The Indian state of Rajasthan is known all over the world for its rich cultural heritage. Its history, customs, royalty, fairs and festivals are all so classic, rich and colorful. The same richness and antiquity can be seen and felt in another of its natural heritages- Ranthambore National Park.
Ranthambore lies between two of the oldest and greatest geographical formations of India- the Arravalis and the Vindhyan range. The area in and around Ranthambore used to be the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. For many decades now, researchers, scientists, wildlife film makers and tourists have been visiting this park because it was easier to see tigers here than most other places in the world. This has made the tiger more accustomed to vehicles and the sightings have only become better and more comfortable. Because of the good sightings and consistent study, Ranthambore tigers are very well known.
In the core area of about 275 sq. km, there are 9 routes defined that can be used for tourist vehicles. The Banas river in the north and the Chambal in the south are lifelines for this dry, deciduous forest. It is dominated by the Dhok tree along with some very beautiful dry land species. The forest changes dramatically with the first rains.
The landscape of this area is unique. Deep gorges, grassy slopes, rugged hills, ravines and large lakes make this park a photographer’s delight. An ancient 10th century fort that stands 700ft above the surrounding plains adds to the drama of the terrain. All in all, it is a fabulous setting to have your first tiger sighting in!
This park is a pure shocker. It is impossible to believe when you are in Sawai Madhopur town just 10kms away that Tigers are walking freely in close by Ranthambore National Park. One of the first National Parks of India which came on the world map due to life dedicating efforts of Mr Fateh SIngh Rathore. With a 1000-year-old fort ramparts in the background, and huge lakes in the park, the Tigers are at home in Ranthambhore. These lakes have couple of hundred crocodiles, rarely does one hear encounters of Tigers with Crocodiles. In winters these lakes attract lot of migratory birds too. This park has had some legendary Tigers, from Ghengis Khan, to Noor, then Machli, T17, T24, and now T19.
About The Park
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Indian state of Rajasthan comprises distinct areas with varied conservation history and virtually separated geographically, with mere narrow corridors linking them to the core, Ranthambore National Park. These are mainly, The Ranthambore National Park, Keladevi Sanctuary and Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary.
The Ranthambore National Park, at the junction of the Aravallis and the Vindhyas, is a unique juxtaposition of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in a vast arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 km. from the town of Sawai Madhopur. It is spread over a highly undulating topography, varying from gentle to steep slopes, from flat-topped hills (Indala, Doodh-Bhat and Chiroli) of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalli’s, from wide and flat valleys (Lahpur, Nalghati, Khachida, Anantpur etc.) to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature, the “Great Boundary fault” where the Vindhyas were brought against the ancient Aravalli’s, passes from here.
Interesting Fact That You Should Know
1. Ranthambore Fort, Places to See in Ranthambhore National Park
The most fascinating and most popular excursion taken from the national park is to the Ranthambore Fort. This fort was built by the Chauhan’s in the 10th century. The fort is located at a very strategic position between north and central India and hence it was always coveted by many rulers. This fort is famous for the ‘Johar’ (suicide by immolation to escape humilitaion) by Rajput women in 1301 AD during the siege by Ala-ud-din Khilji. The temples and tanks add to the beauty of the fort. The seven gates and massive curtain walls, crowning a fall-topped hill presents a majestic view.
- Bakaula – Sea running streams.
- Kachida – Spot a concentration of Spotted Deer.
- Phutakot – Colorado of this area.
- Highest Point – Gives a virtual ‘aerial’ view of the Park.
- Semli & Berda – Breathtaking landscapes that seem to stretch till infinity.
- Khemsa Kund – An ancient water tank.Rajbagh Lake, Places to See in Ranthambhore National Park
- Kukraj Ghati – See the grand view of the National Park from the peak of Kukraj.
- Lahpur Valley – Large flat grassland very good for viewing Deer, Antipole and Tigers.
- Sultanpur ki Kui – One of the most scenic drives in the Park.
- Rajbagh Lake – Carpeted with Lotus flowers and filled with Lotus eaters.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve was among the first nine Tiger Reserves declared in 1973 at the launch of Project Tiger in India. It comprised the former Sawai Madhopur Wildlife Sanctuary of 392.5 sq. km. Reserved Forest (constituted in 1955).
Ranthambore National Park with an area of 274.5 sq. km. was constituted from within the Tiger Reserve in 1980. In the then Tiger Reserve, the National Park area was being managed as the core and the rest as buffer until in 1992, Keladevi Sanctuary having an area of 674 sq. km. of Protected Forest (constituted in 1983), Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary with an area of 127 sq. km. (constituted in 1984), Kualji Close Area of 7.58 sq. km. and some other forest areas were added to the reserve.
Flora & Fauna
Main Trees of Ranthambore Phoenix Sylvestris, Ranthambhore Mammals
- Wild Date palm or Khajur
- Peepal Tree
- Dhak, Chila or The Flame of the Forest
- Banyan Tree
- Indian Jujube or Ber
- Karaya Gum Tree
Acacia Catechu, Ranthambhore Mammals
- Khair Tree
- Tendu or Coromandel Ebony
- Khus Grass
Tiger, at the apex of the food chain, lord of the kingdom in a subtle way. Solitary by nature, it operates in the stealth. Therefore, tiger sightings, frequent as they are, are always a matter of chance. However even evidences of tiger’s activities are very exciting.
Other kinds of cats found in Ranthambore are Leopard, Caracal, Leopard cat, Fishing cat and Jungle cat. The other large predators include Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Desert fox, Palm civet, common mongoose, crocodile, python etc. There are two species of antlers the spotted deer (chital), and Sambhar deer and two kinds of antelopes namely the Indian Gazelle (chinkara) and the Bluebull (Nilgai).
There are many other animals to observe, understand and enjoy. Elegant and graceful spotted deer, huge sambhar, crocodiles basking around the lakes, vultures soaring in the sky, Serpent eagles scanning the ground from its perch or the kaleidoscope of waterfowl at the pools are all the interest for a visitor with sensitivity. Ranthmbhore is a great experience in totality and the Tiger Den Resort will enhance your experience by making it cool and comfortable.
Ranthambore is also rich in bird life with around 300 species of birds. Infact for a keen bird watcher Ranthambore and the surrounding area is a paradise. Some interesting resident species of birds are large Cormorant, Painted Spurfowl, Sarus Crane, Bronzed winged Jacana, Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Night jar, Painted Sand grouse, Great horned owl and many more regular winter migrants which come from their nesting ground north of Himalayas to Ranthambore and surrounding areas.
Area: 282 sq. km of core forest
Co-ordinates: Latitude: 26° 01’ 02” N, Longitude: 76° 30′ 09”E.
Weekly off: None
Park Opens: Always
Park closed: Holi, Diwali
Closest airports: Jaipur (130 km)
Closest Rail heads: Sawai Madhopur (11 km), Kota (108 km) and Jaipur (130 km)
Average Elevation: 350 m