Ranthambore National Park
Situated in Eastern Rajasthan, where the Aravali Hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau meet, the Ranthambhore National Park is bound by the rivers Cahambal in the South and Banas in the North. The Park which is 392 square k.m. derives it’s name from the Ranthambhore Fort which sits on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Park. The fort, which dates back to the 10th century and is probably the oldest existing fort in Rajasthan, was a vital citadel for control of Central India and particularly the Malwa plateau.

These forests were for long a private hunting grounds of the Jaipur royal family and the big cats were virtually hunted to extinction before the Project Tiger took over the management of the forests in 1973. In 1981, Ranthambhore was awarded the National Park status. The Man Singh sanctuary, the Kaila Devi sanctuary and the Kuwalji game reserve are three other large tracts of forests which are contigous with the Park.

Characterised by rocky plains with gentle slopes, flat hill tops and precipitous cliffs covered by a dry decidous forest, the landscape is dotted with old banyan trees, dhok trees, flame of the forest, mango and few areas of evergreen black berry trees. Six man made lakes are the central focus of the park and many perennial streams criss cross the entire park. These streams are totally dry for most parts of the year but become raging torrents during the monsoon seasons. The Park has internal drainage and has no link up with any river system, even though two rivers bound the Park in it’s north and south side.

Ranthambor is famous for its tigers and is a favorite with photographers. The landscape is dotted with ancient banyan trees, dhok & pipal trees, clusters of mango trees and crisscrossed with evergreen belts. The terrain is made up of massive rock formations, steep scarps, perennial lakes and streams and forest suddenly opening up into large areas of savannah. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora - species list includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles (including the marsh crocodile) & amphibians and 30 mammals.

Other than the tiger, other predators found in Ranthambor are leopard, striped hyena, jackal, caracal and jungle cat. Also seen are sloth bear, sambar deer, chital (spotted) deer, nilgai (blue bull) antelope, wild boar, chinkara (Indian) gazelle, Indian hare, mongoose, common langur, palm civet, palm squirrel, porcupine and monitor lizard.

For the wildlife savvy, Ranthambore 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 observe them. Apart from that a large numbers of sambar, chital, nilgai, gazzelle, boars, mongoose, Indian hare, monitor lizards and a large number of birds.

Area: 392 sqkm

Best time to visit: October - June

How to get there: The nearest town from Ranthambore is Sawai Madhopur which is also the nearest railhead (about eleven kilometres).The nearesrt airport is located at Jaipur the capital city of the state of Rajasthan which is 145 kilometres from Ranthambore.

Accomodation: Excellent hotels at Sawai Madhopur including Maharaja Lodge (Taj Group), Castle Jhoomar Baori and Hotel Vinayak of the R.T.D.C, Tiger Moon Resort, The Ranthambhore Bagh, Ankur Resort, Hotel Aurag, Tiger Safari resort, Ranthambhore Regency and Tiger Den resort.

Prominent Fauna: Tiger, nilgai, boar, sambar, chital, hyena, gazzell, chinkara, Indian hare, mongoose, leopard, jungle cats, sloth bear, marsh crocodile, jacanas, painted stork,black stork, peafowl, crested serpent eagle etc.

For Additional Information:

Field Director
Ranthambore National Park
Sawai Madhopur
Rajasthan
India


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