Sawai Madhopur Tour ( Ranthambhore National Park )
Sawai Madhopur is the gateway to the world renowned Ranthambhore National Park - the famous Tiger Reserve, just 12 kms away from here. Ranthambhore has been a witness to the rise and fall of many rulers and a series of battle scenes.
In the 13th century AD, Govinda, the grandson of Prithviraj Chauhan took over the reign of the land. Later his successor Vagbhatta, beautified the city and built a noteworthy temple at Jhain.
In the middle of the 15th century AD, Rana Kumbha captured the fort and gifted it to his son to be occupied later by the Hada Rajputs of Bundi and Mughal Emperors, Akbar and Aurangzeb. Mughal Emperor Shah Alam gifted it to Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur in 1740's and since then it was maintained as the hunting preserve of the Maharaja. (Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were part of the royal hunting parties who stayed here.
The Fort :
Ranthambhore's royal past manifests itself in the well-perceived imposing fort. built in 994 AD, atop a steep high creek 200 metres above sea level. Ruined pavilions, walls, 'chhatris' and splendid monuments are interspersed within the majestic fort. An 8th century Ganesh Temple on an open land attracts thousands of devotees and is the venue for an annual fair held on Bhadrapad Sudi Chaturthi, fourth day of the bright half, in the month of Bhadra.
Ranthambhore National Park :
The 392 sq. km. park comprises of dry deciduous forests sprawling over an undulating terrain of the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. The park is one of the finest tiger reserves in the country under the Project Tiger. The majestic predators assured of protection, roam freely during the day time and can be seen at close quarters. Ranthambhore Sanctuary has a large number of Sambhars, Chitals, Nilgai, Chinkara, Langur, Wild Boar and Peafowl.
A system of three pretty artificial lakes PadamTalab, Rajbagh and Milak Talab, along with a number of anicuts are part of the biosphere. Besides enhancing the scenic beauty of the park, they are important sources of water for the inhabitants of the Park. While deer congregate here to drink fresh water, crocodiles can be seen basking in the winter sun to regulate their body temperature. The lake also attracts a large number of migratory and local birds.
The local fauna of the park includes Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Sloth Bear and a little population of pythons.
The best time to visit is between November and April . Jeeps are available to take you around the park.