Ranthambore National Park
National Park area: 275 Skm core areas. 392 Skm including buffer zone.
Tiger Reserve area: 1334 Skm
Altitude: 215 to 505 meters above sea level
Nearest airport : is Jaipur at 180 Kms
Terrain: Dense tropical dry forest, open bush land and rocky terrain inter spread with lakes and streams
Eco-region: Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests
Best Season: between November to March
Closed: Monsoon season (July - September)
Ranthambhore National Park is one of the biggest and well-known national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India, and was announced the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. And later on became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.
Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these royal predators in the forest. Tigers can be easily sighted even during the day time. A good time to visit Ranthambhore National Park is in November and May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.
The park lies at the border of a plateau, and is restricted to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. There are several lakes inside the Park. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. The park covers an area of 392 km², and is famous for its tiger population, and is one of India's Project Tiger reserves. Other major wild animals include the tiger, leopard, nilgai, dhole, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Ranthambore is also the site for one of the largest banyan trees in India.
Ranthambhore is most famous for its large tiger population. As tourism in the park increased, so did the population of neighbouring villages. This led to increasing amounts of fatal human-tiger interactions and poaching. The Indian Government started Project Tiger in 1973 with an allotted area of 60. It was later expanded to become what is now called, the Ranthambhore National Park. Besides tigers, the reserve has thriving bird population with more than 270 different species of birds here.
In 2005, there were 26 tigers living in Ranthambhore. This was significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which then stood at 44. According to non-government sources there were 34 adult tigers in the Ranthambhore National Park in 2008. More than 14 tiger cubs were also recorded. This was largely attributed to sustained efforts by forest officials to curb poaching. Villagers in the region were being given incentives to stay out of the park and surveillance cameras were also fitted across the reserve. The Indian government also committed US$153 million for the efforts. These efforts have been successful with Ranthambhore having enough tigers to participate in the Sariska Tiger Reserve relocation efforts. The first aerial trans-location of the male tiger (Dara) from Ranthambore to Sariska was done using a Mi-17 helicopter on 28 Jun 2008 by Wing Commander Vimal Raj
Tigers: The Park is one of the best national parks in the country to spot a tiger. This majestic predator can be spotted ambling or basking under the sun here.
Safari Rides: Rides times :0630 hrs and and 1430 hrs . Each ride lasts for about 3 hours. There are two options of vehicles for the safari: 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. The core park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go on one of those zones. Since there is a good chance of not sighting a tiger in one outing, people usually take more than one ride.
The Fort: The magnificent fort, built in 10th-century, towers over the entire park area. It stands at a height of 700 feet above the adjacent plain. Inside the fort, there are three red Karauli stone temples devoted to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. The temples were constructed in 12th and 13th centuries.
Padam Talao: This is the largest of the all the lakes located inside the park, and the beautiful red sandstone Jogi Mahal is located at the very edge of this lake. A gigantic banyan tree, considered to be India’s second largest, is near the lake.
How to get there:
By Air: Jaipur at 180 km is the nearest airport from Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary.
By Rail: Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur railway station, that lies on the Delhi to Bombay trunk route. This is by far the best way of reaching the place from Delhi or Jaipur.
By Road: A good network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town from Ranthambore to all the major cities within thestate of Rajasthan. The frequency of direct services though is not very great. Mostly you have to first take a bus to either Tonk or Dausa.