Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Ranthambore National Park

Ranthambore National Park UPSC

Ranthambore National Park, also known as Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, is a renowned national park located in Rajasthan, India. It is one of the largest and most famous national parks in Northern India. It is located at the junction of the Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges, offering a diverse and picturesque landscape.


Ranthambore National Park was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary in 1955 and was later declared a national park in 1980. The park was initially established as a protected area for wildlife, particularly for the conservation of the Bengal tiger.


Within Ranthambore National Park, you can find the iconic Ranthambore Fort. This ancient fort is perched atop a hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides a glimpse into the region's rich historical and architectural heritage.


Ranthambore National Park area once considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of JaipurToday the Ranthambore National Park terrain is a major wildlife tourist attraction that has drawn the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers.


Table of Contents

  • Ranthambore National Park Location
  • How to reach Ranthambore National Park?
  • Ranthambore National Park History
  • Ranthambore National Park Area
  • Ranthambore National Park Hills
    • Aravalli Hill Range
    • Vindhya Hill Range
  • Ranthambore National Park River
    • Chambal River
    • Banas River
  • Ranthambore National Park Lake
    • Padam Talao Lake
    • Rajbagh Talao Lake
  • Kachida Valley
  • Ranthambore Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park Flora
    • Dhok tree
    • Largest Banyan Tree
  • Ranthambore National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
    • Tortoise & Turtle
  • Top Things to do in Ranthambore National Park
  • Ranthambore National Park UPSC Questions


Ranthambore National Park Location

Ranthambore National Park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan in India. It is situated at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill ranges.


The park is situated in the southeastern part of Rajasthan, near the town of Sawai Madhopur. It is approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. 




How to reach Ranthambore National Park?

Ranthambore National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Ranthambore National Park is Jaipur International Airport, also known as Sanganer Airport. It is located in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. The airport is approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) northwest of Ranthambore National Park. From Jaipur International Airport, you can hire a taxi or take a prearranged transportation service to reach Ranthambore National Park. The journey by road from Jaipur to Ranthambore takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.


Ranthambore National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Ranthambore National Park is Sawai Madhopur Railway Station. It is approximately 11 kilometers (7 miles) away from the national park. Sawai Madhopur Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in India, including Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Ranthambore National Park. The travel time from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station to the park is around 30 minutes.




Ranthambore National Park History

The history of Ranthambore National Park is intertwined with the ancient Ranthambore Fort, which is situated within the park. Here's an overview of the historical significance of the area:

Ancient and Medieval Periods: The region around Ranthambore has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The area witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties, including the Mauryas, the Mughals, and the Rajputs. The Ranthambore Fort itself has a history spanning over a thousand years. It was initially a stronghold of the Chauhan Rajputs and served as a strategic defense fortification.

Rajput Rule: During the medieval period, Ranthambore Fort and its surrounding areas were ruled by Rajput clans. The fort gained prominence as a seat of power for the Rajputs, particularly the Chauhan dynasty. It was a symbol of their valor and resistance against external invasions.

Mughal Influence: The Mughal Empire, under the rule of Emperor Akbar, exerted control over Ranthambore in the 16th century. The fort was captured by Mughal forces and became part of their expanding empire. Akbar used the fort as a hunting retreat and also as a strategic military outpost.

British Era: With the decline of the Mughal Empire, Ranthambore came under the influence of various regional powers. It eventually came under the control of the British East India Company during the 19th century. The fort and the surrounding areas served as a hunting ground for British officials and royalty.

Establishment as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary: In 1955, the Government of India established the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary, which laid the foundation for what would later become the Ranthambore National Park. Covering an area of 282 square kilometers, this sanctuary aimed to protect and conserve the diverse wildlife found in the region.

Declaration as a Tiger Reserve: Recognizing the importance of preserving the dwindling tiger population, Ranthambore was declared a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1973. Project Tiger was an initiative launched by the Government of India to protect the endangered Bengal tigers and their habitats. This designation highlighted the significance of Ranthambore as a crucial habitat for the majestic big cats.

