Ranthambore National Park is located about 13.5 kilometers from the city of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. Located at the junction of the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges, this is one of the finest places to view wild animals, especially as they are used to being stared at here. The park covers an area of approximately 400 sq km, and if combined with the area of Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary area, is around 500 sq km.
Ranthambore National Park is dotted with structures that remind you of bygone eras. There are numerous water bodies scattered all across the park, which provide perfect relief to the wild animals during the scorching hot days in the summers. A huge fort, after which the park is named, towers over the park atop a hill. There are many ruins of bygone eras scattered all over the jungle, which give it a unique, wonderful and mixed flavor of nature, history and wildlife. Tigers at Ranthambore National park have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors.
Ranthambore boasts being home to a large number of mammals, reptiles, and bird species. The national park in Rajasthan is primarily known as the home to Royal Bengal Tigers. Other than this, the national park also has a rich population of leopards, sloth bears, several deer species like chital (spotted deer), marsh crocodile, palm civet, jackal, desert fox, serpent eagle, waterfowl that along with others make 40 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles and 320 species of birds. The popular wild animals in Ranthambore includes Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Common or Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Blackbucks, Rufous-tailed Hare, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Common Palm Civets or Toddy cat, Common Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Five striped Palm Squirrels, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Gerbilles, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Long-eared Hedgehogs, Ratels, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets and Common mongoose.
Ranthambore was declared a tiger reserve in 1973, and seven years later, a 274.5 square kilometer area of the forest was declared as Ranthambore National Park. Today, the Park covers an area of 1334 square kilometers after the adjacent Keladevi Sanctuary, Sawai Mansingh sanctuary and a few other forests were added to the Park’s territory.
Some wild animals in the Ranthambore national park :
Royal Bengal tigers
Ranthambore’s fiercest predator is also one of the national park’s most majestic beasts. The Bengal tiger is considered to be among the biggest wild cats alive today, but sadly this beautiful animal is threatened by poaching and has been listed as endangered since 2008. The jungle terrain of Ranthambore in northern India is a great opportunity to see this endangered species in their natural habitat.
This animal loves to inhabit areas with forest cover and low hills. Due to habitat destruction, sloth bears are a vulnerable species. The sloth bear’s distinguishing features are its long shaggy coat and mane around the face and long-clawed paws. They breed during spring and early summer and give birth around the beginning of winter, so if you time your safari during the colder months, you maybe get to see sloth bears with their little ones.
Ranthambore may be famous for the tiger population, but growling leopards are also a rare feature amid the unruly shrub. Like other creatures found in the reserve and because of threats to their habitat, leopards are also listed as vulnerable species. They inhabit forested areas that are tropical or dry, and Ranthambore offers plenty of spaces that appeal to this wild cat.
Wild Boar (Sus Scrofa)
The Indian wild boar has a sparser coat and a fuller crest of black bristles reaching from the nape down the back than other varieties. Newborn wild pigs are born with light or black stripes. They are omnivorous, living on crops, roots, tubers, insects, snakes. They feed early in the morning and late in the evening. Their sense of smell is acute, the eyesight and hearing moderate. The male wild boar has tusks. A good population of wild boar roam Ranthambhore and young piglets are a favorite food of tigers and leopards. He tuskers can fight off and even chase a tiger away.
Striped hyenas are native to the Indian subcontinent and tend to live alone or in pairs. As nocturnal creatures, they can be hard to spot, but among the animals that occupy Ranthambore National Park, hyenas are a highlight for visitors coming to experience a safari in the region.
In a national park that was once the hunting ground of royalty, it only makes sense that the Indian peafowl is among the creatures from the animal kingdom found here. The brightly colored peafowl (or peacock) is the national bird of India. During the day peafowls like to avoid the heat and seek cover, but they enjoy wandering at dusk towards the water, as a group or in single file. At night they can be found roosting on tall trees.
Nilgai (Boselophus tragocamelus)
The Nilgai is the largest antelope found in India. It is also known as a blue bull because when sunlight falls on the grey coat of male nilgai it gives it a tinge of blue color. It is a great ungainly animal, somewhat horse-like in build, with high withers and a low rump. They feed till late in the morning and then again early in the evening. They have the habit of resorting to the same spot to deposit their droppings, forming in this way considerable accumulations. They are found in lesser numbers than sambar or chital in Ranthambhore and frequent the open grassy examples.
Crocodile (Crocodytus palustris)
The shape of the body follows the generalized reptilian pattern of a long body with short limbs. The skin of the back and tail are armored with bony plates. Crocodilian’s teeth are shed and replaced every year. Their sense of sight, smell and hearing are well developed. It inhabits rivers, lakes and other large water bodies in the plains and up to 600m in the hills throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is an excellent swimmer. On land, it rests on its belly, but walks and runs with the body well off the ground. It hunts more or less exclusively in water.