces, old fortifications and the majestic Ranthambore fort on a height overlooking the park. The forest rest house is situated at the foot of the fort within Jogi Mahal. It overlooks the Padam Talab, which is afloat with water liis situated and lotuses.

AROUND THE SANCTUARY

A noteworthy site for excursion is the Ranthambore fort. Built by the Chauhan rulers in the 10th century, this fort was the envy of many rulers because of its strategic location between central and northern parts of India. When the Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji laid siege to this fort in 1303, the women of the household performed jauhar (or self-immolation). This historic fort has many temples, tanks, massive gates and curtain walls. This monument has been declared a protected site by the Archeological survey of India.    

GETTING THERE

Air: The nearest airport is at Jaipur, which is about 145 km away.
Rail:
The nearest rail junction is Sawai Madhopur at a distance of 11 km. It is on the main Delhi–Bombay railway line and major trains stop here.
Road : A good network of state transport buses connects Sawai Madhopur with destinations across the state.

Hotels in Ranthambore

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