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Ranthambore National Park
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Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and most famous national parks in northern India. It is situated in Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 180 km from Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away.

Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India, and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambhore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.

Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these majestic predators in the jungle. Tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time. A good time to visit Ranthambore National Park is in November and May when the nature of the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India.

The park lies at the edge of a plateau, and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. There are several lakes in the park. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. The park covers an area of 392 km², and is famous for its tiger population, and is one of India's Project Tiger reserves. Other major wild animals include the tiger, leopard, nilgai, dhole, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Ranthambore is also the site for one of the largest banyan trees in India.

Major Attractions

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.

Safari Rides: Rides are carried out at two times:0630 and 1430. 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 Rs400-500 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.

Padam 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 India’s second largest, is near the lake.

How to get there

By Air : Jaipur at 180 km is the nearest airport from Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary.

By Rail : Ranthambore National Park is around 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur railway station, that lies on the Delhi to Bombay trunk route. This is by far the best way of reaching the place from Delhi or Jaipur.

By Road : A good network of buses connect Sawai Madhopur, the nearest town from Ranthambore to all the major cities within the state of Rajasthan. The frequency of direct services though is not very great. Mostly you have to first take a bus to either Tonk or Dausa.

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    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranthambore_National_Park
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