Ranthambore is undoubtedly one of the most popular Indian National Park. Set in the backdrops of the Aravallies and the Vindhyas range, it has got some very interesting backgrounds to offer. The forest here changes its colors in every season. It varies from lush green in October, to yellows and reds in winter (from the end of November to February) and to yellows and browns in the summer (March to June). The ancient ruins found all over the park add to this environment. If you are planning to visit it, you should keep following things in mind –
- Not visiting it because you don’t have a good DSLR gear is definitely not a wise decision. If you love nature, you won’t regret visiting it.
- Reaching Ranthambhore :
By train – Sawai Madhopur Railway Station is actually Ranthambhore. The park booking office is just 10-12 Km away.
By road : 4 hours ride from Agra
- Timings of visit –
Morning Safari: 07:30- 10:30 hrs,
Evening Safari: 15:00-17:30 hrs
Morning Safari: 06:30-9:30 hrs
Evening Safari: 16:00-18:30 hrs
- The park remains closed during Monsoon i.e from 1st of July to 30th September.
- The Official tour packages available on the website are a bit costly, so be your own tour operator.
- There are 7 or 8 routes to visit the park, of which route 1 to 5 are in the core tiger zone and rest are in buffer zone. Out of 40 tigers in Ranthambore, 20 are in route 1 to 5, 2 in route 6 and rest are not for the tourists to see.
Only 300 odd tourists are allowed to visit route 1 to 5 and most of the seats are booked in advance. Bookings can be done online or through registered operators.
Often the person lowest in the supply chain can lend you good deal so I have got Number of a driver who promised me a route 1 to 5 ticket. Its +91-9460248249.
- There are two modes for visiting the park: Canters (open buses) and Jeeps. The ticket price for a canter is around Rs. 450 and for jeeps it is Rs. 3500 (for a group of 6). It is difficult to book jeeps in Ranthambore. Only a limited number of jeeps are permitted to go inside the park and since there is a huge demand for them, they get booked well in advance.
- The Canter “safari bus” is not so good for photography. Not only do they offer a much higher angle than jeeps, there are other people in the Canter too and they may all be moving at the same time.
- There is no charge for ‘still’ cameras but for camcorders, there is some.
- The probability of tiger-sighting is very less. So don’t miss on the other things. Ranthambhore houses a variety of animals and birds.
- Don’t follow a tight schedule; you might even want to take up another ride. In fact most of the visitors take more than one ride.
- FYI: The most famous tigress of Ranthambhore is Machli (search on Youtube). This tigress was reportedly gifted by Russel Brand to Katy Perry on their wedding. Brand, in turn, pays for some of the tiger’s care.
PS: I couldn’t manage any good shot 😦