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SAWAI MADHOPUR SIGHTSEEING 1

 

RANTHAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK NEAR THE TOWN OF SAWAI MADHOPUR, MIDWAY BETWEEN BHARATPUR AND KOTA, RAN- THAMBHOR NATIONAL PARK IS ONE OF THE PRIME EXAMPLES OF PROJECT TIGER'S CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN RAJASTHAN.SADLY,IT ALSO DEMONSTRATES THAT PROGRAM'S OVERALL FAILURE; STATE THAT THE TIGER POPULATION MAY NOW BE AS LOW . OFICIALLY,THERE ARE 40 TIGERSIN THE PARK SO YOU HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF A SIGHTING ON YOUR FIRST SAFARI.TO BE SURE,PLAN ON TWO OR THREE SAFARIS.OTHER GAME,ESPECIALLY THE LARGER AND SMALLER HERBIVORES,ARE MORE NUMEROUS.EVEN IF YOU DON'T SEE A TIGER, IT'S WORTH THE EFFORT FOR THE SCENERY ALONE:IN INDIA IT'S NOT OFTEN YOU GET THE CHANCE TO VISIT SUCH A LARGE AREA OF VIRGIN BUSH,AND THE CONTRAST WITH THE OFTEN DENUDED LAND ELSEWHERE IS STARK. THE PARK ITSELF COVERS SOME 400 SQ KM AND ITS SCENERY IS VERY BEAUTIFUL A SYSTEM OF LAKES AND RIVERS IS HEMMED IN BY STEEP HIGH CRAGS AND,ON TOP OF ONE OF THESE, IS THE EXTENSIVE AND WELL PRESERVED FORTRESS OF RANTHAMBORE, BUILT IN 10 TH CENTURY.THE LOWER-LYING GROUND ALTERNATES BETWEEN OPEN BUSHLAND AND FAIRLY DENSE FOREST AND IS PEPPERED WITH RUINED PAVILIONS,CHHATARIS (TOMBS) AND 'HIDES'THE AREA WAS FORMERLY A HUNTING PRESERVE OF THE MAHARAJAS. A GOOD NETWORK OF OUR GRAVEL TRACKS CRISSCROSSES THE PARK AND SAFARIS ARE UNDERTAKEN IN OPEN-SIDED JEEPS DRIVEN BY A RANGER.IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN ON SAFARI ON AFRICA,YOU MIGHT THINK THIS IS AN UNDULY RISKY VENTURE BUT THE TIGERS APPEAR UNCONCERNED BY JEEP LOADS OF GARRULOUS TOURISTS TOUTING CAMERAS ONLY METERES AWAY FROM WHERE THEY'RE LYING.NO ONE HAS BEEN MAULED OR EATEN YET!


SAWAI MADHOPUR SIGHTSEEING

 

PLACES TO STAY THIS IS A CLEAN MODERN PLACE WITH A GOOD SIZED MODERN ROOMS, WITH BATH ATTACHE.STANDARD ROOMS WITH AIR COOL.THER'S AN ATTACHED DINNING ROOM,AND GOOD VEGETARIAN MEALS ARE AVAILABLE IT'S CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BEST PLACES FOR THE MONEY. VERY SIMILAR IS THE ANURAG RESORT A FORTHER 500 METRES TOWARDS THE PARKPRICES HERE ARE WITHAIR COOLING THE NEXT PLACE IS OF THE RTDC PLACES THE KAMDHENU TOURIST BUNGLOW.IT'S A FAIRLY MODERN AND CHARACTERLESS BUILDING,OFFERING THE UNREMARKABLE ACCOMADATION THE PRICE WITH SINGLE DOUBLE ROOMS WITH BATH ATTACHED WITH AIR COOL MEALS ARE AVAILABLE HERE. THE OTHER RTDC PLACES IS A TOTAL CONTRAST THE CASTLE JHOOMAR BAORI(5KM THEN 2KM OFF THE ROAD)IS A FORMER ROYAL HUNTING LODGE, AND IS STUNNINGLY SIDTED ON THE HILLSIDE TO THE RIGHT OF THE ROAD. THE 11 ROOMS ARE COMFORTABLE SPACIOUS AND WELL FURNISHED AND HAVE MODERN TOILET AND BATHROOM FACILITIES WITH HOT WATER.THER'S ALSO A BEATIFUL LOUNGE AS WELL AS OPEN ROOFTOP AREAS. THE ORDINARY AIRCOOLED ROOMSBUT THER'S ALSO APANTHER SUITE AND TIGER SUITE IF YOU'RE MOST INTRESTED IN WILDLIFE AND SOUNDS OF JUNGLE THEN THE BEST THOUGHCERTAINLY NOT THE CHEAPEST, PLACE TO STAY IS THE JOGI MAHAL,THREE KM INSIDE THE PARK FROM THE MAIN GATE AND OVER LOOKING ONE OF THE LOTUS STUDDED LAKES IT'S THE ONLY ACCOMDATION WITH IN THE PARK ITSELF.THIS FORMER HUNTING LODGE, WHICH ONCE BELONGED TO THE MAHARAJAS IS THE ONE FEATURED IN ALL THE GLOSSY TOURIST BROCHURES.IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO STAY BUT,AS THEY HAVE ONLYFOUR ROOMS WHICH ARE ALWAYS IN HEAVY DEMAND, ADVANCE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL.ROOMS PER PERSON INCLDING ALL MEALS.MEALS AREN'T AVAIL.NON RES.


