The fort of Ranthambhor has been abandoned to nature for in this national park, the tiger has right of stay. One of the country's finest tiger reserves, its topography of low hills and large lakes provides a tranquil idyll.
Ranthambhore National Park, before a princely game conserve is the scene where the celebrated Indian Tiger is best seen. Ranthambhor Tiger Reserve lies on the junction of Aravali and Vindhyas just 14 Kms from Sawai Madhopur in Eastern Rajasthan. It sprawls over a varying and undulating landscape.
The scenery changes dramatically from gentle and steep slopes of the Vindhyas and sharp and conical hills of the Aravali. A tenth century fort also blends amicably with the background.
A significant geological feature within the park is the 'Great Boundary Fault' where the Vindhaya plateau meets the Aravali range. The Rivers Chambal in the South and the Banas in the North bound the National Park.
The park is dotted with steep rocky hills and the dominating architecture of Ranthambhore Fort (built in the 10th century), adds to its landscape. The rugged park terrain alternates between dry deciduous forest, open grassy meadow, dotted by several lakes and rivers that are only made passable by rough roads built and maintained by the Forest Service.
The tiger is not the only attraction at Ranthambhor; although it is the one park resident that people come to see. A variety of birds including Owlets, the ubiquitous Langur (monkey), Leopard, Caracal, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, marsh Crocodiles, Wild Boar, Bears and various species of Deer are the other attractions.
Ranthambhore is plagued by the typical problems encountered by all game reserves in India - people living in and around the parks and grazing by livestock! Between 1976-1979, 12 villages within Ranthambhor National Park were resettled outside the designated park area with only a few people now residing in scattered hamlets within the park.
Of course poachers continue their activities with increasing demand from China for Tiger parts. There are no accurate figures on how many tigers and poachers kill other species, but on occasion evidence appears in the form of large numbers of skins and other body parts found on couriers.
The park is well staffed and the folk who man the centres and the mandatory guides - one for every vehicle, are knowledgeable of the terrain and some even know the Latin names of most species.
The tiger is not the only attraction at Ranthambhor; although it is the one park resident people come to see. We were lucky to see several varieties of birds including these owlets peering through their burrow pictured here on the right and of course the ubiquitous langur monkey. Other animals in the reserve include leopard, caracal, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, marsh crocodiles, wild boar, bears and various species of deer.
The main food source for the tiger is the swamp deer like Barasinsga and on occasion the wild buffalo and also wild boar etc. If you wish to stay near the park, the facilities on offer are superb. The park gates open a half hour before sunrise and close half hour after sunset. The timings are vigorously imposed and no exceptions are made to this rule.
Like oil lamps flickering in the wind, the world's tiger population is unhurriedly being snuffed out. Several books and literature have been produced to describe the most intriguing, the most powerful and the most majestic of all animals. The Hindu tradition and culture have a place of honor and worship for tiger.
In India people had added Singh, Sher and Nahar on their names to upgrade their class. Yet people have been incredibly scant to the cause of the tiger. This web site aims in graphics, pictures and prose to advance the level of wakefulness and concern for this mythical and secretive striped beauty that placidly roams the jungles.
There is enormous pressure on the habitat of the tigers, the Ranthambhore Foundations hopes to strike an ecological balance and complete harmony between man and the beast.
Ganesh Chaturthi (August - September of every year):
Perched on Ranthambore Fort is the temple of Lord Ganesha. Every year thousand of people gather here in honour of Lord Ganesha's birthday, in the month of August - September.
There are about 42 tigers in Ranthambore National Park. A good network of gravel tracks crisscross the park and safaris are undertaken in open-sided jeeps driven by ranger.
How to reach Ranthambore:
By Air :The nearest airport is at Jaipur which connected to all the major cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jodhpur.
By Bus : Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe from Jaipur to Ranthambore. The roads are very good, and it takes around 4-5 hrs from Jaipur. You can also come by taxi.
By Train : The nearest railhead is at Ranthambore is connected to many major cities of India. There are daily trains from Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai.
Jeeps can be hired from several places, the main ones being the RTDC. Private jeeps are also available.