Ranthambore National Park
Step into Ranthambore national park on a safari holiday with Yonder and you will think you’ve stepped into Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. It’s that magical. In fact, Ranthambore national park has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The best location to spot wild tigers in Rajasthan, it comprising 1,334sq km of wild jungle scrub hemmed in by rocky ridges, all once a maharajas’ magnificent hunting grounds.
At its core is a truly magnificent fort perched high on limestone cliffs dating back to the 5th century. And scattered around the fort are ancient Hindu and Jain temples, hunting pavilions, crocodile-filled lakes and vine-covered burial tombs. If you want to imagine Mowgli whisked away to the Monkey City and its jungle-festooned ruins, this is the place.
Kipling’s own words sum it up better than we ever could: ‘Some king had built it long ago on a little hill. You could still trace the stone causeways that led up to the ruined gates where the last splinters of wood hung to the worn, rusted hinges. Trees had grown into and out of the walls; the battlements were tumbled down and decayed, and wild creepers hung out of the windows the of the towers in the walls in bushy, hanging clumps.’
Watch out for Sher Khan!
Here, where the jungle envelops crumbling temples, you expect to see Sher Khan come padding out of the undergrowth at any moment. And he doesn’t disappoint. Thanks to some excellent conservation initiatives, there are 66 Bengal tigers now living in the park. The number has steadily increased since 1993 when it hit an all time low of just 13 due to poaching.
Today, Ranthambore is considered to be the best place to go if you hope to go in search of the endangered Bengal tiger. Of course, seeing one is partly down to luck and you should try to leave time to go on at least three safaris to improve your chances.
Believe us, when it first happens and you witness arguably the world’s most magnificent creature in its natural habitat, it’s a moment you will treasure for ever.
While you’re out on Ranthambore national park safari, you’ll almost certainly see a monkey troop or two, while deer and crocs are ubiquitous. Bird life, from owls to eagles and from kingfishers to hoopoes, is in plentiful supply and if you are lucky enough to come across a tiger or leopard kill, you might find hyenas or jackals scavenging. Sloth bears also call this magical place home.
Ranthambore accommodation options
The park is easily accessed and what’s more, in our humble opinion the Ranthambore accommodation Yonder has selected represent some of the most brilliant options in India.
Ranthambore is The Jungle Book made mind-bogglingly real. As if you were stepping out into a scene from the recent film of Rudyard Kipling’s tales. But while Kipling initially set The Jungle Book in Rajasthan, he later shifted the setting, to around Pench National Park, a little further south in central India.
If you only do three things in Ranthambore National Park…
- Tiger, tiger tiger. Fingers crossed you’ll have luck on your side when out on safari.
- Try to make time to get to the Women’s Cooperative, among the places to visit near Ranthambore national park. It’s a great local cause and the handicrafts are genuinely beautiful.
- Take a moment just to absorb the sheer beauty of the park. Tigers are exciting but the spectacular scenery is amazing in itself.
Having already quoted Kipling, we will leave you with another great Victorian’s words. If William Blake’s rousing lines inspire you to visit Ranthambore, we are quite confident you will be glad you did.
‘Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?’
Out and about
Visiting Ranthambore is all about spending time inside the national park. The safaris are fab and the accommodation is superb.
However, if you get itchy feet there are a couple of interesting places to visit. The Women’s Cooperative, known as Daskar, empowers around 300 local women and supports them in their endeavours to be economically independent through the production and sale of handmade goods.
If flying around the countryside using petrol seems out of sorts with your vision of conservation, you can opt for four-legged transport on trusty Rajasthani horses. Note that this is only for accomplished riders and that horseback safaris only take place outside the park.
Eating and Drinking
All of the hotels that we feature operate their dining on a fully-inclusive basis. This is fortunate as there aren’t any local restaurants to venture out to.
Watering holes, other than for the wildlife, are only found within the camps. What could be better than sitting around the campfire with a gin and tonic in hand looking up at the starlit sky?
Thoughts on a postcard
The Big Five in Africa were amazing. But tigers in their natural habitat are in a league of their own. The thrill of paw prints in the dust, the alarm calls of prey, followed by the sound foliage rustling as an amber cat emerged had our hearts pumping.
OUR FAVOURITE PLACESAndaman and Nicobar Islands / Ranthambore National Park / Jaipur / Jodhpur / Udaipur / Agra / Delhi / Chennai / Ajabgarh / Nagaur / Narlai /
Ranthambore National Park : The map
Our Escapologists only recommend hand-picked, delectable properties we have sampled and savoured ourselves. We judge all our hotels by their excellence, the sheer hedonistic pleasures they have to offer. And we reject a lot that don’t meet our exacting standards.
Some of our selections are classics, with reputations recognised the world over. Others are discoveries: boutique havens where hospitality, relaxation and fine cuisine have been distilled into a rare art form. You’ll find a few options for the budget conscious too, where Yonder’s principles are still to the fore. And for those who just need an airport stopover on their way to paradise, there’s one or two convenience choices, too.
We provide in-depth descriptions of every property, based upon our own experiences there, along with our unique Yonder rating and icons that will give you further insights into what’s on offer. We even tell you the types of clientele you might soon be rubbing shoulders with!
Now that’s choosing a hotel Yonder style!
Here at Yonder we have devised some exciting itineraries that will illustrate just what amazing journeys you could enjoy through Yonder’s exciting far-away destinations.
Of course every one of Yonder’s clients is a unique individual and we only create personalised itineraries that reflect those personal desires and wishes. So your Yonder journey will be as individual as you are. But to help you envisage just what amazing adventures might be possible, we have devised sample itineraries that we are confident will inspire you. You only have to pick up the phone to explore how any one of these ideas might be adapted to create your own perfect journey Yonder.
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