Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambhore became a national park on 1 November 1980.Ranthambhore wildlife sanctuary is known for its Bengal tigers, and is a popular place in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat.
The purpose of saving the tiger is to maintain the balance between herbivores and vegetation field. However, the existence of the tiger is the indication of well being in the ecosystem and its extinction from the forest indicates that the ecosystem is not protected and exist for a long period. Thus many organisation and intuition have been running for years for the protection of tiger.
You’ll feel the atmosphere of the jungle change when a tiger is close. The air fills with the sound of animal warnings and you can feel the tension as a majestic tiger enters their territory. On your tiger watching safari, your first glimpse might just be the white flecks of hair on the tiger’s ears as he stalks through long grassland, occasionally catching a flash of bright orange or black. This is an experience not to be underestimated. Seeing these beasts up close and personal on a tiger safari beats any other big cat sighting in the the world.Wildlife Safari at Ranthambore is a famous activity amongst nature and wildlife lovers where one can see various species in their natural habitat. The Ranthambore National Park has separate safaris to explore the park in separate zones. One of the favourite is the one to see the majestic tiger in its natural habitat.
These following points make ranthambore national park most visited santuary in India.
1. Geographical position and weather
Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, which is about 130 km from Jaipur.Railways is the best way to reach Ranthambore National Park. The nearest railway station to Ranthambore is situated around 14 km away. Ranthambore National park is well connected by road also to most of the major cities of India.Ranthambore National Park remain closed from 1st July till 30th September every year for visitors because of monsoon and that is a mating season too. Besides the park open from october to june.
All days of the week
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
In the aftermath of monsoon weather, the park is lavishly green, there’s plenty of wildlife (including animals with their little ones), and the weather is very comfortable. Many migratory birds make their way to Ranthambore for the winter season, so it’s a great time to spot winged species. It’s possible to spot tigers at this time, but your chances of seeing them are significantly higher during the summer. Winter is also a prime time for watching tiger taking sun bath and playing with their cubs
2. Historical Value
Ranthambhore Fort is a magnificent fort erected by a ruler belonging to the Chauhan Royal family located in Ranthambhore in Rajasthan. The regal fort is said to have existed since the 12th century and is a perfect tourist attraction for those wanting to explore Royal Rajasthan. The splendid fort of Ranthambhore stands strong amidst dense forests that form the Ranthambhore National Park. The view of the fort from the national park and the view of the dense forest from the top of the fort are both worth seeing. As one explores the magnificent structure, they are bound to experience the magnificent vibe that the fort radiates in the warm sunlight of Rajasthan.
History of Ranthambore Fort
The exact period the fort was constructed is unknown; however, archaeologists suggest that the construction may have begun during the reign of the Sapaldaksha in the 10th Century. The Chauhan Royal Family of Rajasthan may have completed the remaining construction in the 12th Century. When the Chauhans managed the fort, it was known as Ranastambha. During the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan I, it was majorly associated with Jainism. In 1192 CE, Muhammad of Ghor, a Muslim ruler, captured the fort and defeated Prithviraj Chauhan III.
In 1226 CE, the fort was captured by Iltutmish, a Delhi Ruler; however, the Chauhans captured the fort again in 1236. In 1259, Sultan Balban captured the fort from Jaitrasingh Chauhan after repeated unsuccessful attempts over the years. Shakti Dev, the successor of Jaitrasingh Chauhan, won the fort in 1283. The kingdom was also enlarged after this win. In 1301, the fort was captured by Ala Uddin Khilji.
Architecture of Ranthambore Fort
The Ranthambhore Fort is situated atop a large rocky outcrop amidst the Ranthambhore National Park. The fort has as a massive protective wall and seven gates namely the Navlakha Pol, Hathi Pol, Ganesh Pol, Andheri Pol, Delhi Pol, Satpol and Suraj Pol. The fort has a Kachaheri called the Hammir Kachaheri which has 3 chambers, with the central chamber being the biggest. The structure has pillars lined to support the ceiling of the verandah.
A palace constructed during the reign of Hammir Singh also lied inside the fort premises. It is called the Hammir Palace. The palace has chambers and balconies that are connected by small traditional doors and stairways. An important and beautiful structure inside the fort is the Battis Khamba Chhatri. It is a three storey building with 32 pillars that support chhatris or domes. This structure has a verandah that leads to each level of the building.
