Ranthambore National Park was founded by the Government of India as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in the year 1955. Later in 1973, it was declared as one of the Project Tiger reserves. In the year 1980, it became a national park. Ranthambore National Park is located at the junction of the Aravalli mountain range and Vindhya hill range. Ranthambore National Park is dotted with those structures that give a glimpse of the bygone eras. Moreover, several water bodies are also located here that offer relief during the hot summer months to the forest inhabitants. This park has been named after Ranthambore Fort.
During the 19th century there was excellent forest cover almost all over India. The population density was very low and exploitation of forests to fulfil local needs was negligible. During that period the forests of Ranthambore were the private and exclusive hunting reserves of the Jaipur and Karauli royal family. These forests were managed by the Shikar Khana Department (Hunting Department) of the state. The local villagers were allowed to take many kinds of forest produces in unlimited quantities for their private use, after payment of an annual tax. In selected areas of the forests of Ranthambore, which were used for hunting by the royalty, grazing and tree felling were strictly forbidden, but there were few restrictions, elsewhere. However, due to the low population density, there was hardly any damage to these dry deciduous forests and its wildlife.
Wildlife in Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park contains a huge variety of animals, birds and reptiles within it. Primarily the wildlife population of Ranthambore National Park includes Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyena, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Macaque, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Coomon Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Mole Rats, Porcupines, Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and more. The park also has a large number of reptiles such as Snub Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Banded Kraits, Indian Cobra, Common Kraits, Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons, North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles, Rat Snakes, Saw-scaled Vipers, etc. Ranthambore, due to its varied terrain and abundance of water bodies, has an excellent population of birds, resident and migrant.
Ranthambore National Park is a wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. It offers excellent accommodation and internal transportation facilities. The park remains open every year from October to May. Famous for the exciting and frequent tiger sightings captured dramatically in several books, this park is today affected by ecological pressures and poaching. Certainly, a visit to Ranthambore National Park will be an enriching experience for every wildlife and nature lover. The time spend on watching tigers roaming around, verdant greenery, a gamut of other species of chirpy birds and animals is priceless and worth enough to be explored at least once in a lifetime.
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