Ranthambore National ParkSituated at the intersection of Aravalli and Vindhya ranges, the Ranthambore National Park is an amazing place to visit. With its mix of wild animals, birds and varied flowers and trees, this national park is one of the best sanctuaries of India. This wildlife sanctuary is placed at the Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan state. The park is stretched over an area of 400 square kilo meters and together with the adjacent area of the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary it is spread over an entire cumulative area of around 500 square kilo meters.
Ranthambore was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1957. During 1974, the wave of "Project Tiger" protection hit every part of the country and Ranthambore gained its importance as one of the forerunner in it. With all its work towards wildlife sanctuary preservation this sanctuary was awarded the status of a National Park in 1981.
On a visit to this national park, tourists can enjoy sightings of wide varieties of wildlife animals and reptiles. The reserve is thriving with varied wildlife among which the most popular ones are Diurnal Tigers and Marsh Crocodiles. The forest area is dotted with architectures of the bygone era. Many ruins are visible among the dense forest and a huge Rajput fort after which this national park has been named can be seen on a hilltop from the park. Being a part of the dry and hot Rajasthan, apart from natural water bodies many artificial water storage areas have been made by the forest officials to help the Ranthambore inhabitants face a dreadful hot summer.
The national park is mostly covered with dry deciduous trees and nearly 300 types of flora and vegetation will catch a visitor’s eye. Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Rufous-tailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Common Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Five-striped Palm Squirrels, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Long-eared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose are known species that inhabit this park.
The reptile and amphibian population within this enclosed forest area is quite envious. Sightings of Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Banded Kraits, Cobras, Common Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Rat Snakes, Russel's Vipers, Saw-scaled Vipers and the Indian Chameleon, Common India Toad and the Common Frog can be enjoyed by the travellers.
The water bodies inside are mostly flocked with different colourful bird species, both resident and migrant. Malik Talao, the Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh Talao, Padam Talao and in the Jhalra area are the favourite locations for bird watchers and Ornithologists. Tourists can climb up the tall watch towers and watch the sea of greeneries from these points. Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove, Crakes, Snipes, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bitterns, Flamingos, Ibis, Pelicans, Storks, Pittas, Shrikes, Treepies, Crows, Orioles, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Minivets, Drongos, Flycatchers, Ioras, Wood Shrikes, Pipits, Bayas, Sparrows, Finches, Wagtails, Munias, Bulbul, Mynas and many more can be visible on a visit to this sanctuary.
The Safari through the national park is something one should never miss. The best time to visit for a Safari are during the winter months when the weather remains a bit chilly during daytime. Summer Safaris are also available and they can be tough on your skin. Be prepared with sun screen lotions, hats and light cotton clothes during the visit to Ranthambore between March to June. The park remains closed to the visitors during the Monsoon season, i.e. from July to September. 20 seater Canters and 6 seater Jeeps are available for Safari.
Here a timetable is presented for Safari timings which vary as per varied seasons;
1. 1st October to 31st October:
7.00 A.M. to 10.30 A.M. (morning trip) 2.30 P.M. to 6.00 P.M. (evening trip)
2. 1st November to 31st January:
7.00 A.M. to 10.30 A.M. (morning trip) 2.00 P.M. to 5.30 P.M. (evening trip)
3. 1st February to 31st March:
6.30 A.M. to 10.00 A.M. (morning trip) 2.30 P.M. to 6.00 P.M. (evening trip)
4. 1st April to 15th May:
6.00 A.M. to 9.30 A.M. (morning trip) 3.00 P.M. to 6.30 P.M. (evening trip)
5. 15th May to 30th June:
6.00 A.M. to 9.30 A.M. (morning trip) 3.30 P.M. to 7.00 P.M. (evening trip)
Within Ranthambore National Park there are amazing resorts and hotels for tourists who want to enjoy the night inside the dark and dense forest area. People can enjoy various stay programs in tree cabins, luxury tents or proper deluxe rooms. Some of the renowned hotels to stay inside the national park are;
- Oberoi Vanyavilas
- Sher Bagh
- Dev Vilas
- Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge
- Tiger Den Resort
- Ranthambore Forest Resort
- The Tiger Villa
- Raj Palace Resort
- Ranthambore Safari Lodge