Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Indian state of Rajasthan comprises distinct areas with varied conservation history and virtually separated geographically, with mere narrow corridors linking them to the core, Ranthambore National Park. These are mainly, the Ranthambore National Park, Keladevi Sanctuary and Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary.
Ranthambore National Park : The Ranthambore National Park, at the junction of the Aravallis and the Vindhyas, is a unique juxtaposition of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in a vast arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 km. from the town of Sawai Madhopur. It is spread over a highly undulating topography, varying from gentle to steep slopes, from flat-topped hills (Indala, Doodh-Bhat and Chiroli) of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravallis, from wide and flat valleys (Lahpur, Nalghati, Khachida, Anantpur etc.) to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature, the "Great Boundary fault" where the Vindhyas were brought against the ancient Aravallis, passes from here.
Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary : The terrain is flat and rocky and some hills with gentle slopes. The Devpura Irrigation Dam in the Sanctuary is a useful source of water for wildlife and good habitat for aquatic flora and fauna.
Keladevi Sanctuary : The Keladevi Sanctuary is the northern extension of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts. It has hills in its southern, northern and eastern parts. At many places, it has the curious feature of two separate ridges running parallel to each other. The forest between such ridges is dense. The Sanctuary is bounded to the west by the river Banas and to the south by the river Chambal. The Banas finally flows into the Chambal. Some gorges, due to high moisture retention and cooler temperature, are nature's treasure houses. They are locally known as khoh. The slopes of the khohs are covered with dense forest. These khohs are the most suitable habitat for wildlife. The main khohs in Keladevi are Nibhera, Kudka, Chiarmul, Ghanteshwar, Jail and Chidi. The forest cover is fairly sparse and spread out in the other parts.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve was among the first nine Tiger Reserves declared in 1973 at the launch of Project Tiger in India. It comprised the former Sawai Madhopur Wildlife Sanctuary of 392.5 sq. km. Reserved Forest (constituted in 1955).
Ranthambore National Park with an area of 274.5 sq. km. was constituted from within the Tiger Reserve in 1980. In the then Tiger Reserve, the National Park area was being managed as the core and the rest as buffer until in 1992, Keladevi Sanctuary having an area of 674 sq. km. of Protected Forest (constituted in 1983), Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary with an area of 127 sq. km. (constituted in 1984), Kualji Close Area of 7.58 sq. km. and some other forest areas were added to the Reserve.
Archaeological Richness : Ranthambore fort and temples of medieval period.
Forest Types : Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests -5B
Main Flora : Dhok Anogeissus pendula mixed with khair Acacia catechu, raunj, goya, chhela, pipal Ficus religiousa, vad, amaltas Cassia fistula, gurjan, siris saintha, gular, tendu.
Main Fauna: Mammals : Tiger, leopard, caracal, ratel, jungle cat, chital, sambar, nilgai, chinkara, sloth bear, wild boar, jackal, hyaena, common langur, common fox.
Birds : 250 species of birds, some commonly seen are; Bonnelli's Eagle, Sandgrouse, Pheasant tailed Jacana, Quail, Paradise Fly catcher etc.