N A T I O N A L P A R K
The Ranthambhore National Park, which is a part of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, lies in the Sawai Madhopur district of eastern Rajasthan. The Chambal river forms a natural boundary of the park towards the east and also as a boundary to adjoining state Madhya Pradesh. Banas river to the northeast which is a tributary of Chambal river. Across the river Banas, lies the Keladevi sanctuary famous for Birds & Hyenas , the Sawai Man Singh sanctuary lies to the south of the Park. Both these sanctuaries, along with the Ranthambhore National Park, are part of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. Today this Project Tiger Reserve spans over 1334 sq. km of area, of which 282 sq. km is the Ranthambhore National Park.
It is home to over 40 species of mammals which includes the Flagship mega fauna Tiger & other carnivorous animals like Leopards,Carcal, Hyena, Jungle cats , Jackals, 350 species of birds , over 40 species of reptiles including the monitor lizard & marsh crocodile and over 300 species of plants with a terrain of mostly rugged hills , plateau & valleys with mostly of sandstones.
Summers start during end of March and last through June. During this season the days are very hot and dry. During May and June, day temperature can cross 48 degrees centigrade and the minimum night temperature still hangs around 36 degrees centigrade. The monsoon or the rainy season lasts from July to September. The winter season lasts from November to February. The night temperature stays below 10 degrees centigrade during winter & sometimes can drop to 2 degrees also, while the day temperature stays at 20 degrees.I had visited this place in the end of May , so all the pictures were taken during the very hottest season of the year.
The purpose of coming to Ranthambhore at this scorching 48 degrees with a four time cold bath had a cause & that was to attend the Naturalist Leadership Course 2010 conducted by a NGO called Tiger Watch at Sawai madhopur.
The RNP has 5 tourist zones & tourist are allotted to enter these zone at the ticket counter prior to entry, I had been to Zone 2,3, & 5 during my entire stay.
We were greeted by this long billed vulture which is a resident bird in this park. I was told about this by my INW friend Mr.Arijit Bannerji (Arijit dada) who is an IFS Senior Environment Officer(Kolkata).
It was a bright sunny day & we were in the Zone 3 , excited to see striped yellow beast & to our luck we did not spot a mammal for nearly an hour & as we were passing on a rough terrain I spotted a small yellow patch with 3/4th of itself submerged in a pool of water under a big tree shade, initially it was very difficult to spot as it was very far from us.
It was perfectly camouflaged to the long dry forest grass, he then got up from the pool & walked towards us. At first it looked calm & then a bit curious walking straight towards us.
My Nikon D300s with Sigma 500mm rocked & perhaps I have taken almost 200 shots at 8fps of this beast & could make a movie if I could join them. It came so close around 12 feet that I saw only its pupil through my lens, i just stopped shooting & saw this charismatic powerful creature walked by 10feet from us with grace.
It was exciting !!!! .. it went further climbing a rocky hill & gave a lovely pose saying “I RULE THIS PLACE” .
RNP has variety of mammals , reptiles & birds & I have posted a few photos them.
RNP is also very good birding spot especially the track 2 & 3. I spotted more than 80 species of birds, but unfortunately you cant get down from the vehicle, so for photographing birds on would need a minimum telephoto lens of 300mm and above for better shots..
Some of the birds mammals & reptiles i shot in RNP.
Painted Stork & Marsh crocodile gossipping
Stay: Nearest town is sawai madhopur.
How to reach RNP (Ranthambhore National Park): Nearest railway station is Sawai Madhopur railway station -11Kms.
Nearest Airport: Sanganer Airport Jaipur which is 180Kms.
Many resorts & lodges are abundantly available here with budget range starting from Rs.1500/head which includes breakfast,lunch ,dinner & stay for a night up to Rs.20,000/head . This depends on seasons too. I stayed at Hammir resorts which was fairly reasonable.
Indian Peafowl (Peacock)
The famous Indian National Bird
“How will be the Future of these very little spared wonderful creature”
For more photos on Ranthambhore check here