Ranthambore Country Wide Recreation Area, Sawai Madhopur

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Written By Santana

Unveiling India's Treasures from the eyes of an insightful author

  • Country: India
  • State: Rajasthan
  • Ideal Trip Duration: 2- 3 days
  • Nearest City: Sawai Madhopur
  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Peak Season: December and January

One of the prominent cities in the eastern region of Rajasthan is the Sawai Madhopur.  The town is gifted with several momentous events and had many famous rulers.

The city is also highly known as “The Gateway to Ranthambore.” The city was constructed by Maharaja Madho Singh I of Jaipur.

It was made on January 19th, 1763, and Sawai Madhopur still celebrates the city’s foundation day every year.

You can discover hilly terrain and plain areas in the city, as the Aravalli and Vindhya Ranges bound Sawai Madhopur. It is a place where a large number of tourists from all over the world visit.

Many adventure lovers visit the Ranthambore National Park, which is the most famous national park in North India.

The Ranthambore Fort enhances the city’s attraction, which also comes under UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Many rulers patronized Sawai Madhopur, and some were Chauhan Rajput King, Bagabhatta, Rana Kumba, Akbar, and Aurangazeb.

The Ranthambore area flourished during the reign of the last Chauhan ruler, Rao Hammir. During the ancient period, the city was known in the name Ranthambore.

After many years, the name Sawai Madhopur came in, named by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singhji, to whom the city was given in 1765.

A railway line was constructed between Sawai Madhopur and Jaipur by Sawai Man Singh during the British rule. Thus, the city became easily accessible to everyone, and at present, it is one of the popular tourist destinations in India.

Situated about 13.5 km from Sawai Madhopur is the famous Ranthambore National Park. The animals here are not afraid of the visitors as they are used to it now.

Sawai Madhopur
Wild male tiger roadblock inside a jungle at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Positioned at the intersection of Vindhya Hill Ranges and Aravalli Ranges, this national park is the best place, offering a clear view of wild animals.

Ranthambore National Park is around 400 sq. km, and if you include the area of the nearest sanctuary called Sawai Singh Sanctuary, then the total area will cover about 500 sq. km.

Several water bodies inside the national park serve as a great respite for all the animals during the scorching summers.

The ruins of ancient times spread everywhere in the forest make the national park look unique and attractive to tourists.

If you visit Ranthambore National park, you can experience a combination of wildlife, nature, and history. The national park got its name Ranthambore from the fort nearby, which is on a hilltop.

One of the main charms in the park is the majestic Tigers, and you can also see them hunting for food even in front of the visitors.

Sawai Madhopur

The Government of India established this area originally in 1955 as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. Later in 1973, it was recognized as one of the Project Tiger Reserves in India to safeguard the great tigers.

On November 1st, 1980, Ranthambore was stated as a national park. The nearby forests of the park were given the name Keladevi and Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary.

When the number of villages enlarged in the nearby area, poaching and hunting were widely increased. Thus there was a decrease in the number of tigers in the park. Hence the Government decided to take the Project Tiger forward to protect all the tigers in Ranthambore.

In 2008, according to non-government sources, they recorded 34 adult tigers and 14 cubs. The upsurge in the number of tigers was the hard work done by the forest department by restricting poaching.

Many surveillance cameras were fixed in the park. Also, incentives were given to the villagers to stay out of the park.

For conservation and protection, the Indian Government committed US$ 153 million. Ranthambore was also eligible for the relocation program of tigers to Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar, Rajasthan.

A male tiger from Ranthambore was relocated to Sariska on June 28th, 2008, using a Mi -17 helicopter by Wing Commander Vimal Raj. But this tiger died on November 15, 2010, due to some poisoning.

There was a tigress Machli, named after her mark on the body, resembling a fish that gave birth to three female cubs. One of the cubs looked exactly like her mother and was called Machli – the Junior.

Later, when Machli Junior got matured, she mated with a male tiger named Bumburam. She gave birth to two little cubs and was named Broken Tail and Slant Ear.

Machli, the senior, went missing for some days, making the forest officials concerned as it was difficult to hunt herself at that age.  They spotted her after 26 days.

Machli Senior was the world’s oldest living tigress, but unfortunately, she died in 2016 August. She was a popular tigress who was photographed the most in the world.

It was her who attracted many tourists from all over the world to the Ranthambore National Park. One of the daughters of Machli named Krishna or Unis – T19 is the queen tigress of Ranthambore at present.  She gave birth to four cute cubs in the year 2014, named T84, T83, and T85.

You can also find another famous tigress in Ranthambore named Mala or Noor – T39. She got the name Mala since her stripes looked like decorative beads.

She was found with her fourth set of 2 cubs in November 2016. The tiger – Broken Tail became famous as a film was made based on his story and received international publicity.

It was found that he left the park and moved from Ranthambore to Darra. But sadly, he was killed by a speeding train while he was crossing the tracks. The documentary made on his behalf was named Broken Tail, and it was presented worldwide on many TV channels.

