What adds to the beauty of the world? Are those beautiful buildings? Or the ancient monuments, or wondrous adventure parks? Sure for every human, the meaning of beauty differs. But one can gain the best of the heavenly experience only through a visit to the lap of nature. If you are planning to travel somewhere or planning a holiday, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places to consider.
And if you are a nature admirer and lover, then India is a must-visit for you that is the motherland of the most dynamic Flora and Fauna of the world. The country has a large number of reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuary, and biosphere reserves that conserve nurtures, and presents you with the unexplored and hidden beauty of Indian diversity.
Ranthambore is one such hidden gem of India, hidden in the Aravallis of Rajasthan. Let us take you on a little journey to explore more about Ranthambore and discover the diversity of the place.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is one of the most renowned and one of the enormous national parks of India. With an area of about 400 square kilometers (500 sq km, when coupled with the Sawai Man Singh sanctuary) it situates at about 13.5 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, near the confluence of the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges where the Banas River runs through it on the north, and the Chambal River on the south. It is one of the best sites to see wild animals, prominently since they are habituated to being observed.
Inclusive of the structures from bygone eras, Ranthambore National Park has numerous water bodies scattered all over the park. These provide perfect relief to the wild animals during the scorching hot days in summers. On the top of a hill, a magnificent fort, after which the park is named, is visible which stands like a tower in the dense forest. The National Park is a unique amalgamation of history, natural elements, and wildlife where architecture from the bygone ages is beautifully preserved within the vicinity of nature. Tigers have been seen to hunt in front of human visitors at Ranthambore National Park.
History of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
In the year 1955, the Government of India established the Ranthambore National Park initially as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. It was designated as one of India’s Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park on November 1, 1980. The forests adjacent to it were named Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.
Things to do in Ranthambore National Park
If you are a nature admirer, then Ranthambore has a lot to bestow you with. The more you delve into the world of flora and fauna, the closer you will be to nature, ultimately acquiring peace. Here are a few things you can engage yourself within Ranthambore: –
Watching Wild Animals
Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Blackbucks, Rufous-tailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Common Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Five striped Palm Squirrels, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbil’s, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Long-eared Hedgehogs, Rattles, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets, and Common mongoose are some of the popular Wild Animals that are visible in the forest of Ranthambore.
The park also includes a large number of marsh crocs Reptiles, Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Banded Kraits, Cobras, Common Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Rat Snakes, Russell’s Vipers, Saw-scaled Vipers, and the Indian Chameleon.
Sightseeing these animals brightens up ones’ eyes, and gives one a chance to closely observe the wonders of nature.
Not only is a rich variety of Fauna but Ranthambore is also homes to birds of various kinds. Thus, the place becomes an important destination for bird watching. Along with being a natural habitat for Royal Bengal Tigers, this national park in Rajasthan is also popular for being a habitation to around 320 species of birds. These birds include serpent eagle, waterfowl, cormorant, painted spurfowl, sarus crane, bronzed-winged jacana, sandpiper, kingfisher, nightjar, painted sandgrouse, and great-horned owl. A large number of migratory birds in the winter season also make Ranthambore and its wetlands their home. Therefore, bird lovers and ornithologists visit the national park with much interest. The areas around the three large lakes – Padam Talao, Malik Talao, and Rajbagh Talao mostly become the habitation of the birds.
Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove, Crakes, Snipes, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bitterns, Flamingos, Ibis, Pelicans, Storks, Pittas, Shrikes, Treepies, Crows, Orioles, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Minivets, Drongos, Flycatchers, Ioras, Wood Shrikes, Pipits, Bayas, Sparrows, Finches, Wagtails, Munias, Bulbul, Mynas, Falcons, etc. are the important birds in Ranthambore that become a pleasure to the visitors’ eyes.
