DAY 1 - Evening Departure for Ranthambore
Evening departure for Sawai Madhopur by Jaipur Superfast Express at 6:50 pm from Mumbai Central.
DAY 2 – Arrival at Ranthambhore And afternoon jungle safari
Arrive in Sawai Madhopur by 10:30 a.m. and transfer to the resort. Post some rest and lunch we head for our first jungle safari with our team of experts.Post the evening safari, dinner and overnight stay at the resort.
DAY 3 – Morning and afternoon jungle safaris
Leave for early morning jungle safari. Return to the resort for breakfast followed by leisure time. Post lunch, we leave for another jungle safari.Overnight stay at the resort.
DAY 4 - Morning safari
Leave for early morning jungle safari. Return to the resort for breakfast. Departure for Mumbai in the afternoon at 12:00 p.m.
DAY 5 - Arrive in Mumbai
Arrive in Mumbai with awesome wild memories.
Ranthambhore National Park is considered as one of the best places to view the majestic predator in the jungle. Being the royal hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, it has fueled the imagination of photographers and wildlife lovers from all over the globe. One of the biggest and most renowned tiger reserves in India, it is known for an eclectic mix of historical and natural wonders. Ranthambhore is also an heritage site and that comes from the legacy of the Rajput kings such as Prithvi Raj Chauhan. It is located in Sawai Madhopur district of the state of Rajasthan and is located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range. The massive Ranthambhore Fort overlooks the national park which is dotted with ruins of the erstwhile times. The dry deciduous forests of Ranthambhore are a boon to the wildlife lover - increasing the chances of sighting the wild king. Tigers can be spotted during the day either chilling in the waters or stalking a prey or just marking their territory.
The Ranthambhore National Park is a part of the much larger Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, a Project Tiger reserve. It is right now the only forest reserve in the state of Rajasthan and in the entire Aravali hill ranges, where tigers exist. The Chambal river acts as the natural boundary to the park towards the south, while the Banas river (a Chambal tributary) bounds the park on the north. Across the river Banas, lies the Keladevi sanctuary, and the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary lies to the south of the park. Both these sanctuaries, along with the Ranthambhore National Park, are part of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. This Project tiger reserve spans over 1334 sq. km of area, of which 282 sq. km is the Ranthambhore National Park.
The tiger reserve changes its moods as you move across the varied terrains. The park is divided into tourist, buffer and core areas where the tourist area comprises of 5 zones, where all the five zones boast of unique topography. The scenery changes dramatically from flat tabletops (locally known as Dang) and gentle slopes of Vindhyas to the conical hilltops and sharp ridges of Aravallis. The 10th century Ranthambhore Fort blends seamlessly with the terrain with its dominating architecture, adding character to the landscape. An important geological fault line - The Great Boundary fault - lying at the confluence of Vindhyan and Aravalli ranges runa across the Park. This confluence is believed to be the reason why Ranthambhore is blessed with such rich bio diversity. The park also houses three big lakes- Padam Talao, Raj Bagh and Malik Talao- along with several water holes all over the park. Ranthambhore National Park acts as the catchment area for the Chambhal river and the reservoirs surrounding it- it also plays a huge role in maintaining the ground water level.
CLIMATE OF RANTHAMBHORE
Ranthambhore National Park receives the lowest amount of rainfall amongst all tiger reserves. The park with its sub-tropical dry climate has three well defined seasons- summer, monsoon and winter.
Summers start by the end of March and go on well through the months of April, May and June. The temperatures can rise unto 45 deg Celsius making the summers dry and hot. During this period wildlife can seen around the perennial lakes and waterholes.
Monsoons arrive by the end of June and go on well into September, turning everything around into a lush green. Ranthambhore receives 800 mm of rains annually with long breaks between showers during the season which makes the atmosphere very warm and humid. The park remains closed during this season.
Winters stretch from November to February with a pleasant climate throughout this season. The park is known for changing its colors over the course of the year, complementing the changing seasons.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF RANTHAMBHORE
The reserve forest comprises of shallow perennial lakes, steep hills, gentle slopes, plateaus, narrow valleys, etc. and as such a variety of plant communities and their various associates are found. It is mainly dominated by the dhok trees which form more than 70 percent of the deciduous forest. Its a slow growing species with varying girth and reaching upto a height of 10-15 meters.
Ranthambhore’s unique climatic and vegetational features have given rise to forests that are dry and open, with little and stunted ground cover. This makes wildlife viewing relatively easier on the safari during the drier months. There are over 320 species of birds, both resident and migratory, over 40 species of mammals and over 35 species of reptiles. Besides tigers, the other mammals found in Ranthambhore are leopards, caracals, jungle cats. sloth bear, jackal et al.
The Indian fox, the extremely occasional wolf and the striped hyena are also found, mainly in the buffer area and in villages surrounding the park.The ungulates include sambar deer, spotted deer (chital), blue bull (nilgai), chinkara (Indian gazelle) and wild boar.
