Ranthambore national park: The reserve not to miss out (2)

Ranthambore national park: The reserve not to miss out (2)

Ranthambore national park:Rajasthan

Ranthambore national park, nestled within the magnificent hilly terrain of Vindhya and Aravali range. Kings and Maharajas of Jaipur used to come here for hunting . And now, best known for the tiger population and the great probability of sighting it. 

List of Contents

The national park covers an area of around 392sq kms. which is almost half than the area of Sariska Tiger reserve.

Number of tigers and other wildlife makes it one of the best safari spots in India. Other wildlife includes Indian leopard, wild boar, stripped hyena, sloth bear, mugger crocodile etc. The beautiful scenic views it provides from the Ranthambore fort is just incredible.

According to the latest available data 71 tigers including cubs, female and male tigers are presently living inside the park, while the park has a capacity of just 40 tigers. That’s really a huge number for 392 sq kms. 

The other thing which it is famous for is the “Ranthambore fort”. Which is situated approximately in the middle of the Ranthambore national park.

View of forest, from the fort

“Trinetra Ganesh temple” is situated on the top part of the fort. which comprises of whole family of Lord Ganesh at one place.

The Ranthambore fort’s premises also hold Badal mahal, Dhula mahal, Phansi ghar, Hameer’s court and some ruins.

The other side of the fort has not been maintained for many years, so it has deteriorated a bit and looks scary because it has become a dense jungle and natural habitat of wild animals. 

How to reach Ranthambore national park

By train: Sawai Madhopur railway station is well connected to all metro cities, and Ranthambore national park is just 13kms from Sawai Madhopur.

Aeroplane mode: Jaipur is the nearest airport, which is around 200kms from the national park.

By road: Around 200kms from Jaipur.

Most important thing while planning for Ranthambore is to plan the safari in advance. Now a days we can book the safari only online.

So after leaving Sariska, we reached Sawai Madhopur on same day at around 2200Hrs. We had already booked the hotel , so after checking in we left to have dinner outside. So that while roaming around we can interact with a few locals and receive some worthy information and hear about their experiences.

After dinner at one restaurant in Sawai Madhopur, we asked the staff Of the restaurant about the safari programmes and its schedules. As we Wanted to gather as much info as we could, from the staff and a few locals nearby.

The locals in Sawai Madhopur and Ranthambore area are really nice and always eager to share their experiences. We being outsiders were curious to know if they have ever come across any tiger.

Surprisingly almost each and every person we talked has seen or come across the tiger at least once. It really sends chills down the spine while listening to some of their stories.

According to locals, wild animals rarely attack humans. Then they told us that today only tiger had mauled one local woman, who was passing through territory of that tiger. So it got a little confusing after hearing the news. But never mind.

Screenshot of the news

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One of the restaurant staff’s name was Sanjeev. He was the manager of that restaurant. So while having some chitchat with him, he only told us that there is wall around the national park. And the road to go for entry gate travels along the wall of the park for around 10km.

Many times they have experienced it, that during night times the tiger is sitting on that wall or roaming outside and around the wall area. And if we go now and we are lucky, we can also get to see it. He told us that we should try if we can see one, as this is the ideal time for spotting tiger.

So we planned to go and at least give it a try. Obviously we were all excited for this, as maybe our money is saved if we spot it outside or on the wall and won’t have to book safari. So all of us boarded our SUV and left for the adventure.

The first thing we did is we locked the car from inside, closed the windows and got ready for the thing.

We were moving at the minimum speed so as not to miss anything, looking around everywhere. But as the people from Ranthambore told us, its all about probability. So On that day, probability wasn’t in our favour again.

Booking Jungle Safari– Ranthambore National Park

We inquired about the booking procedure from the agent at one of the booking office. And inquired if we can book for the next day morning safari. To which he checked and told us that next day morning safari is already full.

The only option left now was to somehow get the next day afternoon safari. Which opens at 10AM on the same day of the safari. I have described the Procedure for online safari booking in a separate title.

So luckily we got it booked, and then received the boarding pass and vehicle and timing details from the booking window. The scheduled time was 14:00. So we had plenty of time to go and explore Ranthambore fort.

The Ranthambore fort

It will get too lengthy if I start writing everything we experienced about the fort too. Because there is too much to explore within and around the fort. So I will attach a few pics of the beautiful fort.

After exploring Phansi ghar, Badal Mahal and Hamir’s court and offering prayers at the Ganesh temple, we straightaway headed to the back side of the fort.

Actually back side of the fort is not really maintained and so it has slowly converted into dense forest. Way to back side of the fort lies in the market, near Ganesh temple.

In short, the forest is so dense. That we could not gather courage go even a few steps ahead, inspite of being the back door of the fort open. It’s that scary, specially after the news of The tiger mauling a woman.

Langurs outside the temple
A view from Back side of the fort
Back side of the fort
Ranthambore fort side view
Water body outside the Fort

Ranthambore Jungle Safari

So here it comes, the jungle safari. For which we were waiting for last 3 days. We were assigned zone-5 of the Ranthambore national park.

When we asked our guide about the zone. He told us that Zone-5 is comparatively bigger than other zones. So probability of sighting a tiger is relatively low than other zones. But this zone is the most beautiful zone and greenest of all.

So at last, we started our safari within zone 5 at 1410 Hrs. The view of nature all around experienced was just so captivating. There was a stream flowing within the zone, which was covered by trees and bushes.

After driving a few hundred meters ahead, we came across a few wild boars, along with a herd of chital near a water body. That was really a treat to eyes, looking the wild animals within their natural habitat.

Our gypsy driver was driving slowly so as to pick up any signals of arrival of any tiger. But for next one hour, we could only see A few neelgaay, sambal deer, Peafowl, two porcupines, a lot of common langurs etc.

It was 1700Hrs already, only 30 mins left for the safari to end. And we were still praying to have a glimpse of one of the big cat. For that, even we stopped and waited near Two of the water bodies. But it was all in vain.

At around 1715 Hrs we started moving back to the exit. We were a little disappointed for not being able to spot Majestic cat.

But still, our Ranthambore trip was totally worth it because of whatever we experienced. Be it the greenest zone, or Spotting wild animals in their pure natural form.

Because spotting the tiger was certainly one of the objective. But The most important reason was to leave all the fuss, smooth asphalted roads and busy life behind and spend a few days of our lives in peace and fragrant nature.

Hotels near Ranthambore

Few good hotels near Ranthambore national park in descending price order are as below-

The hotels availability and prices of hotels in Ranthambore national park vary according to season. So check and confirm the prices before planning.

Thanks for reading.

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