Ranthambore, as good as it sounds!

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Tiger Sighting during wildlife safari at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve @TravelerInMe

Photo of Ranthambore, as good as it sounds! by TravelerInMe

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Photo of Ranthambore, as good as it sounds! 1/1 by TravelerInMe
Driving into the sunset ……… Road Trips be like this!

Every trip is planned to suit the person or group of people travelling. Here’s the route we took and our trip itinerary, which is good for a Friday weekend, office goers and someone keen on a short trip (especially from Delhi NCR).

Our road trip to Ranthambore via Jaipur was on the cards during the recent Good Friday – weekend (2019) and it was going to be full of good times and luck! We left Delhi late in the evening on Thursday and halted at Jaipur for the night.

We had booked our room for a few hours of night sleep at a Boutique hotel Chitra Katha. Located next to Hathroi Fort, the place is quite central and in a peaceful area of the city. The stay was pleasant, staff helpful and service good. We enjoyed our morning breakfast on the terrace lined with well looked after potted plants, birds flitting around and the abandoned fort as a backdrop.

Boutique Hotel Chitra Katha in Jaipur with Hathroi Fort in the background

Photo of Hotel Chitrakatha, Ajmer Road, Hathroi, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

DAY 1

In most of our trips to Jaipur we do make time to seek blessings of Moti Doongri Ganeshji and Hanumanji. It happened to be Hanuman Jayanti so after checking out we headed towards the temple, just in time for the morning aarti.

Moti Doongri Mandir Hanumanji & Ganeshji, Jaipur

Photo of Moti Dungri Ganesh Ji Temple, Moti Doongri Road, Tilak Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

We were now all set to drive down to our main destination —- Ranthambore in Sawai Madhopur which is ~3 hours drive from Jaipur. The roads were fantastic which made the drive comfortable and on time. One must remember to carry along snick snacks and sufficient water as I do not remember crossing any decent stopover especially toilet.

Camel time on way to Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Ranthambore, as good as it sounds! by TravelerInMe

Our stay was at Sawai’s FRH (Forest Rest House) and while entering the place I noticed Zone 8 mentioned in a signage. So I presume we stayed in zone 8 of Ranthambore National Park ???? The rooms were fantastic with wooden flooring and teak wood furniture. The staff / caretaker were gentle village people who served us with genuine joy. We loved the simple, freshly prepared home cooked food. The quietude around made it such a peaceful place to rejuvenate one’s tired body, mind and soul.

Forest Rest House, Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

We spent time in the green lawn under big trees till our lunch was prepared. A quick power nap after some scrumptious food and we were ready for Ranthambore Fort and probably some shopping too ????

The fort is located inside the Ranthambore National Park and one can drive down in their own vehicle. Yes, it can get adventurous if you encounter a tiger out of the blue (we missed one by a few minutes on our way out).

Its a different feel driving through the forest, with lost network which ensures you are there wholly, soaking in the untamed, untouched beauty, beaming with a sense of adventure as to what may lie ahead.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness”

Photo of Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.” this is so apt in describing the grandeur now a wreck when you move around Ranthambore Fort.

View of Rajbagh talao (lake) from the Ranthambore Fort

Photo of Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

Our main purpose was to pay obeisance at the Trinetra Ganesh ji temple in the fort. It is one of the oldest temple of Rajasthan dating somewhere in the 13th century and famed as being the only temple that has Ganeshji with his complete family — wives Riddhi & Siddhi; sons Shubh & Labh and his loyal companion mooshak.

Trinetra Ganeshji temple located up the Ranthambore Fort

Photo of Trinetra Ganesh Temple Ranthombore, Ranthambhore Fort, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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Trinetra Ganeshji with Riddhi, Siddhi, Shubh Labh and Mooshak at temple in Ranthambore Fort

Photo of Trinetra Ganesh Temple Ranthombore, Ranthambhore Fort, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

We had a surprise element aptly called Gupteshwar Mahadev as it lies within a small tunnel hidden under a chattri (monument). We too would have missed it had it not been for my explorer bug. The caretaker is an old man all gentle and silent.

Gupteshwar Mahadev, inside a small tunnel under a chattri

Photo of Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

We were lucky to witness the beauty of the setting sun on our way back from the temple. The fort is so full of peacocks and peahens besides the langurs and the oh so beautiful plum and grey headed parakeets.

As the sun covers us in soft gold. Sunset from Ranthambore Fort.

