• Ajaz Shaikh

Perfect Travel Blueprint for Ranthambore & Jaipur Backpacking Trip

Let's create a perfect travel blueprint that has love of the thrill involved in waiting for that perfect moment to spot tigers in a dense forest of Ranthambore National Park and a romantic pink and regal grandiose city also known as Jaipur.


Let's start with Ranthambore National Park, which is well-connected with all the major cities in India. The cheapest and convenient way to reach Ranthambore is to take a train to Sawai Madhopur Railway Station. Sawai Madhopur has rail connectivity with major cities. Train connectivity is excellent, and it makes sense to either explore Jaipur and Ranthambore separately as a weekend trip from Mumbai. By train, it will take 12 hrs to 16hrs to reach Sawai Madhopur from Mumbai.

From Mumbai, you can take 12953 August Kranti Raj Express on Friday leaves from Mumbai Central Railway Station at 05:40 PM and will reach Sawai Madhopur Railway Station next day around 06:26 AM.

From Jaipur, you can take 09643 Jaipur Bandra Special Express on Tuesday leaves from Jaipur Railway Station at 11:30 PM and will reach Bandra Terminus next day around 10:00 PM

Alternatively, you can also fly from Jaipur to Mumbai by Go Air 21:45 which will cost you around 3500, if booked well in advanced.

Pocket-friendly way to reach Jaipur from Ranthambore is by train. The frequency of trains leaving from Ranthambore Railway Station is also good.

Where to Stay?

Ranthambore: Abrar Palace & Jungle Camps are situated in the heart of Ranthambhore. For an excellent experience stay out in a jungle tent. The Abrar Palace & Jungle Camps have all

that you need. You can enjoy a nature walk in the surrounded property have a lemon, Gooseberry (Amla), Guava, teak wood tree and in the evening you can enjoy Rajasthani & Classical folk dance and music show.

Jaipur: Zostel Jaipur centrally located within the walled city at Hawa Mahal and it is close to all the major attractions of Jaipur. The colourful interiors of the hostel mirror the spirit of the city perfectly. The charges for the stay at Zostel are INR 499 per night for a bed in a dormitory. But I prefer to have my own space, so took a private suite which cost me INR 2199 per night.

Day One: What made Ranthambore so famous?

Today this heritage site is a famous vacation spot that pulls in photographers by the plenty. And who has not heard of the jungle safari in Ranthambore? Most of the people think that embarking on a Ranthambore safari is fantastically costly and entirely out of their budget. I can reveal to you that the expense is minimal when compared to the adrenaline-rushing adventure-filled ride you get to have. Going on a safari in the Ranthambore is conceivable on a shoestring spending budget.

From royal hunting ground to secured protected forests, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan's first Project Tiger Reserve. The place got acclaimed in light of the fact that the royals of Jaipur used to hunt here. Today, the Ranthambore national park is sprawling across a little more than 1300 square kilometres including core and buffer area, because of the inconceivable status of its notable tigers and tiger sightings, the Ranthambore National Park is every wildlife enthusiast's dream come true.

The Ranthambore National Park is well known for tigers whose populace has been hazardously decreasing in recent decades. This place is the breeding ground for the various creatures-the panther, hyena, sloth bear, wild pig etc. No certification that you will see a tiger, however, if you do, you will always remember the excitement.

Ranthambore Jungle Safari

Safari booking at Ranthambhore National Park is controlled by the Dept. of Forest (Govt. of India). As per the current policy 20 jeeps (06 seaters) and 20 canters (20 seaters) are allowed to enter the park per drive (morning and afternoon). I paid around INR 850 per person for a canter and INR 1400 for a jeep through an agent. Of course, the best option would be to book directly online on the Rajasthan govt's wildlife portal http://www.rajasthanwildlife.in

There are 10 different safari zones for tourists inside the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. You can book your safari and choose your preferred safari zone 90 days before date of visit. After 90 days required zones are subject to availability. We found that zone 5 had the best views. Don't even bother getting onto other Buffer zones 6, 7 or 8 as the topography is barren and you will hardly find any animals over there.

