Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park, located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, is one of India's most renowned national parks and a fantastic getaway for any wildlife and nature enthusiast. Famous for its large population of tigers, you can spot the striped beasts strolling around the park or basking under the sun while on your Ranthambore safari.

The Park is surrounded by the hill ranges of Vindhyas and Aravallis and bordered by the Banas River to the north and the Chambal River to the south. Named after the historic fortress, Ranthambore, whose ruins can be found inside, the national park was once the hunting grounds of the Jaipur Royals. 

Initially, in 1955, the national park was set up as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary by the Government of India. It was established as a tiger reserve in 1973 and then in 1980, Ranthambore was declared as a national park. The adjoining forests were set up as the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary in 1984 and less than a decade later in 1992, they were merged with the tiger reserve, making Ranthambore National Park one of India's largest. 

Sprawling over an impressive area of 1334 sq km, the terrain of the park is interspersed with dry deciduous forests and open grasslands. It contains steep hills, narrow valleys, beautiful streams and many lakes, including the Padam Talao, one of the largest lakes in the park.

Ranthambore Safari

Jungle safari in the best way to explore the interiors of the dense jungles and catch sight of all wildlife species that call the park their home, especially the Royal Bengal tiger. Jeep safari and Canter Safari are your two options to explore the Ranthambore National park.

Jeep Safari 
You'll enjoy your safari in a 6-seater Gypsy that is open on all sides. It offers a wonderful viewing experience, mainly for those with interests in wildlife photography, bird watching, landscape photography, etc. Jeep safari is perfect for a small group and being smaller in size than a Canter, it can take you deeper into the forest, increasing your chances for sighting a tiger. 

Canter Safari
Canter Safari provides an economical way of exploring Ranthambore forests. It is a 20-seater bus that is also open on all sides for the best viewing experience. Canter is perfect for a large group.

Buffer zones in Ranthambore National Park

The national park has a total of 10 safari zones that offer an exclusive experience to all. Both canters and jeeps will take you into all the zones, to the heart of the park to enjoy the wilderness. 

What you’ll see

The national park of Ranthambore houses varied species of flora and fauna that attracts tourists from all over the world. Along with being famed for being a natural habitat for Royal Bengal tigers, the park is also home to over 40 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles and 320 species of birds.

Fauna
Some common wildlife that lives in the park are:

Mammals: Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Hanuman langurs, Jackals, Jungle cats, Sloth bears, Blackbucks, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Indian Flying Foxes and more.

Reptiles: Snub-Nosed Marsh Crocodiles, Desert Monitor Lizards, Tortoise, Indian softshell turtle, Indian flap shell turtle, Cobras, Banded Kraits, Common Kraits, Indian Pythons, Rat Snakes, Russel’s Vipers, Saw-scaled Vipers, Indian Chamaeleon and more.

Birds: Peacocks, the Great Indian Owl, Woodpeckers, Partridge, Parakeets, Spoonbill, Common Kingfisher, Indian Gray Hornbill, Cuckoos, Pigeons, Doves, Gulls, Eagles, Egrets, Flamingos, Ibis, Pelicans, Storks, Crows, Orioles, Sparrows, Bulbul, Mynas, Falcons and more.

Flora
Ranthambore tiger reserve is home to more than 300 species of flowering plants. The dominant plant found here is the 'Dhok tree' along with other plant species like mango, Imli, Babul, Khajur, Neem, Pipal, Jamun, Kadam, Babul and many more. You can also find Dhak trees, the flowers of which, when in bloom are so beautiful, they are called the ‘Flame of the Forest. Ranthambore is also famous for one of the largest banyan trees in India at Jogi Mahal.

When to go

Summer season, from April to June is the best time for a jungle safari in Ranthambore. The probability of spotting a tiger is highest during this season. They usually venture out to water holes and lakes to quench their thirst and hunt prey. 

The winter season, from October to March is also a great time for jungle safari. The atmosphere is pleasant and you'll catch sight of various animals enjoying the winter sun. 

During the monsoon season, from July to September, the park remains shut. This is the mating season for tigers and other animals in the park.

How to get there

Being one of India's finest national parks, Ranthambore enjoys good connectivity to all major Indian cities. 

By air: Jaipur International Airport is the closest airport to the park, situated around 160 km away. From the airport, you can easily avail taxi services or hire private cars to reach the park.

By rail: Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, situated around 14 km away from the park is the closest railway station. Jaipur Railway Station is located around 200 km away from the national park.