There is also a big hall with about 84 columns, with a height of 61 metre height. This hall is called Badal Mahal and was used to hold conferences and meetings. The Ganesh temple inside the fort premises is quite well known amongst devotees. According to a belief, if you write letters to Lord Ganesha and send them here, your wishes will come true.
Padam Lake is the largest lake in the Ranthambore National Park. The water body is visited by most of the animals in the mornings. This is one of the few places where Chinkaras can be spotted. Most animals hunt around this lake which makes it the best location for wildlife photography. The Padam Lake is filled with Lotus bloom during monsoons, hence it was named Padam Talao.
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 Ganesh.
Also, people come here and make stone miniature houses near the temple, signifying a wish for a real house.
Kachida Valley is also inside the reserve. Panther population of the reserve resides here. You will have 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.
A beautiful natural water body, Surwal Lake is a treat to the tired eyes. It is located inside the Ranthambore National Park and the mesmeric surroundings make the attraction worth a visit. The region is also famous for bird watching and one can observe a number of migratory birds during the winter season.
Located within a 500 metres distance from the famous Ranthambore Fort in Rajasthan, Jogi Mahal is the iconic hunting lodge built by the royalties of Jaipur for their entertainment and recreation. It stands by the beautiful lake, called Padam Talao, inside the Ranthambore National Park, which gets its name from the blooming lotuses in the water. The lake happens to be a favourite watering hole of the animals of Ranthambore like tigers, leopards, deer, monkeys and more.
Situated at its banks, Jogi Mahal offers a splendid view of the lake, its surroundings and the green forests stretching for miles beyond. In the olden times, Jogi Mahal served its purpose of being a hunting abode for the kings of Jaipur and their royal guests and other dignitaries. When the authority of the Maharaja dynasty faded out, Jogi Mahal was then turned into a guest house catering to visitors of Ranthambore. But that too has been stalled of late. Now it stands as an abandoned but proud reflection of true Rajasthani architecture at its finest. It is also home to the second largest Banyan Tree of India, after the one that stands in the Botanical Garden of Shibpur, West Bengal. The tree is a feast for the eyes, and adds to the tranquil ambience of Jogi Mahal all over. This heritage place serves as a good stoppage destination on your way to someplace else. Spend an hour or so here, regain your energy and refill your food and beverage supplies and click some pictures before you get started for the next attraction.
Raj Bagh Ruins
Raj Bagh Ruins is an enchanting monument inside the Ranthambore National Park. It is situated on the banks of Raj Bagh Lake and is a preferred shelter for the wildlife, especially the tigers. The rustic structure amidst the beautiful dense forests and serene lakes is worth exploring. It is also an apt location for photography.
Lakarda and Anantpura
Lakarda and Anant Pura are the regions with dense forests and ample honeycombs. They are most visited to spot sloth bears. Pugmarks of the Indian Hyenas are also found here at times but the animal is rarely spotted because their population is less in the park.
The smallest of the three lakes in the National Park, Malik Talao is a serene natural water body where most of the wildlife activities can be seen. The majestic Indian Marsh Crocodile can be spotted here often along with other bird and animal species.
Akaula Region is the most densely forested region in the wildlife reserve. It has a number of pools and waterholes which keep the temperature low at all times making it a perfect habitat for several species that thrives in a cool environment.
Raj Bagh Talao
With the Raj Bagh ruins in the backdrop, Raj Bagh Talao has an aesthetic appeal not found anywhere else in the reserve. The picturesque location and the number of species visiting the lake for drinking water make this location a paradise for photographers and nature lovers
3. Rich Wildlife
Today, Ranthambhore is one of the best places to witness tigers in their natural habitat. The Bengal tiger is considered to be among the biggest wild cats alive today.The leopard, sloth bear, hyena, wolf, jackal, civet cat, Indian marsh crocodile, the plentiful sambar and a variety of snakes live here. Over 360 species of birds and raptors are also found here and migratory birds come from Europe and Siberia to Surwal Lake (35 km) in winter.Tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambhore National Park are deemed to be in November and May.There are a total of 71 tigers in Ranthambore National Park.