IN & AROUND
Ranthambhore Fort built a millennium ago, stands atop a hill overlooking the national park. The Ranthambhore Fort earned its name from the two ancient hills. Ran, is a hill on the backdrop of the majestic fort and Thanbhor, on which the fort is constructed. This fort was viewed as a vital strategic point for control over central India and over the century many wars have been fought for this leverage.
The only way up to the fort is on foot and its definitely worth the effort because the view keepsgetting better by the ascend. The view from the highest point can only be described as breathtaking.
A beautiful Shiva temple near the forest offers a small trail with amazing wild encounters. A very peaceful place, stretched back in time with a great vibe. A mystery stream waters the Shivalingam throughout the year.
Lot of birds and common wildlife like Sambar etc. can be spotted in the area. Of late, long billed vultures have been nesting in the cliffs surrounding the temple.
Trinetra Ganesh temple
Built by King Hamir in 1300 AD, the Ganesha Temple in Ranthambhore Fort is frequented by lacs of visitors during Ganesh Chaturthi. Traditionally marriage invitations are forwarded to Lord Ganesha before anyone else. The Fort Temple receives thousands of invitations each week addressed to the Lord, some of which include money to cover Ganesha's traveling expenses to the venue
Bakula is referred as the air-conditioned part of the forest. Even in peak summers this part remains cool with abundant water and dense forest cover.
Padam Talao and Jogi Mahal
This is the largest of the 3 lakes in the park. The famous and beautiful Jogi Mahal is located at the very edge of this lake. When in season, the water lilies that give the lake it's name, can be seen in plenty. In the early hours of the morning and just before sunset, animals can be seen in large numbers on the lake side.
It is in the shallow waters of this lake that the famous "lake hunters" of Ranthambore operated, the most legendary of which was the tiger, Genghis. Worlds second largest Banyan tree is adjacent to Jogi Mahal. The magnitude of the tree can be determined by the fact that its an ecosystem in itself.
Raj Bagh Talao
This is one of the most picturesque of all the lakes in Ranthambhore National Park, owing to the ruins along its edges. The appeal is only enhanced by a large population of birds and animals flocking its waters. The sambar deer in Ranthambhore has adapted to eating the plants on the lake floor and this is quite evident in Raj Bagh Talao. Many birds can be seen perched on these deers while they feed. The area around Raj Bagh is also a prime location for spotting the tiger.
This is the smallest of all the three lakes, but where on one hand what it lacks in size, it makes up in its appearances. It is always filled with healthy populations of birds of all kinds and the also the marsh crocodiles can be sighted here from a reasonably close distance.
Balas is topographically different from the rest of the national park, and falls in the buffer area.The main site is surrounded by Dangs (flat tabletops) and is one of the most scenic spots in the region. Balas separates the hills and the flat lands resulting in an amazing view of the plateau. It serves as one of the best habitats for leopards, vultures, honey buzzards, and many more.
This area lies at the confluence of Vidhyas and the Aravallis, which explains the rich biodiversity that this area enjoys. Kundal shares its boundary with Zone 1 and it isn’t shy of wildlife. It has been recently added in the project Tiger’s core plan as a tiger habitat. Sightings of tigers, sloth bears and leopards are an added bonus.
The park area was once the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur and many famous tiger shoots took place here including a visit in the early sixties, when a tiger was set up to be shot by Queen Elizabeth II. The Ranthambhore Park earned Sanctuary status in 1958 and when Project Tiger was launched in 1973, it really began to receive the protection it deserved.
A side benefit of the Park was the ground water recharge service performed by the forests that helped in replenishing the dry wells in the villages around Ranthambhore.
One of the first nine tiger reserves to be constituted during the launch of the Project Tiger in India, known earlier as Sawai Madhopur Wildlife Sanctuarary. Ranthambhore National Park with an area of 274.5 sq. km. was constituted within the Tiger Reserve in 1980. In the then Tiger Reserve, the National Park area was being managed as the core and the rest as buffer, until in 1992, Keladevi Sanctuary having area of 674 sq. km. of Protected Forest, Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary with an area of 127 sq. km., Kualji Close Area of 7.58 sq. km. and some other forests were added to the Reserve.
This park has been in the media for various incidences of man- animal conflict.
Machali is by far the most famous tigress of Ranthambhore and one of the most photographed tiger in the entire world. She has starred in a number of documentaries – the best known of which is, “Danger in tiger’s paradise” , by the BBC Wildlife Division.
Machli has been documented raising litters of cubs, hunting crocodiles and has given the world great insights of the tiger world. Our very own group has witnessed magical sightings of Machli, at times hunting, and once fighting with a crocodile over a sambhar deer.
Sundari or T-17, one of Machli's cubs has taken over Machli's territory and is said to carry over much of her mothers characteristics. Not shy by any standard - much like her mother - she is known to delight visitors with her wild antics.
Many say that she has the makings of the new queen and we totally agree.
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