The park also holds another male tiger named Dollar/Zalim –T25, who fathered two female cubs when their mother died due to a disease. These two cubs were transferred to Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2012 when they reached the age of two years old.

A census conducted in 2014 gave the count of 62 tigers in Ranthambore National Park, which shows the numbers have increased.

During the visit to the national park, you can take different safaris with tour guides along.  Spotting predators might be a stroke of luck.

But, plan well and take the guidance of the tour guides from the national park to choose the best time to go for a safari to see the animals.

The Ranthambore National Park is home to tigers,30 different mammals, almost 12 reptiles, and different species of birds, including both domestic and exotic migratory birds.

One of the sights you will be amazed at is the marsh crocodiles resting on the banks of lakes. The national park is open from October 1st to June 30th every year.

The entrance time to the park is 0600 am to 0930am in the morning and from 0200 pm to 0530 pm in the evening. There are charges for safaris, based on the type you choose.

Charges for the Ranthambore Safari

  1. Jeep (6 –seater) – Indian Nationals – INR 1500 per person | Foreign Nationals – INR 2900 per passenger
  2. Canter (20 –seater) Indian National – INR 1000 | Foreign National – INR 2300

Charges for Special Safari

 1. Half-day Safari – Indian National – INR 33,000 per jeep | Foreign Nationals – INR 56,000 per jeep

  1. Full Day Safari – Indian Nationals – INR 57,000 |Foreign Nationals – INR 72,000 per jeep

How to Reach

Air: The closest is the Jaipur International Airport to Sawai Madhopur or Ranthambore and 183 km from the national park.

By Road: There are well-connected roads from all the important cities. Government buses, private taxis, and buses are all available.

By Rail:  Regular trains to Sawai Madhopur Railway Station are accessible easily from many major cities. It is only at a distance of 14 km from the Ranthambore National Park. Jaipur Railway Stations is a little far from the national park that is around 200 km.

Best Places to Visit / Other Tourist Attractions

  1. Ranthambore Fort

During the 10th century, this fort was built by Chauhan rulers and is one of the renowned tourist locations in Rajasthan. The fort was built at a location ideal to keep away the enemies. One of the famous ancient practices, known as “Jauhar,” meaning self-immolation, was performed here by the royal women when Alauddin Khilji, a Muslim invader, sieged the fort during 1303.

Ranthambore Fort

  1. Ghushmeshwar Temple

This temple is located in a village known as Siwar, in Sawai Madhopur. You can find many mythological stories engraved on the temple. One of the famous stories here is about Lord Shiva. He resurrected a devotee’s son, and he also promised to name Devagiri Hills Ghushmeshwar after her name – Gushma.

  1. Tonk

About 96 km from Jaipur, on your way to Ranthambore, Tonk is seen. It is a fortress of the Pathan tribesman of Afghanistan. There are many colonial buildings, Quasi-Hindu architecture, painted mosques, and even the origin of ancient manuscripts and books.

  1. Sunheri Kothi

Established in 1824, this mansion made by Nawab Ameer Khan was later renovated by Nawaab Ibrahim Ali Khan.  You can find intricate work with mirrors, gilded stucco, mosaic, and lapez lazuli, painted and polished floors, colored glasses, etc., which makes this place extraordinary.

  1. Hathi Bhata

Hathi in Hindi means Elephant. This statue of an elephant was constructed in the year 1200 by Ran Bath Slat, made from a single stone. En route to Sawai Madhopur, situated about 10 km from Kakod, is this beautiful creation. The inscriptions on the rock tell a story about Raja Nal and Damayanti.

  1. Amreshwar Mahadev

On the way to Ranthambore National Park, Amreshwar Temple is nestled within the high hills. The major attractions of the temple are the 12 Jyotirlingas and an 11 feet Shiva Linga. Several tourists and devotees visit this temple.

  1. Khandhar Fort

Situated 45 km from Sawai Madhopur, this imposing fort is worth a visit.  The Sisodia Kings of Mewar ruled it, but later, it was taken over by the Mughals.  This fort is located on the boundary of Ranthambore National Park.

The main gate of kumbhalgarh fort
The main gate of Kumbhalgarh Fort
  1. Shilpgram

About 10 km from Ranthambore National Park is the Shilpgram located in the village known as Ramsinghpura. This museum is only 9 km from the city of Sawai Madhopur. It is viewed more as a craft village that showcases remarkable diversity in arts, crafts, and cultures of different states of India.

Additional Info

  • STD Code:  07462
  • Languages Spoken: Marwari, Rajasthani, Hindi, and English
  • Major Festivals: Ranthambore Music & Wildlife Festival
  • Notes/Tips: The visiting time of Ranthambore National Park may vary according to the season.
  • Nearest Tourist Information Center: Contact – +91 746 222 0808
  • Nearest Hospital: Gangauri Hospital | Contact – +919414030988
  • Nearest Police Station: Mantown Police Station | Contact – 07462-220456

Also Read: Places to Visit in Rajasthan

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