Ranthambore is not merely a wildlife destination in Rajasthan. It, in fact, narrates the history of the glorious past of Rajasthan State. Ranthambore sightseeing tour varies from dense thick green forests to historical forts, which otherwise are reflections of the varied beauty of Rajasthan. Apart from Ranthambore national park, some other historical and natural wonders in and around Ranthambore are:
The construction of the Ranthambhore fort was started during the period of the Chauhan Rajput king Sapaldaksha in 944 A.D. Another theory stipulates that King Jayant, also a Chauhan Rajput, built the Ranthambhore fort during 1110 AD. It is believed that the construction of the fort commenced during the mid 10th Century AD and continued for a few centuries after that. Ranthambore fort is well protected by a huge wall provided with stepped and Z-shaped gateway with two strong and massive doors. Inside the fort, the Hammir Badi Kachahari, chhoti Kachahari, Battis khambha Chhatri, Hammir Palace and Rani Palace, with later additions and in a dilapidated condition, are important secular structure. Among temples, the Ganesa temple is important besides a few Jain temples.
Raj Bagh Ruins
Raj Bagh Ruins are located between the Padam lake and the Raj Bagh lake. These are the ancient stone structures like arches, palace outhouses, domes and steps give the area an aura that is not possible to find anywhere else in the world. Especially when there are a dense and beautiful jungle surroundings and are one of the lucky few who comes across one of the resident tigers. These ruins give the Ranthambore National Park such a unique mixture of a wildlife reserve and a reminder of the past, which together make it one of the perfect parks in the entire world.The ruins are said to be from ancient Rajput constructions, who also built the famous Raj Bagh Fort. These ruins also provide shade to the animals during summers. Visit Raj Bagh Ruins during October to June.
Surwal Lake, Ranthambore
Surwal Lake is at a drive of 30 minutes from Ranthambhore and a 15-minute drive from Sawai Madhopur. Surwal Lake is a shallow lake surrounded by farms and villages and considered a haven for bird watching.
The walkway around Surwal Lake is 7 km in length and on one side there is the lake and on the other side farm. Waterbirds are visible on the lake especially in second half of winter when water gets shallow and fish-eating birds make merry. Other birds are visible around farms/fields / water canals on the other side. Morning time around Sunrise is considered to be the best to spot a wide variety of bird species. Some of the species that were spotted include Bar-headed Geese, Grey Heron, White Breasted Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Shrike, Indian Robin, Oriental Magpie Robin, Hoopoe, Common Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Egret, Red Wattled Lapwing, Stilt, River Tern, Pelican etc.
Surwal Lake offers an excellent alternative to somewhat touristy Ranthambhore Park safaris and recommended specifically for Bird watchers and Bird Photographers.
Kachida Valley is situated in the outer region of Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan at a distance of 13 km from Ranthambore National Park. It is one of the popular zones for jeep safari in the park. Enclosed by low jagged hills, and dotted by revitalising greenery, Kachida Valley is one of the most beautiful and a must-visit place in Ranthambore. It comprises of wide range of flora and fauna species. This area contains a majority of the Panther population of the park. The Panthers avoid venturing into the main jungle to avoid conflicts with tigers, which are known to kill them. Tourists can also see a variety of sloth bears and deer in this valley. Visitors will have to reach this valley via the jeep safari.