Ranathambore National Park a special Tiger reserve situated in Rajasthan state of India. It is in eastern Rajasthan where the Aravali Hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau meet, the Ranathambore National Park was once the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The rivers Chambal and Banas in the South and North bind the Ranathambore National Park. It is one of the biggest national parks whose coverage area is about 1,334 Sq Kms.
The park has wide variety of animals which include 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, 40 species of reptiles, 2 amphibian species, 50 species of butterflies and 300 species of plants. Ranathambore National Park is famous for its tigers and is a favorite of photographers for the same. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora species. As far as wildlife is concerned, Ranathambore wildlife sanctuary today offers an intense diversity of flora and fauna. Tigers, the park's pride make it one of the best places in the country to visit . Apart from that a large numbers of Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards birds are also found here.
The landscape is dotted with ancient Banyan Trees, Dhok & Pipal trees, clusters of mango trees and is crisscrossed with evergreen belts. The terrain is made up of massive rock formations, steep scarps, perennial lakes and streams. The terrain of Ranathambore wildlife sanctuary fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with Dhok, being the most prominent tree.
Amidst the greenery, the landscape is dotted with ruins of palaces, remnants of ramparts and the famous Ranathambore Fort. A looming majestic 1,000-year-old Fort, was built during the Chauhan dynasty and commanded a very strategic purpose. Today, it makes for a thrilling excursion, as Tigers are known to prowl about the ruins.
Other sites to look for:
- Ranathambore Fort: With a coverage area of 392-sq-kms, this park got its name from the Ranthambhore Fort, which sits on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Park. This fort dates back to the 10th century and is probably the oldest existing fort in Rajasthan, and also was a vital citadel for control of Central India and particularly the Malwa plateau.
- Jogi Mahal: The entry point to the Ranathambore National Park, goes straight to the foot of the fort and the forest rest house, Jogi Mahal. The latter boasts the second-largest Banyan tree in India.
- Sawai Madhopur: The city is a good blend of Rajasthani and modern culture.
How to get there?
- By Air: The nearest airport is that of Jaipur, which is about 145 km away.
- By Rail: The Park is around 12 km away from Sawai Madhopur railway station that lies on the Delhi to Bombay trunk route.
- By Road : From Jaipur one has to take the road to access the national park.
Where to stay?
- There are many hotels in the buffer zone of the forest i.e. the area surrounding the core area of the jungle.
- If you want to stay in the core area you have only option of Rajasthan Tourism guesthouse which is in the heart of core area.
Best time to visit:
The park is open for visitors from October to June. But the best season to visit Ranathambore is from November to April. This is the time when animals can be easily spotted. If you want to stay in park other than these months you need a special permission.
Situated in eastern Rajasthan, Ranathambore National Park is a place to forget all your sorrows, duties and take a break from your hectic schedule.