Surrounded by the Vindhyas and Aravalli Hill Ranges and located very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert in the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places to see tigers in India. The sanctuary offers a unique house for tigers and other fast depleting animals. Earlier used as the hunting ground by the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park was later declared as a game sanctuary in 1955 and a National Park in 1980.
Sprawled over an area of 150 sq. miles, the Ranthambore National Park has six man-made lakes and various other streams meandering through it, which attract a great deal of wildlife. Listed amongst one of the reserves under Project Tiger, Ranthambore National Park lies in the region of hills between the Rivers Chambal and Banas and is dominated by Ranthambore Fort.
Tigers, the pride of Ranthambore National Park rule the place and co-exist along with a large numbers of Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazelle, Bears, Mongoose, Indian Hare and Monitor Lizards. The other wild animals of the sanctuary are leopard, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and wild boar. There is a rich diversity of bird life, over 270 species, both resident and migrant. It is an ideal place for observing as well as photographing the Tiger in its natural habitat with wild beauty all around in the park. Below the fort is the lake, Padam Talao, with marsh crocodiles and the picturesque Jogi Mahal hunting lodge. Besides this the sanctuary houses 300 species of trees, 50 types of aquatic plants, 272 species of birds, 12 different varieties of reptiles including the amphibians and 30 species of mammals.
The best way to explore Ranthambore National Park is through the jeep safari. One can take pleasant drives to places like Nal Ghanti, Lahpur, Bakula, Anantpur and Kachida valley in the park, where the wild animals can be found.
The summer months are excellent seasons for viewing wildlife gathered around the lakes, but it gets very hot. Ranthambore National Park is about 130 km from the city of Jaipur.