Wildlife is a proud possession of any region and represents natural wealth. Rajasthan being a desert state is copious with nature and amazing fauna thriving amidst such surroundings. These sanctuaries are a kaleidoscope of rich fauna here and the most visited and famous among them is Ranthambore National Park. If you really want to enjoy your excursion amidst the marvels of nature then, Ranthambore National Park is the place to be.
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About Ranthambore National Park
Spread across a sprawling area of 400 sq. km, Ranthambore is one of the biggest national parks in India, protecting the Royal Bengal Tigers. This park is set between the Aravali and Vindhya ranges having deciduous forests that were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. It hugs the River Chambal on its South and River Banas on its North. It is located very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert.
Why is it called Ranthambore National Park?
The National Park got its name from the majestic Ranthambore Fort that lies amidst the jungle. It used to be the hunting area for the Jaipur Maharaja and other royal members of Jaipur.
History of Ranthambore National Park
Once served to be the hunting grounds for the maharajas of Jaipur, the park was legally confirmed a sanctuary in 1955. The park is reckoned as one of the affluent reserves of Tigers of different varieties including the most endangered ones too. To save the shrinking forest cover and safety of the wildlife species residing in it, the government of India in 1973 declared this forest as a national park and a tiger reserve. Besides tigers, Ranthambore wildlife boasts of its Chital (spotted deer) and Sambar (largest deer of India) population.
What makes Ranthambore famous?
The tiger population and easy discovery of these majestic predators in the jungle living naturally makes Ranthambore National Park a famous tourist place. It is the only reserve in the territory where one can witness the tigers effortlessly at any point of time. This wildlife park is one of the perfect destinations in India superbly famous for tiger safari and wildlife tours. More significantly, tigers in Ranthambore are today’s heroes since they are popular by their very own name and have their own identity with their unique notable marks.
Things to do in Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park is an exotic place to get a glimpse of the rich natural heritage, having a diversity of flora and fauna. Moreover, the surrounding areas are no more than a treat for travellers, primarily adventure lovers as the park borders by steep rocky hills, dry deciduous forest, lakes and rivers and open grassy meadows. An attractive blend of flora and fauna consisting of the fine and the vast gigantic natural wildlife habitat and huge lush green lifelike trees and plants along with natural surroundings makes Ranthambore a majestic place to explore and visit. Spend your time in the wilderness of Ranthambore National Park witnessing:
Flora at Ranthambore
While you explore your Ranthambore Safari, you will come across some exquisite flora that would leave you awestruck. Despite being in the desert state, the dense green jungle of the Ranthambhore National Park makes it an incredible place to tour for nature enthusiasts. There are around 300 species of greenery mostly of dry deciduous kind as this region receives very less rainfall. The Dhok trees covers the prominent areas of the forest. Not just this, the forest is home to many other types of trees such as Banyan Tree, Neem, Peepal as well as fruit-bearing trees like Mango, Imli, Jamun tree and others.
Fauna at Ranthambore
Apart from Tiger, you can also have a chance to view the amazing fauna during your visit to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. List of different animals and rare species you can find during your trip to Ranthambore wildlife safari is Tigers, Leopards, Striped hyenas, Deer, Nilgai, Jackals, Blackbucks, Foxes, Porcupines, Mongoose, diurnal tigers, Crocodiles, Turtles, Cobra, Python, Rat snakes, sloth bear and many more.
The park is also a visual delight for bird watchers, boasting 272 species of birds. Some of the rare and abundant species flock to the park like Greylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift and Owl to name a few.
The most appropriate places to reap the real pleasure out of bird watching are Malik Talao, the Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh Talao, Padam Talao and the Jhalra area. These are the different zones in the park.
