Sawai Madhopur City
|Sawai Madhopur, “Tiger City”, willingly opens its arms to welcome visitors to Ranthambhore National Park almost as if it doesn’t mind being in oblivion. The gateway to Ranthambore, the city is just 12 kms from the park.
Sawai Madhopur has its own appeal being a place of natural beauty surrounded by the rolling hills of Aravallis and Vindhayas. It was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727 soon after he was gifted the Ranthambore Fort by Mughal Emperor Shah Alam.
Sawai Madhopur is a city and an administrative headquarters of Sawai Madhopur District. The city is about 182 km from Rajasthan capital city Jaipur. It is famous for its guavas, and along with its neighbouring villages for its bandhani and lahariya, block printed textiles, silver jewellery, antique furniture, wood, metal handicrafts, carpets as well as its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes.
Ranthambhore National Park: Famous for being a major tiger conservation ground, the Park is thronged by wildlife enthusiasts. But despite best intentions, the tiger population has dwindled to just about 44 today. So spotting one in the midst of this 400 sq km enclosure might require luck and patience. But don’t let this deter you; it is also worth visiting even just for its scenic beauty having a network of lakes and rivers with impregnable forests and open bush land. The Padam Talab, the Raj Bagh Talab and the Milak Talab are some of the lakes in the area that attract tiger population. And if not tigers, you will certainly spot other wild animals such as hyenas, jungle cats and sloth bears apart from chital, nilgai, and chinkara and leopards at Kachida Valley. The lakes too are crowded with avifuana such as black storks, quails, Bonelli's eagles, spur fowls, crested serpent eagles and painted storks and other exotic winged varieties in winter. The best time of visit is between October and April. If you are there, make it a point to visit the Ranthambhore Fort which will tell many interesting sagas of rulers and their battles. The majestic 10th-century Fort is perched at the centre of the Park enclosing many structures of historical interest such as Toran Dwar, Mahadeo Chhatri, Sameton Ki Haveli, 32 pillared Chhatri, Mosque and especially the Ganesh Temple where Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in pomp and show by thousands of devotees in August.
Amareshwar Mahadeo Temple: En route to Ranthambhore Park, the temple stands atop a high hill and is a famous picnic spot for locals.
Chamatkar Temple: A venue for the annual 'Sarad Poornima' fair, it is famous for the ChamatkarJi deity believed to have miraculous powers. It is located on the main road close to the railway station. Apart from these, excursions can be made to Rameshwaram Dham, Khandar Fort, ChouthMata Temple, etc.