An all time classic! Who can forget those lines… come out come out wherever you are… as Sher Khan stalks the man cub, Mowgli in the famous Jungle Book movie? Ever wondered what it would feel like to have those blood chilling eyes piercing at you? Walk on the wild side and give Ranthamore National Park a try.
One of the largest national parks in Northern India, Ranthamore National Park is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km from Jaipur. Established in 1955 by the Government of India as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary, it was in 1973 that under Project Tiger it was declared as a Reserve, and in 1980 it became a national park. The park has since then been enlarged after the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary and considered as part of the Ranthamore National Park.
Located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range, the park is one of the best places in India to see these majestic predators in their natural surroundings. Not only can one easily spot a tiger even during the day, tigers here have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors, due to their lack of fear of human presence in vehicles.
But besides the tigers roaming about giving a damn to human presence – one of the biggest draw for the wild life enthusiasts and photographers, other animals found here include the leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. Apart from the animals found here, Ranthambore is also home to a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, and is said to be home to one of the largest banyan trees in India. It is also said that as many as 539 species of flowering plants can be found here.
Other attractions at the park include the safari rides, that are carried out twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon, each ride lasting for about three hours, where one can opt for either a 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. Since the core park area has been divided into several zones and safari vehicles go on one of those zones, people usually opt for more than one ride.
Standing tall at a height of 700 feet above the surrounding plain, the Ranthambore Fort, is a majestic fort built in the 10th-century on a rocky protrusion. It houses summer palaces, cenotaphs, tombs and bauris or stepped-wells, three red Karauli stone temples constructed in 12th and 13th centuries devoted to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. A fort that has witnessed many battles it has a rich history. Legend has it that once over a thousand women in the fort had preferred to commit suicide than fall prey to the victorious invader. Besides the fort, there are many other ruins of bygone eras scattered across the jungle, giving a unique and wonderful mix of history and nature.
Another attraction here is the Padam Talao, the largest of the all the lakes located inside the park. Near the lake is a gigantic banyan tree considered to be India’s second largest tree and beautiful red sandstone Jogi Mahal.
Besides this there are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants.
For wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, this place seems to be the perfect setup to watch wildlife in their natural surroundings as they are used to being stared at here.
If you plan to add this reserve to your itinerary the nearest airport is in Jaipur, which is only a four-hour-drive away from Ranthambore. By road and rail, the nearest township of Sawai Madhopur is only 15kms away from Ranthambore. Sawai Madhopur is well connected to other major cities.
As for accommodation, since hotels are not allowed to be constructed near national parks or wild life sanctuaries, most of the hotels in Ranthambore are actually located in the township of Sawai Madhopur, although the region is actually a little village. Even luxurious hotels are available in plenty. From world-class arrangements to tented accommodation within the wilderness of the woods, accommodation is available to suit every budget. If you are a real foodie, try out exotic Rajasthani cuisine.
Every year hundreds and thousands of people travel to Ranthambore to watch the exotic wild birds and animals in their natural habitat, and come back thrilled after their ‘close encounter’ with these beasts… Plan today and be a part of the magic Ranthanbore offers.