Gypsy Safari in Ranthambore National Park
One of the best ways to enjoy the wildlife sighting in Ranthambore National Park is the Jeep Safari. In Ranthambore, a total of 20 jeeps are permitted at any given time. Gypsies are Forest Department-registered and ideal for a small group. In Ranthambore, a Jeep Safari is ideal for tiger sightings, birdwatching, and photography. A gypsy in Ranthambore is a 6-seater vehicle that is open on all sides and is available for morning and evening safaris. In Ranthambore, there are ten eco-tourism zones, each of which allows for a jeep safari.
One must reserve the jeeps online in advance, i.e. 90 days after submitting all necessary information and identification. Last-minute internet safari bookings are also possible. Between the 1st of October and the 30th of June, Jeep safaris are available in Ranthambore.
The Canter Safari is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy sights and feel connected to the vicinity of Ranthambore National Park. It’s a 20-seater open bus that runs through several of Ranthambore’s safari zones. Canter is the greatest alternative for a large group of guests who want to enjoy Ranthambore’s rich wildlife instead of hiring 2-3 jeeps. Canter Safaris in Ranthambore National Park should be arranged in advance; however, last-minute bookings are possible. Visitors to Ranthambore can take canter safaris in the morning and evening. These are usually accessible from October 1 to June 30.
Photography in Ranthambore National Park
The diverse landscape, relatively easy tiger sighting, and good light make Ranthambore National Park one of the best wildlife photography destinations in India. There are many opportunities to photograph a variety of animals and birds against a stunning setting in this famous national park. Within the park, there are forts, palaces, and ruins, as well as lakes that are ideal for animal photography. Ranthambore is also one of the best spots for bird photography due to the abundance of bird species.
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Popular Attractions in Ranthambore
Trinetra Ganesha Temple
One of most the famous and oldest temples of Rajasthan, the Trinetra Ganesha Temple resides in the heart of Ranthambore Fort. It is the only temple in the world that houses Lord Ganesha’s entire family, as well as his three-eyed statue.
The history of this famous temple dates back to 1299 when King Hameer and Ala-ud-din Khilji were fighting inside Ranthambore Fort. King Hameer as a devout follower of Lord Ganesha never forgot to pray to him. Lord Ganesha arrived in King Hameer’s dreams one night and informed him that by the morning, he would be free of all his problems. Surprisingly, a Lord Ganesh emblem also appeared on one of the fort’s walls the next morning. Even more shocking was the fact that the battle came to an end on its own.
The temple has its own Aarti timings: –
- Prabhat Aarti (early morning aarti)- Sunrise
- Sringar Aarti – 9 AM
- Bhog – 12 Noon
- Sandhya Aarti – Sunset (6:30 in Summer, 5:45 in Winter)
- Shayan Aarti – 8 PM
Bakula is one of the animals among the Royal Bengal Tigers and other animals that are visible during the jeep safari. With a densely forested region scattered, the National Park has plenty of small pools & water holes. One can spot tigress with her cubs, along with other wild animals, drinking water from these water holes during the summertime. Bakula is a relatively cold spot compared to the other sites in Ranthambore National Park due to the heavy foliage that allows the air to retain moisture. It is advisable to bring a pair of binoculars and search this part of the park for various wild creatures.
Close to the outskirts of the Ranthambore National Park is the Kachida Valley. The area is devoid of a large population of Panthers, who migrated here to avoid conflicts with the Royal Bengal Tigers. A Jeep Safari is the only way to get to Kachida Valley. The surrounding area is very stunning and ideal for some shooting.
Lakarda and Anantpura
The two regions of Lakarda and Anantpura are in the northwestern & northern regions of Ranthambore National Park, respectively. These places are home to a large number of sloths, who are drawn to the numerous anthills strewn around the landscape. Visitors may occasionally see Indian striped hyenas, albeit they are few and far between.
Raj Bagh Ruins
Stone constructions in the form of arches, palace outhouses, domes, and steps make up the Raj Bagh Ruins, placed between the Padam Talao and Raj Bagh Talao in Ranthambore National Park. It gives the surroundings a sense of mystery and history. However, as impressive as these remains are, the impenetrable jungle borders them; it is a hideaway for the Royal Bengal Tigers. During your wildlife jeep safari in Ranthambore National Park, you may observe the stone remains from afar.
