Ranthambore National Park has its own charm and stature as one of the most popular and biggest national parks in India. Located around Aravali Hills, Ranthambore national Park is stretched over the total area of 1334 sq. km and national park area is spread over 394 sq. km. The Royal Bengal tigers are living peacefully here and proudly calling it their natural habitat. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is well regarded among wildlife lovers and tigers can easily be spotted during the visit.
It attracts thousands of tiger lovers from different parts of the world all the year round. Machli was the most popular tigress in the jungles of Ranthambore who died in 2016 but a lot of stories are being shared by forest guides about her earlier days. Her strength and braveness are still the inspiration to several wildlife documentaries, TV shows and movies. There is nothing greater than watching these wild beasts in their habitat at such a close distance.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, Ranthambore Fort is India’s one of ancient forts and is well regarded for its historical importance. The fort is located around 13 km from Sawai Madhopur railway station in the boundaries of Ranthambore National Park. This heritage fort has seen centuries-old history of Rajasthan and it was supposed to be built around 944 AD. Ranthambore Fort was built strategically as the pride and valor of Rajput rulers and, hence captured by several kingdoms. The Maharaja of Jaipur was the ruler of this fort before the abolition of the imperial era and Independence of India. The Royals of Jaipur used the forests of Ranthambore as their hunting ground.
It is a 6-seater open air vehicle which is available for safari during the morning and evening. Jeep safari is provided in all of the 10 safari zones. A total of 20 jeeps are allowed at a time to enter the national park. These are Forest Department registered vehicles available for small groups. It is the best choice for special tours like birdwatching, tiger sighting, bird photography, wildlife photography, and tiger photography. It is recommended to book gypsy at least 6-7 weeks in advance. You can book gypsy safaris from October 1 to June 30.
It is definitely a great and cost-effective way to explore the rich wilderness of the national park. It is an open-air 20-seater vehicle which operates in some of its wildlife zones. Canter is well regarded for groups who can go for this option instead of booking 2-3 additional jeeps. You can book canter safari in advance and it is available for both morning and evening safaris. These safaris are offered from October 1 to June 30.
Ranthambore national park has ten safari zones in total. Initially, there were 5 zones only in the park. Later on, the management added 5 other zones considering its popularity. Zone 1 to Zone 5 is known for having higher chances for tiger sightings. But in terms of bird watching and spotting the rare red headed vultures and diverse landscapes, Zone 6 to zone 10 is different.
Zone 1 – It houses T-39 and T-57 tigers and it is more of a buffer zone with entrance through Singh Dwar. With the return of T-39 (Noor), this zone has enjoyed great popularity with several sightings. This zone has different spots to find big cats like Amreshwar Dang, Tuti ka Nalla, Peela Pani, Sultanpur, and Gada Dub.
Zone 2 – It has a good number of tiger sightings due to water holes, such as T19, T72, T22, T28, T57, and T39. Phuta Kot, Jogi Mahal, Lahpur Tiraha, Phuta Bandha, and Nal Ghati are some of the famous spots to find tigers and leopards.
Zone 3 – Some of the primary points for tiger sightings are Padam Talab, Jogi Mahal, Raj Bagh, High Point, and Mandook.
Zone 4 – It has a lot of vantage points where you can spot even the most rarely seen big cats like T28, T75, T25, T64 and T19. Some of the famous points of attractions here are Adidaant, Singh Dwar, Malik Talab, Tamakhan, Lambi, Lakkad Da, and berda.
Zone 5 – Its entry is similar to that of Zone 4 and these zones also share some common spots for tiger sighting.
Later on, zones 6-10 were included in the sanctuary and their entrance is located just opposite to the gates of zones 1-10. The canters and gypsies pass from the old city to enter these zones.
Kundal (Zone 6) – Its landscape is quite different from zones 1 to 5 and it is known for having huge mountains in the background and more open grasslands. You can choose this zone for bird watching and Indian gazelle.
Chidikho (Zone 7) – As compared to other zones, it has fewer points and Kushalipura, Rajbagh Naka, Jamoda, and Chidikho are some of the best vantage points.
Balas (Zone 8) – The tigers which roam in zone 7 often enter into this zone. Some of the common spots are Kherai, Balas, Neemli Dang, Kali, and Mahakho.
Kuwal ji (Zone 9) – It is located on Chakal River banks and houses Fateh (T-42) who is a very aggressive male tiger known for being captured on trap cams hunting a sloth bear and he also chases the vehicles of the forest department. This zone also houses sloth bears, caracals, and aquatic birds.
Aantri (Zone 10) – This zone is known for both tiger spotting and bird watching activities. T-13, T-42 and T-43 are highly spotted at Kushalipura, Aantri, Halonda, Bodal, and Banskhori.
Flora and Fauna in Ranthambore
Ranthambore is well regarded for its unique diversity of flora and fauna due to which a lot of wildlife tourists visit Rajasthan from different parts of the world.
Fauna in Ranthambore Reserve
Ranthambore houses a variety of species of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Along with Royal Bengal Tigers, Ranthambore National Park houses a rich population of sloth bears, leopards, and various species of deer like marsh crocodile, spotted deer, jackal, palm civet, waterfowl and serpent eagle. Some of the reptile species found in the national park are desert monitor lizards, snub nosed marsh crocodiles, banded kraits, tortoise, common kraits, cobras, Indian pythons, rat snakes, Indian Chameleon, and Russel’s vipers.
Ranthambore is known for captivating natural surroundings and tranquility which are really a delight to watch and relaxing. This land is truly a diverse site for nature walks. It has over 300 different species of vegetation. It receives very limited rainfall. So, it mainly has dry deciduous forests. Dhok is the most common plant in Ranthambore. Over 3/4th of vegetation is covered by this tropical tree. Some other major trees here are Pipal, Banyan, and Neem which are known for their medicinal and religious values in India. Some of the common fruit trees found here are Tamarind, Mango, Indian blackberry (Jamun), and Ber. Few other flora species found here are Gum, Babul, Gurjan, Khair, Kadam, Khajur, Khimi, Salar, and others. Water lilies and lotus are the main aquatic flowers.
Ranthambore National Park is well regarded as the well-known heritage site as it is dotted with wildlife and historic ruins. A visit to this national park is truly a treat to your eyes. You can spend such a great time watching the verdant greens, tigers roaming around, and a gamut of animals and chirpy birds.