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Ranthambore National Park

INTRODUCTION
Ranthambore National Park situated at Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan state. It is located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range, the best place to view animals, especially as they are used to being stared is Ranthambhore National Park. The park spread in area of approximately 400 sq Km and if combined it with the area of Sawai Man Singh sanctuary area, it is around 500 Sq km.The reserve forest is located on the edge of a plateau and is bordered on two sides by the Chambal and the Banas rivers. The forests in Ranthambore surround the historical Ranthambore fort and were once used by the Kachwaha Rajput Family that ruled the region with the city of Jaipur as the capital, as a hunting and gaming reserve. Ranthambore national park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it was gained protection of "Project Tiger". It was declared as a National Park in 1981. In the past, this area was a hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It was declared a game sanctuary in 1955 and later became a National Park in 1980. Finally on 1980, it became a Tiger Reserve in India. Ranthambore is also cited as a heritage site because of the pictorial ruins of the fort within the park. The sanctuary is famous for its vast and extremely camera friendly Tiger population and is visited by tourists from all around the globe. The park comprises of a typical deciduous forest which is common with most jungles in the central Indian region. It is also a home to 539 various species of flowering plants and the terrain mostly comprises of forests and open grasslands.

Ranthambore National Park

RANTHAMBORE HISTORY
From a wooded jungle to one of the famous wildlife sanctuaries in India, Ranthambore National Park gives wildlife lovers multiple reasons to visit it again and again. Whether it is its history, geography or its rich flora and fauna species, there is some magnetism in its each feature. National Park is in the southeastern part of Rajasthan. Ranthambore National Park gets its name from the historical fort located within the premises of the park. The fort is perched high on a hill of about 700ft and is situated about 5 km inside the park. Giving tourists surplus reason to visit the place, Ranthambore Fort is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title “Hill Fort of Rajasthan”.

We have to go back in the bygone eras to know about historical marks of Ranthambore National Park and trace the history of the ancient fort. So, let’s start with the historical expedition of Ranthambore fort. Ranthambore fort was built by Rajput King Sapaldaksha of Chauhan Dynasty in 944 AD. From there onwards several kings of the same reign shared their contribution in the construction of the fort but the major role was played by Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan. To honor the king’s contribution a 32-pillar canopy (locally known as ‘battis kambha chhattri’) was built it also marked the 32 years of king’s rule. The canopy still stands erect in the ruined premises of the fort and is a major attraction for visitors. This fort was unconquered till long time. But Alauddin Khilji, sultan of Delhi, finally brought an end to the mighty rule of Chauhans in 1301. After it very soon in 1558 Great Akbar took over the fort and it remained as a Mughal property till mid of 18th century. Later on, Ranthambore Fort was turned into a royal hunting reserve and from here onwards the Surrounding Woody Landscape came into limelight. In 1939 Jaipur Forest Act made grazing and tree-felling in forest areas reserved for royal hunting illegal. But the Act proved to be of mere words only. It was only after Rajasthan Forest Act of 1953 that some serious steps were taken for the preservation and conservation of the area.

The reserved area was declared as ‘Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary’ in 1955 by Indian government and later on transferred under the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. And from there onwards the sheer woody surrounding of Ranthambore Fort became Ranthambore Tiger Reserve with a full ban on animals poaching and hunting. In 1980, 282 sq km of the reserve was changed into a national park while the adjacent forest areas were named under Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary. But in 1991, the national park was expanded to 392 sq km by including some of the parts of both Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.

CLIMATE
Let us check Ranthambore climate and weather information. National park forest area lies in Rajasthan state where it enjoys a dry subtropical climate. The summer months start from March and continue till mid-July. The temperatures can be extreme during these months and can go up to 47 degrees. The monsoon months start from late-July and the area receives moderate rainfall till the first week of September. The months from October till December are quiet pleasant and moderately warm with cool evening temperatures. The winter months fall between December and February and the temperatures can go as low as 2 degrees during the peak winters.The Park experiences drastic variations in climatic conditions.

LOCATION
Here we have discussed Ranthambore location information. The National Park area lies between the Aravali hills and the Vindhyan plateau and is located in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan state. National park lies in 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur town which is the nearest market for Ranthambore peoples. It is also the nearest railway station for visiting national park. Its nearest airport is Jaipur airport, at a distance of 180 kms. The Ranthambore National Park is well-connected with other towns and cities. Nearest Town of Ranthambore is Sawai Madhopur. Nearest Railways Station is Sawai Madhopur station and the nearest Airport is Jaipur. The Ranthambore National Park has a wide-ranging topography and hence is the heaven of numerous flora, fauna and avifauna.