SAWAI MADHOPUR GETTING THERE &AWAY

 

**GETTING THERE & AWAY SAWAI MADHOPUR ON THE MAIN DELHI TO BOMBAY BROAD GUAGE RAILWAY LINE AND AS MOST TRAINS STOP HERE, THER'S A WIDE RANGE TO CHOOSE FROM.THE 108 KM TO KOTA TAKES 2 HOURS 10 MIN WHILE AGRA FORT IS 226 KM WHICH TAKES 8 HOURS SWAI MADHOPUR IS ALSO THE JUNCTION OF THE METERE GUAGE SPUR TO JAIPUR AND BIKANER.THREE TRAINS A DAY TRAVEL THIS LINE IN EITHER DIRECTION.BUT THE EARLY MORNING DEPARTURE FROM SAWAI MADHOPUR CAN BE PACKED SOLID,EVEN IN FIRST CLASS.THE 130 KM TRIP TAKES AROUND THE HOURS **GETTING AROUND JEEPS CAN BE HIRED FROM MOST OF THE LODGES,AND YOU'LL BE APPROACHED REGULA- RLY BY HOPEFUL DRIVERS.THE FEE FOR JEEP HIRE IS SET AT FOR A MORNING OR AFTERNOON SAFARI, AND THIS CAN BE SHARED BY UP TO SIX PEOPLE,ALTHOUGH FOUR IS PREFERABLE . THIS INCLUDES ALL KM CHARGES , SO STAYING FURTHER FROM THE PARK ENTRANCE ISN'T GOING TO COST MORE . SAFFARI TIMES ONE HOUR LATER IN SUMMER . ONLY 24 JEEPS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK AT ANY ONE TIME , & DURING THE PICK WINTER SEASON IT MEANS GETTING A JEEP & ARRIVING AT THE PARK GATE AT LEAST 30 MINS. BEFORE IT OPENS TO BE SURE OF GETTING IN . IF YOU ARE ALONE & CAN'T FIND OTHER'S TO SHARE THE COST OF A JEEP , IT'S POSSIBLE TO HIRE A BICYCLE & RIDE THE 10 KM TO THE GATE . HERE YOU CAN ASK AROUND,AS MANY JEEPS HAVE ONLY ONE OR TWO PASS. & OFTEN THEY DON'T MIND TAKING AN EXTRA PERSON,OFTEN FOR FREE.


SAWAI MADHOPUR GETTING AROUND

 

****GETTING AROUND THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE FOR A SAFARI IS THE OPEN BACKED RTDC MINIBUS, ALTHOUGH THIS HAS THE DISADVANTAGE OF NOT VENTURING FAR INTO THE PARK . HOWEVER , IT WILL PICK UP FROM THE PROJECT TIGER OFFICE , THE SAWAI MADHOPUR LODGE , THE ANKUR RESORT , THE RTDC PLACES AND THE PARK GATE ITSELF .


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