About Ranthambore National Park
One of the most popular parks with tiger sightings at its best, a photographers’ dream come true, dotted with lakes and ponds around which the wildlife abounds. Welcome to Ranthambore where predators and prey enact their day to day drama. Hailed as one of India's finest wildlife locales, it is located near Sawai Madhopur township about 100 km south east of Ajmer in Rajasthan. It was established as a sanctuary in 1959 and included in the very first phase of Project Tiger in 1972. In 1981 Ranthambore was awarded National Park status. The park derives its name from the fort of Ranthambore which sits on a rocky outcrop in the forest. The fort dates back to the 11th century when it was a vital citadel for the control of central India.
Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary is open for visitors between October and June. Summers are not the right season for heading to Ranthambore. However, the summer heat attracts animals to the waterholes, so there’s greater chance of seeing wildlife in May or June.
The best time for a trip remains between December and April, when the weather’s great and there’s plenty of opportunity for some hardcore wildlife-watching. March and April, especially, are the months when tiger-spotting is common.
Wildlife Attraction in Ranthambore National Park
The tiger reigns supreme in Ranthambore. It is among the few places in the world where this super-predator, symbol of power, strength and magnificence, can be observed at close quarters. There are about 25 tigers and 40 leopards in the reserve. These are supported by a large population of healthy herbivores. On can never have enough of tigers. You may have seen a tiger a hundred times, yet each sighting is greeted with the same high-pitched intensity.
Tigers can be spotted quite often in their natural habitat even during daytime. They have been frequently seen at the edges of three lakes-Padam Talab, Raj Bagh Talab and Milak Talab. The park also has panthers in sizeable numbers, though they have been spotted generally at the outskirts of the park perhaps due to the inevitable conflict with the tiger population, which command the ‘superior’ position amidst the predatory cats. For spotting panthers, Kachida Valley is regarded as the ideal place.
Jacanas, painted stork, black stork, and white necked stork are seen along the water bodies. Peafowl are found in abundance and other birds include Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, the great Indian horned owl, quail, partridge, spur fowl and the paradise flycatcher.
Besides, Ranthambore has large numbers of sambar, chital and nilgai. Sounders of boar and an occasional gazelle and the chinkara can also be seen, as also the Indian hare, mongoose and monitor lizards. The lakes and pools at the park are the places where deers congregate and it is easiest to see these animals. Among other local fauna are the leopard, hyena. jackal, jungle cats, sloth bear and marsh crocodile.
The adventure begins at daybreak. Open gypsys take you into the depths of Ranthambore forest. An incredible variety of wildlife abounds in these forests, the magnificent king of the forest - the Tiger, often appears before your astonished eyes. The morning mists slowly unfolds the mysteries of nature, the naturalist guides you through these moments with his expertise. At regular intervals, the jungle erupts with alarm calls of the forest denizens. The cats are on the prowl in search of prey, wildlife sightings are at their best, This is the most exciting hour in the Indian jungle. Safari Timings are 6:30 to 10:00 Am & 1:30 to 5:30 PM.
The majestic Ranthambore Fort is situated on top of a hill inside the park. A short walk, the only means to get to the fort, takes you to the invincible structure which has been a major landmark in the area for centuries. A breathtaking view of the surroundings awaits you and if you are lucky, you may see a wild cat prowling around.
It is the largest lake inside the park. The impressive Jogi Mahal is situated on the banks of the lake. It is an ideal spot for animal sighting and if luck is on your side, a rare Chinkara sighting is not a distant possibility.
How to get there
Jaipur (165 km) is the nearest airport which is conveniently connected by Indian Airlines flights from Delhi (6:05, daily), Mumbai (15:30, daily) and Kolkata (15:45, daily). Jet Airways also connect Mumbai and Delhi to Jaipur through daily flights.
The Park is around 12 km from Sawai Madhopur railway station, on the Delhi-Bombay trunk route. Daily trains which connect the place to Delhi include Intercity Exp. (22:15), Golden Temple Mail (7:15), Paschim Exp. (16:55), Mewar Exp. (19:00), Dehradun Exp. (21:45) and FZR BCT Janta (13:30). Trains from Mumbai include Golden Temple Mail (21:25), Paschim Exp. (11:35), BCT JP Exp. (18:50), Dehradun Exp. (22:25) and FZR Janata Exp. (7:25). Other trains are from Bangalore the Jaipur Exp. (11:15, Thu, Sat) and from Chennai, Jaipur Exp. (17:30, Tue, Fri, Sun).
A good network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur with quite a few areas around. To reach by road from Jaipur, take the NH12 to Tonk via Sanganer and state highway to Ranthambore via Uniara and Sawai Madhopur. It will be better to go by train, since private vehicles are not allowed inside the park
Distances from Major Cities
434 km (SW)
176 km (SE)
Travel Tips/Important Information
- The park entry point is on the Ranthambore road, about 10 km from Sawai Madhopur railway station.
- Park charges Entry Fee : Rs. 25 (Indians) & Rs. 200 (foreigners), Vehicle : Rs. 125, Safari : Rs. 1350, Guide : Rs. 150, Camera : still free & Rs. 200 (video)
- Park timings are 6:30 to 10:00 AM & 1:30 to 5:30 PM (timings are subject to change)
- The clothing to be carried should be selected carefully. The summers are extremely hot and even the lightest cotton clothes will feel warm. Winters are just the opposite when chilling winds pierce into the body like needles and requires heavy woollen clothing.
- Communication facilities are easily available as most of the resorts provide telephones with direct dial facility, besides there are a number of public call booths located at short distance from the park
- The only months to visit the park are October to June. Rest of the time the park remains closed for visitors.
- Once inside the park, follow the rules and please keep your surroundings clean.