Different Zones In The Park
Ranthambore Tiger Safari has a total of 10 zones in the Park. Zone 1 to zone 5 has the highest possibilities of spotting tigers and even these are the only zones where the safaris take place. You can also spot tigers in the other 5 zones but there are fewer chances. However, zone 3 and zone 5 are the most famous among visitors for their beautiful landscape and the fort. These are the zones:
The Singh Dwar is the main entrance to this zone. One can spot tigers at Amreshwar Dang, Peela Pani, Gada Dub, Tuti ka Nalla and Sultanpur in this zone.
This zone holds the maximum number of Chances for tiger sighting as it has water holes. Tigers can be seen here at places like Phuta Bandha, Lahpur Tiraha, Nal Ghati and others.
Tigers are seen most frequently in this zone at Padam Talao. Padam Talao is the largest lake out of the three lakes situated at Ranthambore National Park. One can see lots of animals around this lake specially during sunrise and sunset. You can spot legendary Bengal Tigers and chinkara that are rare to be sighted. Another main attraction here is Jogi Mahal, a fort that nestles on the edge of the Padam Talao lake. Borderding the zone 3 and 4 is Malik Lake, another beautiful water body in the national park famous for Bird watching. The Kingfisher bird hunting small fishes is a common sighting here. This lake also houses Indian Marsh Crocodiles.
This zone is the most popular among all the zones because of being the home of tigress Machli, the tigress of Ranthambore. The main points where you get a chance to witness tigers are Lakkar Da, Adidaant, Lambi, Tamakhan and berda.
Jokha, Dhakda, Singhdwar, Bakola, Bagheda, Anatpur are some of the many locations visited most by the tigers and other fauna here. In this zone lies a beautiful Kachida Valley which gives you an opportunity to spot beers in a good number. This is the only location home to the Panther population of National Park, as they avoid venturing in the main area of the jungle to about indulgence in any kind of conflicts with tigers.
This zone shares boundaries with zone 1 having beautiful landscapes with mountains in backdrop and animals roaming in open grasslands.
This zone has fewer points in comparison to other zones named Jamoda, Kushalipura, Chidikho, and Rajbagh Naka.
The important points of this region are Bhat, Balas, Mahakho, Kherai, Neemli Dang, and Kali.
This zone is famous for an aggressive male tiger known for once chasing the forest department vehicles and capturing and killing a Sloth bear on trap cams. It hosts other various rich biodiversity such as Aquatic birds, Caracals, and Sloth bears.
This zone has a lower probability of sighting wildlife but they do inhabit majestic tigers. The major locations where the tigers can be sighted are Banskhori, Bodal, Kushalipura, Aantri, and Halonda.
These zones makes for a good excursion for tourists when they explore the region through Jeep Safari.
Types of Jungle Safaris
There are two types of Safari available in Ranthambore National Park, Jeep Safari and Canter Safari with different safari timings and prices. But travellers are often confused about choosing which one is best for them.
Exploring the jungle via open-jeep is referred as jeep Safari. Jungle excursion with Ranthambore Jeep safari is the best way to witness the varied wildlife of National Park. If you want to stay amid nature witnessing the royal predators closely, choose jeep safari. The jeep lets you navigate easily and is a much more comfortable and intimate ride with fewer people. A Jeep can fit only six people at a time along with one trained forest guard. No more than four jeeps can run on one route at a particular shift in the Park. However, often you have to reserve an entire jeep vehicle instead of just a seat, which can be difficult for solo travellers or couples. If you can, ask around for other travellers who are looking to share a jeep to split the cost.
A safari excursion in the jungle through a Canter is known as Canter safari. This safari is best for people who are afraid of getting close to animals and want to do the Ranthambore safari in a group. Canter is comparatively larger and can accommodate 15-20 people comfortably along with 1 registered tourist guide. They do not allow tourists to get down from the canter due to security purposes. Only 20 canters are available in one particular shift, that’s why advance Ranthambore canter safari booking is essential to make sure that you get a seat in the canter once you reach there.
