Ranthambore National Park

About Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambhore National Park is a dry deciduous forest in Rajasthan, India. It is abode to over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 40 species of reptiles, and approximately 300 species of plants.

The forest of Ranthambore gets its name from the fort of Ranthambore. The Fort is located in the middle of the jungle and witnesses the vibrant long history of this imperial era.

Ranthambore National Park is situated in the desert state of Rajasthan. The forest remains dry for more than eight months in a year; therefore, the chances of spotting this elusive big cat are much higher as compared to other tiger reserves in India.

Quick Journey of Ranthambore National Park

  • 1955 - The reserve was earlier confirmed as the Sawai Madhopur Sanctuary by the Government of India.
  • 1973 - It was announced as a part of Project Tiger in India.
  • 1980 - Ranthambore was declared a National Park.
  • 1984 - The adjacent forests were proclaimed as Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.
  • 1991 - The tiger reserve was broadened to include Sawai Mansingh and Keladevi Sanctuaries.

Due to the extreme exploitation of forest areas in India, forest conservation policies were severely required in the country. By the mid-twentieth century, in 1953, the Rajasthan Forest Act came into force to provide some legal protection to the forests and wildlife in Rajasthan. Though it was not sufficient to completely protect the forest cover, it has slowed down the exploitation rate.

Ranthambore National Park was established initially as Sawai Madhopur Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India. Thus, any commercial activity in the forest was totally prohibited. However, the total of tigers in the forests was declining, and this wild predator came on the verge of extinction in the country. So, a tiger conservation program, "Project Tiger", was started in 1973 by the Government of India. The government took an area of 60 sq miles of Sawai Madhopur Sanctuary under the Project Tiger Scheme, which was declared the Tiger reserve area.

By 1980, more than 12 villages were relocated out of the sanctuary, and a region of around 282.03 sq km was declared a part of the national park. Since then, the area of the tiger reserve has kept on increasing over time by including the adjoining forest areas in the protected zone. In 1983, 647 sq km of forest lying adjacent to the north side of the Ranthambore National Park was named the Kela Devi Sanctuary and included in the tiger reserve zone.

Similarly, 130 sq km of forest beside the park's southern periphery was declared the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary in 1984 and incorporated into the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Due to these tiger conservation efforts, the tiger count has improved tremendously since Project Tiger was prompted. According to the 2019 census, the count of tigers was 74 in the Ranthambore. Ranthambore National Park wildlife safari is regarded as the best in the world to see tigers in their natural habitat.

Geography of the Park

Ranthambore is located in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan and spread over an area of 1700 sq km. During the rainy season, the National Park is very green; otherwise, this National Park is known as a Dry Forest Park. Many water bodies are loacted all over the park, offering a cool and breezy climate throughout the sizzling summer months. There is a massive fort, atop a hillock after which the park is named. Many ruins and excavations of former eras is spread all over the dry deciduous forest, giving it a characteristic, breathtaking, and mixed flavour of environment, history, and the natural world.

Quick Fact & Figure of Ranthambore National Park 

  • Area: 1700 sq. km.
  • Latitudes: 25 460°N to 21 12°N
  • Longitudes: 76 17°E to 77 13°E
  • Nearest Railway Station: Sawai Madhopur (10 km)
  • Nearest Airport: Jaipur (approx 200 km)
  • Average elevation: 350 meters M.S.L.
  • Temperature: Summer highest of 48°C, Winter lowest of 02°C
  • Climate November to March: Cold 
  • Climate October to April: Moderate
  • Annual Rain Fall: 800 mm
  • Rainy Season: July to September, and a section of the park remains closed during that period.
  • Type of Forest: Dry deciduous forest
  • Geography: There are two hill ranges that meet in the forest, Aravali and Vindhya ranges.
  • Roads: 300km of the road network

The landscape of the Ranthambore forest is mostly rough and rugged, with low hills and steep outcrops. The hilly area of the Aravali range normally has cliffs on one side and a moderate slope on the other. This Aravali stretch is mostly undulating terrain except for a few small flat areas and a few small valleys.


Ranthambore National Park

Located in the southeastern region of Rajasthan, the terrain around Ranthambore starts to switch from the arid and dry Thar Desert to dense forests. Ranthambore's environment is quite distinct as it is situated in the heart of the Aravali and the Vindhya ranges. The climatic conditions, though, are very identical to those elsewhere in Rajasthan.

The summers are scorching, while the winters are relatively cold. Unlike other places in Rajasthan, Ranthambore weather is exceptional in monsoon, as it obtains a good amount of rainfall. In the monsoon season between July and September, zones 1 to 5 of Ranthambore National Park remain closed for tiger safari while zones 6 to 10 stay open during monsoons.

weather in Summer

Summer: April to June

Between April and June (summer season), Ranthambore experiences hot and humid weather, with temperatures rising to 40℃. The month of April is still comfortable, with mercury not surpassing more than 30 – 35℃. However, May and June are particularly hot months. During the summers, one has more possibilities of sighting tigers and other animals who visit the water bodies to keep themselves hydrated.

weather in  monsoon
Monsoon: July to September

Ranthambore receives a decent amount of rainfall during monsoons. The monsoon rains get enough water to rejuvenate the forest of Ranthambore. While the monsoon revives the forests and vegetation to full bloom, the number of animals that come out to graze and feed on the newly blooming grass also rises. However, Ranthambore National Park remains partially closed throughout the monsoon.

weather in
Winter: October to March

The daytime weather is enjoyable and hovers around 19°C. The nights and early mornings are cold. The closed park now reopens for safari and tourism steadily rises. The safari occurs in two slots each day, morning and evening. The gypsy and canter safari is the key attraction here.

Quick Facts:

Summer highest of 48°C
Winter lowest of 2°C

November to March - Cold
October & April - Moderate

Annual Rain Fall: 800 mm
Rainy Season: 
July to September (the park remains partly closed)


The flora in Ranthambore National Park is mainly of the dry deciduous type. The grass, shrubs, and leaves of trees provide deer and other herbivores with their nutrition. These herbivores are the principal prey of the tigers of Ranthambore. Hence we see that the flora of Ranthambore is an integral part of the local food chain.

The beautiful natural surroundings of the forest of Ranthambore and the serenity here are profoundly soothing and delightful for the mind. The dense green region and the sparse shrubs in the desert region make this location a unique site for nature lovers. It is assessed that there are nearly 300 species of vegetation found in and around the Ranthambore reserve forest. The most imposing plant of all the plant types of the Ranthambore National Park is the 'Dhok,' otherwise called Anogeissus pendula. This tropical tree comprises more than three-fourths of the flora of this national park. This tree has a height of up to 15 meters, and its bushes and natural products establish significant food sources for animals like Deer, Antelope, and Nilgai.

Aside from the Dhok tree, the other premium trees of this park are Banyan, Pipal, and Neem. These trees have medicinal as well as therapeutic qualities. The organic product trees noticeably found in the Ranthambore are Mango, Tamarind (Imli), and Jamun (Indian blackberry or Ber). 

The Chhila, otherwise known as the flame of the forest because of its striking orange color offer an incredible backdrop for nature lovers.

Aside from these noticeable trees, other flora found in the park are Babul, Gum, Gurjan, Kadam, Khair, Khajur, Kakera, Karel, Khimi, Kikar, Mahua, Salar, Kulu, Ronj, Tendu, and others. Lotus and water lilies are amphibian flowers found in the waterholes of Ranthambore National Park. Boundaries of the lakes are hung with Khus grass.

A visit to Ranthambore national park will give you a remarkable involvement with the rich diversity of vegetation viewed here. With its diurnal tigers, Ranthambore National Park is the most prominent tiger reserve in India.

Some Common Vegetation

Indian Name Botanical Name
Aam Mangifera Indica
Babul Acacia Nilotica
Banyan Ficus Benghalensis
Ber Zizyphus Mauritania
Dhak or Chila Butea Monosperma
Dhok Anogeissus pendula
Imli Tamarindicus Indica
Jamun Syzygium Cumini
Kadam Anthocephalus Cadamba
Khajur Phoenix Sylvestris
Indian Name Botanical Name
Khair Acacia Catechu
Karel Capparis Decidua
Khejda Prosopis Specigera
Kakera Flacourtia Indica
Mohua Madhuca Indica
Neem Azadirachta Indica
Pipal Ficus Religiosa
Khus Grass Vetivaria Zizznioides
Karaya Gum Tree Sterculia Urens
Tendu Diospyros Melanoxylon


Wildlife at Ranthambore National park

Ranthambore National Park is one of the leading and most famous National Parks in Northern India, which is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. It is the ideal choice for wildlife tourism in Rajasthan, which is considered the best for tiger sighting in natural wild habitats. Ranthambore's unique climate and vegetation have given birth to beautiful dry deciduous forests making it easy to see wildlife on the jungle safari.

Ranthambore is home to a large number of mammals, reptiles, and bird species. It is one of India's renowned tiger reserves. However, there are good opportunities to see many other mammals here, including leopard, sloth bear, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sambar and chital. Other than this, the national park also has a rich population of marsh crocodile, palm civet, jackal, desert fox, serpent eagle, and waterfowl that, along with others, make 40 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles and 320 species of birds.

There are five cat species found in Ranthambore: Tiger, Leopard, Caracals, Jungle cats and Rusty Spotted cats. The hoofed population includes Sambar, Spotted deer (chital), Blue bull (Nilgai), Chinkara (Indian gazelle) and wild boar. 

The other wild animals species that can be glimpsed in the Ranthambore tiger reserve are - Sloth Bear, Jackal, striped Hyena, Common Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Long Eared Hedgehogs, Five Striped Palm Squirrel, Indian Porcupine, Indian Hare, Indian mole-rat, Indian Flying Fox, Greater false vampire bat, Indian gerbil.

There is also a considerable number of reptiles in the park, starting with Snout marsh Crocodile or Mugger, Bengal monitor or common Indian monitor lizard, Indian Rock Python, Indian Rat Snake, Indian bullfrog, skittering frog, Tortoise, Banded krait, Cobra, Indian or common krait, Indian soft-shell turtle, Indian flap shell turtle and Russell's viper.

Commonly Spotted Animals

Common Name Scientific name
Hare Lepus Nigricollis
Indian Mole-Rat Bandicota Bengalensis
Indian Flying Fox Pteropus Giganteus
Greater False Vampire Bat Megaderma Lyra
Crocodile Crocodylidae
Monitor Lizard Varanus Bengalensis
Rock Python Python Molurus
Indian Rat Snake Ptyas Mucosa
Bullfrog Hoplobatrachus Tigerinus
Tortoise Testudinidae
Cobra Naja
Indian soft-shell Turtle Nilssonia Gangetica
Indian flap shell Turtle Lissemys Punctata
Common Name Scientific name
Tiger Panthera Tigris
Leopard Panthera Pardus
Sloth Bear Melursus Ursinus
Nilgai Boselaphus Tragocamelus
Chinkara Gazella Bennettii
Wild boar Sus Scrofa
Sambar Deer Rusa Unicolor
Chital Cervus Axis
Jackal Canis Aureus
Desert Fox Fennecus Zerda
Striped Hyena Hyaena Hyaena
Porcupine Hystrix Indica
Common Mongoose Herpestes Edwardsii

Bird watching at Ranthambore Wildlife Safari

Besides being a famous Tiger reserve, Ranthambore is also home to many birds, making it an important birding destination in India. Bird-watching can be done by a jeep or canter safari inside the park. Some of the best bird-watching locations in Ranthambore National Park are Malik Talao, Ranthambore Fort, Rajbagh lake, and Padam Talao.

Home to around 320 species of birds, including resident birds and migratory birds, Ranthambore National Park presents you with an incredible bird-watching opportunity. Due to the presence of numerous water bodies which have water all around the year, Ranthambore has an impressive population of residents and migratory birds.

Some of the main bird species which are seen here often are Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Common Kingfishers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Asian Palm Swift, Parakeets, Owl, Nightjars, Crakes, Snipes, Dove, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Gulls, Terns, Darters, Herons, Bitterns, Cormorants, Egrets, Storks, Pittas, Flamingos, Ibis, Orioles, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Crows, Flycatchers, Ioras, Sparrows, Finches, Wood Shrikes, Pipits, Bayas, Wagtails, Mynas, Falcons, Bulbul, etc.

Commonly Spotted Birds

Indian Name Scientific name
Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne Rupestris
Dusky Crag Martin Ptyonogrogne Concolo
House sparrow Passer Domesticus
Yellow-throated Sparrow Petronia Xanthocollis
White Wagtail Motacilla Alba
White-browed Wagtail Motacilla Maderaspatensis
Long-billed Pipit Anthus Similis
Tree Pipit Anthus Trivialis
Olive-backed Pipit Anthus Hodgsoni
Cattle Egret Babulcus Ibis
Indian Pond-Heron Ardeola Grayii
Little Heron Butorides Striatus
Asian Pied Starling Sturnus Contra
Common Myna Acridotheres Tristis
Bank Myna Acridotheres Ginginianus
Indian Name Scientific name
India Peafowl Francolinus Podicerinus
Garganey Anas Querquedula
Shoveler Anas Clypeata
Mallard Anas Platyrybchos
Spot-billed Duck Anas Poecilorhyncha
Bar-headed Goose Anser Indicus
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna Ferruginia
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis Melantos
Common Teal Anas Crecca
White-Cheeked Bulbul Pcnonotus Leucogenys
Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus Cafer
Brown-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos Nanas
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Dendrocopos Mahrattesis
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis Capensis
Plain Martic Riparia Paludicola
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