(Last Updated on : 26-06-2013)
Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most prominent national parks located in Northern India. This national park is situated in Sawai Madhopur District
of south-eastern region of Rajasthan
, which is around 130 km from Jaipur
. Being considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the park is considered as one of the most popular wildlife destinations of the country. Ranthambore National Park is spread over an area of 274.5 sq km. The park is hugely famous for its tigers and is one of the best locations in India to see the majestic predators in its natural habitat. One of the wonderful aspects about Ranthambore National Park is that the tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time busy at their ordinary quest - hunting and taking proper care of their young ones. Ranthambore National Park is also counted as one of the famous heritage sites because of the pictorial ruins that dot the wildlife park.
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
, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks
, Wild Boar
, Coomon Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Mole Rats, Porcupines
, 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.