Ranthambhor National Park is situated in South east of Rajasthan at the confluence of the Vindhyas and the Aravali hill ranges. It is bound in the south by the river Chambal and to north is the river Banas. The park virtually looks like a green island of protected forest amidst a landscape which is immensely dotted by villages, farm lands and over grazed wasteland. Its landscape is characterised by rocky plains, flat hill tops, gently hiss slopes and precipitous cliffs, all covered by dry deciduous forest. Interpersed in between are six lakes Padam Talab, Raj Bag, Milak Talab, Lahpur, Mansorover and Gilai Sagar.
A wide variety of trees flourish in Ranthambhor with dhok (Anogeissus pendula) as the most predominant species . Among mammals tiger and leopard are the main species from the cat family. Other animals include Hyaena, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Wild boar, Chital, Sambar, Neelgai, Chikara, Langur etc. The park has more than 270 species of birds including a number of migratory birds. In the reptile family are Crocodile, Montor Lizard, Tortoises, Snakes etc.
Jeep is the only way into the Tiger Park at Ranthambhor, and you are prohibited to be on foot. The park has been divided among the same place. Once you enter the gate, you are inside to be face to face with the wild animals. The driver will take you to possible spots where the wild animals roam in abundance and to the riches where you have the luck to observe Tiger/Tigress /Cubs, lying, walking, stalking, relaxing or sleeping.
The drivers here have acquired good sense of spotting. The read out the pug-marks on the loose sand to ascertain whether the tiger had passed by a few minutes ago, or it was long ago; in which direction it had gone. Indeed majority of spotting is by pugmark observation. And it is intensely interesting, perplexing, educative, speculative to judge from the pug-marks the male-female difference, age of the animal, adult, sub-adult or cubs. Repeated observations do lead to reach the truth. Pug-marks do hold out distinction between a male and female.
However, one has to possess luck to have a date with Tigers. There have been occasions when people came face to face with a Tiger just after entering the barrier-gate. Often, she sat across the black-tar road, not allowing jeeps to move further up. Immediately inside this gate, the Tiger has been found countless times. In fact, this area is near the Padam Talab Lake and has an excellent cover; the animals find it an ideal habitat to spend time. The tiger has been observed preying upon animals in this region also. However, at times, people in one jeep could see it, while those in the following jeep missed it as the animal had gone inside the tall grass. It is like drama of hide and seeks as far as Tiger spotting is concerned. Many other areas inside the Park present a similar game of luck.