FLORA
The Ranthambore National Park is covered by dry deciduous type of vegetation and has about 300 species of trees and plants, with the Dhok (Anogeossis pendula) dominating the vegetation. The vegetation in the park is mostly of the dry deciduous type with a large variety consisting of nearly 300 species. The majority of the tree cover is however mainly made up of:
RANTHAMBORE TREES
Local Name Scientific Name Local Name Scientific Name
Aam Magnifera iIndica Imli Tamarindicus indica
Babul Accasia nilotica Banyan Ficus benghalensis
Ber Zizyphus mauritania Palash Butea monosperma
Dhok Anogeossis pendula Jamun Syzygium cumini
Kadam Authocephalus cadamba Khajur Phoenix sylvestris
Khair Accacia catechu Karel Capparis decidua
Khejda Prosopis specigera Kakera Flacourtia indica
Mahua Madhuca indica Neem Azadirachta indica

FAUNA
Their are many wildlife species under Ranthambore fauna list. Some of the prominently seen wildlife species are Tigers, Leopard, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Sambar, Sloth bear, Striped Hyena, Southern plains Gray Langur, Rhesus Macaque and Chital etc. During Ranthambore jungle safari, we may enjoy their sighting and can do their photography. Similarly different Ranthambhore amphibian species include the common frogs and the Common Indian Toad. The varied species of reptile include Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Banded and common Kraits, the Indian Chameleon Soft Shelled Turtles, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Tortoise, Rat Snakes, Cobras, Russell’s Vipers, Indian Pythons and the Saw-scaled Vipers.

TIGERS
During the past few years, there has been a decline in the tiger population in Ranthambore due to poaching and other reasons. The reason behind her name machli was the fish-shaped mark on the left ear of her face. She is 17 years old and the oldest tigress of the world. Machli’s daughter T-19(Krishna) is the current queen tigress of Ranthambore. Machli died on 18 August 2016 at the age 20 years. She became highest living tigress in wild environment recorded till date. Labeled as the most photographed tigress in the world, Machli was not only beautiful but also a powerful entity that had a strong hold over her territory which mainly includes the Ranthambhore's palace, lakes, and fort of Ranthambore. Broken Tail was given international publicity in a film made about his life. He left the park area and traveled from Ranthambore to Darra, where he was killed by a train while crossing the railway tracks. The documentary film called Broken Tail features his last journey and has been shown worldwide on many TV channels, including BBC, PBS, CBC, and RTÉ among others, and won the top awards at two of the world's most prestigious wildlife film festivals. According to the 2014 census of tigers, there were 62 tigers in Ranthambore National Park. The number of tigers was 48 in 2013 and 25 in 2005. Due to the recent increase in the number of tigers, the park is planning to transfer a few to other parks, such as Sariska and others.

BIRDS
Ranthambore, due to its varied terrain and abundance of water bodies, has an excellent population of birds, resident and migrant. In total, a list of 272 species has been documented. Some of the best locations to watch birds are Malik Talao, the Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh Talao, Padam Talao and in the Jhalra area.

HOW TO REACH
Ranthambore is one of the foremost wildlife destinations in India. The national park at Ranthambore boasts of a variety of species of birds and animals but the prime attraction is of course the tiger. The lure for watching tigers in their natural habitat remains the biggest draw for tourists from across the world. Ranthambore National Park is located on the edge of little village of Sawai Madhopur, which serves as the gateway to reach Ranthambore. So, once you have reached Sawai Madhopur, be assured that Ranthambore is only some 15 km away.
BY AIR : We can travel by flight option for Ranthambore national park. Its nearest airport is at Jaipur city at 180kms surface distance. Further journey from Jaipur to Ranthambhore is possible by tourist taxi service.

DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Jaipur 180
Bharatpur 240
Agra 300
Sawai Madhopur 12
Pushkar 310
Jodhpur 450


