Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national park in Northern India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, which is about 130 km from Jaipur. Being considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the Ranthambore National Park terrain is major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination.
Ranthambore National park is spread over an area of 392 sq km. along with its nearby sanctuaries like - the Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary.The park is majorly famous for its tigers and is one of the best locations in India to see the majestic predators in its natural habitat. The tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time busy at their ordinary quest- hunting and taking proper care of their young ones.
Ranthambore is also counted as the famous heritage site because of the pictorial ruins that dot the wildlife park. Certainly, a visit to Ranthambore National Park is a treat for every wildlife and nature lover. The time spend on watching tigers roaming around, verdant greenery, a gamut of other species of chirpy birds and animals is priceless and worth enough to be explored at least once in a life.
Tigers are territorial animals that prefer to mark their territories and then guard them very fiercely. Usually the criterion for choosing a particular area is the high density of prey animals. The method of marking their boundaries may include using urine, secretions from anal glands or imprinting scratch marks on tree barks, bushes and rocks making up the boundary of the possessed area. Preferring a solitary existence the tiger can even give its life to retain the mastership of its area, which may extend up to 100 sq km.
PLACES TO SEE:
There are many interesting spots for you to see in Ranthambore National Park.The Ranthambore National Park is regarded as the most suitable place for wildlife photography in the world. Here you can capture the tiger in its various moods and moments. Besides the Ranthambore Park, there are places like the Ranthambore Fort (one of its kind in the entire state of Rajasthan), Jogi Mahal (the wonderful forest guesthouse) and the various species of flora and fauna, which are also worth a look.
We have given a list below, of some of the imoratant places at and around Ranthambore National Park.
Bakaula: >National Park Ranthambore is covered with thick forest over a large part of its area. One of the thickly forested regions is called the Bakaula region. Bakaula consists of dense forest, with many small pools and water holes in clearings in the vegetation. Because of the excellent forest cover and availability of water, the Bakaula region in National Park Ranthambore has an abundance of wildlife. Tigresses with young cubs are often seen near the water holes in Bakaula, since the dense forest provides cool hides for a tigress and her young.
Kachida Valley: This valley, which consists of many rocky outcrops and low hills, is located close to the outskirts of the park. A jeep would be the ideal mode of transport when trying to visit this area. This area contains a majority of the Panther population of the park. The panthers avoid venturing into the main jungle to avoid conflicts with tigers, who are known to kill them. This area also has a good population of beers.
Lakarda and Anantpura: These areas located in the North-Western and Northern regions of the park are ideal locations to visit if looking for Sloth Bears. These areas have a lot of ant hills, which are a favourite of the beers. Although very rarely seen themselves, the pugmarks of the Indian striped Hyenas are often seen here. Their numbers are not very large in the park.
Raj Bagh Ruins: These ruins are located between the Padam Talao (lake) and the Raj Bagh Talao. These ancient stone structures like arches, palace outhouses, domes and steps give the area an aura that is not possible to find anywhere else in the world. Especially if you include the jungle surroundings and are one of the lucky few who come across one of the resident tigers. Thse ruins are what give the Ranthambore National Park such a unique mixture of a wildlife reserve and a reminder of the past, which together make it one of the most picturesque parks in the entire world.
Padam Talao: This is the largest of the lakes present in the park. The famous and beautiful Jogi Mahal is located at the very edge of this lake. When in season, the water lilies that give the lake it's name, can be seen in plenty. In the early hours of the morning and just before sunset, animals can be seen in large numbers on the lake side. It is in the shallow waters of this lake that the famous "lake hunters" of Ranthambore operate, the most legendary of which was the tiger, Genghis. It is also along this lake's edges that the rare sighting of the chinkara is most probable.
Ranthambore Fort: This fort stands majestically atop a hill overlooking the entire park. The walk up, one of the only places this mode of transport is possible, is a very refreshing and exciting one as even the big cats have been spotted up there! The view of the surrounding keeps getting better and better as you go up but the view from the fort itself can only be described as breathtaking. It is advisable to take along a good pair of binoculars and if possible a camera with a very powerful lens when visiting the fort.
The soaring Serpent eagles, vultures and other birds can be seen at eye level. Many animals can also be seen along the edges of all the water bodies, which are all visible from here. The fort itself also offers many interesting architectural and historical sights worth viewing and photographing. A trip to the fort is a must if you are a first time visitor to the park. A guide with a good knowledge of the fort's history would always be a good idea.
Rajbagh Talao: This is probably the most picturesque of the three lakes. This mostly due to the ruins that can be seen along it's edges. Yet, it owes some of it's beauty to the animals that seem to always flock to it's waters. It always has a large population of animals and birds feeding in it. The sambhar deer at Ranthambore have adapted to eating plants from the lake floor and nowhere is it more evident than at the Rajbagh Talao. Many birds, like egrets, can be seen riding on these deer while they feed. The areas around the Rajbagh Talao are also prime tiger spotting areas due to the kind of forest and it's accessibility to water sources.
Malik Talao: This is the smallest of the three lakes in Ranthambore National Park. But, as they say, all the best things come in small packages. This definitely holds true for Malik Talao. It is an area full of concentrated action all the time. It always seems to have a healthy population of birds of all kinds. Also seen at the lake very clearly and from a reasonably close distance and handsome specimens of the Indian Marsh Crocodiles. It is quite common here to be able to watch a kingfisher on a hunt for small fish.
HOW TO REACH:
Ranthambore National Park is well-connected with all the major cities in India, however the easiest way to reach this park is to take a train to Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, which connects cities like Jaipur, Bombay, and Delhi. If anyone is more convenient in travelling through air, then Jaipur has the nearest airport, which is well connected with the metro cities of India.
By Air: The nearest airport to reach Ranthambore National Park is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur. The distance between Jaipur and Ranthambore is about 180 km and there are regular flights for Jaipur from all the major cities including, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, etc. The tourists can take direct taxi or bus from Sanganer Airport to reach Ranthambore safely.
By Road: Ranthambore is well connected with all the major cities and town through state bus service and it can be reached through private buses and taxis. Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, and Jodhpur can be easily travelled from Ranthambore.
- Delhi to Ranthambore- 381 Km(Approx. 6 Hours via NH8 and NH 11A)
- Jaipur to Ranthambore 180 Km (Approx. 3h via Rajasthan State Hwy 24)
- Udaipur to Ranthambore- 388 Km (Approx. 6h 10 min via NH 76 and RJ SH 29)
- Agra to Ranthambore- 239 Km (Approx. 4h 23 min via via RJ SH 1)
- Bharatpur to Ranthambore- 202 Km (Approx. 3h 37 min via RJ SH 1)
- Ahmedabad to Ranthambore - 640 Km (Approx. 9h 47 min via NH8 and NH 76)
- Mumbai to Ranthambore - 1031 Km (Approx. 16 h 51 min via NH 3)
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
The Best Time to Visit Ranthambore National park will be from 1st October to 30th June. Rest of the Time Park is closed for the Visitors.
MAP OF RANTHAMBORE: