The forests of Ranthambore National Park were once the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The desire to preserve the game for sport was responsible for their conservation and subsequent rescue by Project Tiger. The Park sprawls over an estimated area of 400 sq kms. Steep crags embrace a network of lakes and rivers: atop one of the hills is the impressive Ranthambore Fort, built in the 10th century. The terrain fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with dhok, being the most prominent tree. The lakes in the area attract tiger which are often spotted at the water’s edge. Old crumbling walls, ruined pavilions, wells, and other ancient structures stand witness to the region’s glorious past. The forest is peppered with battlements and other remnants of Ranthambore Fort. Tigers frequent these ruins too, and are spotted often during the day busy in their normal pursuits, especially stalking or hunting and taking care of their young. With the strict measures that have been taken for their conservation, they seem quite accustomed to human activity and are not disturbed by it. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora including 300 species of trees, 50 of aquatic plants, 272 birds, 12 reptiles (including the marsh crocodile) and amphibians and 30 mammals.
Highlights of India
Ranthambore National Park