Deriving its name from one of India’s oldest, largest and most stunning fortresses that stands imperially, an imposing structure 700 feet above the fertile forestland, the Ranthambhore National Park is a widely acclaimed sanctuary. Nestled in the south-eastern region of Rajasthan, this National Park – former hunting ground of the game loving Maharaja’s of Jaipur has today been converted into a core participant of tiger conservation, being an integral battlefield of Project Tiger.
The tenth century Ranthambhore Fort has stood witness to the changing faces of the earth, from precipitous ravines to the web cast by the overflowing streams and lakes intercepting the forest floor. A few Rajput and Mughal monuments lay in shambles amidst lush foliage, giving us a glimpse into the regions celebrated past. The terrain is moody, altering from invincible forests to exposed fields and everything in between. Scattered across it are some gorgeous recreational palaces, guard posts, rest houses and watch towers that were once occupied by the ever changing inhabitants of the citadel, singing praises of the valour and strife that happened to occur in this expansive playground.
For ten centuries the area has seen a constant battle of dominance between the Bhilwala Tribe, the Nagil Jats, Hada Rajput’s, the Rana’s of Mewar, Bahadur Shah, Akbar and even the Kachwaha Maharaja’s of Jaipur, but today it is ruled by the striped predator – the tiger.
Besides the gloriously coated tiger, other animals that continue to live here are the leopard, jungle cat, antelope, sloth bear, marsh crocodile and hyena to name a few. This park doesn’t fail to impress ornithologists as it houses over 350 bird species and attracts migratory birds during the cold winter months from as far as Siberia. Even in terms of flora, the park has widespread varieties of plant life that charm eager naturalists. Besides the wilderness, the promising backdrop of the fort is a magnet for photography aficionados.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is the single largest expanse of dry deciduous Anogeissus pendula Forest which has been left intact in India. It is home to over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 40 species of reptiles and over 300 species of plants. Currently, as per the available data, it is home to over 45 adult tigers & 16 cubs.
Situated in the desert state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore’s flagship species is Panthera Tigris Tigris- the Indian or the Bengal tiger. The forest remains dry for more than eight months in a year & therefore the chances of spotting this elusive big cat are much higher as compared to any other tiger reserve in India.
The Story of Ranthambore
1955- The reserve was earlier being established as the Sawai Madhopur Gaming Sanctuary by the Government of India.
1973- It was declared as one of the Project Tiger Reserves in India.
1980- Ranthambore became a National Park.
1984- The adjacent forests were declared as Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.
1991- The Tiger Reserve was enlarged to include Sawai Mansingh and Kaladevi Sanctuaries.
The Ranthambore National Park is best known for it's tiger population and is one of the perfect destinations in India to witness the majestic predators in the jungle living naturally. It is the only reserve in the region where the tigers can be easily witnessed at any point of time. This is the reason why the region is superbly famous for the tiger tours.
|Area:||1334 Square Kilometers|
|Core Area:||392 Square Kilometers (National Park Area)|
|Elevation:||350 meters above mean sea level|
|Annual Rainfall:||800 mm|
|Monsoon:||July to September (during this time the park remains closed)|
|Summer:||Mid-March to July|
|Winter:||October to mid-March|
The Park remains closed between July and September.
The forest authorities decide the Park entry and exit timings, and these are subject to change without previous notice.
The general timings are as follows:
|October to February||March to June|
|7.00 am to 10.30 am & 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm||6.30 am to 10.00 am & 3.00 pm to 6.30 pm|
Climate of Ranthambhore
Ranthambhore has three very well defined seasons – summers, winters and monsoons. October and March are the time when the weather changes from monsoons to winters and from winters to summers, respectively.
Summers start during the end of March and last through the months of April, May and June. During this season the days are very hot and dry. During May and June the maximum day temperature crosses 40 degrees Centigrade and the minimum night temperature still hovers around 30 degrees Centigrade. During the day, hot and dry winds. Most of the ungulates and the large predators spend the summer months in the valleys. The maximum day temperature often crosses 45 degrees C in May and June, when the relative humidity is at its lowest. The monsoons or the rainy season lasts from July to September.
The winter season lasts from November to February. The night temperature stays below 10 degrees Centigrade, while the day temperature hovers around the 20 degree Centigrade mark. There is often some rain and fog during the mid-winters. During December and January the lowest night time temperature goes down to 2 degrees C.