Ranthambore National Park is located in Eastern Rajasthan and was once the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Six manmade lakes are the central focus of the park and many permanent streams criss-cross the entire park, but have no link up with any river system, even though two rivers bound up the park's north and south side.
The Park has its name from the Ranthambore Fort, which sits on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Park. The fort, which dates back to the 10th century, is probably the oldest existing fort in Rajasthan, and was a vital bastion for control of Central India and particularly the Malwa Plateau. The entry point to the Ranthambore National Park goes straight to the foot of the Fort.
Ranges of Ranthambore Safari Packages are on offer through the official tourism department as well as private tour and travel agencies. Surrounding the park, there are several hotels, resorts and guesthouses to provide for the accommodation needs of tourists.
There used to be small farming villages in the area, but to protect the wildlife as well as the farmers and their livestock, they were relocated when the National Park was established. Today Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places in India to see Tigers. In total there are around forty tigers in the park, and since the area is relatively small the chances to see one are rather good, but there is absolutely no guaranty. If you do not see tigers, there is still a lot of flora and fauna to enjoy, and you may be lucky enough to find a leopard, but there are no elephants.
The number of people who can enter the National Park a day is limited, so if you are not traveling as part of an arranged tour it is wise in advance to book entry to the sanctuary with a local agent to ensure access. Visits to the sanctuaries are in open air jeeps or open air buses. Morning as well as afternoon drives are available. You can only enter the park on guided tours, self-drive is not allowed.
Although it gets very hot during the day, the mornings are quite chilly, and since it is common to drive for more than half an hour in the open air jeep from your hotel or lodge to get to the entrance, it is wise to bring some warm clothes to put on for the drive.
One could argue that to see a tiger in one of Indias National Parks is not like seeing a tiger in the wild, but today this is about as wild as you will ever see a tiger. Without the National Parks and the Sanctuaries there would probably not be any tigers left outside the zoos.
Thanks to the National Parks you can still experience tigers in their natural environment, and Ranthambore Natiopnal Park can be highly recommended as one of the places to go to, if you want to see tigers.