Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
The former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in Eastern Rajasthan in the Aravali hill ranges. The park was named after the Ranthambhore Fort that occupies the principal position in the centre of the national park. This 10th century fort built by the Chauhans, is probably the oldest existing fort in Rajasthan and particularly in the Malwa plateau.
The dry deciduous forest Ranthambore National Park is spread over an area of 1,334 sq km along with its adjoining sanctuaries - the Kaila Devi Sanctuary and the Mansingh Sanctuary. Ranthambore has the two extremes - forests and open bush land. The dry and deciduous forests are dominated with the Dhok trees.
Ranthambore is also categorised as a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins of the fort that dot the park. The lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic fort dating back to 1,000 years overlook the park. The Jogi Mahal and the Padam Talao are the unique features of Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore Fort, perched atop a hill in the midst of the park, is a fascinating edifice that should not be missed.
Ranthambore is one of the largest and most celebrated parks in Northern India. Home to a stunning variety of wildlife and camera friendly tigers, it boasts of being the favourite destination of photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, over 300 species of birds, 12 reptiles and 30 mammals. Apart from the tiger, the tourists can also see sloth bear, wild boar, chinkara, porcupines, jackals, leopard, jungle cat, marsh crocodile, sambar, chital, nilgai, mongoose and Indian hare.
Things to do
Jeep Safari in Ranthambore National Park will excite you by giving you a chance to see wildlife animals in their natural environment.
There are two safaris in the day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The tour lasts for 3.5 hours by jeep (open top roof gypsy) or canter (open top roof bus). You can choose to travel in the park, either in a 20 seater open canter or 06 seater open top roof jeep, both of which have been re-fitted and furbished for good viewing and comfort.
Dastkar Craft Centre
This workshop and outlet located beyond the park entrance, near Khem Villas, is well worth a visit. The organisation helps to empower low-caste village women, who gain regular income by selling their textile and embroidery work. Many attractive handicrafts are on sale, including saris, scarves, bags and bedspreads. Another outlet is located about 3km from the train station.
Village Devpura is a home to the beautiful blackbuck. Devpura is approx.14 km from Sawai Madhopur. The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope species native to the Indian Subcontinent. Search the rural village area for these antelopes that roam freely. They are not found in the National Park.They generally live on open plains in herds of 15 to 20 animals with one dominant male. They are very fast. Speeds of more than 80 km/h (50 mph) have been recorded. During the drive to village Devpura for black buck you can take a chance to see idle village life and culture. A walk around the village is an interesting option also, you can observe bandhani and lahariya, and block printed textiles, silver jewellery, wood, and carpets made by local women.
Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History
It is spread over an area in 7.2 acres of land. Village Ramsinghpura is around 9 km away from Sawai Madhopur. This museum was conceived to highlight the natural heritage, plants and animals of the western region of the country, besides acting as a resource center for public in general and children/student in particular. The gallery has digitally mounted panels, interactive exhibited and photographic depiction of wildlife, besides important dioramas on different themes highlighting human interface with nature in his/her efforts for conservation of nature and natural resources. It also includes a diorama of the Bishnoi community, famous for sacrificing their lives to save trees.
The Ranthambhore fort is believed to have been built in 944 A.D. by a Chauhan ruler. It is strategically located on the border of Rajasthan and erstwhile Malwa. The undulating topography of the surrounding forests was used as an outer defense to the advantage of the fort. It was one of the strongest forts of Northern India.
The fort had many buildings inside of which only a few have survived the ravages of wars and time. Among the remaining ruins, the two pavilions, Badal Mahal and Hammirs court and parts of the royal palace give an idea of the old grandeur. For water supply there are two rain fed reservoirs in the fort.
The fort also has an old temple devoted to lord Ganesh which attracts a lot of pilgrims and visitors.
Best time to visit
October – April