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Ranthambhore National Park

Ranthambore is one of the best national parks in the world to see and photograph wild Bengal tigers, in their natural habitat. It offers an experience like no other visitors may have had before. Here wildlife and history lies perfectly entwined. Wild tigers roam the ruins of the imposing Ranthambhore fort. Here the tigers are not merely beautiful animals, they have names too – Chenghis, Bambooram, Jhumru, Machali - and have become icons of local folklore.

The first thought that comes to the mind while visiting Ranthambhore is that it is different from any other tiger reserve in India. The Park which spans 392 km2 derives its name from Ranthambhore Fort which sits on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Park. The fort dates back to the 10th century and is probably one of the oldest in Rajasthan.

The vegetation in the park is of a dry deciduous type. There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide relief to the animals during the extremely hot summer months. There are many ruins of bygone eras scattered all over the jungle, which give it a unique, wonderful flavor of nature, history and wildlife.

Tigers at Ranthambore have been known to hunt even in full view of human visitors. These tigers are famous for being seen in the daytime, due to their lack of fear of humans in vehicles. As a result, Ranthambhore is one of the best places in the world to photograph tigers in their wild, natural habitat.

The three lakes – Padam Talao, Raj Talao and Milak Talao are ideal spots to see half-submerged sambar deer feeding on the weeds.  The lakes also have Mugger crocodiles and it is not unusual to see the deer being dragged into deeper water by the crocodiles.
 
While on a safari keep your eyes open for leopards especially on the walls of the Ranthambhore Fort - here leopard sightings are frequent.
The Chambal River forms a natural boundary of the Ranthambore National Park towards the east, while the river Banas, a tributary of the Chambal, flows to the northeast of the park. Characterised by rocky plains with gentle slopes, flat hill tops (locally known as 'Dang') and precipitous cliffs covered by a dry decidous forest, the landscape is dotted with old banyan trees, dhok trees, Flame of the forest, mango and in some areas evergreen blackberry trees.
Machali the queen of the lakes:
Machali is probably the most famous and most photographed tiger in the world and has starred in three documentaries. “Machali” in Hindi means fish, but for regular visitors to Ranthambhore Machali is the resident tigress of the area around the Ranthambhore Fort. In early 1999 she marked the area of the lakes in Ranthambhore as her territory and has stayed there since then. She has given birth to four litters since then. She is now old and her territory has now become part of the territory of her dominant cub from the last litter.
The Last Shikar in Ranthambhore:
In 1960, the Maharaja of Jaipur invited Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, for a royal Shikar (=hunting party). Despite objections from the locals the hunt went ahead with lavish preparations for the Queen that included clearing great areas for the luxury campsite, creating an air strip and a flushable toilet equipped with a red velvet seat cover for comfort from the morning chill. Labourers created a fenced area and guided a tigress into it for Prince Philip to make the last legal tiger shoot in India.
Fauna:
There are over 320 species of birds, both resident and migratory, over 40 species of mammals and over 35 species of reptiles. However, due to the dry climate there are not many species of amphibians in the park.
Besides tigers, the other wild cats found in Ranthambhore are Leopards, Caracals, Jungle cats and Rusty Spotted cats. The ungulates include Sambhar, Spotted deer (Chital), Blue bull (Nilgai), Chinkara (Indian gazelle) and Wild boar. Other large mammals that can be seen in Ranthambore tiger reserve are the Sloth bear, Indian fox, Jackal and Striped Hyena.
Troupes of common langur monkeys are found everywhere, but beware... they have a tendency to urinate on tourists from the trees.
Avifauna:
Ranthambhore is undoubtedly one of India's finest bird habitats attracting visitors from across the globe. Species recorded here (ask for a check list from the office of the Field Director) include Crested Serpent Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Great Indian Horned Owl, Grey Francolin, Painted Francolin, Common Sandgrouse, Quail, Red Spurfowl, Common Peafowl, Rufous Treepie, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Painted Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, Spoonbill, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, White-rumped Vulture, Long-billed Vulture, King Vulture, Scavenger Vulture, White-throated Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Spotted Dove, Ring Dove, Greater Coucal, and the Black-rumped Flameback.

