the countrys finest wildlife destinations, is stationed near the town
of Sawai Madhopur, which is around 180 km south east of Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Initially, the hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today it is known
for its tigers and is one of the most amazing places in the country to
witness these royal animals of the wild. The tigers can be seen quite often
even during daytime, busy in their daily pursuits - notably stalking or
hunting and taking care of their young.
Ranthambore, established as a sanctuary in 1959, was secured in the very
first phase of Project Tiger in 1972. In 1981, Ranthambhore was given the
status of a National Park. The park got its name from the fort of
Ranthambhore, which perches on a rocky prominence in the forest. The fort
was an important fortification for the control of central India. Though
swamped by vegetation, remains of the summer palaces, temples and guard
stones within the fort still remain.
» By Air -
The nearest airport is Jaipur (180 km
away) which is well connected by air from Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jodhpur
» By Rail -
Ranthambore is well connected by rail to
Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur and Mumbai.
» By Road -
Ranthambore is well connected by road to
Agra (275 kms), Bharatpur (210 kms) and Jaipur (180 kms) and fits in very
well into any North India itinerary.
Highlights of the Park :
» Plant Species -
Ranthambhore forest is dry
deciduous in character with dhok (Anogeissus pendula) trees as the main
vegetation which is the fodder tree for animals. Kulu (Sterculia urens),
ronj (Acacia leucophloea), ber (Zizyphus maudrentiana), khimi (Manilkara
hexandra), tendu (Diospyrous melanoxylon), polas (Butea monosperma), peepal,
mango and banyan comprise other important trees in Ranthambhore. Flame of
the forest, which blooms in April is the most beautiful tree and envelopes
the forest in a spectacular fiery red aura. The four lakes in Ranthambhore
are enclosed by various species of trees like salar (Boswellia serrata),
gurjan (Lannea coromandelica) and gum (Sterculia urens).
Animal Species -
Ranthambhore National Park occupies an area of around
400 sq km with a tiger population of about 32. The tigers can be located
easily in Ranthambhore as compared to any other National Parks. The Park
also has a large number of other wild species like leopards, the highly
endangered caracal, jungle cat, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, wild boar, marsh
crocodile, porcupine, common langur, spotted deer, Indian gazelle, sambar
(Asiatic stag) and nilgai (bluebull). The nocturnal species like the leopard
and the caracal are difficult to locate and thus sightings could be rare.
» Birds Species -
Ranthambhore is famous for its
migratory, water, and woodland birds. There are nearly 270 species of birds
in the Park including a large number of migratory birds. Different birds
found here are the great Indian horned owl, various species of eagles such
as Bonellis eagle and the crested serpent, spoonbills, partridge, quail,
parakeets, kingfishers, owls and storks, geese and ducks. But the most seen
and the most beautiful bird here is the peacock, the national bird of India.
Every evening the peacocks of Ranthambhore line up on the walls of the fort
which is situated on a cliff above the Park and, after much calling, climb
down to specific roosting trees for the night.
Additional Highlights of the Park :
» Ranthambore Fort -
The most splendid and sought
after excursion from the national park is to the Ranthambore Fort. This
magnificent fort was constructed by the Chauhans in the 10th century. The
location of the fort is strategic just between north and central India
because of which it was aspired for by many rulers. This fort is famous for
the 'Johar' (suicide by immolation to escape humiliation) by Rajput women in
1301 AD during the siege by Ala-ud-din Khilji. The temples and tanks here
enhance the beauty of the fort. The seven gates and massive curtain walls,
crowning a fall-topped hill presents a majestic view.
» Safaris -
The safari into the jungles and chance
of coming across the unexpected is the most thrilling experience. Safaris
into the Ranthambore National Park are conducted by the Forest Department in
open truck style canters and supposed to be booked in advance.