Ranthambore National Park Rajasthan Reviews
Out of Discovery Channel Oct 09, 2011
Since I was a young teen, I was fascinated by animals in wild. Primarily because of all the time that I spent watching Discovery and NatGeo. I was especially fond of Ranthambore Sanctuary as it was considered to be the national park with most tigers and was the shooting location of multiple episodes. Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary depicts the success of Project Tiger.
Recently, as the tiger population in India started plummeting, I figured I better catch at least one glimpse of the tigers that I watched on TV, in real life. It is located in Sawai Madhopur town which has primarily become a tourist town. I visited in December of 2009. The climate is pleasant during that time of the year. It is in low 20s during day and mid 10s in night degree Celsius i.e.)
There are two features of the park. One is the Ranthambore fort and other is the forest. One would spend around half a day at the fort and depending on luck and need/want to spot tigers, a day or two at the wild-life park. You could enter the park either in open trucks which can carry around 25 people or private jeeps which takes 4-5 people within the park. The reservations can be made online or at the local park office. Jeep of course being more expensive than group trucks. I did not make reservations for the safari in advance and quite easily got 4 seats for my family in the truck.
The park is divided in 4-5 sectors. There are couple sectors which have lakes. They say, tigers are quite easily spotted around the lake in summer time (March-May). I visited one sector in the morning and couldn't spot any tiger. The forest however was nice, many old banyan trees (500 years old), many sambar and spotted dears, langurs, were abundantly visible.
We then tried another sector the same evening. During this 3 hour safari, I experienced 10 most anticipated minutes of my life.
It was around 5:30 in the evening, the sun was almost ready to set. And we heard a call from a langur, which is used as one of the important means to locate a tiger. Our guide took the truck to that location. That place had a shallow pond where we saw few dears grazing on the grass just coming out of the water. It included a young one with his mother. Around 100 yards across the pond were long golden bushes, perfect for a camouflaging a tiger. With their ears elongated, the deers were definitely alert. They kept on looking in the direction of the grass. The guide was convinced that there was a tiger in those bushes who is looking to hunt. It seemed a scene out of Discovery channel, nature in its most raw and amazing form, and we had front row seats. I had my camera ready and was waiting for the tiger to spring out of those bushes and run towards the deer. And suddenly we heard another call from a langur. And the deers became all the more vigilant and I, all the more on the edge. We waited there for around 10 minutes, all the engines turned off and everyone being very quite. After a while, deers relaxed and langur stopped making its noises. The tiger seem to have changed his mind. I didn't get to see the hunt that day. However, those 10 minutes are etched in my memory. And while returning I got a very nice shot of a mother and young deer against the Sun, forming a beautiful silhouette.
While returning from the safari, there is a small temple just outside the entrance of the park. There we saw a tiger sitting next to that temple. Oblivious to the crowd and the traffic that was so close to him. It was a full grown male tiger. I had a brief glimpse of my favourite animal in wild (almost wild).
This was my memorable experience of Ranthambore and the hunting that I almost witnessed.
The state Rajasthan is popular for its palaces and forts and very colourful culture. One who is visiting Rajasthan, could spend a day and a half more and visit this place. And for wild-life enthusiasts, this place is a must.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!