BY ROAD: The nearest township for Ranthambore national park is at Sawai Madhopur is only 15km away from Ranthambore. One can reach Sawai Madhopur by road, from Delhi. In addition to this, it is also possible for tourists to visit Keoladep national park or Taj Mahal and later proceed to Ranthambore national park.
BY TRAIN: We can travel by flight option for Ranthambore national park. Its nearest airport is at Jaipur city at 180kms surface distance. Further journey from Jaipur to Ranthambhore is possible by tourist taxi service.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
The Ranthambore National Park opens up from October 1st to 30th June every year. October to April is the best months to visit Ranthambore and spot tigers. Summers are quite hot; however, chances of spotting tigers increase in the summers. Monsoons should be avoided as the park remains closed during theses months. Winter is the best time to visit Ranthambore. The cool weather and blooming flowers add gloss to the trip. However, please carry heavy woolens if you plan to travel in the month of December or early January. Places to See – In the Ranthambhor National Park there are many spots for you to see . The Ranthambore National Park is regarded as the most suitable place for wildlife photography in the world. Photographers can click the tiger in its various moods and moments. Besides the Ranthambore Park, there are places like the Ranthambore Fort (one of its kind in the entire state of Rajasthan), Jogi Mahal (the wonderful forest guesthouse) and the various species of flora and fauna, which are also worth a look.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
In the Ranthambhore National Park there are many spots for you to see . The Ranthambore National Park is regarded as the most suitable place for wildlife photography in the world. Photographers can click the tiger in its various moods and moments. Besides the Ranthambore Park, there are places like the Ranthambore Fort (one of its kind in the entire state of Rajasthan), Jogi Mahal (the wonderful forest guesthouse) and the various species of flora and fauna, which are also worth a look. A list is below, of some of the important places at and around Ranthambore National Park.
RANTHAMBORE FORT Ranthambore National Park gets its name from the historical fort located within the periphery of the park. The fort is perched high on a hill of about 700ft and is situated about 5 km inside the park. Giving tourists one more reason to visit the place, Ranthambore Fort is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title “Hill Fort of Rajasthan”.
GANESH TRINETRA TEMPLE One of the most famous temples of Lord Ganesha is located atop the fort. The local post office receives and delivers thousands of invitation cards to the Lord Ganesha temple as people symbolically send the first invitation card for major functions like weddings, house warming, etc. to Lord Ganesha.
KACHIDA VALLEY This valley is also inside the reserve. Panther population of the reserve lives here. One has to reach this valley via the jeep safari. Panthers don't usually leave this area in order to avoid conflict with the tigers. Bears are also found here.
PADAM TALAB Padam Talab or Padam Lake is one of the most beautiful and largest lakes situated inside Ranthambore National Park. It is a prominent site, mostly seen by all visitors, during Ranthambore fort visit or jungle safari drives. The title of this lake is provided because of the beautiful lotuses and lilies, which grow in this lake.
JOGI MAHAL Jogi Mahal was built by the royal families of Jaipur and served as a hunting abode to various generations of Maharaja. After the decline of ruling authorities of Jaipur, this Mahal is turned into a guest house which offers comfortable stay to tourists during their visit to Ranthambore Park.
MALIK TALAB It is smallest lake among three lakes in Ranthambore national park. Sight of Ranthambore lakes is always a beautiful view, that we can enjoy during safari drives.
SURWAL LAKE Surwal Lake is another popular tourist destination, which offers beautiful view of flora and fauna in Ranthambore. This lake is situated at a distance of 25 km from Ranthambore. The ideal time to visit this place is during the months of November to March, when nature presents beauty at its best.

THINGS TO DO
Just like any other popular tiger reserve, here also, jungle safari drives are the the main activity to do and enjoy. Safari rides are carried out at 6:30 and 14:30. Each ride lasts for about three hours. There are two options of vehicles for the safari: 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. Each ride costs around Rs 700-800 per person. The core park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go to one of those zones. Visitors often take multiple tours, as tiger spotting is rare. There are many resorts to stay in on the way from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.

ACCOMMODATION
Their are large number of Ranthambore hotel options, available for tourists, during their trip. Popular Ranthambore budget hotels includes Ankur resort, Raj Vilas etc. Popular Ranthambore standard resorts are Anuraga Palace, Ranthambore Haveli, Pugmark resort, Tiger Den, Ranthambhore Kothi, etc. Similarly popular luxury resorts in Ranthambore are Sher Bagh, Khem Vilas, Juna Mahal, Ranthambore Regency, Taj Vivanta, Oberoi Vanyavilas, Nahargarh Haveli etc. Here service standards of all category resorts & lodges are very good in compare to other national parks hotels so we can expect value for money deals.
NEXT TO RANTHAMBORE
As we know that Ranthambore national park is located in Rajasthan state which is very well known for large number of popular tourist destinations. After visiting Ranthambhore tiger reserve, we have option to visit Bharatpur, Jaipur, Pushkar, Agra, Mathura, Gwalior etc. All these surrounding tourist destinations are popular among tourists and thus visiting them is worth for tourists.
RELATED LINKS
Agra Tourism Ranthambore Jaipur Tourism
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