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Ranthambore National Park Guide

 

Ranthambore National Park is a famous destination for travelers in India because of its distinct class and charm. Although it is not the biggest national park in the country, it is the most famous one.

Ranthambore is highly respected for being home to a significant number of Royal Bengal tigers. Thousands of tiger lovers from all over the world come to India to visit this national park during the safari season to get a chance to glimpse one of these incredible cats.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about Ranthambore National Park before you go including the variety of plants and animals in the park, the top attractions, and the different safari zones.

Highlights

  • Ranthambore National Park is one of the best locations for tiger spotting in India.
  • Located atop a 700-foot-tall hill, the Ranthambore Fort is one of the main attractions around Ranthambore National Park.
  • The Bakula region is considered to be the best area for the tiger spotting in the Ranthambore Forest.
  • The Jogi Mahal contains the second-largest banyan tree in India.
  • There are two safaris available in Ranthambore National Park: the jeep safari or canter safari.

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most popular national parks in India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. The park is characterized by rocky plains and cliffs.

Ranthambore was originally established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary by the Indian government in 1955 and was then declared one of the Project Tiger Reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park on November 1st, 1980.

The park covers an area of around 400 square kilometers and supports a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park is most famous for its wild tigers and is a great place to see the majestic predators in their natural habitat.

Ranthambore National Park not only has tigers but also some heritage sites including the Ranthambore Fort and Jogi Mahal. You can also find picturesque lakes like Padam Talao and Malik Talao inside the park.

Ranthambore Park Zones

Initially, Ranthambore National Park was divided into 5 zones. As the national park gained popularity, it began to expand and today there are 10 zones in total. These safari zones are well maintained with strict rules and regulations that are enforced by conservation authorities.

Zones 1 to 5 are in the core area and can be accessed through the entrance gate near Sherpur village. The remaining zones 6 to10 are in the surrounding buffer area and are accessed through the gates on the main road south of Sawai Madhopur.

Tiger sightings are more common in the core areas than in the buffer areas, although they have improved a lot in recent years as the increasing tiger population has spread out across the zones.

Flora and Fauna of Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park and its water sources support around 300 species of plants. Because of its location near the Thar Desert, the park receives very little rain during the year and the vegetation in the park consists of plants that can survive in the dry climate.

The park contains many types of trees including Am, Imli, Babul, Banyan, Ber, Dhak or Chila, Dhok, Jamun, Kadam, Khajur, and Khair. It also has a variety of aquatic plants such as water lilies and lotus flowers.

The dry climate of Ranthambore has caused the growth of dry forests with little vegetation cover. Because of this, it is easier to spot tigers here than in many other parks with thick tropical jungles.

Other predators such as sloth bears, leopards, jackals, and striped hyenas are also commonly sighted. The lakes are frequented by crocodiles and birds including serpent eagles, vultures, and waterfowl.

Top 3 Attractions around Ranthambore National Park

Seeing wildlife isn’t the only thing you can do in Ranthambore National Park. Many of the surrounding attractions that are also worth visiting.

Here are the top 3:

1. Ranthambore Fort

Ranthambore National Park got its name from the Ranthambore Fort which stands at the center of the park. The fort is located atop a 700-foot-tall hill, overlooking the entire park and protected by an enormous stone wall with bastions and turrets.

Presently, the fort is open to park visitors on wildlife safaris or those who visit on their own. From the fort, the views of the park are magnificent. You can see soaring vultures, eagles, and other birds at eye level.

2. Bakula Region

Considered to be the best region for the tiger spotting in the Ranthambore Forest, the Bakula region is the ultimate scenic landscape and is covered with the dense greenery and beautiful bodies of water.

The denser forest cover and easy access to water is the ultimate reason for the abundance of wildlife and presence of tigers in the Bakula Region. Animals such as jackals, mongoose, sloth bears, leopards, sambar deer, chitals, nilgai, gazelle, and boars can all be found be here.

3. Jogi Mahal

Located 500 meters from the Ranthambore Fort, Jogi Mahal was once the home for the royals of Jaipur Kingdom while they visit Ranthambore during hunting excursions. This small palace is beautifully nestled by Padam Lake and surrounded by nature.

The palace now stands as an abandoned but proud reflection of true Rajasthani architecture. The grounds contain the second-largest banyan tree in India, a country full of old and gigantic banyan trees.

Wildlife Safaris in Ranthambore

The Ranthambore Jeep Safari is one of the best options to see local animals in their natural habitat and admire the amazing scenery of the park. On a jeep safari, travelers can enjoy exploring the open grasslands, forest areas, and monuments within the park. This is also a good way to get a glimpse of the famous Bengal tigers.