By road: A good network of national and state highways ensure that Ranthambore National Park is well connected to all major cities in India. Delhi and Ranthambore are connected via NH 11A and NH8, and Udaipur and Allahabad are connected via NH 76. Ranthambore and Jaipur are connected via SH 24, and Agra and Bharatpur are connected to the park via SH 1. 

Best time to go/Weather

The best time to go on a Ranthambore safari is during the summer season between April and June. The temperature soars up to almost 45 degrees Celsius. However, your chances of tiger sightings are high during this season. You can spot them near lakes and water holes quenching their thirst or lying in wait to hunt prey.

The winter months between October and March are also ideal for jungle safari in Ranthambore. The weather is cool and pleasant during the day and drops to almost 2 degree Celsius during the night. You'll spot a variety of wildlife basking in the winter sun. 

The monsoon season is mating season for most animals in the park; hence, Ranthambore National Park remains closed during this season from July to September.  

Ranthambore National Park is one of India's famous wildlife destinations, situated in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. The park is well connected to all major cities in India through airways, railways and roadways. 

Air: The closest airport to Ranthambore is Jaipur International Airport, located around 160 km away. You can easily hire taxis and private cars to reach the park from the airport. 

Rail: The closest railway station to Ranthambore National Park is Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, located around 14 km away. You can also reach Ranthambore from Jaipur Railway Station, which is located around 200 km away. 

Road: Ranthambore is well connected to major Indian cities by roadways through a network of state and national highways. You can reach Ranthambore from Delhi via NH 11A and NH8 and from Udaipur and Allahabad via NH 76. Ranthambore from Jaipur can be reached via SH 24 and Agra and Bharatpur are connected to the park via SH 1. 

For your safari, wear clothes in colours that allow you to blend in with your surroundings. Muted shades of green, brown and yellow are your best choices. Pair your clothes with shoes or sneakers. During the summer season, opt for comfortable clothing in cotton or linen that covers your arms and legs from harmful heat rays, dust particles and insect bites. Wearing sunglasses, sun lotion, sun cap and insect repellant is very important. 

During the winter season, opt for clothing in woollen and dress in layers. See that your ears and neck are covered from the cold and carry an extra jacket for the nights.

For your Ranthambore jungle safari, you need to pack sunglasses, suncap, sunscreen with SPF 50+, insect repellent, refillable water bottle, a light jacket for summers, a thick jacket for winters, a pair of binoculars, and a fully charged camera with ample memory space. 

No sort of physical preparation is needed before your safari. You’ll be seated in the jeep for most of the day with little to no walking around. People of all age groups can come to enjoy the magic of Ranthambore National Park.

Ranthambore National Park - Frequently Asked Questions

You are permitted to carry cell phones and mobile phones on a safari ride, provided they are on silent mode throughout. Visitors are also requested to not play music, talk loudly or use flash. 

One jeep can accommodate six adults, excluding the jeep driver and the assigned guide. 

Children are allowed on the safari under the supervision of a guardian. 

Your choice for accommodation when visiting the park depends on your budget and interests. Staying options in and around the park range from super luxury hotels, resorts and villas, mid rung hotels, lodges and cottages to jungle camps and tents.

The winter season is freezing in Ranthambore, especially in the mornings and evenings. The temperature drops down to almost 2 degrees Celsius. It is wise to dress in woollen and in layers, so you can shed them if the day gets warmer. See that you also put on a jacket, gloves and a muffler. 

The summers are scorching in Ranthambore with the temperature reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius. Wear light clothes that are comfortable and made of cotton or linen. Wearing sunglasses, suncap and sunscreen is of utmost importance. 

There are 10 buffer zones in the park that provide an exclusive safari experience to wildlife lovers. All zones are considered excellent wildlife sighting zones and both canters and jeeps will take you into the heart of the jungle.

Jaipur is located around 180 km from the national park. You can travel by road from Jaipur to Ranthambore via SH 24. If you choose to go by train, you will have to travel to Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, which is the closest railway station from the Ranthambore National Park.

Delhi is located around 381 km from Ranthambore National Park. You can reach the park from Delhi by road via NH 11A and NH8.

If you want to travel by train from Delhi, you will have to get off at Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, which is the nearest railway station from the park. 

You can also travel to Ranthambore from Delhi by air. Jaipur International Airport is the nearest airport to the park. 

Summer season, from April to June, is the best time to indulge in jungle safari in Ranthambore. This season is considered the best for spotting tigers and you may see them prowling around lakes, getting a drink of water or trying to hunt prey.

From October to March, during the winter season, the weather remains cool and pleasant. It is the ideal season to spot a variety of wildlife as they venture out to enjoy the weather.