Travel Ranthambore – Drinking Scotch With Tiger
Travel Ranthambhore often misspelt as Ranthambore, lies within the Ranthambore National Park near the town of Sawai Madhopur, the park being the former hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur until the time of India’s Independence.
Now most of the fellow travelers/Tour Operators you encounter, will advise you that the best time to Visit Ranthambore National park is from 1st October to 30th June. Rest of the Time Park is closed for the Visitors. I respectfully disagree! As a matter of fact the best time for to travel to Ranthambore is in the month of August and September. At least that’s what me and my friend from office would agree with. The reasons….You will get plenty when you read the whole narrative.
This was a trip planned by none of us, as we were also under the notion that best time to visit Ranthambore is as above mentioned. Sitting in the office planning for the two days off which we got (Thanks to 69th independence day of India-Salute!!) was very confusing. We almost made plan to travel every city and town in the vicinity of 200 km’s around Jaipur. Well it was fun looking at google maps and travel sites, but we knew that being fickle minded is not going to work for us. One of our friend was also planning for a trip and he was the one who came out with this brilliant idea of going to Ranthambore to sit with the tigress and have couple of shots of 20 year old fermented scotch.
We virtually booked the hotel rooms at the last moments of coming out of our offices, that too for the next day. I was thinking that we might run in a problem while booking as it was already too late, however would like to point out that if you are looking for good deals while travelling, please visit GOIBIBO.COM. We booked through the same travel portal and got a discount of 40% instantly. Besides the attractive discount on your current trip, it gives you enough cash points for your next trip thereby getting you great deal on your next trip. (If it’s off season you might get lucky with discounts up to 60%).
Off to Ranthambore
We decided to leave early morning by road. We decided that we will leave by 8:00 AM, which was totally not supposed to be possible with me involved in late night party sipping scotch on the rocks, and not being a morning person at all. We left at around 9:30 AM with hopes of getting to Ranthambore by 11:30 AM. The very first reason of visiting Ranthambore during the month of August is “A long drive of 160 KM’s and the monsoon rain which added a punch of excitement to our journey”.
Pictures below reflect it all. (Click To Enlarge)
Way to Ranthambore
There are couple of ways to reach Ranthambore from Jaipur by road. One from the Tonk road taking NH 12 and NH 116, the other way is through NH 24 and NH 11 connecting from Arga-Bikaner highway. If you ask my opinion, the Agra high way and then taking NH 24 and NH 11 is the best way to travel to Ranthambore. Why am i stressing on taking this route, is because of the amazing 4 lane highway covered with lush green trees on both the sides. This gives you ample opportunity to capture nature that too in the rainy season. As it’s quite evident we took Agra-Bikaner highway. After driving for about 55 KM’s look for a sign board referring directions to Sawaimadhopur, you will have to take a left turn to get on NH 11.
Most of the route is well manged, however when you turn right to Sawaimadhopur from Agra-Bikaner highway there is a bad road patch for about 20 KM’s which is poorly managed before you get on to NH 11. Once you cross this bad patch, rest of the highway is real good and well manged. The second reason why you should choose this route is because of it’s less toll points. In total you will encounter 2 toll check points with a total 100 INR which you need to pay to get to Ranthambore, as compared to the other route in which there are total of 3 toll check points and not to forget the extra amount of cash that you need to shed from your pocket.
Ranthambore National Resort
Ranthambore National Resort is located on Ranthambore road, right opposite to Saras Dairy in Sawaimadhopur. To tell you frankly this resort was not we had expected. On the way to Ranthambore one of our very good friend who was in town visited this resort and did not gave us a very positive review. On the contrary when we got to the resort, the stay in the hotel was very comfortable, rooms are spacious with exceptional room service. The property has a big open space to accommodate even marriages n lots of Guava trees for your treat. Staff is very efficient and courteous. Rooms are large enough, clean and comfortable. Wifi facility was efficient and there are enough plug points, which is normally a sore point in many hotels. Ambiance is amazing, with a swimming pool, spacious playground and bonfires are organized every evening. Morning breakfast was delicious with vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Below are the captured moments. (Click To Enlarge)
After having enjoyed our first day we went to sleep at night (haha! obviously, everyone does). The next morning after having a good breakfast, we set out to see the only zone open during this time of the year, which was the Ranthambore fort. Now, you would wonder, why go on such a long journey to visit an old fort made of stones when everyone knows that the main attraction there, are the tigers, who enjoy their solitude at this time, thanks to the rain gods. Well, my friend you are right, but not absolutely. Even though I did wish I could get the opportunity to see our national animal, but this wish was completely compensated by the absolute natural beauty that welcomed us on our way to the fort. Ranthambore is a jungle and jungle’s have abundance of scenic beauty, however the rain shower enhances to its beauty. Due to abundance of rain, the nature looks clean and fresh and the natural waterfalls are a sight hard to find in a desert. And since, it was off season, there were less number of visitors and we enjoyed the natural beauty to its full.
After basking in the scenic beauty around, we reached the fort. I am not going to go in the historic significance of the fort and etc etc, because obviously everyone today can easily access this type of knowledge on internet. However, the fort was no different than any of the forts we get to see in Jaipur except for the large population of monkeys living in its vicinity. In fact, the first thing that caught my eye, were them and also the height of the fort.
We wandered around the fort for about an hour and tried capturing every beautiful scenic portrait that we could possibly find. Post this we retreated back to the entrance of the fort as we had to head home. We made a point of stopping at each stop from the fort to the entrance of the fort to enjoy every possible nature’s treat.
It’s was time to move back as our corporate life was screaming and calling our names to come back and start our daily amazing, exciting and energetic schedule. (No Sarcasm involved) We headed back to Jaipur from Ranthambore via Sawaimadhopur again taking the same route. We were hungry a little bit so we decided to stop at a one of the restaurant at the intersection of Sawaimadhopur and Ranthambore road. To tell you honestly the restaurant was quite flashy, however the food was ordinary and had no taste. Along with us our taste buds were so tired that we ate whatever we could possibly get our hands on to. I had less so that my companions can have a safe ride home.
On the way back home we had very less time to click as everyone was too tired and wanted to get home quickly. I would definitely say that this is one the trips that i would remember for a very long time as this trip not only gave us that splendid and tension free weekend that we were looking for but also acted as a great relaxing catalyst to our daily busy corporate schedule. Ranthambore surely is a great place to travel not just in specific months but any time of the year. It’s the company that makes any trip special, thanks to my friends who accompanied me made it special in a very distinguished way.
Especially the one below.
Stay tuned for more upcoming road trips, the next one is going to be more wilder than this one and will surely be adrenaline induced.