About Ranthambore National Park
This park lies in the shadow of the Aravalli and Vindhya mountain ranges and covers a core area of 275 sq km (106 sq miles).Its razor-sharp ridges, deep boulder-filled gorges, lakes and jungles are the habitat of carnivores such as the caracal, panther, jackal and hyena, numerous species of deer, and a rich variety of resident and migratory birds. The most famous resident, however, is the endangered tiger, and it's a unique experience to catch glimpses of this majestic animal. Like other parks in the region, this was originally the hunting ground of Jaipur's maha-rajas and it only became a Project Tiger Reserve in 1973.
When to visit
The park is closed from July to September during the monsoons, and opens from October to June. November to February is the best time. March, April and May are oppressively hot with the desert 'loo' – hot and dry winds that blow during the day – baking everything in its wake. On the up side, they dry summer months allow for some fantastic animal sightings through the bare vegetation.
Tiger safaris. Don't miss the Ranthambhore fort and wake up early to witness the forest at sunrise. You could also see Ganesh Temple, Jogi Mahal and Ranthambhore School of Art.
There are a plethora of hotels to choose from to fit every budget, most of them scattered on Ranthambhore Road, the long stretch that leads up to the park. Rates vary on and off-season and it is best to book in advance. Many of the hotels include meals in the hotel package.
If you fly to Jaipur, you can hire a car and drive a couple of hours to Ranthambhore, but a direct train from Delhi or Mumbai is advisable. It's a lot cheaper and also less complicated and a much more interesting journey.
Nearest railhead, Sawai Madhopur (15km/1.5 hr) has good connections from the Delhi-Mumbai line. Most resorts will arrange pick-up/drop from the railway station. Or hire a taxi or an auto to your hotel.
The drive from Jaipur via Tonk and Sawai Madhopur to Ranthambhore is 10 km longer than an alternative route via Kanota, Dausa and Lalsot, which is a bad road. Since private vehicles aren't allowed in the park it might be better to go by train instead to Sawai Madhopur.