Ranthambore National Park which opened in 1950 located in South-East Rajasthan is one of the best maintained parks in North India besides also being the biggest. Although it was once a favoured hunting ground of the Rajputs and is spread over a vast area of over 400 sq kms, it is easy to see why Ranthambore is such a hit with both Indian and foreign tourists.
Ranthambore National Park which is situated at the meeting point of the Vindhya Plateau and the Aravalli Hills features rocky plains and steep cliffs in plenty. In fact, on one such hill lies the 10th century Ranthambore Fort which was once a much coveted prize by many rulers. The forests which surround the fort are filled with deciduous trees and there are many lakes such as the Padam Talab and the Raj Bagh Talab that are a favourite resting spot for tigers. So on one hand, tourists get to admire the abundance of flora & fauna in a natural setting whereas on the other, the haunting remains of many military structures which are synonymous with the Rajputs can also be seen.
Flora & Fauna
Tourists will be amazed at the way so many animals and birds live in harmony together. Other than the majestic tiger, leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats, sloth bears, Indian flying foxes, porcupines, desert monitor lizards, two species of antlers as well as crocodiles and reptiles can all be seen. Bird lovers are certain to have a wonderful time because the park is home to more than 300 species of birds such as the Sarus Crane, Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Great horned Owl and the Nightjar. The forests are filled with dry deciduous trees and other well-known flora found here include the abundant dhok, peepal trees, the karaya gum tree, ber trees, khajur and jamoon trees. The park is home to the second largest banyan tree found in India and has plenty of shrubs too.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve was among the first nine declared tiger reserves in 1973 which were part of ‘Project Tiger’. Although this was one of the smallest reserves that was chosen to help save the lives of tigers, the Sawai Man Singh sanctuary and the Keladevi Sanctuary were also added to the park’s area. Tigers can be spotted here throughout the day and the best time for a sighting is at dawn. Avid photographers will enjoy taking close-up shots of the tigers at such a close range.
Don’t forget to sign up for a jeep or elephant safari ride. Book your tickets between October to April as that is usually the best time for tiger sightings. There are many resorts and camps located near the park with great facilities for tourists.
Useful Web Resources:
Park Website- http://www.ranthamborenationalpark.com/
Google Plus- https://plus.google.com/111838576319743369324/posts