This is one of the most popular and one of the largest national parks in India. Positioned in the Sawai Modhapur district in the western state of Rajasthan, the park covers about 400sq km area. It is also one of the oldest national parks in India, established in 1980. The park is most famous for its tigers. This is also a tiger reserve and the breeding population of tigers here are applaud able. Ranthambore is distinctly known for its tiger population density. Tigers can be seen out and about even in broad daylight. Another significant resident here is the Lion.
There are other common species that call Ranthambore their home. Leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear, southern plains gray langur, rhesus macaque and chital are some of the notable ones. Its blend of natural vegetation with dense forests is just astonishing. Ranthambore is also home to some very diverse flora. These include wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.
At Ranthambore, every tiger and tigress have been identified distinctively by giving them official names of the order- T1, T2, T3 etc. However, the locals also identify the predators with nicknames such as Machli, Machli Jr or Bumburam. This is a very emotional bond that the people have with the tigers. The people even know stories about the tigers’ origin and upbringing. The number of tigers has risen to 62 in 2014 from 25 in 2005. This is an incredible feat.
Ranthambore is not all tigers. It is also about the historic fort- Ranthambore fort. The fort is as high as 700 feet above sea level and towers above the entire park. The fort dates back to 10th century. Since the fort falls within the park territory it is also an attraction for the park. The fort also houses several temples built in 12th and 13th centuries. Padam Talao is another tourist destination within the park. The lake is facing the red sandstone Jogi Mahal. This is also the site of India’s second largest Banyan tree. There are arrangements for safari tours through the par. The forest department has many different kinds of cars, all four wheel drive. The ride lasts upto about 3 hours and costs about seven to eight hundred rupees.
Places to Check-in
As such, there are no resorts within the park but several on the way to the park from Sawai Madhopur. Camping and overnight stay within the park limits are not allowed. These resorts, some of them are very luxurious and cost a fortune, provide information and transportation arrangements to the park.
How to Reach
The park is, although in a remote location, well accessible by all means of transport. Ranthambore is 160km away from the nearest airport, Jaipur city. From the airport to the park, the roads are motorable. There are frequent flights from major Indian cities. The park is just 11 km away from the nearest railway station in Sawai madhopur, which lies on the Delhi Mumbai trunk route. This makes it very easily accessible.