Ranthambhore National Park
The park, which is one of the finest tiger reserves in the country, is one of the best places in the country to see these majestic predators in the wild. It also contains abandoned fortress and lakes. Its 'friendly' tigers have made it one of the most filmed wildlife reserves in the world. Ranthambore was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and became part of Project Tiger in 1973.
The Park covers an area of nearly 400 sq. km. It is set between the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges, and located very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. The varied topography of the national park is home to animals like the jackal, mongoose, sloth bear, leopard, and of course, the tiger. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.
Ranthambore Wildlife Park is dream for wildlife lover and photographers who are interested in wildlife photography. This park has very good accommodation facility and transportation facilities inside the park. This park is opened from October and closes around May every year. Park is famous for its tiger sightseeing, which is captured in various different books.
Flora and fauna
Ranthambore National Park is famous for its Tigers and is a favorite with photographers. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora - species list includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles including the Marsh Crocodile & amphibians and 30 mammals.
For the wildlife savvy, Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary today offers an intense diversity of flora and fauna. Tigers, the park's pride makes it one of the best places in the country to observe them. Apart from that a large numbers of Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards and a large number of birds.
The landscape is dotted with ancient Banyan Trees, Dhok & Pipal trees, clusters of mango trees and crisscrossed with evergreen belts. The terrain is made up of massive rock formations, steep scarps, perennial lakes and streams and forest suddenly opening up into large areas of Savannah. The terrain of Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with Dhok, being the most prominent tree.
Ranthambore National Park is open from 1st October to 30th June (July - September closed to visitors). A good time to visit is between November and May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common.
Tourists should always carry the cloths according to the season, they are visiting the Ranthambore National Park as summers are very hot and winters are very cold.
In summer time tourists should always expect a hot day out in Ranthambore Park as the day temperature can soar in between 35 to 47 degree centigrade. Tourists can expect this temperature, if they are visiting this park in the month of April and June.
Winter season is totally opposite to the summer time. Winter season, especially from November to February, morning drives in the park can be very freezing and even if you wear many layers of cloths, they can be insufficient for you. Day time remain pleasant during winters and you can even enjoy the outing in thin layer t-shirts but again in the evening it starts freezing cold.
Distance by rail: Delhi - 362 km, Agra - 227 km, Mumbai - 1027 km, Kota - 108 km, Jaipur - 132 km
Distance by road: Delhi - 480 km (via Dausa), Jaipur - 180 km (via Tonk)
At the entrance to the park you will have to pay ONLY for usage of your video-camera. Foto-cameras are used free of charge.
There are only 2 safari visiting hours per day. Self travellers are recommended to book their canters or gypsy for zone 1, 2 or 3 at 5 am for 6 am safari or 12.30 for 2.30 pm safari from Project Tiger Booking Office opp New ST Stand at start point of most resorts on Ranthambore road. Zone Allotments are computerised and random based on the Reserve Management. The PTBO is generally crowded with agents but self travellers and groups have special window for canter booking and drivers themselves arrange the guides who take extra payment as 'fees' from canter passengers. Foreigners booking self at PTBO are required to show their passports.
One can get around nearly all tourist spots, town landmarks and PTBO by service jeep or sharing gaddi that ferry locals up and down. If one is going by Auto then one has to bargain by proposing below half price... and conversing....
Take all the safaris you can (in the morning at 6:30 and in the afternoon at 14:30). You need a certain amount of luck to see a tiger (about 1 in 4 chance), but there are plenty of other wonderful sights. It is better to book the safaris via the official website the same time you book your hotel. Your hotel will also be able to secure tickets for you (in some cases, this maybe the only way to secure a "Gypsy" vehicle at late notice), but you will likely be charged a higher mark-up compared with purchasing the tickets from the government website yourself. The number of entries to the park are restricted daily by the government, so be sure to book in advance . This is just the reservation, as you will need to bring a printout to the booking office upon arrival in Sawai Madhopur to confirm your excursion (and pay extra fees beyond the online deposit for your vehicle). The office opens very early at 5am, so you can plan to head here first thing in the morning, then be picked up directly there. Avoid the long lines (where locals line up to try to get on the daily safaris), and head to the window on the far left with your online booking printout where you will get confirmation tickets.
There are two choices of vehicle for going on the safari, an all wheel drive jeep called a "Gypsy" (which seat up to 6 visitors) or 16 or 20 seater safari bus called a "Canter". The 16 seater is the petrol version and is a bit quieter than the 20 seater diesel version. A diesel/petrol canter safari costs 500/530rs for a non-Indian and a jeep safari 600rs for a non-Indian, but jeeps are more mobile and everything is better seen from them.
The Park area open for tourists is divided into five zones, the zone is allotted by a computerized system at the park office (since the park is a nature reserve only a limited number of cars can enter it and they are obliged to follow only one of the five routes). The main park area (zones 1-5) is best as the majority of tigers live here, but if full Kundal is not a bad 2nd option (5 out of the park's 32 tigers live here). Stay away from Balas as there are few animals here (nice scenery and remnant temples, but the reason you came here was to see wildlife).
Handicrafts Paintings ground nuts Rajasthani dresses
Asha, Opp Station, ☎ 07642-220537. 10 am check out. 400-600. Asha Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner opp Sawai Madhopur station is recommended by auto drivers for best eating options. It has a lodge above it and is recommended for those arriving at stations and who prefer self travelling. Phone booking is not recommended but there is a nosy attendant who works 24X7 when u check in in person.
It goes without saying that it is NECESSARY to take warm things (including gloves, caps, fur-coats and blanckets) for the morning (and even evening) safari in winter. Since it is very cold before sunrise and after sunset and you will drive in an open car, you can get frozen through.