Inside Ranthambhor Tiger Reserve

My safary started with a cup of coffee at the lodge. A canter came to pick me up. Most of the choice seats were taken. I  got a seat at middle of last row with travellers on each side.  It came to my mind, may be I should have booked a seat in a Gypsy.

My last visit to Ranthambhor was in the month of Dec. There was chill in the air and mist on the horizon. There was a feeling of anticipation, a feeling of romance of the unknown. This time, it was bright and sunny. I was eager to revisit past experience, compare notes and  go beyond it.  

We stopped the gate of Tiger Reserve. Number of vehicles that can enter the forest is restricted. Travelling party is allocated a particular zone of the forest. Time by which the party has to be out of the forest is also fixed. Identity paper of visitors is checked at the gate. Visitors have to declare their movie camera, if any, and pay requisite fee.

Forest Office


Map of Ranthambhor Park


Road to Fort


Tarred road that lies past the forest gate, goes all the way to the base of Ranthambhor fort. Fort is the central figure in Ranthambhor. A fort with a history of at least 1000 years, some say nearly 1200 years.  

First Gate of Fort

Fort Gate from Inside


 We moved past first gate of the fort. Gate was built between two mountains, on either side, that acted as natural barriers. We reached base of the fort as we moved on. Fort gets regular visitors in the form of pilgrims. Pilgrims come to visit and pray at Hindu and Jain temples in the fort. Though actual forest starts beyond fort, tigers stray into road leading to fort. No one has been killed by tigers so far and pilgrim movement has not stopped.

Fort Base
Fort Base


Entry Gate to Forest
Langoor Family


We moved past fort and fort gate. We were entering area of forest where visitors on foot are not allowed. There was an undue pressure on the guide and driver of canter to take us to tiger. Despite this, I saw the park teeming with a variety of wild life.  There was ubiquitous deers, langoor monkey, mongoose, monitor lizard, crocodiles, jackals, wild boars and others. My shot of crocodile and monitor lizard did not come out well.  

Spotted Dear
Sambhar Deer


Wild Boar

Most visitors to the park had, however, come to see a tiger. On the very first visit this time, we saw a tiger coming out of water in one zone and walking into the zone where our vehicle was. Tiger was walking near our canter. There was so much excitement, rush, pushing and shoving that I did not get a spot from where to shoot.  That is the second time I regretted not booking a seat in a Gypsy. 

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