Ranthambore is best known for its large tiger population. As tourism in the park increased, so did the population of neighbouring villages. This led to increasing amounts of fatal human-tiger interactions and poaching. The Indian Government started Project Tiger in 1973 with an allotted area of 60 mi2. It was later expanded to become what is now called, the Ranthambore National Park. Besides tigers, the reserve has thriving bird population with more than 270 different species of birds here.
In 2005, there were 26 tigers living in Ranthambore. This was significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which then stood at 44. According to non-government sources there were 34 adult tigers in the Ranthambore National Park in 2008. More than 14 tiger cubs were also recorded. This was largely attributed to sustained efforts by forest officials to curb poaching. Villagers in the region were being given incentives to stay out of the park and surveillance cameras were also fitted across the reserve.
Park consists of typical dry deciduous elements with Anogeissus pendula forests
- a dominant tree species. However, mix deciduous elements could be seen in the
valleys and along water bodies. The Flora of the Park is represented by 539
species of flowering plants.
Tigers: The Park is one of the best national parks in
the country to spot a tiger. This majestic predator can be spotted ambling or
basking under the sun here.
Rides: Rides are carried
out at two times: 06:30 and 14:30. Each ride lasts for about 3 hours. There are
two options of vehicles for the safari : 20 seater open top canter or 6
seater open top gypsy. Each ride costs around Rs700-800 per person. The core
park area has been divided into several zones and the safari vehicles go on one
of those zones. Since there is a good chance of not sighting a tiger in one
outing, people usually take more than one ride. There are a lot of quality
resorts on the way from Sawai Madhopur to the national park.
Ranthambore Fort: The
majestic fort, built in 10th-century, towers over the entire park area. It
stands at a height of 700 feet above the surrounding plain. Inside the fort,
there are three red Karauli stone temples devoted
to Ganesh, Shiva and Ramlalaji. The temples were constructed in
12th and 13th centuries.
Talao: This is the largest
of the all the lakes located inside the park, and the beautiful red sandstone
Jogi Mahal is located at the very edge of this lake. A
gigantic banyan tree, considered to be Indiaâ€™s second largest, is
near the lake.