This famous national park is the best place to spot wild tigers in Rajasthan. Comprising 1334 sq km of wild jungle scrub hemmed in by rocky ridges, at its centre is the 10th-century Ranthambhore Fort. Scattered around the fort are ancient temples and mosques, hunting pavilions, crocodile-filled lakes and vine-covered chhatris (burial tombs). The park was a maharajas’ hunting ground until 1970, a curious 15 years after it had become a sanctuary.
Seeing a tiger (around 52 to 55 in 2016) is partly a matter of luck; leave time for two or three safaris to improve your chances. But remember there’s plenty of other wildlife to see, including more than 300 species of birds.
It’s 10km from Sawai Madhopur (the gateway town for Ranthambhore) to the first gate of the park, and another 3km to the main gate and Ranthambhore Fort.