RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK
Area: 1,334 Sq Kms.
Notified In: 1980.
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 national 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 wildlife 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 Ranthambhore 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. Ranthambhore is one of the best places to see these majestic predators.
Park Population :
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 Ranthambore national 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.
Nearby Attractions :
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.
Park Trips :
The park is toured by a jeep or a lorry. 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.
RAJASTHAN TRAIN TRAVEL
PALACE ON WHEELS
Ever wondered what luxury in the royal times was all about! Welcome to Palace On Wheels, a luxury train that carries with it an ambience of the Rajputana era and an exciting fairytale journey, which takes the visitor to the imperial cities of Rajasthan every single day. The coaches also carry out an image of the Rajput states with beautiful interiors. Last but not the least the "Royal Treat" for the passengers on board include saloons, bar lounges & libraries in every coach as well as restaurant and organized shopping facilites. more...
HOW TO GET THERE
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.
PLACES TO STAY
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.
Best Time to Visit :
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.