Ranthambore tiger safaris in India
Ranthambore National Park has become an easy choice among travelers for tiger safaris for the simple reason that it lies in the center of the famous travel circuit of the Indian golden triangle. New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra are travel hotspots that make the golden triangle, and a tiger safari in Ranthambore can be easily accommodated in the itinerary.
Ranthambore National Park is in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan with an area of 391 sq. Km which is divided into 274 sq. Km of core area and 118 sq. Km of buffer area. The tiger safari park was used by the Royals of Jaipur until it was converted into a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained protection under Project Tiger. It was declared a national park in 1981.
This wildlife paradise became famous among foreign nationals due to Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister of India, who was frequent here for his family vacations to see the majestic Bengal Tigers. Ranthambore national park is named after the Ranthambore fort, which lies on the premises of the national park. The tiger safari park has a rich history built around a thousand years with different versions of the story about who built it.
Ranthambore national park is the largest stretch of Anogeissus pendula (Dhok) forest in India. It lies at the junction of some of the geological oldest mountain ranges – the Aravalli’s and Vindhya. Ranthambore tiger safari offers some of the finest opportunities to witness the magnificent Bengal Tigers in the wild. The landscape with hills, meadows, lakes, and dry deciduous forest system is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Apart from Bengal Tigers, one can also spot the Indian leopard, fox, striped hyena, jackal, sloth bear, mongoose, and caracal on your Ranthambore tiger safari tour.
A basking mugger crocodile, a King vulture on a snag, the scream of a Serpent Eagle, the flamboyance of flamingos during their season, and alarm calls of chital are only some of the safari experiences on your Ranthambore tiger safari tour.
Ranthambore national park has more than 40 species of mammals, around 320 species of birds, and approximately 40 species of reptiles. Dhoke, fig, and banyan are the major among the other 300 species of flora in the Ranthambore tiger safari.
Ranthambore vs other tiger reserves in India
- Area:- This tiger reserve is small compared to Kanha or Corbett national park due to which spotting a tiger in the core zone becomes rather easy.
- Vegetation:- The dry deciduous forest remains dry for around 9 months in a year which allows more visibility for spotting a tiger compared to a jungle with huge Sal trees and thick green vegetation.
- Locations:- Ranthambore lies in the center of the famous Indian golden triangle which is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. This gives Ranthambore national park an edge over other national parks.
- Private hunting ground:- Being a sikargah (hunting ground) also makes this national park unique for sightings of tigers. The paths which are still used to enter the park and accessibility into the heart of it were built when they used to be hunting grounds. These roads are cleared of vegetation for accessibility in such a way that if you miss a tiger from one point of the jungle (if it enters into the jungle) you can cut through roads and reach a point where tigers will most probably come out through the vegetation. These roads are still the same used by drivers for accessibility in the parks.
Tigers in Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambhore is known for its tiger population. In 2005 there were around 25 tigers in the park. After more than a decade the population has increased only twice as Ranthambore tigers have always faced the dangers of poaching. Ranthambore National Park has produced some legendary tigers which have run the tourist economy on their own. The Machli the famous tigress named on the mark of a fish on its forehead. Machli is considered to have been the most photographed tigress in the world.
She was featured in several wildlife documentaries, including a 50-minute documentary about her life, titled Tiger Queen, which was aired on the National Geographic and Animal Planet channels. The Tigers of Ranthambore national park are bold and they are quite accustomed to tourists. They often come out and stay in clear and very rarely shy away which gives ample time to witness this majestic creature.
Few Facts and Figures about the Ranthambore National Park
- Population – The Ranthambore Reserve is the only source of tigers in the territory with about 53 tigers constituting over 90% of the population in this block, as per the latest census made public last year.
- Total Area – 392 sq. km.
- Core Area – 274 sq. km.
- Latitudes – 25 4′ N to 21 12′ N
- Longitudes – 76 17′ E to 77 13′ E
- Nearest Airport – Jaipur (160 km)
- Nearest Railway Station – Sawai Madhopur (10 km)
- Type of Forest – Dry deciduous Dhok Forest
- River – Banas River & Chambal River
- Hills – Range of Aravali Hill and Vindhya Hill
- Temperature – highest of 48 degrees Celsius in summer and lowest of 2 degrees Celsius in winter
- Annual Rain Fall – 800 mm
Park Entry and Exit Time
- From March to June – 06:30 am to 09:30 am 03:30 pm to 06:30 pm
- From Oct to Feb – 07:00 am to 10:00 am 02:30 pm to 05:30 pm
- Park is closed from July to September for visitors
Places to visit around Ranthambhore
- Trinetra Ganesh Temple: – Situated inside the Ranthambore Fort, it is one of the oldest temples in Rajasthan. The statues of Lord Ganesha here consist of 3 eyes.
- Bakaula:- Dotted with several water holes, Bakaula offers a great opportunity of spotting the Royal Bengal Tiger & other wildlife.
- Padam Talao:- Princess Padmavati is believed to have bathed & committed sati here. You can spot a variety of animals, from Chinkara to crocodiles.
- Lakarda and Anantpura:- Located in the northern & northwestern regions of Ranthambore, these regions are inhabited by a large number of sloths & a few striped hyenas.
- Raj Bagh Ruins:- These are ancient stone ruins of palace outhouses, arches & domes. Surrounded by thick jungles, they are inhabited by tigers & can only be seen from a distance.