Named after the once imposing 10th century fort whose ruins preside over the park from a nearby hilltop, Ranthambore National Park offers the best statistical chance of seeing a tiger in the wild. In the 18th and 19th centuries the jungles here were the royal hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Jaipur. In the mid-nineteenth century, the British Officer in charge of the area started a program of conservation for the fast dwindling wildlife. It became a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1955 and a National Park (as part of Project Tiger) in 1973.
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The park is surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravalli mountain ranges and is one of the greener parts of the mostly desert state of Rajasthan. It is bordered by rivers on its north and south, and there are many streams inside the park. Dry deciduous forests covers much of the park, and the rest of the terrain can vary from flat grasslands to massive boulders to steep ravines. There are six man made lakes in the park that serve as watering holes for the wildlife.
Over 30 different animals are found here, including tigers and leopards. There are three different types of antelopes, over 250 kinds of birds, and a decent number of snub nosed marsh crocodiles. You can also find sloth bears, wild boars, monitor lizards, jackals, and jungle cats, just to name a few.
The park has a number of ancient ruins of royal structures, and the combination of the jungle, the wildlife, and the ancient ruins can be a photographers delight. Unlike Corbett and certain other parks, there are no native elephants at Ranthambore, and safari's are conducted on board 4WD vehicles.