Ranthambore National Park – A Vast Wildlife Reserve
India is full of natural beauty which has been preserved in the form of national parks. Ranthambore National Park is one of them. It’s located in the Rajasthan state. The Indian government established it as a national sanctuary in 1955. Back then it was known as the Sawai Madhopur National Sanctuary. The Indian government designated it to be one of (India’s) national tiger reserves some eighteen years later. The sanctuary officially became a national park on November 1, 1980.
Ranthambore is perhaps one of India’s most famous national parks. The reason why is due to the Indian government’s efforts to expand it in recent years. For example, it added the forests in the surrounding Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi Sanctuaries to the national park in 1984. Then in 1992 it expanded the Tiger Reserve.
Why you should see Ranthambore National Park
While Ranthambore is teeming with many species of wildlife, what really put it on the global map is its many tigers. People from around the world visit this park every year to see its many proud Bengal tigers (these symbolize the spirit of India) in their natural jungle habitat. You’ll even be able to see them sleeping on a log or under the canopy of a large tree during the day time.
If you want to visit this beautiful and charming place, go between November and May! This is also, incidentally before India’s sweltering monsoon season. The weather will be nice, cool, and pleasant. If you decide to hike, you’ll see lots of deciduous trees. These are the tropical trees that populate the jungles that once used to cover most of Central India.
Of course, these jungles are teeming with wildlife. You’ll have the opportunity to see many of them including the Indian leopard, wild boar, nilgai, sambar deer, striped hyena, sloth bear, southern plains grey langur, rhesus macaque, mugger crocodile, and the chital (among others!) You may see many of these animals eating their prey or taking a nap under a large Banyan tree – Banyan trees grow all over North India. Other animal life includes many species of birds, reptiles, trees, and plants.
Where Ranthambore National Park is located
You’ll be traveling to the Sawai Madhopur district. It’s in the Southeastern part of Rajasthan. You can fly there from Jaipur’s airport which is approximately 140 kilometers away. The town of Kota is about 110 kilometers away and you can ride the train to Ranthambore from there. Finally, since the state has a great road system that was built and is operated by the RIDCOR, you can easily drive there.
The park itself lies near the end of a large, flat plain. The Banas river borders its Northern side and the Chambal River borders its Southern side.
What to do in Ranthambore National Park
If you guessed that there are lots of things to do in this huge park with is a treasure trove of uniuqe and famous flora and fauna, you’re absolutely right. You can:
- Ranthambore Tiger Reserve – your trip to Ranthambore is incomplete without it!
After all, this is the reserve that made the world know all about Ranthambore, Rajasthan, and India! This is the place to go if you really want to see lots of tigers in their natural habitats from a safe and protected but up-close distance! You can easily take either an elephant or a jeep safari there. And when you’ve taken enough pictures of tigers, you can feast your eyes on watching birds. Interestingly enough, this reserve has lots of nature trails which are great for an early morning or evening walk or an easy hike!
Visit this reserve between October to April. The best times of the day to visit this park are between 6-10 in the morning and 3:30 to 7 in the evening.
- Ranthambore Fort – you’ll go back in time at least a few centuries
The Chauhan royal family had a kingdom here more than a thousand years ago (in the 8th century to be exact!) You’ll see lots of stone fortifications and towering minarets built in the Islamic style here. Once you’ve taken many pictures of this castle-like fort, it will be time for you to visit the many lakes that surround it. Many species of flora and fauna call these lakes home so you’ll have lots of opportunities to take pictures of some very unique species of plants and aquatic animals!
This fort is located at 2, Ranthambor Road, Vigyan Nagar Sawai Madhopur Rajasthan 322001. You should visit it between October and April. The best times of day to visit this fort are between 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening Monday through Saturday.
- Surwal Lake – this is a tranquil place
This is the perfect place for an early morning or evening walk. You’ll marvel at the still and calm waters of the lake which gleam with the perfect blue color. Many birds fly North to this lake during the wintertime and they survive off of the many species of aquatic life that call this lake home. You’ll also have many opportunities to take photos of the lone tiger or pride of tigers hunting for prey!
You should visit this place between November and March. The lake is open all day every day.
Ranthambore is full of life
Indeed, if you visit Ranthambore, you won’t be in your hotel room watching the hours pass away. Instead, you’ll be so busy marveling at the beauty of the park and participating in so many different activities that you’ll wonder where your time went!