Beyond Just Wildlife – Places to Visit in Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest national parks of this country. It is also one of the many Project Tiger reserves to help preserve tigers. Situated in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, 130 kilometres away from Jaipur, ironically this was established as a glorious hunting ground for Maharajas of Jaipur. Stretching over around 390 square kilometres, this is one of the biggest national parks in India. Moreover, along with the neighbouring sanctuaries – Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary – Ranthambore makes for an excellent holiday destination.
The wildlife of Ranthambore is predominantly of tiger population. In addition to the wildlife it also has diverse flora. Due to its locale, picturesque ruins of the majestic architectures is one of the many draws of this destination. Availability of many Ranthambore National Park resorts ensures that the visit there is hassle free. They arrange for tiger safaris and trekking tours in and around the sanctuary. The also make available air conditioned tents with modern amenities that gives you the best of both modern and royal era of Rajasthan. On your visit to this National Park a few things are a must visit.
This fort is recognized by the UNESCO as a heritage spot under the Hill Forts of Rajasthan. This 10th century fort is situated 700 metres above the surrounding plain. This used to serve as the hunting reserve for the royalties and was surrounded by the forests in all directions. Completed under the rule of Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan, this was a highlight of the Chauhan dynasty. It is now a part of Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary and is situated around 5 kilometres deep into the wildlife reserve. There are several temples inside the fort including red Karauli stone temples of Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. It also has a temple dedicated to Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. This fort happens to be the biggest draw of Ranthambore National Park after its Tiger Safaris.
The National Park has two noteworthy lakes that are famous sight seeing spots for vacationers. The first being the Surwal lake. Monsoon and Winter is the best time of the year to visit Surwal lake as it is a shallow water body and dries up during the summer. It hosts a lot of exotic birds who usually visit the lake to pick up fish, early in the morning.
Padam Talao lake is another famous lake around the National Park. It is also the largest lake of this reserve. It is the main source of water for most of Ranthambore’s wildlife. Hence, this lake is famous for sighting of different kinds of animals that come here to drink water. The best time to visit this lake to spot animals is during the early mornings. The famous chinkara deer is often spotted here. It is next to this lake that the famous red sandstone Jogi Mahal is situated which is another tourist draw. India’s second largest banyan tree is also situated here.
Lakarda and Anantpura
These regions, situated in the northern and north western parts of the park, are the other regions for sighting wild animals in Ranthambore. These areas are dotted with ant hills and honey combs which supports the natural habitat of the sloth bears. Other animals that are frequently sighted here include wild boars, monkeys, porcupines and jungle cats. Although, due to the dwindling numbers of Indian striped hyena, the animals themselves are hardly sighted, these areas are famous for being spotted with the pugmarks of this rare specie.
Ranthambore makes for a perfect holiday destination not just for its natural and architectural beauty. It is steeped with Ranthambore National Park resorts with all modern amenities that makes your visit even more worthwhile.