Mother with cubs @ Aditya Singh
Jungle cat at Ranthambhore @ Aditya Singh
One of the finest parks to photograph Tigers @ Aditya Singh
Tiger sitting in a stone Chattri @ Aditya Singh
Tiger with the Ranthambhore Fort in the background @ Aditya Singh
Painted Sandgrouse is one of the avian highlights of Ranthambhore @ Aditya Singh
Ranthambhore National ParkSawai Madhopur, India
Set against the backdrop of a historic 1000-year-old fort, Ranthambhore marks the culmination of the ancient ranges of the Vindhyas’ flat-topped hills and the sharp ridges of the Aravallis. The forests around the historic fort were once the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It was this desire to preserve wild game for sport that gave the area some protection. By 1972 Ranthambhore was one of the nine core reserves under Project Tiger.
Ranthambhore’s uniqueness lies in its man-made lakes and ancient reservoirs, which have merged into the natural system as vital sources of water, dotted with ruins of mosques, tombs, watchtowers and palaces scattered within the park. The scenic water bodies of Padam Talao, Malik Talao and Raj Bagh, with the spectacular fort in the background, are images that are permanently etched onto your mind. The vegetation is typically dry deciduous forest with moderate to scanty undergrowth in flat valleys. The reserve has a rich faunal assemblage and the sparse vegetation allows excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. The tracks follow the general lay of the land taking you through the largest expanse of dry deciduous forest in the country.
One of the finest places to observe Tigers, often seen hunting their prey in broad daylight, Ranthambhore also has a host of other predators such as the Leopard, Caracal, Sloth Bear and Jungle Cat. Dholes (Indian Wild Dogs), though uncommon here, were occasionally sighted in the recent past. The prey species include Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chinkara and the Wild Boar. Scavengers like Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal, Ruddy & Common Mongoose and the Indian Fox are also present. Northern Indian Plains Langur is the most common primate species. Marsh Crocodiles, which were introduced to Ranthambhore, abound in the lakes and regularly take down Sambar feeding in the lakes during summer.
Of the 330 species of birds reported at Ranthambhore, the notable ones are Jungle and Rock Bush Quails, Painted Sandgrouse, Painted Spurfowl, Indian Vulture, White-naped and Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Scops Owl, Dusky Eagle Owl, Xinjiang and Southern Grey Shrike, Ashy-crowned Finch Lark, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Savanna Nightjar, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Sulphur bellied Warbler, Indian Thicknee and White-bellied Drongo. In the areas adjoining the park, one can spot Greater Flamingo, Demoiselle Crane, Indian Courser, Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Rufous tailed Lark, Gull billed and Whiskered Terns.
- State: Rajasthan
- Area: 1334 sq. km (Combining Core and buffer forest)
- Altitude: 215 to 505 m above mean sea level
- Vegetation: Dry deciduous forest
- Water resources: Chambal river, Lakes and Reservoirs
- Winter: November to February
- Summer: March to June
- Monsoon: July to September
- Rainfall: 800 mm
- Temperature: Min 2°C – Max 45°C