There are two safaris available in Ranthambore National Park. They are the jeep safari or canter safari. Every day, safaris are conducted twice a day. The morning safari usually starts at 7 am and ends at 10 am while the afternoon safari happens between 2 pm and 6 pm.

The vehicles carrying groups of travelers must be accompanied by an expert guide to enter the park. There is a fixed track for the safaris and only 16 vehicles at a time are allowed into the park to increase the chance of wildlife sightings.

The jeep safari is recommended as it is a smaller vehicle that can traverse narrow and winding trails, increasing the odds of spotting a tiger. It also holds fewer people.

Clients will be picked up at their hotel and share the jeep with a small group of other travelers. The tour will be guided by a trained expert who will lead the way in the search of wild tigers and share interesting stories about the park and its animals.

How to Book Safaris

The safaris can be booked online through the national park’s website. Bookings can be paid for using Visa or MasterCard and can be made up to a year in advance.

Alternatively, you can go to the booking office located at Shilpgram a couple of hours before the safari starts to book your trip. This option is not recommended as you will have to fight through large and aggressive crowds to get to the ticket window.

The easiest way to book a safari is to let a travel agent or your hotel take care of the arrangements. At Asia Highlights, we can do all the bookings for you and arrange for the jeep to pick you up from your hotel.

When To Visit Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park is open from October 2nd to June 30th every year. Zones 1 to 5 are closed from July 1st to October 1st due to monsoon rains. The buffer zones remain open all year round.

The best time for animal sightings is during the hot months of March through to June when they come out in search of water. During winter months between November and January, the animals can be harder to find but travel at this time will allow you to have a more comfortable visit.

Best Hotels Near Ranthambore National Park

These are some of the best hotels and resorts to stay in near Ranthambore National Park. These hotels provide the best facilities and are the most comfortable.

Name Address Facilities Price Per Night
Nahargarh Ranthambore Ranthambhore Road, Village Khilchipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan Swimming pool, reading lounge, bar, and multi-cuisine restaurant 14,000 to 25,000 rupees
The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort Ranthambhore Rd, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan Yoga, massage, outdoor pool, and pool tables 58,000 to 60,000 rupees
Sher Bagh Resort Sherpur, Khiljipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan A library, a bar, a swimming pool, and a jungle spa 55,000 to 110,000 rupees
Khem Villas Khilchipur, Sherpur, Rajasthan An Ayurveda spa, a pool, and a well-stocked bar 14,000 to 35,000 rupees
Ranthambhore Regency Ranthambhor Rd, Subhash Nagar, Saptar, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan A swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant 6,500 rupees to 8,000 rupees
Juna Mahal Jamool Khera, Ranthambore Road, Near Sher Pur, Sawai Madhopur A swimming pool, a gift shop, and a restaurant 16,500 to 18,500 rupees

Nahargarh Ranthambore

Nahargarh Ranthambore is one of the most luxurious hotels in Ranthambore and is the perfect base for your hassle-free wildlife experience. The hotel lies at the foot of the Aravali Range and is surrounded by a 16th-century style fortress.

Nahargarh Ranthambore is located just 2,300 feet away from Ranthambore National Park, 4.3 miles from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, and 90 miles from the Jaipur Airport.

The deluxe rooms in this hotel feature beautifully tiled floors and intricately carved traditional Indian furnishings. They also come with an electric kettle, a fridge, and bathrooms equipped with hot-water showers. Room prices range between 14,000 and 25,000 rupees per night.

Nahargarh Ranthambore has a multi-cuisine restaurant that offers lip-smacking food. Drinks can be ordered at the military-themed Lancer's Bar. Guests can also enjoy a swimming pool and a reading hall.

The Oberoi Vanyavilas Wildlife Resort

The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore is a jungle resort located at the border of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. Within the enormous front gates lies this gorgeous hotel decorated with arches, polished marble floors, antique rugs, and enormous vases of exotic flowers.

The resort is about a 30-minute drive away from Ranthambore Fort and a 45-minute drive from Surwal Lake, a favorite spot for bird watching.

The luxury tents in this resort feature glass doors that open to private patios, handsome four-post beds, elegant wooden furniture, and tiger-print armchairs. Every tent also has iPod docks, TVs, and DVD and CD-players. Prices range from 58,000 to 60,000 rupees per night.

Guests can enjoy yoga sessions or a relaxing massage in the resort spa. There is also an outdoor pool and pool tables. The Dining Room and Inner Courtyard restaurants serve a selection of Western, Thai, and Indian dishes.

Sher Bagh Resort

Sher Bagh is a luxury-tented camp next to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Its hand-stitched canvas tents reflect the style of the tents used by the Rajput rulers when they came to the park to hunt.

The property is 0.6 miles from the attractions of Ranthambore National Park and Ranthambore Fort. It is also 7.5 miles away from the Sawai Madhopur Bus and Railway Station.

The 12 tents of this resort are each equipped with air conditioning and a mini-bar. They also feature a shower and private bathroom that comes with a hairdryer and bathrobe. The luxury tents cost around 55,000 rupees per night while the royal suite costs around 110,000 rupees.

At Sher Bagh, you will find a beautiful garden. The restaurant serves luxurious western lunches and traditional Indian dinners cooked in clay ovens. There is also a library, a bar, a swimming pool, and a jungle spa.

Khem Villas

Khem Vilas resort is an ideal place to spend an unforgettable holiday when on a Ranthambore wildlife tour. Due to its closeness to the park, you can occasionally see the footprints of various wild animals such as jackals, leopards, and tigers near the hotel grounds.

The accommodation in this resort includes cottages, tents, and rooms. Each type is spacious and includes fabulous views of the jungle, a bathroom, a terrace, a private plunge pool with an outdoor shower, and a large private courtyard. Room prices range from 14,000 to 35,000 rupees per night.

Here, guests can enjoy an Ayurveda spa, a pool, and a well-stocked bar. The food served at the restaurant is purely vegetarian. The delectable Indian, western, and oriental dishes are freshly cooked with the organic vegetables grown within the resort grounds.

Ranthambhore Regency

Ranthambore Regency is a five-star hotel spread over 3 acres of well-kept lawns.

The Regency is only 10 minutes from Ranthambore National Park and 7.5 miles from Sawai Madhopur Junction.

There are 20 poolside cottages and 22 super deluxe rooms offered at this hotel. They feature modern décor and warm lighting. Every room is fitted with a sofa seating area and work desk. Some bathrooms have a bathtub, while others have a shower. Room rates range between 6,500 to 8,000 rupees per night.

Here, clients can enjoy a swimming pool and bar. The hotel restaurant, Ingredients, serves a buffet spread of Indian, Chinese, and continental dishes along with Rajasthani cultural performances.

Juna Mahal

Juna Mahal is a perfect mixture of modern technology and ancient architecture with royal hospitality and high-quality service. This is the only boutique property in Ranthambore which that uses the "Green Building Model". This hotel is not only eco-friendly, but the material used in its construction was also made from recycled goods.

The hotel is located in Jamol Kheda. Tourist attractions nearby include the Ganesh Temple, Kala Gaura Bhairav Temple, and Amreshwar Mahadeo Temple.

Juna Mahal has 42 elegantly furnished and air-conditioned rooms. Each room has a conical roof like a tent’s to represent the heritage of Ranthambore while also maintaining the standards of contemporary luxury. Each room also has an LCD TV, a minibar, and a refrigerator. Rooms cost between 16,500 to 18,500 rupees per night.

Guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and a gift shop here. The hotel restaurant is staffed by renowned chefs and serves Indian and international cuisine.

Ranthambore National Park Travel Tips

When going on a safari, it is best to be as quiet as possible. This way the naturalist can better listen to the forest for signs of wildlife. One of the best ways to track the jungle cats is to listen for the warning calls of their prey.

When you are in the pursuit of a tiger, the park vehicles will travel fast and may kick up a lot of dust. Photographers and wildlife enthusiasts should bring something to protect their camera lenses and expensive equipment.

Travelers should also pack appropriate clothing. Early morning safaris are very cold during winter, so it is important to bring warm clothes to be comfortable.

How to get to Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is usually visited between travels to Agra and Jaipur. After visiting Agra, travelers will be driven to Bharatpur Railway Station to board the train to Sawai Madhopur.

You can take an afternoon express train and the journey will take around two hours. The ticket costs around 1,245 rupees. On arrival, our representative will meet you at the station and transfer you to your hotel in a private car.

After visiting the Ranthambore, travelers will be driven directly to Jaipur in a private car. The car will come and pick you up at your hotel. The car will be fully air-conditioned to ensure your comfort. The journey will last around 4 to 5 hours.

Explore Ranthambore National Park with Asia Highlights

Going on a tiger safari is the chance of a lifetime to see these incredible animals sustainably and ethically. If you would like to add a visit to Ranthambore to your trip to India, then Asia Highlights can help. At Asia Highlights, our experts will create a tailor-made itinerary for you so that you won’t have to worry about the planning and can just enjoy your travels.