What makes you stop short in your trail, when visiting a wildlife sanctuary?
Ancient trees wrapped in coiled creepers? The scuttle of a porcupine or a jungle fowl? Cheeky monkeys and langurs glaring at you from their vantage perches? Or the chilly small hours of the morning, when the entire forest is veiled by grey mist? Or is it the nervous anticipation of hearing that thunderous growl? If you’re looking for this soothing atmosphere and the thrill of seeing the big striped cats of the Indian wildlife landscape, then Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary checks all these boxes.
Read More: Ranthambore National Park in 24 Hours
A park that holds sway in the northern part of the country, Ranthambore is spread over nearly 400 acres. It was once the hunting ground for Rajasthan’s royal families, but later conservation efforts turned the tenor around. Now, it is one of the most celebrated national parks that are partial to the conservation of the Royal Bengal tigers.
Read More: 10 must-see national parks in India
Anthony Malik, a tiger specialist who has scoured the jungles of India for the last 20 years, gives us a lowdown on which tigers to look out for in Ranthambore. After the famous Machli tigress passed away in 2016, there was an expected decrease in the interest of tourists. But as the jungle rules go, new cubs have been born and new territories have been defined, so the excitement hasn’t ebbed.
Getting There: The closest airport from Ranthambore is the Jaipur International Airport. From here, the park is 180km away. Sawai Madhopur Railway station is the nearest rail junction.
Best Season: October – June
Highlights: Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards
Stay: Stay at the Alsisar Haveli for a heritage experience combined with the thrill of staying on the fringes of the jungle. (www.alsisar.com)