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Tiger at Large - RanthamboreDelhi - Ranthambore National parkTotal No of days - 3Dated - March 2017

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Travel Info Ranthambore National park

Best time to visit Ranthambore

Oct - Apr is the best time for a visit. In summer the temp rises to 46C and it is difficult to travel although its the perfect time for tiger spotting. July to september are the monsoon months when the park is closed down.

The park is open from Oct 1 and closes in June.
Nov to Feb is the best time for those who carn't handle the heat
For tiger spotting the best months are Oct, March and April when the cats are spotted near water bodies

Safari info

Safaris are for two and a half hours early morning and afternoon.
The park is open from 6am to 6pm
The core zones 1-5 closes from July to October (monsoon) but the remaining zones on the outskirts of the park are open for safaris, bleak chances of tiger spotting
The park has 10 zones and spotting tigers are in the 1-5 zones which are the core areas
The safaris can be undertaken in a canter (20people) or a jypsy (6people)
The safaris can be booked online or you can have your hotel or travel agent do it, its better to do so in peak season.

What to see in Ranthambore

Ranthambore fort
The uphill drive to the fort takes you to the fort of Allahudin Khilji of the 8th century. There is a temple of Ganeshji here so lots of pilgrims seen here on Wednesdays
Jogi Mahal
The Jogi Mahal with the 30ft girth Banyan tree and the Padam talao (pond) with water lilies is a beautiful place. You can just see the palace from the jeep not allowed to get down
Surwal lake
The lake is a birdwatchers paradise with lots of birds. The greylag geese, spoonbills, cranes, ducks are seen here. The lake dries up in summer

More Safari info

Safari has 2 options - Jeep & Open Canter. Jeep is in high demand and booking is usually sold-out. Need to get hold of an agent to get the booking. Canters has limited route and carries around 20 - 30 people.

The seats are sold per seat and Gypsy has 6 seats, all seats can be booked for a private trip. Average per seat cost per trip for Indians is Rs 700 now. So a Gypsy will cost anything between 4200 to 6000 per safari through an agent. Peak season Nov - Jan it can go as high as 10k per jeep safari. Best time to visit is April - May - June due to high chance of tiger spotting.

There are 5 zones which are randomly allocated to tourists for safari. The sad part is that at times, you get repeats like I got, Zone 1 twice in day and Zone - 3 twice in over 6 safaris I did. I was lucky enough to cover all zones except zone 4. Of course must say , tiger sighting is not predictable hence actually it doesn't matter. But for tourists who are visiting for 2 or 3 safaris then its better to see different zones in the park.

Zone 1 : Is the smallest and one can sight T39 and her son Sultan. At times T24 is also can sighted here. I was super lucky to sight a Leopard too in Zone 1.

Zone 2/3 are combined and is near Ganesh temple/Fort. These two are the popular zones for sighting tiger as it has water holes and streams. The areas too is bigger. T28 Star Male, T24 can be sighted here. The second largest banyan tree in India near Padam Talab is also here. Zone 3 also has a beautiful view point. Lots of migratory birds too can be seen in these zones after mid November.

Zone - 4/5 : This entry is opposite from Zone 1. These are also beautiful zones. T16 Machali can be sighted in these zones. Machali is the most photographed tigress in Ranthambore and she was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Many documentaries and short films have been shot on her. Apart from this T25 also know as Dollar male can be sighted in this zone.

Ranthambore also has a Ganesh Temple built in 1300 AD by King Hameer. Wednesday is the busiest as the locals walk down to the temple to pay respects. One of the most popular Ganesh ji temple in Rajasthan. Ganesh chaturthi is very popular here.

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