This famous national park is the best place to spot wild tigers in Rajasthan. It comprises 1334 sq km of wild jungle scrub hemmed in by rocky ridges, and 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 (cenotaphs). The park was a maharajas’ hunting ground until 1970, a curious 15 years after it had become a sanctuary.
Seeing a tiger (around 60 to 67 in 2018) 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.