Is Ranthambore worth visiting? I’m sure this question has been on many of your minds while thinking of visiting the National Park situated in the royal state of Rajasthan.
Ranthambore national park is situated near Sawai Madhopur. It is known for its high population of the big cat and everyone’s favourite- the Royal Bengal Tiger. Other than these, Ranthambore National Park is also home to a number of other species of birds, mammals and reptiles.
In the current blog, I will be addressing the question of whether or not Ranthambore is worth a visit. Read on to find out whether you should or shouldn’t plan that trip to Sawai Madhopur and Ranthambore National Park.
Is Ranthambore worth visiting?: An Overview
Before going deeper into the details, here are a few things that you need to know about travelling to Ranthambore National Park.
Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
|Cheapest mode of external transport
|Cheapest mode of internal transport
Pool in Jeeps (Rs 30/ head) from the railway station.
|Nearest railway station
Sawai Madhopur Junction
|Best time to visit
|Is Ranthambore worth visiting?
Accessibility to Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park is accessible from all parts of the country. The Park is located near the Sawai Madhopur city (about 10 kms) in Rajasthan. The nearest airport to Sawai Madhopur is Jaipur and the nearest railway station is Sawai Madhopur Junction.
Trains to Sawai Madhopur are pretty frequent from Jaipur and from Delhi. From Delhi, it’s a 5 to 6-hour train ride, while from Jaipur, it only takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. Once you are in Sawai Madhopur, you can find plenty of cabs and autos.
So, Is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of Accessibility? Yes.
Is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of Wildlife sightings?
Ranthambore has a wide variety of animal species. The park is home to many reptiles, mammals, birds and other such creatures. Mainly known for its Bengal tiger population, Ranthambore national park has other cats including Leopard, Caracal, Leopard cat, Fishing cat and Jungle cat. Other prominent large mammals are Hyena, Jackal, Desert Fox, Bear, spotted deer, Sambhar deer and antelopes. You can read about my whole experience at Ranthambore National Park in this blog.
If you are interested in reptiles, Ranthambore won’t disappoint you. Marsh crocodiles are a common sight in the park. Snakes such as Banded Kraits, Cobras and Common Kraits, have also been spotted.
The bird population in the park is also impressive. More than 300 species of birds have been spotted in the park. Vultures, eagles, large Cormorant, Painted Spurfowl, Sarus Crane, bronzed winged Jacana, Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Nightjar, Great horned owl, etc are some of the birds you can spot here, apart from the regular winter migrants.
What makes Ranthambore worth visiting for wildlife watchers, is its unique climatic and vegetation features. Ranthambore National park has dry deciduous forests along with open grassy meadows. This simply means that the forest is dry and open. This along with a wide variety of wildlife makes the sightings relatively easier on the safari.
Although sightings are regular, it is a matter of chance to spot the tiger. While some are lucky enough to spot the tigers, others fail to do so. So, don’t come only with the intention of spotting a tiger. There are many other amazing animals and birds that you can see in the park.
So, is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of wildlife sightings? YES
Is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of Affordability?
You can easily visit Ranthambore National Park on a budget. The cheapest (and also the fastest) way to reach Sawai Madhopur is via train from Jaipur. You can also book a train from Delhi or other nearby towns of Rajasthan like Kota or Dausa.
Once you are in Sawai Madhopur, you can travel within the City and explore important attractions in the city in shared cabs. They charge around 30-50 INR per head from the main Railway station to important tourist attractions. Other than that, you can also easily find autos.
The Safari prices are also very affordable, especially if you are cutting out the middlemen and booking the safari yourself.
Is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of Safety Concerns?
When talking about Ranthambore national park, two things come to mind in terms of safety. Safety of the safari ride and the destination in general. Here is what you need to remember:
Is travelling in Ranthambore/ Sawai Madhopur safe?
Sawai Madhopur is a small city and has become popular because of the Ranthambore National Park. I found it to be a safe city for travellers. The people, in general, are very helpful and friendly. However, since there is not much to explore in the city at night, I suggest that you go back to your hotel or guesthouse early, especially if you are alone.
Is the Ranthambore National Park Safari safe?
The Safaris at Ranthambore national park are generally safe. Just make sure you follow the instructions given by your safari guide and driver. Follow the basic rules such as staying inside the safari vehicle, not disturbing the wildlife, etc, and you will be fine. Avoid any misadventures that might cause any casualty.
If you are travelling with babies or older people, you need to understand that the safari trail of the Ranthambore National Park can get dusty, rough and bumpy. The ride goes on for about 3 hours and you need to consider these factors before booking the safari.
So, is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of safety? YES.
Is Ranthambore Worth Visiting in terms of Places to Explore Nearby?
Although the main attraction, Ranthambore National Park is not the place to visit in Sawai Madhopur. If you have time, you can explore the attractions of the city. Find my detailed 3-day travel itinerary for Sawai Madhopur.
Some of the must-visit places near the Ranthambore National Park are:
Palighat Gharial Sanctuary
While in Sawai Madhopur, keep half a day for Palighat Chambal Sanctuary or National Chambal Sanctuary. It is around 35 km away from the city centre and is a conservation site for Gharials and crocodiles. It is situated on the banks of River Chambal and is an hour’s drive away.
Local Sightseeing near Ranthambore National Park
Sawai Madhopur is a small town and the whole town can be visited in just a day. Some important places not to be missed are:
Ranthambore Fort Complex
The Ranthambore Fort complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Complex is a large area that houses all the important places (you’ve found in your Google search).
- Ganesh Temple
- Jogi Mahal and Padam Talao
- Battees Khamba which has 32 Pillars
- Rani Haveli
- Jain Temple
It is a handicraft social initiative to rehabilitate the families of ex-poachers and village folks. They are trained in handicrafts, their produce is sold here and shipped to different places. Here, you can interact with the locals. It is about 4 km from the circle, next to Oberoi Vilas.
Some very famous temples near the centre are
- Chouth Mata Temple
- Kala Gaura Bhairav Temple
Is Ranthambore worth visiting in terms of Places to explore nearby? YES
In a nutshell, if you ask me is Ranthambore worth visiting? The answer would be Yes! Go with an open mind and you might be able to spot some tigers. Even if you don’t, there are many other animals to see and many other things to do near Ranthambore National Park.
Happy Wayfaring 🙂