Rathambore is a unique tropical jungle reserve in the heart of India. On an area of about 400 sq. km. the wild nature of this beautiful country is preserved – royal tigers, leopards, spotted deer, “barking” deer, hyenas and wild boars.
Previously, the territories of the modern park belonged to the Maharajas of Jaipur, who used them for hunting and entertainment. The well-preserved ancient fortress, which bears the same name as the park, Ranthambore, reminds of the bygone times of the Maharajas.
It is here that you have the most chance to meet a tiger compared to other reserves. This has less to do with population size, which is dangerously low due to a recent rise in poaching, than with the fact that tigers themselves are not bothered by the presence of humans, they hunt in daylight and are rarely intimidated by cameras or jeeps full of tourists.
One of the last stretches of lush green parkland in Rajasthan, Ranthambore is fed by several perennial rivers that have been dammed to form lakes inhabited by crocodiles and surrounded by graceful pavilions and decaying, vine-covered Rajput palaces. At sunset or in the mist of early morning, they seem airy, and the ruined tenth-century Chauhan Fort, which rises above the crowns of forest trees on top of a spectacular cliff, seems to have risen from the pages of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.
For most of its existence, Ranthambore was ruled by the Rajputs, the rulers of Jaipur used it for princely hunting fun. Shortly after Independence, this area was declared a nature reserve, and in 1972 turned into a full-fledged national park under the Project Tiger (see Contexts). Over time, Ranthambore became famous throughout the world for its “friendly tigers”, which in the 1980s. became the subject of some memorable documentaries. However, the sanctuary’s reputation as the flagship of Project Tiger suffered a major blow a decade later when it was discovered that some of Ranthambore’s own rangers had been involved in poaching and that the tiger population had been reduced to a few as a result. Since then, they say
In addition to tigers, Ranthambore still has very significant populations of chital (axis), nilgai, jackals, panthers, jungle cats and a wide variety of bird species, among which you can see crested serpent eagles, paradise flycatchers, as well as more common peacocks and painted storks ( Asian razin storks -?). One of the best places for birdwatching is the fort, which also houses the Ganesh temple, where people from all over the country write to the elephant-headed god to invite him to his wedding. The priest of the temple reads all these letters to Ganesh aloud.
The area of the park is 392 km². It is located in the southeast of the state of Rajasthan, in the Sawai Madhopur district, about 180 km from the city of Jaipur. The park got its name from the medieval fortress located on its territory.
Ranthambore was established in 1955 by the Government of India and became one of the Tiger Project reserves in 1973. In 1980, the reserve received the status of a national park. In 1984, two new reserves were formed in the area adjacent to Ranthambore: Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi. In 1991 they were merged with Ranthambore.
Ranthambore is located on the edge of a mountain plateau. In the north, the border of the park runs along the Banas River, and in the south – along the Chambal River. There are several lakes on the territory of Ranthambore. Ranthambore is primarily known for its tigers and is considered the best place in India to see these animals in their natural habitat. The park also has one of the largest banyan trees in India.
Protects natural complexes of tropical deciduous forests, mango groves and swamps on the mountainous watershed of the Banas and Kalisindh rivers. The fauna of the park includes such mammals as the Bengal tiger, deer – sambar, gazelle, antelope – nilgai, monkey – langur, bears and a large bat – Indian fruit bat. Birds of particular interest are paradise flycatchers, green carnivorous pigeons, pheasant-tailed yakans and a rare species of eagles – crested serpent eagle. In the floodplains of the rivers there is a marsh crocodile.
The park is open from October to April, when the summer monsoon ends. Animals are best observed in the morning and evening.
The best time to visit the park is from November to May, when the forest dries up and the various animals can be seen most easily. By visiting this natural park, you will forever remember the intoxicating air of antiquity and freedom. History here is an integral part of nature itself.