In the deeps of the Ranthambore National Park is the Padam Talao, one of the largest lakes in the city. It is a belief that this is the same lake where Princess Padmavati bathed and performed sati. The magnificent Jogi Mahal, which stands adjacent to the lake, is a sight to behold.
Several animals make their way to the lake to drink water in the sweltering heat. In the dense forest that surrounds the lake is also a spot of the rare Chinkara Deer. It’s an excellent site for wildlife photography because various species hunt close to the lake. Crocodiles and other creatures are visible in the summer as the water begins to dry out. However, the lake is not approachable.
The National Park is made up of land that was once the hunting grounds of Jaipur’s royalty. The fort, which stands atop a 700-foot hill, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the category of “Hill Forts of Rajasthan.” The formidable fort, which is one of Ranthambore’s most prominent attractions, has played an important role in Rajasthan’s history. It lies deep into the densest of Ranthambore National Park. Chauhans are said to have constructed the Fort in the 10th century owing to the safety measures; however, the Delhi Sultanate captured it in the 13th century. Visitors here can see a package of Rajasthani architecture: towering gates, domes, stone pathways, thick walls, water tanks, and temples.
Entering through the seven gates, namely, Ganesh Pol, Andheri Pol, Navlakha Pol, Hathi Pol, Satpol, Suraj Pol, and Delhi Pol visitors get a glimpse of the dynamic cultural heritage of Rajasthan. Other sites of attraction that the visitors can’t miss are Mahadeo Chhatri, Toran Dwar, and Sametonki Haveli.
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Places to visit near Ranthambore National Park
With strong transport connectivity, the visitors can enjoy a trip to other cities of Rajasthan along with cities of different states. For instance, one can have a visit to the city of Sawai Madhopur is the nearest city to Ranthambore National Park which has been the seat to several dynasties, right from the Chauhans to the Mughals. But, today, it is mostly known for being the base point for Ranthambore National Park.
Apart from that, the visitors can enjoy a pleasurable trip to the cities of Chittorgarh, Bundi, Agra, and Jaipur. All of the cities are famous for their cultural heritage and rich history.
Visiting Keoladeo National Park or the Ghana Bird Sanctuary is also a viable option for the tourists who wish to indulge in the beauty of nature, and explore the many possibilities that wildlife adventure provides to them. The National Park is in Bharatpur, the city near the Ranthambore National Park.
Best time to visit Ranthambore
During the summers, i.e. from April to June, the temperature in the area remains near to 40℃. During this time of year, the chances of seeing tigers and other animals are much higher as they seek water holes to quench their thirst.
Several zones of the Ranthambore National Park remain shut for visitors during the monsoon, i.e. from July to September. The park’s heart, which includes Gates 1-5, is closed, while the buffer zone, which includes Gates 6-10, is still open to tourists.
From October till March, i.e. the winter season is the perfect time to visit Ranthambore National Park because of the excellent weather and countless opportunities to see animals as they bathe in the sun.
How to Reach Ranthambore?
The air route to Ranthambore is through the Jaipur International Airport, nearest to Ranthambore National Park. Visitors can opt for taxis and & private vehicles to reach the park.
If you wish to travel by train, then Swai Madhopur Railway station is your one-stop, which is at a distance of 14 kilometers from Ranthambore National Park. However, the Jaipur Railway Station is also an option, which is around 200 kilometers from the park. Both of them enjoy good rail connectivity to the major cities of India.
The road to Ranthambore National Park is well connected to major cities and highways of India. NH 11A and NH8 connect Ranthambore to Delhi, while NH 76 connects it to Udaipur and Allahabad. SH 24 connect Ranthambore to Jaipur, whereas SH 1 connects it to Agra and Bharatpur.