An irresistible magnet for wildlife lovers and photographers

Ranthambhore National Park

In a forest regarded by many as the world’s finest for viewing tigers, generations of tigers have grown up accustomed to sharing their space with safari vehicles, often offering exceptionally close glimpses of their private lives.

An irresistible magnet for wildlife lovers and photographers

Offering the impossibly romantic and picturesque combination of magnificent tigers, majestic 10th century ruins of the Fort and numerous ruined arches, gates and chhatris dotting the park, the park’s unique charm have made it an undisputed tiger mecca.

Tigers are often seen cooling off by day in a lake in the heat of summer or ambling along a jungle track. Whether it is hunting in broad daylight, caring for cubs, territorial fights, mating, or on rarer occasions, fighting with crocodiles for prey, there isn’t much that goes on in a tiger’s life that has not enthralled visitors here.

Padam Talao is the largest of Ranthambhore’s great lakes, and along with the Raj Bagh and Malik Talao lakes a magnet for wildlife and avifauna. At the edge of Padam Talao is the endearing red sandstone Jogi Mahal, and near it is an enormous banyan tree allegedly India’s second largest, one of many majestic banyan (Ficus bengalensis) and Pipal (Ficus religiosa) trees in the park.

Dry deciduous forests of dhok (Anogeissus pendula), ber (Zizyphus mauritania), Tamarind (Tamarindicus indica) and ronj (Acacia leucophloea) dominate the park although semi green vegetation can be seen in the valleys and along streams.

There is a sizeable leopard population here, along with sloth bears, and other smaller cats and carnivores. Mugger (Marsh Crocodile) bask in the sun while herds of Nilgai, Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Sambar, Spotted Deer and troops of langur monkeys can be easily sighted. Birds are represented by crowds of treepies, babblers, woodpeckers, parakeets, lapwings, partridges and the Indian Peafowl.

A royal hunting ground

These forests were once the private hunting grounds of the Jaipur maharajas who hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on a personal visit and tiger hunt in the late 1940s.

The bulk of the credit for transforming Ranthambhore from a neglected jungle in the 1970s to a thriving tiger haven goes to its inspired Park Director, the legendary Fateh Singh Rathore. He pioneered the successful relocation of nine villages from the core area to lands outside the park boundaries between 1973 and 1975.

Experiences

Such is the richness of the land that each of Ranthambhore’s ten zones offers a different landscape and terrain, yet whichever zone you find yourself in, you are never far from the presence of the Tiger.

Remember that the Ranthambhore Fort is not just a magnificent backdrop. The historic ruins and old temples are worth visiting in their own right, offering spectacular aerial views over the vast reserve from the ramparts.

From the Director's Travel Diary

As a Delhi boy, Ranthambhore was and shall always remain my 'local' tiger reserve. Yet in the early 2000’s, Ranthambhore took its time to reveal its first tiger sighting after several fruitless visits.

Thereafter, it has generously rewarded me with some of my most memorable tiger sightings: a whole morning one April spent in the company of three sub-adult cubs waiting for their mother to return from the hunt; the sight of a family of four tigers roaming around Padam Talao nonchalantly; being close enough to see eye to eye with the infamous Ustad on his last afternoon in the wild before he was captured and sent to a zoo for being labelled a man-eater.

I’ve visited many tiger reserves over two decades, yet it is Ranthambhore that calls me back the loudest.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)