Ranthambore National Park, one of the largest and the most popular national parks in North India, is one of the star attractions of wildlife tourism in Rajasthan. Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, Ranthambore is located just 180 km away from Jaipur (with Jaipur International Airport being the nearest airport to it) and 110 km from Kota. The nearest railway station from Ranthambore is Sawai Madhopur. Ranthambore National Park is divided into 10 zones, out of which, zones 1-5 are best for tiger sightings.
The park counted among the perfect wildlife reserves in India, and is best described as a tiger friendly land that proudly preserves the most famous tigers in India, which are identified by the distinguished marks on their body and ruling territory. The dense vegetation creates the best conditions for the tiger to stealthily hunt for his prey, and it is the only national park in India where plenty of tiger groups consisting of the mother and cub tiger can be found.
Brief Journey of Ranthambore National Park
- 1955- The reserve was earlier being established as the Sawai Madhopur Gaming Sanctuary by the Government of India.
- 1973- Later it was declared as one of the Project Tiger Reserves in India.
- 1980- Ranthambore became a national park.
- 1984- The adjacent forests were declared as Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.
- 1991- The tiger reserve was enlarged to include Sawai Mansingh and Kaladevi Sanctuaries.
The Ranthambore National Park is best known for the tiger population and is one of the perfect destinations in India to witness the majestic predators in the jungle living naturally. It is the only reserve in the region where the tigers can be easily witnessed at any point of time. This is the reason why the region is superbly famous for the tiger tours.
Wildlife in Ranthambore
Apart from tigers, the major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. The reserve also has the thriving bird population of with more than 270 different species of birds.
2005 was the year when the tiger count was 26; significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which then were 44. The non-government resources revealed through a survey that in the year 2008, 34 adult tigers in Ranthambore were recorded. Also, more than 14 tiger cubs were also been recorded that brings huge accolades to the conservation efforts and the wildlife management authority for the well-beings of the Ranthambore Tigers.
More significantly, tigers in Ranthambore are today's heroes since they are being known by their very own name and have their own identity with their unique notable marks. With the emotional interactions of the wildlife experts, photographers and jungle officials, Ranthambore tigers are world famous with their local pet names including the most famous tigers like Machali (T-16), Dollar (T-25), Sitara (T-28), Bina One, Bina Two and many more like them. Quite appraisingly, with such increase in the counts of the tigers in Ranthambore, some of the tigers have been relocated to the nearby reserves like Sariska Tiger Reserve. A recent relocation of the tigress sisters (Bina One and Bina Two) is the latest example of it.
Ranthambore is an ideal home to:
- 40 species of mammals
- 320 species of birds
- 40 Species of Reptiles
- 02 amphibian species
- 50 species of Butterflies
- 300 species of plants
Safari Timings in Ranthambore
Safari in Ranthambore can be experienced through different accessible zones and the timings for it vary in summers and in winters. Check out the table below:
||1st October to 31st October
||7.00 A.M. to 10.30 A.M.
||2.30 P.M. to 6.00 P.M.
||1st November to 31st January
||7.00 A.M. to 10.30 A.M
||2.00 P.M. to 5.30 P.M.
||1st February to 31st March
||6.30 A.M. to 10.30 A.M
||2.30 P.M. to 6.00 P.M.
||1st April to 15th May
||6.00 A.M. to 9.30 A.M
||3.00 P.M. to 6.30 P.M.
Accommodation Options in Ranthambore
As Ranthambore is one of the most visited wildlife destinations in India by both domestic and international travellers, the accommodation facilities here are very decent. From 5 stars to budget to tented accommodation, this wildlife destination has a plethora of staying options according to the needs of the tourists. Each & every hotel & resort in Ranthambore offers decent facilities to their guests. You can find the list of popular hotels & resorts here.
Best Time to Visit Ranthambore
November to March is the main tourism season of Ranthambore national park, as all the safari gates remain open in this time period. Ranthambore park remains closed during the monsoon season from July to mid-October, but tourists can also visit it during this time as a few gates are partially opened. For the wildlife photographers, summer is the best time to visit Ranthambore, because the chances of sighting the tiger are high during summer, as tigers leave their caves in search of water.
How to Reach Ranthambore?
By Air : Jaipur being the nearest airport to reach Ranthambore is simply at 180 kms of distance from the reserve area.
By Rail : Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur railway station that lies on the Delhi to Mumbai trunk route.
By Road : Ranthambore is connected by road. It is best advisable to hire a car/taxi to reach at Sawai Madhopur. The Kota-Ranthambore mega highway is only 1.5kms away.
Places of Interest in Ranthambore
Trinetra Ganesh Temple : Situated inside the famous Ranthambhore Fort, Trinetra Ganesh Temple is the oldest Ganesh shrine in Rajasthan. This popular temple in Ranthambhore was built by King Hammeer who dreamt of Lord Ganesha before finding an idol of him with three eyes (Trinetra) in the fort.
Ranthambore Fort : This is an ancient fort located just 13 kms from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station. Founded in 944 AD, and initially named as "Ranath Bhawar Garh", which means "a place of Rajput warriors", the Ranthambore Fort was the territory of the most famous Ranthambore tigress - Machali, who died a few years ago. The tiger lovers, especially the fans of Machali, who was better known as the "Queen of Ranthambore", specially visited this fort to catch her mighty and royal moves. She was best known for her acts of bravery and expanding her territory by defeating the other tigers of Ranthambore.
Kachida Valley : The Kachida Valley is located at the outskirts of the reserve to bear different outcrops and low hills. The tourists can make a good excursion through Jeep Safari to explore the region of the Kachida Valley. This is the only location where Panther population of Ranthambore National Park is found, as they avoid venturing in the main area of jungle, so they would not indulge into any kind of conflicts with tigers. Besides, beers are also found in a good number here.
Jogi Mahal : The Jogi Mahal is actually a fort which is recognized among the must watch places in Ranthambore national park.
Popular Nearby Places to Visit
Jaipur : The most popular touring spot for most of the national and international tourists, Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan attracts tremendous people for its magnanimous architectural splendours like City Palace, Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort and more. Acutely at 180 kms by road from Ranthambore, Jaipur is the perfect land for you to make a great excursion for a change. The tourists can also explore colourful cultures and traditions to get closer to the incredible India. Click here for Jaipur Travel Guide.
Agra : Whose name immediately reminds you of the Taj Mahal, has always attracted tourists in large numbers throughout the world. A trip to the Taj Mahal while taking an India tour is a must for all, since it is the embodiment of Mughal architecture in India. The symbol of love is located almost 247 kms from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, so if anybody wants to spend some romantic moments with his/her companion, Agra is the best answer for them.
Bharatpur : Yet another charming place for the wildlife lovers and for those who understand the meaning of a complete wildlife tour in India, Bharatpur is the land of the birds to explore around 400-600 different species of birds. Perfectly called a paradise for the ornithologists, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is an around 237 kms away from Ranthambore. It is the best place to find the great migratory counts of avians during winters and the perfect sanctuary to see the famous Siberian Crane.