Elevation to National Park Status: In 1980, Ranthambore underwent a significant milestone when it was officially declared a national park. The elevated status provided stronger legal protection and management for the park, emphasizing its importance not only for tigers but also for the overall conservation of biodiversity in the region.

Inclusion of Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary: Four years later, in 1984, the adjacent Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary were declared as forests adjoining Ranthambore National Park. This expansion added to the overall area dedicated to conservation and further enhanced the protection and management efforts in the region.

Expansion of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve: In 1991, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve witnessed a substantial expansion. The tiger reserve boundaries were extended to incorporate the adjoining Keladevi Sanctuary in the north and the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary in the south, along with other forested areas. This expansion ensured a larger and more contiguous habitat for the tigers and other wildlife, allowing for improved ecological connectivity.




Ranthambore National Park Area

Ranthambore National Park covers an area of approximately 1,334 square kilometers (515 sq miles) and is surrounded by hills that provide a natural habitat for the wildlife.


The total area of Ranthambore National Park encompasses diverse landscapes, including dry deciduous forests, grasslands, rocky hills, and lakes. This varied terrain creates a suitable habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna, making it one of the prominent wildlife destinations in India.




Ranthambore National Park Hills

Ranthambore National Park is located at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya hill range.


(1) Aravalli Hill Range:

The Aravalli Range is a mountain range located in western India, spanning across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. Aravalli hill range is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, dating back to the Precambrian era.

The Aravalli Range is approximately 670 km (420 mi) long. The highest peak in the Aravalli hill range is Guru Shikhar, which is located in the state of Rajasthan and has an elevation of 1,722 meters above sea level.

The Aravalli Range is an important source of minerals such as copper, zinc, and lead. The Aravalli hill range is home to several wildlife species, including the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, and Indian sloth bear etc.



(2) Vindhya Hill Range:

The Vindhya Range spans across the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,  Chhattisgarh and Bihar.  The Vindhya Range is approximately 1,050 km long and runs in an east-west direction, parallel to the Narmada River.

Several river originate from the Vindhya Range. These include Chambal, Betwa, Dhasan, Ken, Tamsa, Kali Sindh and Parbati.




Ranthambore National Park River

Banas River and Chambal River passes through Ranthambore National Park. The Park is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River.


(1) Chambal River:

The Chambal rive rivers flow through Ranthambore National Park. Chambal river is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Ranthambore National Park.
 
The Chambal river is home to several species of aquatic animals, including the endangered Ganges River Dolphin, Indian Marsh Crocodile, and several species of turtles and fish. 

The Chambal river originates in the Vindhya range near Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. It flows for around 1,024 kilometers through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Chambal River join Yamuna river near Bareh in Uttar Pradesh.

Parbati, Kali Sindh, Shipra is right bank tributaries and Banas, Mej is the left bank tributaries of the Chambal river.

Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar,Jawahar Sagar, Kota Barrage etc. are major dams on Chambal river.



(2) Banas River:

The Banas river flows through the Ranthambore National Park. Banas River originates in the Aravalli Range near Kumbhalgarh in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. It is approximately 512 kilometres in length.

The Banas river passes through Rajsamand, Ajmer, Tonk, and Kota districts of Rajasthan.
Banas river join the Chambal river near the village of Rameshwar in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, India.




Ranthambore National Park Lake

Ranthambore National Park is home to several lakes and water bodies, which are an important source of water for the park's wildlife. 


(1) Padam Talao Lake:

One of the most notable lakes in the Ranthambore National Park is the Padam Talao Lake. Padam Talao Lake is located in the center of the park.

The Padam Talao lake is a large, natural lake that is surrounded by hills and dense vegetation, providing a serene and picturesque setting. It is home to a variety of aquatic species, including several species of fish and water birds.

Jogi Mahal:

One of the most iconic sights at Padam Talao Lake is the Jogi Mahal, a beautiful palace located on the lake's eastern shore. The palace was built in the early 18th century and served as a hunting lodge for the park's rulers. Today, the palace is a popular tourist attraction and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the park.



