National Park, Travel Information Rajasthan
Desired Hub for Great Indian Tiger, The 392 sq km of Ranthambhore National
Park is perhaps India's finest example of Project Tiger, a conservation
effort started by the government in an attempt to save the dwindling number
of tigers in India. Situated near the small town of Sawai Madhopur, the
Park has seen its ups and downs, and there were times not so long ago
when poachers were having a field day in the Park. But recently thanks
to the devoted work of some good field staff the forest has been restored
to its old glory and is now seen as a much needed stronghold for the tiger
which is battling for survival.
What is so special
about this Park is the way history and forest have come together to create
an amazing landscape not seen in very many places. The rich forest around
the fort is littered with ruins that date back to the 10th century. Parts
of the fort that lie inside the Park have been reclaimed by nature. Can
you imagine the sight of a wild tiger seeking shelter under architectural
brilliance on a hot summer day, or a leopard standing majestically on
the walls of the old fort?
Ranthambhore has a
wide variety of dazzling landscape to offer. The most frequented areas
in the Park are around the beautiful lakes where a large number of the
wild conjugates. One also gets a chance to drive through rolling grasslands,
rushing streams, open scrubs, heavily wooded valleys and through deep
ravines walled on either side with steep cliffs.
A Royal Hunting
Reserve of Jaipur Maharajas
The Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and as a National Park
in 1980, seven years after the launch of Project Tiger. In 1984, the southern
and northeast forests were declared as Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.
Before Independence, the forests of Ranthambhore were the preserve of
the maharajas of Jaipur who frequently hunted here, and royal hunts go
back to the 12th century AD. These forests were the favorite hunting grounds
of Prithviraj Chauhana, a Rajput ruler whose hunting zeal took him into
other ruler's lands and consequently into battle! In recent times, Britain's
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were Maharaja Man Singh's special guests
The Erstwhile People
Valmik Thapar in his book The Tiger's Destiny talks of the inhabitants
of Ranthambhore fort as people who lived freely and easily in the forest.
They revered the sun and the moon and were great worshippers of Vaghdeo,
the tiger god who propitiated throughout the forest as lord of the area.
They believed in a world of ghosts and spirits and wore a variety of charms
and amulets to ward off evil ones. Even today, some of the villagers around
Ranthambhore still have a bhopa (medicine man). The older generations
remember their worship of the tiger and some cattle herders still ask
for the blessings of the tiger god before taking their cattle to graze
in the forests.
The indigenous residents
of the Ranthambhore forests were a people called the Minas. It was their
custom to mark the forehead of a new ruler with the blood taken from the
thumb or toe of a member of a particular family in the tribe. This seems
to have been an expression of their right to accept or reject their ruler.
the wildlife lovers, Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary Rajasthan offers an
enthusiastic diversity of flora and fauna. The landscape of the Ranthambore
National Park is formed of massive rock formations, steep scarps, perennial
lakes and streams and forest suddenly opening up into large areas of Savannah.
The terrain of Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary fluctuates between impregnable
forests and open bush land. Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is
famous for its Tigers and is a delight treat for the photographers. 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.
The Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan is dotted with ancient Banyan
Trees, Dhok & Pipal trees, clusters of mango trees and crisscrossed
with evergreen patches. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type,
with Dhok, being the most obvious tree found through out the region.
Apart from Dhok, other
species found here are - Am (Magnifera Indica), Imli (Tamarindicus indica),
Babul (Accasia nilotica), Banyan (Ficus benghalensis), Ber (Zizyphus mauritania),
Dhak or Chila (flame of the forest), Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Kadam (Authocephalus
cadamba), Khajur (Phoenix sylvestris), Khair (Accacia catechu), Karel
(Capparis decidua), Khejda (Prosopis specigera), Kakera (Flacourtia indica),
Mohua (Madhuca indica), Neem (Azadirachta indica), etc.
Tigers, the park's pride makes it one of the best places in the country
to observe them. Apart from that a large numbers of Leopards, Striped
Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques,
Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black Buck, Rufoustailed
Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Common
Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Fivestriped Palm Squirels, Indian False Vampires,
Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Mole Rats,
Indian Porcupines, Longeared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose,
Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose are seen in the park.
national park is also one of the richest reserves in bird species. Ranthambore,
due to its varied terrain and abundance of water bodies, has an excellent
population of birds, resident and migrant. There are about 272 different
species of birds found in the Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan. The
birds in the Park includes a large number of migratory birds. Some of
the many varieties of birds seen here are the great Indian horned owl,
various species of eagles such as Bonelli's eagle and the crested serpent,
spoonbills, partridge, quail, parakeets, Common kingfishers, owls and
storks, geese and ducks. The most visible bird in Ranthambhore is the
peacock, India's national bird.
Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Banded
Kraits, Cobras, Common Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons,
North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Rat Snakes, Russel's Vipers, Saw-scaled
Vipers and the Indian Chamaeleon.
Ranthambore due its numerous water bodies has a relatively large variety
of fish to boast of. These species consist of : Bita (Labio Rohita), Catla
(Catla catla), Greyei (Chhana matulion), Lanchi (Walago auto), Mahseer
(Tor tor), Mirgal (Cirrchinus mrigala), Rohu (Labio rohita), Savank (Chhana
punctatus), Seenghari (Mystus seenghala).
How to Reach
By Air : Jaipur at 145 km is the nearest airport from Ranthambore
By Rail : Ranthambore
National Park is around 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur railway station,
that lies on the Delhi to Bombay trunk route.
By Road : A
good network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town from Ranthambore
to all the major cities within the state of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan In Details
National Park of India