Ranthambore National Park in India – a paradise for tiger lovers

Stef Zisovska
tiger at ranthambore national park - Author:  Sanjay tiwari khamore - CC BY-SA 4.0
tiger at ranthambore national park - Author: Sanjay tiwari khamore - CC BY-SA 4.0

Ranthambore National Park is the best place in the northern part of India to spot a wild tiger. Western people love visiting India because of its exotic culture, religious retreats, delicious food, amazing nature, and wildlife encounters. In 1973, the prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, launched a project called Project Tiger whose aim was to protect the population of Bengal tigers. Since 1980, Ranthambore has been a national park and the main tiger breeding sanctuary in India.

Apart from the Bengal tigers, the park is full with other wildlife including mammals such as the Indian leopard, wild boar, nilgai, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear, and southern plains gray Jaguar. Also, there are various types of bird species, and the reptiles are represented by the mugger crocodile. But still, what’s attracting most visitors to the park are the majestic tigers.

Ranthambore National Park – Author: THerrington – CC BY-SA 3.0
Ranthambore National Park – Author: THerrington – CC BY-SA 3.0

Ranthambore is the place in India for seeing tigers in their natural jungle habitat. These animals can be seen even during the daytime and the best months to visit the park are May and November. The park is famous for its regionally characteristic forests, specific to this part of the country. In fact, Ranthambore National Park is home to the largest Banyan Trees in the world.

The government of India pays the people from the nearby villages to stay away from the park. The idea is to avoid unwanted encounters where a tiger or a human will lose their life. The whole country is making an incredible effort to raise the Bengal tiger population by controlling human activity in their natural habitat. All across the reserve, there are surveillance cameras so the authorities can control the human movement. The main problem is the illegal hunting and capture.

The tigers of Ranthambore National Park

Knowing that there are not too many tigers in the park, they all have their own names, and the park rangers know them and recognize them by their markings. The most famous among them is a tigress called Machali who was separated from her parents when she was a cub. As a baby, she was known as The Lady of the Lakes. Machali gave birth to three female cubs, one of them named Machali Junior, who later mated with Baburam and gave birth to two cubs named Slant Ear and Broken Tail. Machali died on August 2016 at the age 20 years. She was the oldest living tiger in the world. Now her daughter Krishna is the queen tiger of the park.

Machali – Author: Bhavik Thaker – CC-BY 2.0
Machali – Author: Bhavik Thaker – CC-BY 2.0

Another famous tigress in Ranthambore National Park is Noor who has given birth to many cubs. Her son, Sultan, is estimated to be around three years old now. Another male, Broken Tail, became famous after a documentary movie about his life was shown on TV. This tiger’s life ended tragically, while he was traveling from Ranthambore to Darra where he was hit by a train. The documentary about his life was a huge hit at numerous prestigious wildlife film festivals around the world.

The closest airport to Ranthambore National Park is in Jaipur, 89 miles away. The park is located between the Banas and Chambal Rivers. It got its name after the Ranthambore Fortress that still exists within the park.

Chasing the hunt – Author: Psoham87 – CC BY-SA 4.0
Chasing the hunt – Author: Psoham87 – CC BY-SA 4.0

Safari rides are available everyday starting 6:30 a.m. The tour takes about 3 to 4 hours and has a cost of 13 US Dollars per person. You can choose to go on a safari ride with as many 20 or as little as 6 people.

If you are a tiger lover and would like to see your favorite animal in its natural environment, then this is the place you must visit. Knowing that there is a park that protects these incredibly beautiful beasts will make you feel a proud human and you will probably want to join the park team and help them preserve the area. Good luck!

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stef-zisovska is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival