If you’re expressing an interest in seeing India’s Bengal tigers, it isn’t long before Ranthambhore National Park comes up in conversation. Once the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the park is named after the 10th-century fort at its heart.
Within Ranthambhore, tigers roam through dry deciduous forest and up ravines, and swim in lakes ornamented with the crumbling remains of regal hunting pavilions.
But, in reality, tigers are just one facet of Ranthambhore’s appeal. A whole cast of predators, including leopards, hyena, wild dogs and jungle cats, are sustained by sambar and spotted deer, chinkaras (Indian gazelles) and blue bulls. There are enough bird species to fill entire guidebooks, as well as wildfowl, crocodiles and tortoises.
The park was one of the first to be included in Project Tiger, an Indian-government-run initiative to conserve this critically endangered species. Ranthambhore now supports a relatively healthy population of tigers (many of which have been named by the rangers), and your best chance of spotting one is on a game drive in the park.
Morning game drives usually start in the cool of dawn, as the sun — and wildlife — begins to rise. Depending on the time of year, it’s worth parking up by one of the lakes to watch the wading birds — and any predators that might come to drink. You usually head back to your hotel or lodge for breakfast and some time to relax, before heading back out in the afternoon.
Hotels are positioned around the outskirts of the park. Many, like Khem Villas, offer guided walks through the surrounding grasslands. You might spot some of the park’s often-overlooked smaller inhabitants, including Indian hares, skittering frogs and the raucous Indian bullfrog.
Wildlife viewing may be the main focus here, but it’s also worth climbing up to the remains of Ranthambhore Fort. Once one of the largest forts in India, it has seen more than 1,000 years of conflict — although the only current invader is grass, and an occasional monkey. The fort is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can wander through amber-stone courtyards and hallways, and peer across the national park splayed out below.
Ranthambhore is within easy reach of Jaipur and Agra, making it a convenient place to visit if you’re journeying through Rajasthan or around India’s Golden Triangle. This does mean that it’s one of the busiest national parks but, there are more peaceful spots if you know where to look.
For a quieter experience, you could add in a visit to Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary, a small reserve 10 km (7 miles) away, which is particularly good for viewing gazelles.
And, if you’re visiting in the cooler months between November and March, we recommend including a trip to Soorwal Lake. Located around an hour's drive from the park, it welcomes large flocks of migratory birds, including painted storks, flamingos and spoonbills.
Best time to visit Ranthambhore National Park
You can travel anytime from October through to May. The best time to go to Ranthambhore is between February and March, when the foliage has started to thin, making wildlife easier to spot. Rain is also rare during this season, and temperatures average a comfortable 27°C (80°F) in the daytime (although it can be cold before the sun rises, so extra layers are needed).
If you’re willing to tackle the rising temperatures in April and May, you stand to see animals that are drawn out, as water sources begin to dry up, from the jungle to larger lakes.
Suggested itineraries featuring Ranthambhore National Park
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Ranthambhore National Park, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Ranthambhore National Park
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Ranthambhore National Park
- Ramathra 26 miles away
- Bundi 67 miles away
- Jaipur 76 miles away
- Samode 93 miles away
- Bhainsrorgarh 93 miles away
- Shahpura 102 miles away
- Bharatpur and Keoladeo Ghana National Park 104 miles away
- Fatehpur Sikri 105 miles away
- Gwalior 105 miles away
- Barli 111 miles away
- Agra 124 miles away
- Pushkar 125 miles away
- Chambal Sanctuary 138 miles away
- Chittorgarh 140 miles away
- Orchha 142 miles away
- Chhatra Sagar 154 miles away
- Nimaj 155 miles away
- Deogarh 165 miles away
- Devigarh 186 miles away
- Delhi 188 miles away
- Nagaur 190 miles away
- Narlai 191 miles away
- Kumbhalgarh 191 miles away
- Udaipur 202 miles away
- Rohet 209 miles away
- Chanoud 212 miles away
- Jodhpur 216 miles away
- Dungarpur 230 miles away
- Khajuraho 230 miles away
- Bikaner 240 miles away
- Panna National Park 242 miles away
- Mount Abu 256 miles away
- Satpura National Park 267 miles away
- Maheshwar 272 miles away
- Corbett Tiger Reserve 286 miles away
- Haridwar 291 miles away
- Pokaran 291 miles away
- Nainital 297 miles away
Photos of Ranthambhore National Park
Accommodation choices for Ranthambhore National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Ranthambhore National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Ranthambhore National Park
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Ranthambhore National Park, and which use the best local guides.
Game Drives in Ranthambhore
Game Drives in Ranthambhore
Game Drives in Ranthambhore
Despite being a relatively small park Ranthambhore has a rich diversity of fauna and flora. In addition to the tiger, the park is a good place to see various deer including spotted deer, barking deer and chinkara or Indian gazelles as well as a wide variety of birdlife.View details