Rantahmbore National Park (Rajasthan)

The former hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambhore National Park was declared a game sanctuary in 1955; it became a national park in 1980. But, with the commissioning of Project Tiger in 1972, it was included in the Ranthambore National Parkproject. The Park sprawls over an estimated area of 400 sq kms. Set between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges, the park is a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins that adds to the beauty of the wildlife park. The landscape is rugged and there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys with lakes and pools. The jungle is dotted with deciduous forests.
There are lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort, overlooking the park. The lovely Jogi Mahal is located at the foot of the fort and gives magnificent view of the Padam Talao, dominated with water lilies.

Sightseeing at Rantahmbore National Park -
The Flora : Ranthambore National ParkThe forests are dry deciduous, with trees of Dhak, Acacia, Ber and Salar.

The Fauna : The tigers are the most rewarding sights in the park. Other inmates of the park are the Antelopes, Nilgai, Sambhar and Chital, which are easy to spot. Those who are lucky enough get to see the Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat and Marsh Crocodile. The lakes and water holes within the Ranthambore National Park are the best spots to see the animals. Ranthambore also boasts of a respectable size of bird population, both resident and migratory. There are about 264 species of birds found within the park. Indian Hare, Mongoose and Monitor Lizards can also spotted.

Ranthambhore Fort : The most spectacular and most popular spot within the park is to the Ranthambore Fort. This fort was built by the Chauhans in the 10th century AD. This fort is famous for the 'Johar' (suicide by immolation to escape humiliation) by Rajput women in 1301 AD during the siege by Ala-ud-din Khilji. The temples and tanks add to the beauty of the fort. The seven gates and massive curtain walls, crowning a fall-topped hill presents a majestic view.

Park Trips : Ranthambore National ParkThe park is toured by a jeep or a lorry, the reservation of which can be done at the Project Tiger Office at Sawai Madhopur. The tour is accompanied by a guide.

Best Season to Visit : October to March.

Reaching Rantahmbore National Park-
By Air : The nearest airport is that of Jaipur, which is about 145 km away. There are regular flights of various airlines
By Rail : Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town from the park provides the nearest railhead for the national park. It is 11 km from Ranthambore.
By Road : From Jaipur one has to take the road to access the national park.

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