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  • Writer's pictureAjaz Shaikh

Weekend Getaway: Ranthambore National Park

Love the thrill involved in waiting for that perfect moment to spot tigers in a dense forest then head to Ranthambore National Park.

How to reach from Mumbai?

Ranthambore National Park 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 it as a weekend trip from Mumbai or you can combine it with a day trip to Jaipur (Like I did). 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 12956 Jaipur Mumbai Central Superfast on Sunday leaves from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station at 04:00 PM and will reach Mumbai Central Railway Station next day around 07:40 AM

There is no direct flight between Mumbai to Ranthambore. The fastest and convenient way to reach Ranthambore is to take Indigo Flight from Mumbai to Jaipur on Friday and Return on Sunday with GoAir Flight. Jaipur is well connected with the metro cities of India. It's a 4 hours ride from Jaipur Airport to Ranthambore. If you are travelling in a group hire a sedan car from Jaipur Airport. It will cost around INR 7500 round way for 3 days. I got Mumbai -Jaipur Roundway flight ticket for INR 5790.00 (Booked two months in advance).

Flight Details:

Friday - Mumbai to Jaipur (Indigo 6E 998 – 19:55)

Sunday - Jaipur to Mumbai (GoAir G8 2608 – 21:45)

Pocket-friendly way to reach Ranthambore from Jaipur is by train. Frequency of train leaving from Jaipur Railway Station is also good, which is 30 mins drive away from the Airport is really good.

Where to Stay?

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

What made Ranthambore so famous?

Today this heritage site is a famous vacation spot which 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 is 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 seater) and 20 canters (20 seater) 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

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. Do checkout well planned one page itinerary to explore Ranthambore.

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.

Some Tips:

  • It is advisable to book your safaris in advance.

  • Avoid Monsoon which is from July to September. It is advised to visit the National Park in October and June to appreciate at the fullest. Summer has been the favourite time for tight sight but heat is tremendous.

Where to go after Ranthambore?



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