Located in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, this national park is renowned for being one of the biggest parks in Northern India and home to a fierce class of big cats, tigers. Ranthambore National Park is the name by which it is known by the locals and the tourists. Located in the lap of Vindhyas and Aravali hill ranges, this park is known for its rich biodiversity, rare species of flora and fauna, Chambal river, celebrity tigers, lush green meadows and surreal views.
Summers can be very hot to enjoy sightseeing and jungle safari rides, hence planning a visit in winters or after the monsoon can be a great idea. August to March are the best months to explore the park and witness a pleasant climate.
History of Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park was established in the year 1980 along with the Sawai Mann Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary which later got merged into the Ranthambore National Park in 1991. The national park was once the most popular hunting spot for the kings of Jaipur and was named after Ranthambhor fort. Ranthambore National Park covers an area of approximately 392 square kilometres. The national park was included in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites in the year 2013.
The park is known to accommodate more than 300 species of plants. A few most common among them are Dhok, Banyan, Pipal, Neem, Jamun, Indian Blackberry, Ber and Tamarind. For animals and wildlife lovers, this place is a paradise because one will get to spot countless animals and birds such as fishing cat, jungle cat, sloth bear, jackal, striped hyena, python, crocodile, sambhar deer, and nilgai.
Ranthambore National Park is also known for the popular breed of tigers that it homes that are native to Asia and are known as Royal Bengal Tigers. T-24 Ustad, T-17 Machali, T-39 Mala, T-25 Dollar are some of the most popular, and most photographed tigers of the park. In the year 1973, Project Tiger was started in a defined area of the park for the development and preservation of tigers and later the area was given the status of a National Park.
Major Attractions in and Around Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan
1. Ranthambore National Park Safari. Jeep Safari (Jeep) and Canter Safari (Open Truck) are the best ways to explore the park and admire the animals and birds in their natural habitat. Jeep safari includes a maximum of 6 people while the canter safari comprises of 20 people. Two trips are conducted by the department, one early in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The Ranthambore National park safari timings vary depending upon the season you are visiting in but usually, the morning trip leaves around 6 am and the afternoon trip around 2 pm.
2. Chambal River Safari. Popularly known as crocodile safari, this safari takes you on an adventurous rendezvous with the 'Gharial' a species of crocodile. Chambal river is also home to many resident and migrant birds. Some of the most popular ones are Ferruginous duck, Sarus crane, black-necked stork, and common crane.
3. Bird Watching. Although Ranthambore is a national park dedicated to tigers, it has much more than just that. If you are interested in watching birds chirp and capturing their sight in your camera then Ranthambore is the place to be. The park is home to more than 300 species of birds. Minivets, kingfishers, bee-eaters, Asian palm swift, pipits, sparrows, gulls, woodpeckers, dove, spoonbills, wagtails, mynas, shell ducks, pintails are among the most popular birds of this park.
4. Village Trip. The national park is surrounded by many villages where one can explore the simple yet unique village lifestyle. Apart from the warm hospitality of the locals, one will get to listen to the tales of the popular celebrity tigers and the secrets of the jungle.
How to Reach Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore is a famous tiger reserve that welcomes tourists all around the year. If you are a nature or a wildlife lover then this is the place that you must explore. If you are planning to reach the national park by roadways then you have to cover a distance of approx 400, 1,000, 1,500 and 1800 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Mentioned below are some best travel options to reach Ranthambore National Park.
By Road. You may reserve a seat on the inter-state tourist buses to Rajasthan to reach the Ranthambore National Park. One way fare for buses from Delhi starts with Rs.400, and from Jaipur Rs.190. The price may go up to Rs.1000 and above in case you opt to travel via a luxury bus. Listed below is the estimate of distance in kilometres and the best route to take in order to reach the national park.
Delhi - 400 km via NH 48
Neemrana - 270 km via NH 48
Gwalior - 285 km via NH 23
Kota - 140 km via Lalsot-Kota Mega Highway
Jaipur - 190 km via NH 52
By Rail. Sawai Madhopur Railway Junction is the nearest railway station to the national park. The railway station is connected via trains to all the major metropolitan cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru. Some popular trains to Sawai Madhopur are H Nizamuddin Mumbai Central AC Special, Mewar Express, and Paschim Express. From the station, one has to cover the distance of 13km by bus or taxi to reach the park. You can consider traveling by the following direct train if you have opted for a rail journey.
Jaipur - Intercity Express, Hisar Kota Express, Dayodaya Express
Jodhpur - JU BPL Express, Intercity-Express
By Air. Jaipur Airport is the nearest airport to the national park and is 145km away. The airport receives regular direct flights from all the metropolitan cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, and Lucknow. You can choose to fly with the following airlines via their direct flights to Jaipur.