A safe shelter for tigers and many other wildlife species, Ranthambore National Park is amongst the best national parks in India. What makes this leading wildlife reserve stand out in the country are its location, flora and the royal ruins of the majestic fort. Therefore, it is not merely a wildlife destination in Rajasthan; it in fact narrates the history of the glorious past of the state. In addition, the unquestionably beautiful locales of Sawai Madhopur have been profoundly influenced by the wildlife which can clearly be seen in the lifestyle of the people here. Here is a list of places that you should see in and around Ranthambore National Park, places that can offer you an unmatched travel experience in India:
This majestic fort is the landmark of Ranthambore National Park. Situated about 5kms inside the wildlife reserve, Ranthambore Fort is the marvel of the Chauhan dynasty. The construction of the fort began in 944 AD under the rule of King Sapaldaksha but it was during the time period of Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan that the fort took shape. It is recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site that places it under the title ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’. The mansion is built upon a 700ft high hill and is one of the major attractions in Ranthambore National Park. Once this fort severed as a royal hunting reserve and had a sprawling jungle around it giving enough space to carry out this adventure sport. However during the 1950s it became a part of the ‘Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary’ that was set up to conserve the dwindling wildlife in the area.
Situated inside Ranthambore Fort, Trinetra Ganesh Temple is yet another attraction in Ranthambore National Park. Trinetra (Three-Eyed) Ganesh or Pratham Ganesh Temple is amongst the oldest temples in Rajasthan. It is one of those temples, where one can find the deities of the entire family of Lord Ganesha. The temple was built by King Hammer, who is believed to be an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. The legend has it that while King Hammer was at war here, their stocks of food were running out. Then one night, Lord Ganesha appeared before the King and assured him that the stocks will be filled and his problems will be solved by the next morning. Miraculously, the next day, the war ceased and the food stock replenished; therefore the king decided to build a temple for Lord Gamesha here. A large number of Ganesha devotees throng this temple and five aartis are held each day here.
Set amidst quaint settings, Surwal Lake is one of the best places for sightseeing near Ranthambore Park. This lake is the haven for many birds, which are seen here catching fishes especially during winter season. It is a shallow lake, which dries out in summer; therefore it is ideal to visit this place either in monsoon or in winter. The best time of the day to visit here is morning when many birds are seen picking up their breakfast from here. Tucked in isolation, Surwal Lake is ideal for those seeking some solace and peace.
This is the largest lake in this wildlife reserve and is one of the main sources of water for the wild animals. The best time of the day to visit here is early morning, when a large number of animals are seen drinking at the lake. One can also spot the rare Chinkara deer here as well. The lake looks more beautiful during the season of water lilies; in fact this is why the lake got its name as Padam, which literally means flowers.
This valley is located close to the outskirts of the Park and is mostly inhabited by Panthers and Bears. The area is surrounded by low jagged hills, which enhances the beauty of this place making it one of the best places to visit in Ranthambore. Animals like deer and wild boars are also found in good numbers while Sloth bears are mostly seen in this area looking for honeycombs and fruits.
Situated on one side of Padam Lake, Jogi Mahal was used as a rest house for the visitors. Due to its scenic location, it has become a popular place in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve; unfortunately accommodation in Jogi Mahal has been restricted now. Near the Mahal is a tall banyan tree, which is considered one of the largest banyan trees in India.
The Raj Bagh Ruins add uniqueness to Ranthambore Wildlife Reserve! Situated between Padam Talao and Raj Bagh Talao, Raj Bagh Ruins reminds of the royal era of Rajasthan, the relics of arches, palace outhouses, domes and steps still look majestic and undoubtedly picturesque!
These regions Lakarda and Anantpura make the Northern and North-Western region of the Park. Along with Indian Sloth Bear, a large number of porcupines and monkeys can be seen here. It is one of those few places in this wildlife reserve, where the pugmarks of the Indian striped Hyenas can be seen. This species of hyena has a very small population in the jungle and Lakarda and Anantpura are amongst those few spots where there is a possibility of sighting these otherwise rare species.
A small lake in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Malik Talao is best known as a haven for birds. This small yet scenic lake is also the home to the Marsh Crocodiles. Kingfishers, egrets, herons, ibis, storks and cranes are some of the commonly spotted birds at Malik Talao making it the perfect place for birdwatching in Ranthambore.
This region is marked by thick forest, a number of water holes and pools and a dense population of wild animals. Since, this region has a thick forest cover, it stays cool during the peak summer season as well, which eventually makes it a favourite haunt of many wildlife species in the park. The probability of tiger spotting is also fair in the Akaula Region.
Apart from witnessing the varied wildlife in the park, one has the opportunity to explore the culture and tradition of Rajasthan as well. At Village Women Craft, which is situated at Gas Plant Road in Sawai Madhopur, one can find a variety of handmade carpets, woolen carpets, tribal rugs, wildlife paintings, shawls, bed covers and much much more! Village Women Craft is a social initiative that supports rural women in Rajasthan to become independent and economically stable. It is an incredible place to shop in Rajasthan and definitely a perfect memento of Ranthambore National Park.
Whether it is a real jungle or the concrete jungle, Ranthambore is always full of adventure! The Wild Dragon Adventure Park is amongst the finest examples of unending fun and excitement here. The park blends perfectly with the rustic environment and offers visitors once in a lifetime experience. Zorbing, horror house and the ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) ride are the highlight of this adventure park that is situated in an isolated valley near the National Park. Amidst the quietness; Wild Dragon is ideal for embarking some adventure!
This School of Art is one of the most inspiring places in Ranthambore. Located at a short distance from Sawai Madhopur, this school has students that have talent for painting. The main paintings here are of Tiger and as a special gesture, more tiger paintings are made to encourage people to conserve this endangered species. Often the students from this school visit the nearby villages to educate the locals about the tiger and the importance of its conservation.
As a traveller, it is our duty to support the conservation of wildlife and destinations like these truly inspire us to do so. Visit Ranthambore National Park to get inspired and a life-changing experience! Oh! Would like to remind you, that the Park opens on October 1, after the monsoon break; also the first week of October has lot of festivals and events coming up, so it is an absolutely PERFECT time to PLAN your trip to Ranthambore!
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