The former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in Eastern Rajasthan at the confluence of the Aravali hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau.
Two rivers flow through the Ranthambore National Park – the Chambal River in the South and the Banas River in the North. Six man-made lakes and many perennial streams pass through the entire national park. In 1955, the Ranthambore National Park was declared a game sanctuary; and in 1980, it attained the status of a national park. With the initiation of Project Tiger in 1972, it was declared as a tiger reserve in India.
The total area of the Ranthambore National Park is 1,334 sq km along with its adjoining sanctuaries – the Kaila Devi Sanctuary and the Mansingh Sanctuary. The typical feature of the park is that out of the entire park some areas are open for the tourists to wander in and explore the flora and fauna of the park. The Ranthambore National Park is nestled between the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges. The rugged terrain and the dense deciduous forests are major features of this national park, which has among the the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India.
Ranthambore is also categorised as a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins of the fort that dot the park. The lake palaces, ‘chhatris’, old fortifications and a majestic fort dating back to 1,000 years overlook the park. The Jogi Mahal and the Padam Talao are the unique features of Ranthambore National Park. The park is famous for the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers, which can be seen around the lakes and watering holes, prowling through the forest or resting on the ruins of the fort. Ranthambore National Park is one of the best sanctuaries to see tigers in their wild habitat in India. Many dignitaries have visited Ranthambore National Park to see its majestic tigers. President Bill Clinton of the United States came to Ranthambore National Park on his visit to India and expressed his delight at seeing the tigers of Ranthambore.