History of the Ranthambhore Forest

Prior to the formation of the state of Rajasthan, these forests were a part of the Jaipur and Karauli states and they were managed as hunting reserves. After the abolition of the old "jagirs" in 1954 the forest came under the control of the Government of Rajasthan.

In 1955 a part of the forest was declared as the Sawai Madhopur Wildlife sanctuary. In the year 1972 it was estimated that barely 1800 tigers were remaining in India and to save this magnificent species from imminent extinction, the "project Tiger" was launched in 1973. Ranthambhore had the distinction of being one of the first nine wildlife areas where Project Tiger was launched. Rantambhore was notified as a national park in the year 1980. In 1984 the adjoining areas were elevated to the status of Wildlife sanctuaries, whereby two sanctuaries were notified - The Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary [127.6 sq kms] and the Keladevi Sanctuary [674 sq kms]. To maintain a viable gene pool the adjoining area have been brought under project Tiger.

Area of Ranthambhore Forest

 The total area of the forest blocks managed under project Tiger Ranthambhore is 1334.64 sq kms The Ranthambore national park is a part of it.

The forest of Ranthambhore spread over a highly undulating topography of diverse geo-morphological conditions. An important geological fault called "The great Indian Boundary Fault" where the Vindhyan hill system passes through the reserve/ As a result the topography varies from gentle slopes to steep vertical rocky escarpments, from flat topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis and from grassy meadows to narrow rocky gorges.

Consequently availability of water is also varied. There are dry stretches intersected with stream beds bearing perennial water holes. These water holes are crucial to the survival of wild animals. In the dry season they offer water and shelter in form of cool, shady groves. There are many springs also which feed a number of water holes. Even during the peak of summer there are more than 100 water holes in the reserve.

Apart from these water holes there is a system of three lakes and half a dozen anicuts which are very important habitats to the wild animals. The lakes support a rich aquatic flora and fauna and they attract a variety of birds including many migratory species.

On the outskirts of the reserve the river Banas flows from the north to the south east where it merges into the river Chambal which flows from the south of the reserve.


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