- Bandhavgarh National Park
- Bandipur National Park
- Corbett National Park
- Dudhwa National Park
- Gir National Park
- Kanha National Park
- Kaziranga National Park
- Keoladeo National Park
- Manas National Park
- Nagarhole National Park
- Nandan Kanan National Park
- Ranthambore National Park
- Sariska National Park
- Sunderban National Park
Ranthambore National Park
An Introduction to Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is located among the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges in the state of Rajasthan. It falls under the district of Sawai Madhopur, which is also the nearest town located 14 kilometers from the park. The entire area has sprawling tracts of the desert and semi-desert vegetation. Originally a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1980, it became a national park and listed among the reserves protected under Project Tiger (1973). Presently the Kaila Devi Sanctuary, also famous for its tigers, and Mansingh Sanctuary also form part of Ranthambore Reserve.
The park covers an area of approximately 400 sq km but if combined with the neighbouring forest area of the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary, they total up to an area of just above 500 sq km. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of "Project Tiger". It got it's status of a National Park in 1981.
The vegetation in the park is generally of a dry deciduous type. There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants. A huge fort, after which the park is named, towers over the park atop a hill. There are many ruins of bygone eras scattered all over the jungle, which give it a unique, wonderful and mixed flavour of nature, history and wildlife.
In 1986, the tiger count of the park stood at 40 wonderful specimens, one of whom was the famous tiger named Genghis. This tiger became world famous for his pioneering tactics and efforts at hunting prey in the lake waters.
Other tigers learnt these tactics from watching him and the implementation of his methods could be seen till recently in the park, even long after he has been gone. He was also famous for his fights with the lake's resident crocs over kills, which more often than not, he wrestled out of their very mouths. The tiger population then on suffered drastically due to poaching and general neglect. The numbers are said to have gone down to as low as 4 to 7 tigers.
This shook up the concerned authorities and a major effort has resulted in the steady growth of numbers once again, which now stands at around 20.
These tigers are famous for being seen in the daytime too, due to their lack of fear of human presence in vehicles. This lack of fear of humans is excellent for tourists, as they get to see the tigers often.
However, this adds to the woes of the park authorities because it makes the same tigers easier targets for poachers during the off season. Over all, this park is a wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. It offers excellent accommodation and internal transportation facilities. The park remains open every year from October to May.
Ranthambore National park contains a huge variety of animals, birds and reptiles within it. Primarlily the population consists of...
Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Rufoustailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Coomon 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.
The amphibian species only consist of the Common India Toad and the Common Frog.
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 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. In total, a list of 272 species have been documented. Some of the best locations to watch birds at, and from, are Malik Talao, the Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh Talao, Padam Talao and in the Jhalra area.
In the winters the temprature is aroud 2 degree centigrade and in summers it rises all the way upto 47 degree centigrade.
The ideal time for visiting the park is between November and February for excellent weather and in April May for the best chances of seeing tigers.
Getting there :
The best way of getting to the Ranthambore National park is by taking a train to Sawai Madhopur, which falls on the main Delhi - Bombay route. It is also directly connected with Jaipur.
The nearest airport is Jaipur, which is 132 km away.