Ranthambore National Park

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Ranthambhore National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Ranthambore National Park.JPG
Ranthambhore National Park
Map showing the location of Ranthambhore National Park
Map showing the location of Ranthambhore National Park
Ranthambhore NP
Location Sawai Madhopur, India
Coordinates 26°01′02″N 76°30′09″E / 26.01733°N 76.50257°E / 26.01733; 76.50257Coordinates: 26°01′02″N 76°30′09″E / 26.01733°N 76.50257°E / 26.01733; 76.50257
Area 392 km2 (151 sq mi)
Established 1980
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. It is situated in 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; Kota is another convenient station as all trains stop here. RIDCOR operates a mega highway between Kota and Ranthambhore.

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 majestic predators in the jungle. Tigers can be easily spotted even during the daytime. A good time to visit Ranthambore National Park is in November and May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.

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. There are several lakes in the park. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. The park covers an area of 392 km². It is known for its tiger population and is one of India's Project Tiger reserves. 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. Ranthambore is the site of one of the largest banyan trees in India.

Wildlife[edit]

Ranthambore is best known for its large tiger population. As tourism in the park increased, so did the population of neighbouring villages. This led to increasing amounts of fatal human-tiger interactions and poaching. The Indian government started Project Tiger in 1973 with an allotted area of 60 mi2. It was later expanded to become what is now called, the Ranthambore National Park. Besides tigers, the reserve has thriving bird population with more than 270 species.[1]

In 2005, there were 26 tigers living in Ranthambore. This was significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which then stood at 44. According to non-government sources there were 34 adult tigers in the Ranthambore National Park in 2008. More than 14 tiger cubs were also recorded. This was largely attributed to sustained efforts by 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.[2] The Indian government committed US$153 million for the efforts.[2] These efforts have been successful with Ranthambore having enough tigers to participate in the Sariska Tiger Reserve relocation efforts.[3] 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.

Tigers[edit]

T24: The largest tiger in Ranthambore National park

During the past few years, there has been a decline in tiger population in Ranthambore due to poaching and other reasons. However, there were some tigers who succeeded in passing on their genes even in such circumstances.

A tigress known as "Lady of the Lakes" was, at a very young age, separated from her parents due to increased poaching. The young tigress was called Macchli since she had a mark on her body which resembled a fish. She mated with a male who resided beside her territory and gave birth to three female cubs, one being dubbed 'Macchli - The Junior' in a documentary. Despite Macchli being the name of her mother, the young cub found herself stuck with the designation. The father of the younger Macchli died early due to an unknown disease, which was confirmed when forest officer Fateh Singh Rathore saw him in Ranthambore. After this, the junior Macchli found the scent of a different male, known as Bumburam, and mated with him. She gave birth to two cubs: Slant Ear and Broken Tail. Baccha is believed to be her grandson. Recently, 17-year-old Macchli went missing. She is elderly and hunting is difficult. [4]However, the world's oldest wild tigress cheated death yet again. Twenty-six days after she went missing, prompting several searches in the forest, Ranthambore's famed tigress Machli was spotted by forest officials, and again can be seen by park guests. At present Machli's daughter T19 is the new Queen of Ranthambhore and is raiding her second litter around lake area. Four cubs were born but only three survived.

Tigress T39 from Zone-1.

Another tigress worth mentioning from this park, due to her beauty, is none other than tigress T39, also known as Mala or Noor. The derivative of her name is due to decorative bead like stripes alongside her body. She was born to tigress T-13 and were fathered by T-12. Recently in the month of March-April, she was seen with her second litter consisting of three cubs. Noor is now at her prime at the age of 6, her son T72 or Sultan is from her first litter and is around three years old.

Broken Tail was featured internationally 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 census of tigers in 2014, there were 61 tigers in the Ranthambore national park.[5] The number of tigers in 2013 was 48 and 25 in 2005. Due to increase in number of tigers, park is planning to shift a few of them in parks like Sariska and others.[6]

Gallery[edit]

Features[edit]

A panoramic view of Ranthambore NP from Ranthambore Fort.

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: It is one of the best national parks in the country to spot a tiger. This 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. Since there is a good chance of not sighting a tiger in one outing, people usually take more than one ride. There are a lot of quality resorts 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 all the lakes in the park, and the beautiful red sandstone Jogi Mahal is at the very edge of this lake. A gigantic banyan tree, considered to be India’s second largest, is near the lake.

Transportation[edit]

Air: Jaipur at 160 km is the nearest airport from Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary.

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 halt 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 good 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. Mostly you have to hire a car or a taxi from Kota to Ranthambhore. Kota - Ranthambore is a mega highway and can be covered in 1.5 hours easily.

Distance chart From Ranthambore :

Jaipur 130 km
Kota 114 km
Jodhpur 450 km
Bikaner 476 km
Udaipur 401 km
Delhi 365 km
Ajmer 258 km
Mount Abu 555 km
Jaisalmer 713 km

General information[edit]

Aravali Range inside Ranthambhore, Rajasthan.
  • 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 halt of all the 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)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

4. Singh, V. and Shrivastava, A. 2007. Biodiversity of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur. ISBN 81-7233-492-3.

External links[edit]