Ranthambore National Park
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|Ranthambhore National Park|
Ranthambhore National Park
|Location||Sawai Madhopur, India|
|Area||392 km2 (151 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Project Tiger|
Ranthambore National Park (Hindi: रणथंभौर राष्ट्रीय उद्यान ) or Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering an area of 392 km². It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 110 km northeast of Kota and 160 km southeast of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away. The park is also close to the Kota train station. RIDCOR operates a mega-highway between Kota and Ranthambhore. The park lies at the edge of a plateau and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the park.
Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include the Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.
Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. Tigers can even be easily spotted in the daytime. The best time for tiger sightings at Ranthambore National Park is in November and May. The park's deciduous forests are characteristic examples of the type of jungle found in Central India. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.
Ranthambore is best known for its large tiger population. As park tourism and the population of neighbouring villages increased, there were more frequent fatal human-tiger interactions and poaching. The Indian government started Project Tiger in 1973 and allotted an area of 60 mi2 of the Park as Tiger sanctuary.This area later expanded to become what is now the Ranthambore National Park.
In 2005, there were 26 tigers living in Ranthambore. This was significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which stood at 44. According to non-government sources there were 34 adult tigers in the Ranthambore National Park in 2008, and more than 14 cubs. This increase was largely attributed to sustained efforts of forest officials to curb poaching. Villagers in the region were being given incentives to stay out of the park and surveillance cameras were also fitted across the reserve. The Indian government committed US$153 million for the efforts. These efforts were successful enough to make Ranthambore eligible to participate in the Sariska Tiger Reserve relocation efforts. The first aerial relocation of the male tiger (Dara) from Ranthambore to Sariska was done using a Mi-17 helicopter on 28 Jun 2008 by Wing Commander Vimal Raj. Unfortunately, this translocated tiger died on 15 November 2010 due to poisoning.
During the past few years, there has been a decline in tiger population in Ranthambore due to poaching and other reasons.
A tigress known as "Lady of the Lakes" was, at a very young age, separated from her parents because of poaching. The young tigress was names Machli after the mark on her body that resembles a fish. She gave birth to three female cubs, one being dubbed 'Machli - The Junior'. The father of Machli Jr. died early from an unknown disease, as confirmed by forest officer Fateh Singh Rathore. Machli Jr. mated with male tiger Bumburam, and gave birth to two cubs: Slant Ear and Broken Tail. Baccha is believed to be her grandson. At 17 years old, Machli Sr. is the world's oldest tigress. Machli recently went missing, raising concern among forest officials as hunting is difficult at her age.  After twenty-six days Machli was spotted and located by forest officials. Machli's daughter T19 is the current queen tigress of Ranthambore. She recently gave birth to four cubs, with three surviving.
Another popular tigress from Ranthambore is tigress T39, also known as Mala or Noor. Her name comes from the decorative bead like stripes alongside her body. She was born to tigress T-13 and were fathered by T-12. In March and April of 2014, she was seen with her second litter of three cubs. Noor is 6 years old and her son, T72, or Sultan, is from her first litter and is approximately three years old.
Broken Tail was made international headway in a film made about his life. He left the park area and traveled from Ranthambore to Darra where he was killed by a train while crossing the railway tracks. The documentary film called Broken Tail features his last journey and has been shown worldwide on many TV channels including the BBC, PBS, CBC, RTÉ among others, and won the top awards at two of the world's most prestigious wildlife film festivals.
As per the 2014 census of tigers, there were 61 tigers in the Ranthambore national park. The number of tigers in 2013 was 48 and 25 in 2005. Due to recent increase in the number of tigers, the park is planning to transfer a few to other parks, such as Sariska and others.
Three-year-old male named Baccha (Hindi: Child) residing in the reserve
Forests: The Park terrain alternates between dry deciduous forests and open grassy meadow. The flora of the park is represented by 539 species of flowering plants.
Tigers: Ranthambore is one of the best national parks in the country to spot a tiger. The majestic predator can be spotted ambling or basking under the sun.
Safari Rides: Rides are carried out at 6:30 and 14:30. Each ride lasts for about three hours. There are two options of vehicles for the safari: 20 seater open top canter or 6 seater open top gypsy. Each ride costs around Rs700-800 per person. The core park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go on one of those zones. Visitors often take multiple tours, as tiger spotting is rare. There many resorts to reside in on the way from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.
Ranthambore Fort: The majestic fort, built in 10th-century, towers over the entire park area. It stands 700 feet above the surrounding plain. Inside the fort, there are three red Karauli stone temples devoted to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. There is a Digamber Jain temple of Lord Sumatinath (5th Jain Tirthankar) and Lord Sambhavanath. The temples were constructed in 12th and 13th centuries.
Padam Talao: This is the largest of the many lakes located in the park. A red sandstone Jogi Mahal can be found at the edge of the lake. A gigantic banyan tree, considered to be India’s second largest, is also near the lake.
Rail: Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, that lies on the Delhi to Mumbai trunk route. The city is a stop for many trains, including Jaipur - Indore Super Fast, Dayodaya Express (Ajmer - Jabalpur Express), Jodhpur - Indore Intercity, Hazrat Nizamuddin - Indore Express, Marusagar Express (Ajmer - Ernakulam Express / Ernakulam Express), Jaipur - Mysore Express, Jaipur - Chennai Express, Jaipur - Coimbatore Express, Jodhpur - Puri Express, Jodhpur - Bhopal Express, Jodhpur - Indore Intercity, and the Mumbai Rajdhani Express.
The Jaipur - Indore Super Fast connects Sawai Madhopur to major city of Madhya Pradesh, Indore Junction. There is also a Kota Jan Shatabdi Express train, from Kota to national capital Delhi via Sawai MAdhopur. The other includes Kota - Hanumangarh Express, Sawai Madhopur-Mathura Passenger, Jaipur-Kota Passenger. Kota - Patna Express connects Sawai Madhopur and Patna cities via Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi.
Luxury trains The Palace on Wheels, The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharajas' Express, The Indian Maharaja make a scheduled stop at Sawai Madhopur on their eight-day round trip of tourist destinations.
Roads : A network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town, to all the major cities within the state of Rajasthan. The frequency of direct services though is not very great. A car or taxi must be hired from Kota to Ranthambhore. Kota - Ranthambore is a mega highway and can be covered in 1.5 hours.
Distance chart From Ranthambore :
- National Park area: 275 km² core area. 392 km² including buffer zone.
- Tiger Reserve area: 1334 km²
- Altitude: 215 to 505 meters above sea level
- Kota Station has a stop of all trains for 10 minutes and connects Sawai Madhopur with almost 50 trains.
- Closest airport is Jaipur at 160 km
- Terrain: Dense tropical dry forest, open bushland and rocky terrain interspersed with lakes and streams
- Ecoregion: Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests
- Best Season: From November to March
- Closed: Monsoon season (July - August)
- Arid Forest Research Institute (AFRI)
- Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education
- Ranthambore Fort
- Khandar Fort
- Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum of Natural History ,Sawai Madhopur
- Sawai Madhopur
- Sawai Madhopur railway station
- Sariska National Park
- "Two more cubs spotted in Ranthambore". The Times of India. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "24 Tigers will be shifted from Ranthambhore". Patrika Group (in Hindi). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
4. Singh, V. and Shrivastava, A. 2007. Biodiversity of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur. ISBN 81-7233-492-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ranthambore National Park.|
- Gov. India - Project Tiger General Info
- MakeMyTrip Blog Post: Delhi To Ranthambore – Safaris, Road Trip, Hotel & Shopping
- Ranthambore National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage