Ranthambore is one of the largest and most famous national parks in Northern India. It is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of South Eastern Rajasthan. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. Ranthambore National Park is surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravali Hill ranges and is located very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. Therefore, this place offers the best of the desert land as well as plain area near the hills.

Ranthambore National Park lies at the edge of a plateau, which is bound to the north by the Banas River and the Chambal River to its south. Ranthambore gets its name from the magnificent Ranthambore fortress which lies within the National Park itself.

In 1955, Ranthambore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary by the Indian Government and it became one of the Project Tiger Reserves in 1973. It became Ranthambore National Park in 1980, after which, adjacent forests were declared part of the sanctuary. In 1991, the reserve was extended even further to inlcude the Sawai Man Singh and Kelvadevi Sanctuaries.

Though relatively small in size, the Ranthambore National Park is known all over the world, for its rich and varied wildlife. Obviously, the major attraction in Ranthambore is the presence of a significant population of Royal Bengal Tigers, whose number are estimated between 30-40. In 2008, more than 14 tiger cubs were also recorded. This was largely attributed to sustained efforts by forest officials to curb poaching. The wildlife in the park also includes a good number of mammal species, bird species and reptiles. According to a recent census there are around 30 mammal species, 272 bird species, 12 reptile species and 350 plant species including 50 aquatic plants.

The lakes and water holes inside the park offer the best opportunities for sightings. The park attracts thousands of wildlife lovers from all over the world and is a favourite with wildlife photographers. You can see the Blue Bull or Nilgai, Caracal, Langur, Common Mongoose, Palm Civet, Indian Fox, Indian Gazelle, Indian Porcupine, Indian Wild Boar, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civet, Spotted Dear, Striped Hyena, Dhole, Leopard and the Tiger.

Wild Animals of Ranthambore National Park

A Selection of Ranthambore's Mammals

  • Royal Bengal Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Jungle Cat
  • Desert Cat
  • Caracal
  • Palm Civet or Toddy Cat
  • Small Indian Civet
  • Striped Hyena
  • Indian Fox
  • Sloth Bear
  • Blue Bull or Nilgai
  • Indian Gazelle or Chinkara
  • Sambar
  • Spotted Deer or Chital
  • Indian Wild Boar
  • Hanuman Langur
  • Common Mongoose
  • Small Indian Mongoose
  • Fivestriped Palm Squirrel
  • Flying Fox
  • Rufoustailed Hare
  • Ratel
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Long-eared Hedgehog
  • Common Yellow Bat
  • House Mouse
  • House Rat
  • Indian False Vampire
  • Indian Gerbil
  • Indian Mole Rat

A Selection of Ranthambore's Birds

Greylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Grey Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove, Crakes, Snipes, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bitterns, Flamingos, Ibis, Pelicans, Storks, Pittas, Shrikes, Treepies, Crows, Orioles, Cuckoo-Shrikes, Minivets, Drongos, Flycatchers, Ioras, Wood-Shrikes, Sparrows, Finches, Wagtails, Pipits, Bayas, Munias, Bulbul, Mynas, Falcons etc

A Selection of Ranthambore's Reptiles

March Crocodile, Indian Monitor Lizard, Indian Python, Banded Krait, Common Krait, Cobra, Freshwater or Swamp Crocodile, Ganga Soft-shelled Turtle, Indian Python, North Indian Flap-shelled Turtle, Rat Snake, Russell's Viper, Saw-scaled Viper, the Desert Monitor Lizard and the Indian Chameleon.