Ranthambore or Ranthambhore national park is one of the most popular tiger safari destination in North India. It is located in South East of Rajasthan state. As we all know that Rajasthan tourism is very much popular in tourism map of world thus large number of tourists from all over the world, visits this magnificent wildlife tourism destination, located just close to Sawai Madhopur town. It is very well connected by train with Sawai Madhopur as nearest railway station and Jaipur Airport as its near by flight connectivity option. Presence of a huge historic Ranthambore Fort, inside the national park area makes this destination as historic wildlife tourism place where wildlife tourism and heritage tourism goes side by side. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve was created on year 1973-74 with the inception of Project tiger. At present, its total area is 1411.291 Sq.kms. Ranthambore National Park was declared in year 1980. With the passage of time, some more forest area of Keladevi Sanctuary also ger included in it which increased it land area. It is just 13kms from Sawai Madhopur town where safari ticket booking office is located along with major accommodation options. Its forest area is spread over the confluence of Vindhya & Aravali ranges thus we will find some forest is on Vindhya range and some part of forest is in Aravali range. Here Jungle safari is the main activity to do and in addition to this, we can do village visit, visit to Ranthambore fort & temples. For visiting this national park, please plan your tour in advance (3-4 months).
Presence of Ranthambore Fort inside the forest area is clear indication towards its royal past. As we all know that Royal families have passion for hunting and thus they maintins their private hunting preserves. Same is the story with Ranthambore forest area. It was used as a private hunting preserve used by royal families of Jaipur and Karauli. It was year 1939 when Jaipur Forest Act was introduced with intention of wildlife conservation. In those days, Jaipur State takes "Royal Tax" from local villagers on using Forest product for their personal usage. It was the first positive step towards the conservation of wildlife in this forest area. After gaining independence, in year 1953, Rajasthan Forest Act was introduced to ensure better wildlife conservation in legal framework and forest was declared as Sawai Madhopur Wildlife Sanctuary. But here we have also seen the double standard by allowing own guests to do hunting in forest. In 1960-61, the Queen Elizabeth II of England and HRH Duke of Edinburgh visited Ranthambhore forest, as a guest of Maharaha of Jaipur. They visited this forest for "Royal Hunting". In this period, hunting is banned for local citizens of India but at the same time it is allowed to special guests of Maharahja. In year 1973, Project Tiger was introduced by Central Government of India and first 09 Tiger Reserves were created in which Ranthambore Tiger Reserve was one. Later in year 1980, Ranthambore National Park was declared. Later in year 1983, two wildlife sanctuaries were declared as Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Wildlife Sanctuary. They were included in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and thus its total area increased. Here Chambal in south and Banas rivers in north, are the life line of tiger reserve.
Their are about 32 mammals species in Ranthambore tiger reserve forest area. Some of the prominent mammal species includes Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Hyena, Nilgai, Chinkara, Sambar, Fox, Jackal etc. Here distribution and density of these mammal species varies as per landscapes and natural habitat conditions.
It is believed that more than 320 bird species have been recorded in forest area of Ranthambore tiger reserve. Commonly seen bird species includes Woodpecker, Shrikes, Grey Hornbills, Common Kingfisher, Honey Buzzard, Fish Owl, Sparrows, Drongos, Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, Treepies, Crows, Ruddy Shelduck, Indian Peacock, Greater Coucal, Baya Weaver, Black Kite, Shikra, Brahminy Kite, Marsh Sandpiper etc. Here major concentration of birds are in wetlands, lakes, riversides and rocky cliffs. Here Rose Ringed Parakeet and Ashy Wood Swallow, Red Wattled Lapwing have high dominance.
Ranthambore national park location is very convenient to reach, for tourists. If you are staying in destinations like Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, Pushkar, Bundi, Gwalior etc., you can conveniently drive to Ranthambhore national park to attend jungle safaris.
By Air: If you are planning to visit Ranthambore by flight option. then its nearest airport is Jaipur Airport, having good flight connectivity from major cities of India.
By Train: It is the best option for reaching Ranthambore. Nearest railway station for Ranthambore is Sawai Madhopur Station, at a distance of just 15 kms. All major hotels are in this town so need not to driver too far and waste money of cab hire service.
By Road: If you have planned to reach Ranthambore by road option then you need to take bus service for Sawai Madhopur town. Tourist cab is best way to travel by road option thus you can easily hire a cab from your destination and reach Sawai Madhopur town.
Here in Ranthambore national park, tourists can enjoy jungle safari drives in Morning & Evening hours. Here safari vehicles are open Jeeps and open bus called Canter. Jungle safari of Ranthambore is managed by Forest Department of Rajasthan which offers online safari ticket booking service. Just book your ticket online and visit the destination. Here submit the ticket to your resort management team, they will update the Forest department office, about your stay and thus accordingly safari vehicle will come to your hotel for pickup and after completion of safari, same vehicle will drop you back to your hotel. It means, without help of hotel management, it will be very difficult to do safari drives. Here safari tickets are offered on per seat basis. If you want full-vehicle safari i.e. non-sharing safari then cost will be very high. Advance safari tickets booking is highly recommended to get desired safari zone.