(2) Rajbagh Talao Lake:

Rajbagh Talao Lake is located in the Ranthambore National Park's northwest corner. This lake is surrounded by grasslands. Rajbagh Talao is a popular destination for wildlife sightings, particularly of deer and antelope.




Kachida Valley

The Kachida Valley is a picturesque valley located in the Ranthambore National Park’s outskirts and features a variety of outcrops and low hills. It is situated in the northern part of the Ranthambore National Park.


Kachida Valley is surrounded by hills on three sides, providing a natural boundary to the area. It is known for its rugged terrain, rocky outcrops, and dense vegetation, which make it an ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife species.


The Kachida valley is a popular destination for wildlife safaris. Visitors to the Kachida Valley can also visit the Kachida Dam, which is located at the southern end of the valley. The dam was built in the early 20th century and is an important source of water for the Ranthambore National Park's wildlife.


The Kachida valley is home to a large number of animals, including panthers, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, and many species of deer and antelope. Kachida Valley area has a large population of panthers, who migrated here from Ranthambore National Park to avoid conflicts with the Tigers. Kachida Valley is also home to a sizable population of sloths.




Ranthambore Fort

Ranthambore National Park is named after the historic Ranthambore Fort. Ranthambore Fort is a historic fortress located within Ranthambore National Park. The Ranthambore fort is situated on a hill overlooking the Ranthambore National Park and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.


Ranthambore Fort was originally built in 10th century (944 AD) by a Chauhan ruler. It was later taken over by various rulers, including the Mughals and the British. The Ranthambore fort played an important role in the region's history, serving as a strategic stronghold for its rulers.


Now, Ranthambore Fort is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people every year. Visitors can explore the Ranthambore Fort's various buildings and structures, including temples, palaces, and battlements.




Ranthambore National Park Flora

Ranthambore National Park is situated in the Aravalli and Vindhya hill ranges and is characterized by a tropical dry deciduous forest. The Ranthambore National Park is home to a diverse range of flora, including trees, shrubs, and grasses. 


Here are some of the notable plant species found in Ranthambore National Park:


  • Dhok
  • Banyan
  • Babool
  • Kadam
  • Ber
  • Tamarind
  • Jamun
  • Bamboo
  • Acacia
  • Grasses
  • Lantana
  • Peepal
  • Berberis
  • Mahua
  • Semal
  • Butea monosperma (Flame of the Forest)
  • Amla
  • Kachnar
  • Kaner
  • Sissoo


Dhok Tree:

The Dhok tree is the dominant tree species in the Ranthambore National Park. It is well adapted to the dry, arid conditions of Ranthambore National Park. The Dhok tree provides important resource for wildlife in Ranthambore National Park and is used for fuel and timber by the local communities.

Dhok tree is also known as Anogeissus pendula. It is a deciduous tree species that is native to India and is found in many parts of the country.

Dhok tree is capable of withstanding long periods of drought. It can survive in poor soil and is tolerant of drought and high temperatures. The Dhok tree's bark and leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, such as diarrhea, fever, and wounds.



Largest Banyan Tree:

Ranthambore National Park is also famous for one of the largest banyan trees in India at Jogi Mahal near the Ranthambore Fort. It is considered to be India’s second largest banyan trees. The banyan tree of Ranthambore National Park is estimated to be over 300 years old. 

The banyan tree in Ranthambore National Park is a popular attraction for visitors. The largest banyan tree has a circumference of over 50 feet (15 meters) and covers an area of around 4,000 square meters.

Banyan tree is a species of fig tree that is native to India and is considered sacred in Hinduism. The banyan tree is known for its aerial roots, which grow from its branches and extend towards the ground, forming new trunks and branches. 




Ranthambore National Park Fauna (Ranthambore National Park Animals)

Ranthambore National Park is famous for which animal?