The Ranthambore forest officials have pre-designated paths and timings for safari which are to have strictly adhered to. Once booked you can’t wish to shift the route. They also have fix safari timings.
Timings of Ranthambore
Safari rides inside the park are precisely regulated. The wildlife safari runs in two shifts, morning shift and evening shift. The jungle safari timings are:
October to November
06.30 am – 10.00 am and 02.30 pm – 06.00 pm
November to January
07.00 am – 10.30 am and 02.00 pm to 05.30 pm
February to March
06.30 am – 10.00 am and 02.30 pm to 06.00 pm
April to Mid May
06.00 am – 09.30 am and 03.00 pm to 06.30 pm
Best time to see tigers
The possibilities of spotting a tiger are good at Ranthambore national park but still plan to book two or three safaris if you don’t want to miss seeing a tiger. Even if you do not get to spot a tiger, the ride through the park is worth its scenic beauty alone. Wandering amidst such a huge region and discovering the jungle magnificence itself is a rare opportunity. Enjoy every bit of it!
What is the Ranthambore safari price?
A Ranthambore safari booking in advance is necessary with the Forest Department to avoid any unavailability or discomfort.
Canter Safari Charges:
Indian: Rs. 680/- Per Person Per Safari
Foreign Tourist: Rs. 1400/- Per Person Per Safari
Jeep Safari Charges:
Indian Tourist: Rs. 1110 Per Person Per Safari
Foreign Tourist: Rs. 1850/- Per Person Per Safari
GST and service charges will be extra
You can also enjoy a private safari in Ranthambore National Park for half-day or full-day. You can book the Jeep or Canter Safari for the full day and half-day which will cost you the minimum amount of INR 20,000 for Canter Safari, and a minimum amount of INR 25,000 for Jeep Safari.
Ranthambore Safari Booking Charges
Half-Day Safari Cost
For India Nationals – Rs. 27,000 Per Vehicle
For Foreign Nationals – Rs. 37,000 Per Vehicle
Full-Day Safari Cost
For Indian Nationals – Rs. 48,000 Per Vehicle
For Foreign Nationals – Rs. 65,000 Per Vehicle
Things to keep in mind
- The excellent time for wonderful photography is March and April when the reserve is at its best. If you want really good pictures, opt for a jeep safari instead of canters.
- Keep some warm clothes alongside, you may need them during a morning safari. Wear clothes appropriate to the season like woollen in the winter season and cotton clothing in the summer season.
- The park visitors must avoid wearing bright colours as they often tend to irritate the tiger. Wear darker shades such as black or green that camouflage with the vegetation.
- With Ranthambore safari booking also book an experienced tour guide who understands the forest and wildlife.
- Prepare yourself for a smooth and comfortable jungle safari. Bring a mosquito repellent, a cap and a bottle of water, sunscreen protection specifically in October and November.
- You need to be calm and composed during your jungle safari as any noise can distract the wildlife.
- Avoid littering in the national park, instead carry your garbage back with you in your bag without throwing it around.
Which is the best time to visit Ranthambore?
The Ranthambore National Park remains open for tourists from the first week of October until the end of June.
The best time to visit Ranthambore is November to April as all safari gates remain open.
If you visit between March to May, you can find Ranthambore weather amazing. This time is also the best time for wildlife photographers, as during summer, the display of wildlife because the nature of the dry deciduous woods makes sightings common as tigers leave their caves in search of water.
Ranthambore park remains closed during the monsoon season from June to October.
How to Reach Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
Ranthambore national park is around 15 km away from the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan and is near Jaipur.
By road: Jaipur to Ranthambore distance is 160 km. You can take the state highway to reach Sawai Madhopur. SH 24 is the route from Jaipur. If travelling from Delhi take NH 11 and NH 8.
By air: If you book a flight to Jaipur airport it will take 180 km to reach the Ranthambore reserve area. You can hire a cab or taxi to the park.
