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Ranthambore National Park Tourism And Travel Guide
13.3° C / 55.9° F
October to April
2 to 4 Days
Jaipur International Airport (145 kms)
Sawai Madhopur Railway Station (15 kms)
Ranthambore National Park is one of the most sought out and most visited national parks in India, not just because of the exotic fauna and flora present here but also for the very unique geography of its terrain. Located in the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore’s scenery is dominated by the Aravali and Vindhya Ranges and therefore has more greenery than the rest of the state. The National Park is best known for its tigers and nature trails. Tourism in Ranthambore National Park swells during the winter months from October to March as this is the best time to visit. For a holiday spent with the most amazing cats in the world, check out this travel guide to Ranthambore National Park.
How To Reach
Ranthambore is a very popular tourist destination but at the same time it is a sensitive park. So while travelling to the park can be easily arranged, airways and railways do not directly reach here. It is the roads that will take you all the way.
The closest international airport to Ranthambore is the Jaipur International Airport at a distance of 150 km. The three and a half hour journey from there can be arranged by cab services found at the airport. The airport is connected to both domestic and international destinations. Within India, there are services to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and so on; and internationally it is connected to cities in the Middle East, Thailand and Malaysia.
The station at Sawai Madhopur, 15 km away, is the closest stop to the park. There are trains to the station running on a daily basis from Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai; and all these cities are easily accessible from the rest of the country. There are taxis that will take you from Sawai Madhopur to Ranthambore.
Ranthambore is connected by road to cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Kota. Since each of these cities has its own airport, a road trip would be inevitable for tourists travelling by flight. The roads to Ranthambore are remarkably scenic and very different from the sights that are usually seen in the rest of the country, making this journey worth the while. There are a number of private tours that can be arranged via cabs and vans to the park.
The only way to travel around the park is by hiring a cab or by bringing a vehicle of your own because there is no public transportation system in place.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Ranthambore National Park opens up to tourism in October and remains so until June of the following year. This season mostly consists of the winter months and a little bit of summer. After which the park closes up to protect breeding animals.
Summer: April to June
This is the best time of the year for tiger spotting as the animals come out in search of water. The temperature during the season, though, is quite harsh and can rise up to 45°C. However, this is the only difficulty. Sandstorms that trouble the rest of Rajasthan is a distant problem thanks to the protection of the two ranges and the abundant forests draping the park.
Monsoon: July to September
These months experience a lot more rainfall than the rest of the state and it plays an important role in preserving the National park. This is a very important time for the tigers as well. It is their hunting and breeding season and it ensures a steady tiger population. Since this is an understandably sensitive period for the animals, the park is closed to visitors.
Winter: October to March
This is the most ideal time to visit the national park, with day time temperatures averaging at 20°C and night time temperatures dropping to an average of 10°C. With the monsoon having replenished the forests' flora, this is the best time for activities like wildlife safaris and bird watching.
Entry Fee and Park Timings
It is recommended that you book your safari at the time of booking your hotel. In case you fail to do so, you can also inquire with your hotel staff or travel agent regarding the bookings. There are a fixed number of entrees to the park every day, so you must book in advance. The park entry fee, reservation fee and charges differ from season to season.
- Right at the entrance, you will be required to pay a video camera fee. Still photography is permitted for free
- Safari visits are permitted only in two slots per day- 2:30 pm and 6:30 am. Advance booking is recommended for all the visitors. You can easily spot the Project Tiger Booking Office next to New ST Stand at starting of most resorts on the Ranthambore road
- Zone Allotments are mostly computerised and shuffled based on the Reserve Management. The PTBO are obviously crowded with agents but one can find special windows for solo and group travellers
- Foreigners are recommended to carry their passports at the time of booking, the authorities generally ask for it
- You can choose from two vehicles- a 16/20-seater safari bus called Canter or a 6-seater Gypsy. For Indians it costs Rs. 75 and Rs. 130 respectively. For non-Indians, a 16-seater canter safari would cost around Rs.500-530 and the cost of a Jeep Safari is Rs. 600 along with a guide fee of Rs. 42 (both Indians and Non-Indians). A jeep safari is recommended if you wish to get a better view
Oct 1-Oct 31: 6.30am-10.00am & 2.30pm-6.00pm
Nov 1-Jan 31: 7.00am-10.30am & 2.00pm-5.30pm
Feb 1-Mar 31: 6.30am-10.00am & 2.30pm-6.00pm
Apr 1-May 15: 6.00am- 9.30am & 3.00pm-6.30pm
May 16-Jun 30: 6.00am- 9.30am & 3.30pm-7.00pm
July 1–Sep 30: Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve Closed
Things To Do
There is no denying that the major tourist attraction here is the Royal Bengal Tiger. However there is more to the park than that. Here are a number of activities you can engage in while at the national park.
The main animals at Ranthambore National Park are Tigers, Leopards, Sambar deer, Chital, Striped Hyenas, Nilgai, Hanuman langurs, Jackals, Jungle cats, Macaques, Caracals, Black bucks, Rufoustailed Hare, Sloth bears, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Toddy cat, Desert Cats, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Fivestriped Palm Squirrels, Indian Foxes, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Indian Gerbilles, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Longeared Hedgehogs, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose. Few species of reptiles can also be found in the park.
The Ranthambore National Park is undoubtedly the most visited place in the region. With its varying landscapes of hills, valleys, forests and grasslands the park is a memorable sight. There are many lakes like the Padam Lake, the Surwal Lake and the Malik Lake that are a great to explore. In addition to the park's beauty, there are the many animals and birds living here that make for a colourful experience.
The Ranthambore Fort within the national park's perimeter is a must visit not just for its breath-taking panorama of the park but also for its impressive architecture. The fort is not the only remnant that has survived though. The Jogi Mahal and Raj Bagh are popular examples too.
The wildlife safari in Ranthambore is one of the best in the country, with the resident animals being less shy. The safaris last up to three hours and the chances of spotting some exotic species are very high with that amount of time. You can expect sighting of animals like the tiger, leopards, panthers, sloth bears and a variety of other animals. Among birds, peacocks are a common sight.
Ranthambore is a bird watcher's paradise. With about 273 odd species, both indigenous to the region and migratory, the winters are the best time to catch a sight of these beautiful creatures. The lakes are a good place to start the bird watching trail as flocks of birds are often dropping by for a drink. Birds like egrets and herons are very common here. There is a good chance to see birds like kingfishers, Drongos and grey hornbills as well.
There is nothing quite like hiking through the Aravali and Vindhya ranges. With a different texture, both ranges have a special experience to offer. The hills on the Aravali range have steeper slopes and require a little more effort than required on the Vindhya. While it is fun to go off exploring by yourself, it is best to take a local guide along as they know the terrain much better.
Hot Air Balloon:
While the view of the national park from the hilltops is quite remarkable, nothing can beat an aerial view. The recent venture has hot air balloons take off to a height of 1200 ft. above the ground level for a ride that lasts about an hour. The balloon makes two trips a day but is subjected to weather conditions.
There are a handful of restaurants around the park that mostly serve popular Indian and Rajasthani dishes. Eateries like Manisha Restaurant and Indian Spice Family Restaurant are among the top rated in the area.
There are a few shops in and around Ranthambore where you can find souvenirs like rural handicrafts and fabrics. Dastkar Craft Centre and Dhonk are two centres where you can find such products. Khas perfumes are a speciality of the region that would make a great souvenir.