RANTHAMBHORE – A TIGER’S PARADISE
Tour Category: Wildlife Photography
Main Attractions: Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Caracal Cat, Birds, UNESCO World heritage site ‘Ranthambhore Fort’
Location: Western Indian State of Rajasthan
Ranthambhore is one of the most renowned national parks in Northern India that covering total forests area of 1333 sq. km including 392.50 sq. km of the core area. The park is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of the Indian state of Rajasthan, which is about 160 km from Jaipur and 380 km drive away from Delhi. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve lies on the junction of Aravali valley and Vindhyas mountain ranges, and a 1000 yrs old Ranthambhore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, blends amicably in the background. Earlier considered as former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. In the late 1940s, the Queen of England with her husband went on hunting of a tiger there. The territory of this national park is surrounding by two rivers – Chambal in Southside, and Banas in Northside. Three big scenic lakes inside the park – Raj Bagh, Malik Talao, and Padam Talao with a massive fort standing in the background are some pictures that catch the attention of every landscape/ wildlife photographer.
Ranthambhore, a dry deciduous jungle, is primarily known as the paradise of Royal Bengal tigers, and apart from this, it has more than 40 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles, and 320 species of birds there. The park has a good population of Leopards, Sloth Bears, Striped Hyenas, Jackals, Caracal Cats, Indian Foxes, and several prey species such as Sambhar, Chital (spotted deer), Blue Bull, Blackbucks, Indian Gazelle, Indian Wild Boar, Hanuman Langurs, Macaques, number of rodent species like Rufous-tailed Hare, Common Yellow Bats, Five Striped Palm Squirrels, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Gerbilles, Long-eared Hedgehogs, Indian Porcupines, Ratels, and Common mongoose. The park also has reptiles species such as Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Tortoise, Desert Monitor Lizards, Cobras, Common Kraits, Banded Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons, Rat Snakes, Saw-scaled Vipers, Russel’s Vipers, and the Indian Chameleon.
There are ten ecotourism zones in Ranthambhore, while allowing the four-wheel-drive jeeps (which seat up to 6 tourists) and 20 seater Canters (open-top roof buses) makes the best ways to enjoy the safaris inside the park. Jeep safaris are available between 1st October and 30th June every year for morning and evening game drive that lasts for approx. 2-3 hrs. Tourists also have the option to be there inside the park for approx 5-6 hrs by choosing Half-day jeep safaris and for approx 10-11 hrs by choosing Full-day jeep safaris options.
- Ranthambhore Fort– This Fort is one of the Six Hill forts of Rajasthan (spread across Rajasthan state), designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ranthambhore Fort has an area of 4.5 km, while the circumstance of its wall is about 7 km. The area around this Fort dotted with the ruins, guard-posts, lake palaces, cupolas, ancient step-wells, temples, cenotaphs, and memorial stones, all bearing witness to the varied and fascinating history of Ranthambhore.
Francois Bernier, a traveler of the 17th century writes as a footnote in his book ‘Travels in the Mogul Empire, 1656-68′, a description of Mogul State prisons in ‘Hindostan’ – “…. the second is at Rantipore (Ranthambhor or Rintimbur, the picturesque ancient rock fortress in the Jeypore State, formerly a stronghold of the Raja of Bundi which transferred to Emperor Akbar) – whither the king sends those whom he has condemned to death.”
- National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary– The Gharial Sanctuary is located at Palghat, Khandar in Sawai Madhopur district, which is adjacent to the banks of the Chambal River. One of the most beautiful and cleanest rivers of India, the Chambal river that is about 50 km away from Ranthambhore and approx one-hour drive journey. There you may experience the crocodile species, known as Gharial, with a Government-authorized speed motorboat ride. Apart from Gharial, you may experience more than 315 species of migrant or resident birds and breeding sites of Indian Skimmer, nearly 30 species of fishes, eight species of turtles, Smooth-coated otter, and Gangetic Dolphins, near the Chambal Sanctuary.
- Soorwal Lake– We may consider the Soorwal lake/ dam visit for birding. This lake is approx. 10 Km/ 30 mins. drive away from Ranthambhore. The lake area is the home for more than 250 species of migratory and resident birds. During the winter, from October to February months, migratory birds fly into habitat and area near Ranthambhore National park. Birding at early morning could experience more than 100 species here birds like Graylag geese, spoonbills, painted storks, Quails, Flamingoes, Mynas, and bee-eaters, Saras cranes, and Kingfishers are the few names.
- Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History – Enriching the Indian Wildlife and history, this museum is undertaken by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. This museum is situated at Ramsinghpura village of Sawai Madhopur that is nearly 8 km away from Ranthambhore National park. The three-floor museum is the exhibition site for the flora, fauna, mineral wealth, and the geology of the western arid region of India. The major attractions are the effigy of The Tiger, Leopard, Sambhar Deer, Spotted Deer, Blackbuck, a live village scene, and a portrait of Ranthambore Fort as well. Behind this museum, Shilpgram has a pottery stall and an art gallery, where tourists can witness live the making of pottery and paintings which are for sale as well.
Day 1 – Arrive Delhi – Meet & Greet by Vimal/ Aditya personally – Stay at Delhi
Day 2 – Morning depart for Ranthambhore – Reached Ranthambhore – Stay at Ranthambhore
Day 3 – Full day jeep safari into the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Stay at Ranthambhore
Day 4 – Full day jeep safari into the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Stay at Ranthambhore
Day 5 – Morning & Evening game drive into the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Stay at Ranthambhore
Day 6 – Morning game drive into the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Afternoon visit the Ranthambhore Fort (A UNESCO site) and other excursions – Stay at Ranthambhore
Day 7 – If possible then Morning game drive into the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Check out – Drive back to Delhi or onward destination.
Note: We would love to customize this itinerary as per your suggestions. You may combine some other National parks of India, Birding Sanctuaries, Historical sites and Monuments visit with this itinerary. Please contact us for detailed itinerary and other needed information at [email protected]