Photo of Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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The sun is setting, the birds are coming back home. Sunset at Ranthambore Fort

Photo of Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

For shopping enthusiasts, shops line up is around the National Park so do indulge in retail therapy after the safari or visit to the fort. Dhonk Craft & Cafe was our first stop while we were on our way back to the FRH. The cafe closes early so we missed enjoying a relaxed cup of coffee.

We also managed to go to the Ranthambore Dastkar (I have enjoyed their products at Dastkar Dehli though) just in time …….

The Dhonk Craft & Cafe with Fateh’s Library

Photo of Dhonk cafè, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

So, day 1 we reached Sawai Madhopur in the afternoon from Jaipur and went to the fort in the evening around 4 pm. Thereafter, we called it a day and before we went to sleep we saw a couple of hares play in the FRH lawns.

DAY 2

The next day was the big day ……. our wildlife safari was in the early morning slot. We were all ready and set out in our gypsy hoping to be first time lucky. ……. God had heard our prayers and we had two sightings in two different zones of the park. The first one was an unidentified tiger who gave us an opportunity to click him and the tigress Arrowhead moving stealthy among the tall wild grasses only to disappear quickly in a trench. Some moments are meant only for the eyes I guess.

Safari time at Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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The first sighting of the day ….. the tiger royally walks down the wild ramp

Photo of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

Here's the post on my wildlife / Tiger safari experience Looking for the ‘Bengal Tigers’ in Ranthambore National Park

We soaked in the beauty of the park while we waited for tigress Arrowhead to reappear and give us a better sighting, but in vain. She was a fleeting beauty hard to catch after all, sigh!

The famous and picturesque Padam talao in Ranthambore National Park.

Photo of Padam Talab, Ranthambhore Fort, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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The wild beauty of the tiger at Ranthambore National Park

Photo of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

We were elated to be in the lucky brigade who are able to see tigers in their very first safari. So beaming with joy we were back for a good shower and breakfast at our stay. We pondered over staying back or moving to Jaipur to indulge in some must do shopping ????

Well the latter bit won. But before that, we made our way to the Amareshwar Mahadev mandir and made purchase of local handicrafts.

Amareshwar Mahadev is also within the Ranthambore National Park but the entry is before the one used for safari and fort. The road is completely raw and needs careful driving and the there is a small trek up the stony dry hill. Its quite a landscape and nature lovers would definitely enjoy it.

The trek through wilderness to reach Amareshwar Mahadev

Photo of Amreshwar Mahadev Temple, Khilchipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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Ancient Amareshwar Mahadev mandir at Ranthambore

Photo of Amreshwar Mahadev Temple, Khilchipur, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

Once through receiving Lord Shiva’s blessings we made our first stop at Ranthambore Shilpgram, then the Village Woman Crafts followed by the Tribal-Wild Women Craft. We made our purchases at the former and the latter.

We were back to our room in the afternoon. Post a quick lunch and a small nap we were all set for Jaipur. Thankfully we managed to get rooms at Chitra Katha, else a last minute hunt for one can be taxing.

Shilpgram Ranthambore in Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Shilpgram, Ramsinghpura, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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The Village Women Crafts yet another shopping destination, Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Village Women Crafts, Saptar, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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Village women skillfully making handicraft products

Photo of Village Women Crafts, Saptar, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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Tribal-Wild Women Craft, a definite visit for shopping, Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Tribal Wild Women Craft Industries - Women Craft Ranthambhore, Ranthambhor Road, Saptar, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

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Inside Tribal Wild Women Craft, Sawai Madhopur

Photo of Tribal Wild Women Craft Industries - Women Craft Ranthambhore, Ranthambhor Road, Saptar, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, India by TravelerInMe

On reaching Jaipur we stopped over at Rawat Restaurant (by Rawat Mistan Bhandar famous for its pyaaz kachori) for dinner and checked into the hotel late at night.

DAY 3

After breakfast —– Moti Doongri mandir yet again and its funny but somehow I had never been able to make it to the Lakshmi Narayan Birla temple next to it. This time I guess I was meant to go and I did.

After all the mandir visit, it was full on shopping till it was time to get back to Delhi. We stopped over for the famous Ramchandra’s special falooda and Rawat’s pyaaz kachori

……………………… and finally we were back to home sweet home with beautiful memories and a desire to revisit soon!

PS: Watch out for a separate post on Ranthambore Fort

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HAPPY TRAVELLING!

Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe

This was first published in TravelerInMe

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