Ranthambore National Park is located in the historic town of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. For wildlife tourism, Sawai Madhopur is an important destination in India. It beautifully nests in the foothills of the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges. It is one of the most beautiful getaways to have a thrilling holiday. It is located strategically to provide exotic sightings of exotic and wild animals and you can explore raw nature at its best. You can witness the abundance of flora and fauna and have a great time in the tranquil ambiance of the forest. Along with witnessing the most beautiful predator, Royal Bengal Tiger, you can also spot a lot of bird and wildlife species.
Ranthambore National Park – Total Land Area
Stretched over 392 sq. km, Ranthambore National Park has a buffer zone spread over 110 sq. km and a core area stretched over 282 sq. km. The tiger reserve was established in 1973 when it stretched over 334 sq. km. It covered the Sawai Man Singh and Kailaladevi sanctuaries in 1991 and expanded the area to 1334 sq. km in total for Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
Jungle Safari in Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park is well known to offer a huge range of safari options to spot tigers and provide a thrilling experience. Ranthambore is known for grasslands and dry deciduous forests. It is one of the best wildlife attractions to spot tigers in India. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is stretched over a total land area of over 1700 sq. km, including buffer and core zones. It attracts wildlife enthusiasts, wildlife photographers, and tourists from different parts of the world.
Full day and Half day safari
You can explore the wildlife at your own pace by choosing a half day or full-day safari in Ranthambore. The Forest Department started half-day and full-day safaris in 2016. Along with usual morning and afternoon safaris for 3 hours, one can also avail of half and full-day safaris from zones 6 to 10 only. With half and full-day safaris, tourists can explore zone 1 to zone 5 during usual safari hours and they can explore the rest of the zones in the remaining time.
For full and half-day safaris, new rules have been introduced by the forest department as of October 2019. In zone 1 to 5, tourists can travel for 3 and a ½ hours from zone 1 to zone 5 during normal hours. They can travel to other safari zones from zone 6 to zone 10 during the rest of the time.
Earlier, all safari zones were available for full and half-day safaris in Ranthambore. Later on, only zones 6 to 10 have been available for those safari services. Only 5 jeeps can enter the park. These vehicles are GPS enabled and they can roam in zones 6 to 10. Only 5 passengers are allowed in a jeep, along with a driver and a guide.
For tourists heading for half and full-day safaris, no restrictions have been imposed. They can choose any zones from 6 to 10 in the park to visit. During normal hours, they can also explore zones 1 to 5. You can get entry to the park at least 15 minutes before normal safari hours and stay up to 15 hours late with half-day and full-day safaris.
The time slot for a half-day safari is from 6 am to 12 pm and from 12 pm to 6 pm by private jeep. On the other side, the time slot for a full-day safari is 6 am to 6 pm for tourists.
Sightseeing in and around Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest forts in India. It is around 13 km from Sawai Madhopur station and is located just in the heart of Ranthambore National Park. The heritage fort was built somewhere around 944 AD. It was once the symbol of pride and heroism of Rajput rulers from different kingdoms. It was the exclusive hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur at the time of the imperial era and the independence of India.
Trinetra Ganesha Temple
At the entrance of Ranthambore Fort, Trinetra Ganesha Temple is the only temple of its kind and is a very popular pilgrimage attraction. It is a special temple because it has Lord Ganesha’s idol with Riddhi and Siddhi. It has a unique tradition where devotees send invitation letters to Lord Ganesha if any auspicious occasion happens in their family. There are thousands of postal invitation letters sent to the temple and the pujari reads each and every letter to the idol.
It is also located in the heart of Ranthambore forest. Earlier, it was a rest house for the Maharajas of Jaipur when they used to visit Ranthambore for hunting. This palace is located in the heart of the jungle by Padam Talao. It also has India’s second-largest banyan tree nearby.
You can’t just overlook the beauty of this lake while exploring the forest. It is one of the biggest lakes in Ranthambore and welcomes lots of migratory and resident birds.
How to Reach?
Sawai Madhopur Railway Station has direct rail connectivity to all major cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, and others. The closest airport to Ranthambore is Jaipur which has direct flights from all major cities in India. Even international flights land at Jaipur International Airport. After reaching Jaipur, tourists can reach Ranthambore by road or train.
By Road – Ranthambore has great road connectivity to all towns and major cities by state bus service. Taxis and private buses can also take you from Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Jodhpur, and Ajmer.
By Air – Sanganer Airport, Jaipur is the closest airport to Ranthambore. It is around 180 km from Jaipur. You can take regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and other major cities.
By Rail – It is the easiest way to reach Ranthambore. Sawai Madhopur Railway station is just 10 km away from there. After reaching the station, any cab, taxi, or local bus can take you to Ranthambore National Park.
Best Time to Visit
Ranthambore National Park opens from October to June and remains closed during monsoons. Here’s what to expect when you visit Ranthambore in each season –
Winter – It is known to be the best time because you won’t suffer the extreme heat of summer. The winter months start from October till March when the temperature hovers around 10℃ to 30℃. You can easily spot wildlife in broad daylight during this season.
Summer – If you are visiting Ranthambore especially to spot tigers and other mammals, do plan your visit from April to June. Water holes are the common places where animals visit to stay hydrated. But keep in mind that mercury rises up to 35 degrees C to 40 degrees C.
Ranthambore National Park is known to be very diverse in its landscapes, especially with different lakes, ancient ruins, water holes, deciduous and dry forests, and lush greens in several small hills. So, it houses a variety of wildlife, birds, and reptiles. It is well regarded for its sheer beauty and grass to amaze wildlife lovers through different safari options.