Situated at the junction of the Aravalli and the Vindhya ranges, Ranthambhore has been one of India’s conservation success stories. Since becoming one of the original areas under Project Tiger in 1973, the park has maintained much of its natural glory. A 10th century fort, called Ranthambhore commanded a large area and until the late 13th century was the centre of a Hindu kingdom. During the 18th century, the area was protected as a hunting area for and by the Maharajas of Jaipur. The fort is the natural focal point of the park with a series of well established artificial lakes stretching to the north. The rugged park terrain alternates between dry deciduous forest, open grassy meadow, dotted by several lakes and rivers that are only made passable by rough roads built and maintained by the Forest Department. The major predator here is the tiger, but their territories overlap with those of the leopard, which are occasionally seen in the areas on the park periphery. A variety of birds including owls, langur (monkey), leopard, caracal, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, marsh crocodiles, wild boar, bears and various species of deer are also found in the park. The greater visibility of this magnificent animal, due to the careful management, has made the park well known as one of the easiest parks to spot and photograph tigers.
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