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Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve lies on the junction of Aravali and Vindhyas just 14 kms from Sawai Madhopur in Eastern Rajasthan. It sprawls over a varying and undulating landscape.   The scenery changes dramatically from gentle and steep slopes of the Vindhyas and sharp and conical hills of the Aravalis.  A thousand year old fort also blends amicably with the background. Pure sands of Dhok interspersed with grasslands at the plateaus, meadows in valleys and luxuriant foliage around the canals make-up the jungle.  Three big lakes – Padam Talab (meaning Lake), Malik Talab and Raj Bagh – are similar turquoises studded in the vast forest.       

The forest is of tropical dry deciduous type; it is further classified as Dhok forest. The lakes abound with aquatic vegetation including duckweeds, lilies and lotus. 

Ranthambhore before a princely game conserve is the scene where the celebrated Indian Tiger barely stays alive from human assault and disregard, the denuding of the forest by timber mafia. At least 10,000 square kilometers of forest give way every year to the politician-businessman nexus on the ploy of “development”. A density of 11 to 17 Tigers can dwell in an area of 100 square kilometers find themselves dreadfully out of place of abode.   This site tells in words and pictures about the resist of this king of jungle and the handful who fiercely picket to safeguard this natural legacy for the planet and its children.

Park Population :
The tigers are the prized attractions of the park. Other inmates of the park are the Antelopes, Nilgai, Sambhar and Chital, which are easy to spot. Those who are lucky enough get to see the Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat and Marsh Crocodile.
The lakes and water holes in the Ranthambore national park are the best places to sight the animals. These water bodies are full of lotus and water lilies. Ranthambore also has a sizeable bird population, both resident and migratory. There are about 264 species of birds found within the park. Indian Hare, Mongoose and Monitor Lizards can also spotted.

Nearby Attractions :
The most fascinating and most popular excursion taken from the national park is to the Ranthambore Fort. This fort was built by the Chauhans in the 10th century. The fort is located at a very strategic position between north and central India and hence it was always coveted by many rulers. This fort is famous for the 'Johar' (suicide by immolation to escape humilitaion) by Rajput women in 1301AD during the siege by Ala-ud-din Khilji. The temples and tanks add to the beauty of the fort. The seven gates and massive curtain walls, crowning a fall-topped hill presents a majestic view.

Park Trips :
The park is toured by a jeep or a lorry. The reservation of these can be done at the Project Tiger Office at Sawai Madhopur. The tour is accompanied by a guide. In the park, one must stick to the allocated route. Entry is relatively expensive, with fees for entrance, vehicle hired, guide and camera being charged separately.