Ranthambhore National Park
Ranthambhore National Park lies in Rajasthan in northern India, and is about 130 km (80.7 mls) from Jaipur and covers an area of 392 km² (151.3 sq mls). It is named after the historic Ranthambhore fortress which was built in the 10th century, which towers over the entire park area, standing 700 feet above the surrounding plain. The park was first established in 1955 as a game sanctuary. It became a national park in 1980 and was enlarged in 1991.
The park’s deciduous forests are typical of jungle found in Central India. In many places these give way to open grassy meadow. The park is home to 539 species of flowering plants. There are many lakes, the largest being Padam Talao. Near this lake is a gigantic banyan tree, believed to be India’s second largest.
The park is best known for its tigers and was declared a reserve under Project Tiger in 1973. Numbers of tigers in the park have gradually increased after sustained efforts by forest officials to curb poaching. According to the 2014 census of tigers, there were then 62 tigers in the park. One of them, known as Machli, is the world’s oldest tigress. The tigers can be spotted throughout the jungle areas of the park.
Other wild animals that inhabit the park include leopard, nilgai (a variety of antelope), wild boar, sambar (a native deer), hyena, sloth bear and chital (another native deer).