Sawai Madhopur is the gateway to the world renowned
Ranthambhore National Park- the famous Tiger Reserve ,
just 12 km away from here. Ranthambhore has been a
witness to the rise and fall of many rulers and a series
of battle scenes. In the 13th century A.D. Govinda, the
grandson of Prithviraj Chauhan took over the reign of
the land. Later his successor Vagabhatta, beautified the
city and built a noteworthy temple at Jhain. In the
middle of the 15th century A.D. Rana Kumbha captured the
fort and gifted it to his son to be occupied later by
the Hada Rajputs of Bundi and Mughal Emperors Akbar and
Aurangazeb. Mughal Emperor Shah Alam gifted it to
Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur in 1754 and since
then it was maintained as the hunting preserve of the
Maharaja. Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
were part of the royal hunting who stayed here.
Places to Visit
Ranthambhore’s royal past manifests itself in the
well-preserved imposing fort, built in 994 A.D. atop a
steep high creek 200 metres above sea level. Ruined
pavilions, walls, chhatris and splendid monuments are
interspersed within the majestic fort. An 8th century
A.D. Ganesh temple on an open land attracts thousands of
devotees and is the venue for an annual fair held on.
Bhadrapad Sudi Chaturthi, fourth day of the bright half,
in the month of Bhadra.
Ranthambhore National Park :
The 392 sq. km. Park comprises of dry deciduous forests
sprawling over an undulating terrain of the Aravalli and
Vindhyan ranges .The park is one of the finest tiger
reserves in the country under the Project Tiger. The
majestic predators, assured of protection, roam freely
during the day time and can be seen at close quarters.
Ranthambhore sanctuary has a large number of sambhar,
chital. Nilgai, chinkara, langur , wild boar and
A system of three pretty artificial lakes-Padam Talab,
Rajbagh and Milak Talab, alongwith a number of anicuts
are part of the biosphere. Besides enhancing the scenic
beauty of the Park, they are an important source of
water for the inhabitants of the park. While deer
congregate here to drink water, fresh water crocodiles
can be seen basking in the winter sun to regulate their
body temperature. The lake also attracts a large number
of migratory and local birds. The local fauna of the
park includes leopard, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, sloth
bear and a little population of pythons. The lovely Jogi
Mahal overlooking the pretty Padam Talab at the foot of
the fort has a Forest Rest House. Other accommodation
outside the fort also ensures a comfortable stay.
Earlier the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur,
the Park at Ranthambhore was once the scene of royal
hunting parties. Today, it is famous for its tigers and
is one of the best places in the country to see these
majestic predators in the wild. The tigers can be
spotted quite often even during the day, at their normal
pursuits - hunting and taking care of their young. With
the strict measures that have been taken for their
conservation, they seem quite accustomed to human
activity and are not disturbed by it. A good time to
visit is between November and April when the nature of
the dry deciduous forests makes sightings common.
Ranthambhore has large numbers of sambar, chital and
nilgai. Sounders of boar and an occasional gazelle the
chinkara can be seen, as also the Indian hare, mongoose
and monitor lizards. The lakes and pools at the Park are
where the deer congregate and where it is easiest to see
the animals. Among the other local fauna are the
leopard, hyena, jackal, jungle cats, sloth bear and
marsh crocodile. A view of the Jogi Mahal deciduous
forests of the ancient Aravalli range, are excellent
tiger country and Sariska, was once the royal reserve of
the rulers of Alwar. Declared a sanctuary in 1955, it
became a Tiger Reserve in 1979 under Project Tiger.
Jacanas, painted stork, black stork, and white necked
stork are seen along the water bodies.
Peafowl are found in abundance and other birds include
Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, the great Indian
horned owl, quail, partridge, spur fowl and the paradise
flycatcher. The Park which covers an area of 392 sq. km.
is set between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. Its
deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent
jungles of Central India. The terrain is rugged and
there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys with
lakes and pools. Ranthambhore's royal past manifests
itself in the picturesque ruins that dot the Park. There
are lake palaces, chhatris, old fortifications and a
majestic thousand year old fort on a height overlooking
the Park. The forest rest house at the foot of the
Ranthambhore fort is located in the lovely Jogi Mahal.
The best time to visit is between November and April.
Jeeps are available to take you around the park.
By Airways : Jaipur Sanganer is the nearest airport.
For details on air connectivity, see our section on
Apart from a direct link with Jaipur, the place is
connected by road to major cities of Rajasthan.