Ranthambhore: The roar of history once in a lifetime, we experience what we only dreamt of in our childhood. Our early discovery of adventure tales often leads to imaginary treasure hunts through miles and miles of open grasslands, scary monsters in mysterious forests and a huge, rambling old palace which contains princesses and keys to faraway lands. Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is this childhood fantasy come true.
With open, lush meadows and sunshine blinking through heavy foliage overhead, Ranthambhore invites everyone to have fun with adventures, or to find solace in the lap of luxurious nature. It used to be the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur until the time of independence. Spotting a tiger is fuss-free here. The majestic creatures can be seen basking in the abundant sun or taking a leisurely stroll through the beautiful, wild grounds of the place. There are more than five hundred kinds of flowering plants to be seen here. Like promised, there is more than just a forest here. The Aravalli ranges can be seen on bright, clear days.
And towering over everything else is the formidable Ranthambhore fort, the pride of Hammir Dev of the Chauhan dynasty. When the famous Prithvi Raj Chauhan ruled the Chauhans during the 12th century, the fort used to be known as Ranastambha and was associated with Jainism. It subsequently belonged to Iltutmish after he captured Ranthambhore. But the Chauhans won it back after the legendary ruler’s death Illustrious names like Rana Hamir Singh and Rana Kumbha used to occupy the fort. Before the most illustrious of them all, Akbar captured it in 1569. The fort tells tales now lost in the unread pages of medieval Indian history. Which now resounds with battle cries of a bygone era.
Places to see at Ranthambhore National Park
Three Hindu temples are built inside the fort, and a Jain temple built to Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. The fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
Yet this magical park is made famous by its population of tigers. Stories and films about Darra, Machhli and T19 are retold to this date. They are best spotted in their natural habitat, drinking from the waters of the numerous lakes and gamboling merrily. Other forms of wildlife can also be seen.
The park housing a thousand childhood dreams is in the state that has produced India’s finest warriors – Rajasthan, the land of the brave Rajputs. With greenery, warmth and centuries of history, the forest stands tall, all set to create another thousand years of history.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.