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Ranthambore National Park
The Ranthambore National Park was the
hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1955, it was declared a game
sanctuary; in 1980, it became a national park. But with the commissioning
of Project Tiger in 1972, it was included in the project. With the
addition of neighbouring Keladevi and Mansingh sanctuaries, the total area
of the park stands at 1,334 sq km. But the entire park - the core area is
just 392 sq kms - is not open to the public. The Ranthambore Park is set
between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. Its deciduous forests were once a
part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. The terrain is rugged
and there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys with lakes and pools.
Ranthambore is a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins that dot the park. There are lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort, overlooking the park. The lovely Jogi Mahal is located at the foot of the fort and gives magnificent view of the Padam Talao, painted white with water lilies. The park is famous for tigers and due to conservation efforts, the tiger population has stabilized if not increased here. The tigers can be spotted quite often even during the day, at their normal pursuits-- hunting and taking care of their young ones. Ranthambore is one of the best places to see these majestic predators.
Population : Ranthambore National Park
The tigers are the prized attractions of the park. Other inmates of the park are the Antelopes, Nilgai, Sambhar and Chital, which are easy to spot. Those who are lucky enough get to see the Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat and Marsh Crocodile.
The lakes and water holes in the park are the best places to sight the animals. These water bodies are full of lotus and water lilies. Ranthambore also has a sizeable bird population, both resident and migratory. There are about 264 species of birds found within the park. Indian Hare, Mongoose and Monitor Lizards can also spotted.
The nearest city to the park is Sawai Madhopur. This place also provides the nearest railhead for the national park. It is 11 km from Ranthambore. Make sure about the trains if you are planning to reach the place by rail. The nearest airport is that of Jaipur, which is about 145 km away. There are regular flights of various airlines to this place. From Jaipur one has to take the road to access the national park.
The are excellent accommodation facilities in and around Ranthambore National Park.There are heritage hotels, hotels & rest houses of the RTDC and the Taj group also has one hotel here. The Maharaja Lodge by the Taj Group provides world class accommodation. The forest rest house, Jogi Mahal inside the park and Hotel Kamadhenu are few of the hotels maintained by the RTDC. Jhoomer Baori forests lodge is also managed by the RTDC. These hotels and rest houses are designed to suit every budget. There are few local and private accommodation available too.
Located in Rajasthan, the Ranthambore Reserve is influenced by the desert type of climate. The vegetation, which is mostly dry anddeciduous, provides good cover for the animals. The climate is generally dry but annual rainfall is enough to sustain the park population. In fact, Ranthambore is one of the green patches in the otherwise barren landscape of the state.
The most fascinating and most popular excursion taken from the national park is to the Ranthambore Fort. This fort was built by the Chauhans 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 1301AD 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.
The park is open for visitors from October to June. But the best season to visit Ranthambore is from November to April. This is the time when animals can be easily spotted.
Park Trips : Project Tiger Reserve
The park is toured by a jeep . The reservation of these can be done at the Project Tiger Office at Sawai Madhopur. The tour is accompanied by a guide. In the park, one must stick to the allocated route. Entry is relatively expensive, with fees for entrance, vehicle hired, guide and camera being charged separately.
Bird Watching Tours
Birding Tour of Rajasthan | Himalayan Birding Tour | Birding Tour in Kerala | Birding Tour in South India & Goa | Birding Trails of North India | Bird Watching Tour of Goa | Birds Watching Tours of Sikkim | Birds Watching Tour North Bengal | Weekend Birding Jimm Corbett | Birds Watching Tour of North India | Birding Tour in Nepal & Bhutan | Weekend Birding Bharatpur | Weekend Birding Harike National Park