Chances of Tiger sightings are higher in Zone 2, 3, 4 & 5. There are two safaris a day and you could choose either. The hotter it gets, the more the sightings so the best time to go is in summer.

And if you're asking me the million-dollar question - did we spot any tigers? Yes; I was lucky to spot is twice in a day.

Ranthambore Fort: World Heritage Site

Ranthambore is a formidable hill fort and has been made more famous by the determination with which it underlined and defended its freedom, even if that meant defying the Empire of Delhi. If Chittod is famous for the valour of Sisodias, it has been the bastion of the Chauhans. It has seen the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan and witnessed the legendary valour of Raja Hammir Dev. Today Ranthambore Fort remains an important historical and religious destination and has been accorded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Ranthambore Fort is located on a 700 feet high hill and covers the whole top of the hill. The fortifications are 7 km long and wind around the place like a coiled serpent. All around the fort, there are ruins of old palaces, royal court, temples – some of them still living, houses of the nobles and commoners, cenotaphs, pavilions, offices, barracks, markets and ponds. There is a Ganesh Temple very near to the main gate of the fort, which is frequented by a large number of pilgrims every day.

The fort is not entirely deserted, some locals still seem to be living there, nor is it a living fort like the one in Jaisalmer; it seems to hang onto life with a thin thread. The interiors of the fort are mostly in ruins, barring a few buildings, two ponds, and a few temples which were

abuzz with activity. The gates are majestic though and still stand tall, especially the Haathi Pol (Elephant Gate) and the Naulakha Pol. 32 pillars chhatri, a beautiful cenotaph on one side of the hill. Under the cenotaph, there is a “hidden” Shiva temple, which Raja Hammir used to visit regularly. Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace) is another important building, though in

ruins. You can move around in circles exploring the fort as much as you could with the time you have, and enjoy the panoramic view of the jungles surrounding the fort; it looks really impressive from the top. The view of the Jungle from the top of the Ranthambore Fort was truly captivating. The temple itself is mystifying as it is said the idol emerged from the rocks on its own and is the only idol of Lord Ganesha which has three eyes and is rightfully called the Trinetra Ganesha.

Day Two: Padharo Jaipur

Majestic buildings, tales of heroic battles, resplendent forts and palaces, and multi-faceted characters, Jaipur has long been one of the shiniest cultural jewels in the history of the Indian subcontinent. With friendly people known for their hospitality, Jaipur offers a plethora of options for travellers.

Day Three: Jaipur Exploration

City Palace

Located just behind the Hawa Mahal are Jaipur’s famous City Palace, the centrepiece of the city and the heart of founder Jai Singh II’s reign. The City Palace includes Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal as well as a number of other structures. Built with highly trained architectural

care. While a part of the palace remains the residence of the royal family of Jaipur even today, visitors have access to other parts of the palace complex. The City Palace also houses a temple and a museum with a fine collection of artefacts.

Timing: 09:30 AM to 05:00 PM & 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM

Entry Fees: For Indian INR 100 per person and INR 400 per person for Foreigner.

Jantar Mantar

Dating back to the 18th century, Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site and a testimony to the scholarly brilliance of a bygone era. Among the 20 instruments found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest sundial in the world.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II not only envisioned and executed the highly organized city of Jaipur, but he was also responsible for the development of five astronomical observatories throughout west-central India. Jantar Mantar is one such observatory located in the heart of Jaipur.

The large-scale geometric formations are the stars of this historical structure, jutting out independently with staircases that lead to nowhere and in what would appear to be a random manner. The observatory is a wonder to architects and artists alike, and today, it is presented to the audience as an all-encompassing experience, complete with time-lapse sequences, drawings and 3D models to showcase this historical site.

Timing: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM

Entry Fees: For Indian INR 50 per person and INR 200 per person for Foreigner.

Patrika Gate

Huge Architecture with beautiful paintings and fountain Patrika Gate has become one of the favourites for every photographer's delight. It has become very famous within a very short time as a lot of pre-wedding shoots also happen at this beautiful place. This place is near