Ranthambore National Park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including some of India's most iconic species. The Ranthambore National Park is particularly famous for its population of Royal Bengal Tigers, but there are many other species of animals and birds that can be found in the park. 


Here are some of the notable fauna found in Ranthambore National Park:


Mammals:

  • Royal Bengal Tiger
  • leopards
  • Sloth Bears
  • Chital (Spotted Deer)
  • Chinkara
  • Indian Porcupines
  • Palm Civet
  • Jackal 
  • Desert Fox
  • Jungle Cats
  • Caracals
  • Indian Wild Boar
  • Indian Foxes
  • Indian Mole Rats
  • Indian Porcupines
  • Small Indian Mongoose
  • Small Indian Civets
  • Common Mongoose
  • Common or Hanuman langurs
  • Macaques


Birds:

  • Serpent Eagle
  • Waterfowl
  • Indian Grey Hornbill
  • Painted Spurfowl
  • White-bellied Drongo


Reptiles:

  • Desert Monitor Lizards
  • Indian Chamaeleon
  • Banded Kraits, Cobras
  • Common Kraits
  • Indian Pythons
  • Rat Snakes
  • Russel’s Vipers
  • Saw-scaled Vipers


Tortoise & Turtle:

  • A large number of Tortoise
  • Ganga Soft Shelled Turtles
  • North Indian Flap Shelled Turtles




Top Things to do in Ranthambore National Park

When visiting Ranthambore National Park, there are several exciting activities and experiences to make your trip memorable. Here are some of the top things to do in Ranthambore National Park:


(1) Wildlife Safaris: Embark on thrilling wildlife safaris to explore the national park and spot its famous inhabitants, including the majestic Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, sambar deer, and various bird species. Safaris can be done in open-top jeeps or canter buses with experienced guides.


(2) Tiger Spotting: Ranthambore National Park is renowned for its tiger population, and spotting a tiger in its natural habitat is a highlight for many visitors. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready during safaris for a chance to witness these magnificent creatures up close.


(3) Birdwatching: Ranthambore is a paradise for birdwatchers with its diverse avian population. The park is home to numerous resident and migratory bird species, offering excellent birdwatching opportunities. Keep an eye out for Indian grey hornbills, Indian rollers, painted storks, and various species of kingfishers, among others.


(4) Ranthambore Fort Visit: Explore the historic Ranthambore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located within the national park. The fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and provides insights into the region's rich history and architecture.


(5) Nature Walks: Take guided nature walks to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ranthambore National Park. Accompanied by expert naturalists, these walks allow you to observe the flora, fauna, and smaller wildlife up close.


(6) Photography: Capture the stunning landscapes, wildlife, and bird species of Ranthambore National Park through your camera lens. The park offers ample opportunities for wildlife and nature photography, allowing you to create unforgettable memories.


(7) Explore Lakes and Water Bodies: Ranthambore National Park is dotted with picturesque lakes and water bodies. Take some time to visit Rajbagh Talao, Padam Talao, and Malik Talao, where you can spot wildlife and enjoy serene surroundings.


(8) Village Visits: Gain insights into the local culture and rural life by visiting nearby villages. Interact with the locals, learn about their traditions, and experience their hospitality.


(9) Wildlife Conservation Awareness: Take part in educational programs and initiatives organized by the park authorities to learn about wildlife conservation efforts and the importance of preserving the ecosystem. Gain awareness about the challenges faced by wildlife and the measures taken for their protection.




Ranthambore National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Ranthambore National Park is located in which state?/Ranthambore National Park is located in which district?/Where is Ranthambore National Park situated/located?

A. Ranthambore National Park is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of eastern Rajasthan in India. 


Q. What is Ranthambore National Park famous for?

A. Ranthambore National Park is famous for Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore fort etc.


Q. How many zones in Ranthambore National Park?

A. There are 10 safari zones in the Ranthambore National Park.


Q. Which animal is protected in Ranthambore National Park?

A. Bengal Tiger is protected in Ranthambore National Park.


Ranthambore National Park

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