The Fort
A trip to the fort is a must for visitors. It provides the most breathtaking panoramic view of the forest in every direction. Armed with powerful binoculars one can even see tigers emerging from hiding to go to the lakes to hunt. The fort is dotted with beautiful temples. The most famous of these is the temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Devotees even send letters to the Lord at this temple. The Gupt Ganga, a series of steps carved out of rock, leads visitors to a stream that continues to flow throughout the year. However, visitors should come prepared to descend these stairs. Firstly, a torch is essential, as there is no other source of light here. Secondly, visitors need to be very careful of their steps, as the steps end quite abruptly. HISTORY The construction of the formidable Ranthambhore Fort was started during the reign of the Chauhan Rajput King Sapaldaksha in 944 AD. It proved to be one of the most strategic forts built, controlling the trade routes between North India and Central India. The enormous fort covers an area of approximately 7 km in circumference. The fort reached its glory during the reign of the king Rao Hammir, the last ruler of the Chauhan dynasty (1282 - 1301 AD). Ala-ud-din Khilji, initiated three unsuccessful attempts to capture the fort before his army finally conquered the Ranthambhore Fort in 1301 and ended the reign of the Chauhans. The army of the Moghul Emperor Akbar camped here (1558-1569) and the Akbar Namah records the menu that the generals were served when they had a meal under the famous banyan tree that visitors can still see at the base of the ramparts. The control of the fort was finally handed over to the Maharaja of Jaipur in the late 17th century. The fort then remained with the royal family of Jaipur. The surrounding jungle which now forms the National Park was then the royal hunting.
Jogi Mahal
The Jogi Mahal is located at the foot of the fort and is home to the country’s second largest banyan tree. The Forest Rest House (stay not permitted) at Jogi Mahal offers stunning views of the Padam Talao which is awash with water lilies.
Devpura
Devpura is 14 km from Sawai Madhopur. Interestingly, though black buck are almost never seen inside the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, they are found in abundance here.
Rameshwaram
50 km from Sawai Madhopur lies at the confluence of the Chambal and Banas rivers; this area is home to a large number of migratory birds, crocodiles, alligators, the endangered river dolphins and many other animals. A group of ancient temples are located near the ghat. Since the ghat is beyond Mansarovar Lake and Khandar Fort one can visit both these places in the same trip.
Ranthambore School of Art
A slightly different attraction from either a fort or wildlife park, but clearly connected with both these - the Ranthambore School of Art serves local villagers students. The theme of their paintings is unquestionably the majestic Tiger. The Tiger is painted in all its grandeur and grace, in its varying mood, when it is hunting or simply resting. The painters have an additional responsibility apart from sketching the Tiger on their paper, that of arousing the villagers to the need of recognising the importance of the animal for our own existence.
Dastakari Kendra
Dastkari Kendra is a local NGO working with village women, creating alternate means of income by encouraging the local crafts. It is a good place to shop for local crafts, art and clothes. You have a colorful choice of Kurtis, skirts, patchwork quilts, black pottery and tie-and-dye attire. All profits go directly to the local village women.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
SANGANER AIRPORT
Sawai Madhopur Junction
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
210 Km 07H 59m
225 Km 05H 11m
Holding the grand legacy of a royal past, Jaipur is an integral part of the world famous Golden Triangle alongside Delhi and Agra. The famous Pink City of Rajasthan is a vibrant collage of grand palaces, desert culture and a rich history of Rajputana.
210 Km 07H 59m
225 Km 05H 11m
The Park is recognised as one of the most important breeding and feed grounds for the birds in the world.This magnificent bird haven used to be a duck shooting preserve for Maharaja Suraj Mull of Bharatpur. He transformed the shallow depression formed by the confluence of River Gambhir and River Banganga into a reservoir by damming the rainwater in monsoons. In 1985 UNESCO listed it as World Heritage site and earlier in 1982 it was declared as National Park.
Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 25 °C 44 °C
Winter 8 °C 26 °C
Very hot in Summer with the mercury shooting up to 44°C at times. However the most rewarding months for wildlife sighting happens to the Summer months March to June.
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