Ranthambore National Park

In Rajasthan, Sawai Madhopur is a city located approximately 13.5 km from Ranthambore National Park. One of the best spots to see wild animals is near the intersection of the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges since the animals are accustomed to the attention they receive there. If the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary area is added to the park’s 400 sq km of land, the total area is roughly 500 sq km. 

1Name of the National ParkRanthambore National Park
2Year established1980
3Area in Sq Km400 sq km
4Elevation in m215 meters to 505 meters
5State / States spread inRajasthan
6Main Animals foundTigers, leopards, Indian striped hyenas, sloth bears
7Main Birds foundIndian grey hornbill, painted spurfowl, crested serpent eagle
8Main reptiles foundIndian python, cobra, Indian monitor lizard
9Best time to visitOctober to June

Ranthambore National Park was founded in 1955 as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary, with an initial area of 282 km2. It was designated a Project Tiger reserve in 1973 and declared a national park on November 1, 1980. The neighboring forests were designated as the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and the Keladevi Sanctuary in 1984. The Tiger Reserve was expanded in 1992 to cover the adjacent Keladevi Sanctuary in the north & Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary in the south, as well as additional woods.

Ranthambore National Park is located in a semi-arid region and experiences extreme temperatures. During summer, the temperature can soar up to 45-46°C (113-114°F), while in winter, it can drop to 2-3°C (35-37°F) during the night. The monsoon season lasts from July to September and the park receives an average annual rainfall of around 800mm (31 inches).


Geologically, the park is situated in the Aravalli Hill Range and Vindhya plateau. The park’s soil is mainly composed of sandstone, and the hills in the park are formed of quartzite and granite rocks. The park also has shallow perennial lakes, steep hills, gentle slopes, plateaus, narrow valleys, and a variety of plant communities or associations due to its diverse topography.

The Ranthambore National Park mainly comprises a dry deciduous forest and boasts a diverse range of flora, which is supported by an abundance of water. The park is estimated to have around 300 plant species, with most of the vegetation being dry deciduous due to the region’s scant rainfall caused by its proximity to the Thar desert. The reserve has a variety of landforms, including shallow perennial lakes, steep hills, gentle slopes, plateaus, and narrow valleys, which provide a suitable environment for different plant communities.

Type of Forests and Trees

The most prevalent tree in the park is the Dhok (Anogeissus pendula), which makes up around 80% of the vegetation cover and grows on hill slopes and valleys. The leaves of the Dhok tree are a favorite food for Deer, Nilgai, and Antelope. Other significant trees in the park include the Banyan (Ficus bengalensis) and Pipal (Ficus religiosa), which are worshiped and have medicinal uses. The largest Banyan tree in India is located behind the Jogi Mahal, the hunting lodge in Ranthambore national park. The park also has abundant Neem (Azadirachta indica) trees known for their medicinal properties.

The park’s fruit trees include Mango (Magnifera indica), Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Ber (Zizyphus mauritiana), and Tamarind (Tamarindicus indica), known for its pulpy fruit used in pickles. The park also has many trees such as Chhila (Butea monosperma), which set the forest alight with their bright orange-red color. Other important flora in the park includes Babul (Accasia nilotica), Gurjan (Lannea coromandelica), Gum (Sterculia urens), Kadam (Authocephalus cadamba), Khajur (Phoenix sylvestris), Khair (Accacia catechu), Kakera (Flacourtia indica), Karel (Capparis decidua), Khimi (Manilkara hexandra), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Mahua (Madhuca indica), Kulu (Sterculia urens), Ronj (Acacia leucophloea), Salar (Boswellia serrata), and Tendu (Diospyrous melanoxylon). The park’s aquatic flora includes lovely flowers such as lotus and water lilies, and the edges of the lakes are full of Khus grass (Vetivaria zizznioides), which has aromatic oil known as vetiveria oil.

Biodiversity of Ranthambore National Park

The distinct climate and vegetation of Ranthambhore have led to the development of dry and open forests with limited ground cover, making it easier to spot wildlife on safaris. Ranthambhore is like an isolated island teeming with various types of animals, with the tiger reigning supreme as the top predator. Although tigers prefer to operate alone and remain hidden, there are still plenty of exciting signs of their presence. Other feline species such as leopards, caracals, and jungle cats can also be found in the area, as well as predators like sloth bears, striped hyenas, and crocodiles.

Aside from tigers, there are plenty of other fascinating creatures to observe in Ranthambore, including elegant spotted deer, massive sambhar deer, sunbathing crocodiles, soaring vultures, and perched serpent eagles. The area is also a haven for bird enthusiasts, with approximately 300 species of birds, including resident species like the large cormorant, painted spurfowl, and sarus crane, as well as winter migrants such as sandpipers, kingfishers, and great horned owls

A lot of reptiles can be found in the park, including the Snout Marsh Crocodile or Mugger, Bengal Monitor or Common Indian Monitor Lizard, Indian Rock Python, Saw-scaled Viper, Indian Rat Snake, Indian Bullfrog, Skittering Frog, Asian Common Toad, Tortoise, Banded Krait, Cobra, Indian or Common Krait, Indian soft-shell Turtle, Indian Flap Shell Turtle, and Russell’s viper. Exploring Ranthambhore through a jungle safari is an unforgettable experience that will enhance your appreciation for wildlife. 

Best time to visit Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park is open to visitors for safari from 1st October to 30th June every year, while it remains closed during the rainy season from July to September. The best time to visit is between November and April when the weather is mild and animals can be easily spotted without any discomfort due to the weather. There are two safaris per day during this time, with one in the morning and one in the late afternoon, each lasting three to three and a half hours. The timings of the safaris change slightly every two months depending on the sunrise and sunset times.

Nearby attractions to Ranthambore National Park include the Ranthambore Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and provides stunning views of the surrounding areas, as well as the Trinetra Ganesh Temple, which is located within the fort and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Additionally, there are several other wildlife sanctuaries and historical sites in the area, such as the Kaila Devi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Padam Talao lake.

The importance of Ranthambore National Park lies in its rich biodiversity, which includes endangered species like the Bengal tiger, as well as numerous other animal and plant species. The park serves as an important habitat for these species and plays a vital role in their conservation.

In conclusion, a visit to Ranthambore National Park provides an opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of nature and observe some of India’s most iconic wildlife in their natural habitat. The park’s stunning landscapes, historical sites, and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

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