By train: If you are travelling by train, you can book a train direct to Sawai Madhopur railway station which is around 11 km away from the Park. Or you can reach Jaipur by train and drive to the park which is 200 km from the railway station.
Accommodation at Ranthambore National Park
Whenever you plan an excursion to Ranthambore wildlife century, don’t forget to book your hotel in advance. There are many Ranthambore hotels as well as resorts with excellent amenities for tourists visiting the Ranthambore National Park.
During your Ranthambore National Park tour, savour the experience of staying in a tent house. There are some impressive tents outside the reserve, which are fitted out with all the necessary installations. These tents have an oversized bed, dining table, attached bathrooms and dressing sections. You can experience the true essence of living in a jungle while staying in such tents and that too without compromising on ease and comfort.
Places to visit In Ranthambore
There are a many places in Ranthambore which make your trip worth. Some of the places such as Padam Talao, Jogi Mahal, Kachida valley, Malik lake that are inside the national park zone 1 to 5 and are covered well during the safari. There are a few other prominent places that need a separate visit.
This is an ancient fort that dates back to 944 AD. It was initially named “Ranath Bhawar Garh”, which means “a place of Rajput warriors”. The Ranthambore Fort was the province of the most well-known queen of tigers, tigress – Machali, who died a few years ago. The tiger lovers specially visited this fort to catch her mighty and royal moves. She was popular for her brave acts of broadening her region by winning against the other tigers of Ranthambore.
Trinetra Ganesh Temple
Situated inside the famous Ranthambore Fort, Trinetra Ganesh Temple is the oldest Ganesh shrine in Rajasthan. The credit of construction of the popular Ranthambore Ganesh temple goes to King Hammeer who dreamt of Lord Ganesha before finding an idol of him with three eyes (Trinetra) in the fort.
Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History
The Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History is a vital centre creating awareness of diverse life on earth. Spread in 7.2 acres of land, the museum is tastefully designed to exhibit the wildlife in Ranthambore and the famed Ranthambore Fort. The major attractions are the artefacts of Tiger, Leopard, Black Buck, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer etc. Live village scenes and a prominent portrait of Ranthambore Fort are other enticements here. The museum also has a pottery booth and an art gallery, where visitors can witness live pottery making and painting making.
Chambal Safari (Gharial Sanctuary)
Adjacent to the banks of the Chambal River is the National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary which is an incredible tourist spot in Ranthambore boasts with nature. Apart from Jungle Safari in Ranthambore, Chambal River safari is popular for exploring the rare crocodile species known as Gharial and the National Aquatic Animal Gangetic Dolphin. You can also enjoy interesting inhabitants by boat rides and amazing diversity of birdlife having more than 316 species of migrant and resident birds. Chambal River Safari at the sanctuary is about an hour’s journey from Ranthambore. It is a wonderful tourist spot for exploring amphibians and aquatic animals in their natural habitat.
Local Art & Craft- Ranthambore School of Art, Dastkar, Dhonk
Visitors who wish to explore local art and craft, Ranthambore School of Art, Dastkar, and Dhonk are the impressive craft centers in Sawai Madhopur. These craft centers trains as well as sells traditional stuff, clothes, accessories and decor items. Dhonk is a skills training institute that trains the local people of Ranthambore in handicraft making, giving them the opportunity to both earn a living and learn a trade. The Ranthambhore School of Art consists of painters and students from surrounding villages and towns popular for their paintings that depicts the majestic tigers of Ranthambore. Dastkar is a craft enterprise run by a NGO which captivates you with block printing stuff and well-made artifacts. You can learn the art of block printing as well as shop them. They sell shawls, kurtas, bedspreads, household linen of all hues.
If you are game for a fascinating trip and want to spend your special time amidst natural beauty, Ranthambore National Park is the answer for you. A view of tigers roaming around, lush greenery, a gamut of other species of animals and chirpy birds; what more one can ask for?