Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering entire area of 392 km². It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 110 km northeast of Kota and 140 km southeast of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away. The park is also close to the Kota railway station. RIDCOR operates a mega-highway between Kota and Ranthambore. Ranthambore National Park lies at the edge of a plateau and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambore fortress, which lies within the park.

Ranthambore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include the Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.

Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. Tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambore National Park are in November and May. The park's deciduous forests are characteristic examples of the type of jungle found in Central India. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear, southern plains gray langur, rhesus macaque and chital. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.

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Features

Forests: The Park terrain alternates between dry deciduous forests and open grassy meadow. The flora of the park includes 539 species of flowering plants.

Tigers: Ranthambore is one of the best national parks in the country for spotting a tiger. The majestic predator can be spotted ambling or basking under the sun.

Safari Rides: Rides are carried out at 6:30 and 14:30. Each ride lasts for about three hours. There are two options of vehicles for the safari: 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. Each ride costs around Rs700-800 per person. The core park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go to one of those zones. Visitors often take multiple tours, as tiger spotting is rare. There are many resorts to stay in on the way from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.

Ranthambore Fort: The majestic fort, built in the 10th century, towers over the entire park area. It stands 700 feet above the surrounding plain. Inside the fort, there are three red Karauli stone temples devoted to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. There is a Digamber Jain temple of Lord Sumatinath (5th Jain Tirthankar) and Lord Sambhavanath. The temples were constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Padam Talao: This is the largest of the many lakes located in the park. A red sandstone Jogi Mahal can be found at the edge of the lake. A gigantic banyan tree, considered to be India’s second largest, is also near the lake.

Transportation

Air: Jaipur, 160 km away, is the nearest airport to Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary.

Rail: Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, which lies on the Delhi to Mumbai trunk route. The city is a stop for many trains, including Jaipur - Indore Super Fast, Dayodaya Express (Ajmer - Jabalpur Express), Jodhpur - Indore Intercity, Hazrat Nizamuddin - Indore Express, Marusagar Express (Ajmer - Ernakulam Express / Ernakulam Express), Jaipur - Mysore Express, Jaipur - Chennai Express, Jaipur - Coimbatore Express, Jodhpur - Puri Express, Jodhpur - Bhopal Express, Jodhpur - Indore Intercity, and the August Kranti Delhi to Mumbai Rajdhani Express.

The Jaipur - Indore Super Fast connects Sawai Madhopur to a major city of Madhya Pradesh, Indore Junction. There is also a Kota Jan Shatabdi Express train, from Kota to the national capital of Delhi via Sawai Madhopur. Other trains include Kota - Hanumangarh Express, Sawai Madhopur-Mathura Passenger and Jaipur-Kota Passenger. Kota - Patna Express connects Sawai Madhopur and Patna via Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi.

Luxury trains: The Palace on Wheels, The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharajas' Express, and The Indian Maharaja make a scheduled stop at Sawai Madhopur on their eight-day round trips to tourist destinations.

Roads: A network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town, to all the major cities within the state of Rajasthan. The frequency of direct services is not very great, however. A car or taxi must be hired from Kota to Ranthambore. Kota - Ranthambore is a mega highway and can be covered in 1.5 hours.

Distance chart From Ranthambore

Jaipur: 130 km

Kota: 114 km

Jodhpur: 450 km

Bikaner: 476 km

Udaipur: 401 km

Delhi: 365 km

Ajmer: 258 km

Mount Abu: 555 km

Jaisalmer: 713 km

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