Along with a rich variety of fauna, Ranthambore is also home to a large number of birds making it an important birding destination in India. The national park in Rajasthan which is popular for being a natural habitat for Royal Bengal Tiger is also home to around 320 species of birds that include serpent eagle, waterfowl, cormorant, painted spurfowl, sarus crane, bronzed-winged jacana, sandpiper, kingfisher, nightjar, painted sandgrouse, and great-horned owl. A large number of migratory birds in the winter season also make Ranthambore and its wetlands their home giving bird lovers and orinthologists reasons enough to visit the national park. Most of the birds inhabit the areas around the three large lakes – Padam Talao, Malik Talao and Rajbagh Talao.
The most important birds in Ranthambore includes 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, Falcons etc.
Cormorant, painted spurfowl, sarus crane, bronzed-winged jacana, sandpiper, kingfisher, nightjar, painted sandgrouse, and great-horned owl, serpent eagle, and waterfowl are some of the bird species that can be seen in Ranthambore.
With a suitable habitat for various bird species, bird watching is a favourite activity in Ranthambore.
Malik Talao, Padam Talao, Rajbagh Talao, Ranthambore Fort, and Jhalra Region and Kachida Valley are the best locations for birdwatching in Ranthambore.
The winter season between October and March is the best time for birding in Ranthambore. During this season, plenty of migratory birds including the Sarus Crane arrive at the national park.
Ranthambore National Park Safari Timings
|Months||Morning Safari Timings||Evening Safari Timings|
|1 – 31 October||06.30 AM To 10.00 AM||02.30 PM To 06.00 PM|
|1 November To 31 January||07.00 AM To 10.30 AM||02.00 PM To 05.30 PM|
|1 February To 31 March||06.30 AM To 10.00 AM||02.30 PM To 06.00 PM|
|1 April To 15 May||06.00 AM To 09.30 AM||03.00 PM To 06.30 PM|
|16 May To 30 June||06.00 AM To 09.30 AM||03.30 PM To 07.00 PM|
4. Best Location for Wildlife Photography
With its diverse landscape, relatively easy tiger sighting, and good light, Ranthambore National Park makes one of the best wildlife photography destinations in India. In this popular national park, there is great opportunity of taking shots of a variety of animals and birds against a beautiful backdrop. There are forts, palaces, and ruins inside the park along with lakes that are an asset for wildlife photography. Also, a plethora of bird species make Ranthambore one of the best places for bird photography as well.
Both summer and winter seasons are the best time for a photography tour in Ranthambore. Tiger photography, bird photography, heritage photography, and landscape photography are possible in Ranthambore. Yes, tigers are found in large number in Ranthambore making it quite easy to sight them and take pictures of them. Ranthambore is an ideal place to take pictures of Sambar deer and other deer species like chital along with a variety of birds.
A tigress known as “The Lady of the Lakes” was separated from her parents at a very young age because of poaching. The young tigress was named Machli after the mark on her body that resembles a fish.She was the most famous tigress in the world holding the title of the most photographed tigress in the world. She was single handedly instrumental in increasing the flow of tourists from all over the world to Ranthambore National Park.
5. Full Value of Money
Visitors to Ranthambore National Park can enjoy two types of safaris: Jeep & Canter Safaris. While the Canter is a 20 seater vehicle, the Jeep is a 6 seater vehicle. You can either book the 6 seater Jeep or select a Sharing Jeep Safari. Jeeps should be booked 90 days in advance, although last minute bookings are available.Jeep safaris are available between 1st October & 30th June. Canter Safari is ideal for those who are visiting in large groups. Last minute booking options are also available. Canter Safari is available between 1st October & 30th June. A wildlife safari lasts for around 3 hours in Ranthambore. The safari will be a guided tour so you get the best wildlife spotting experience.The jeep requirement for the wildlife safari totally depends on client’s requirement. One can either book the entire 6-seater jeep or choose to opt for sharing jeep safari. Besides wildlife safari in Ranthambore National Park, you can visit the other nearby tourist attractions like Ranthambore Fort, Jogi Mahal, Village Women Craft, Ranthambore School of Art and more.