This majestic fort is the landmark of Ranthambhore National Park. Situated about 5kms inside the wildlife reserve, Ranthambhore Fort is the marvel of the Chauhan dynasty. The construction of the fort began in 944 AD under the rule of King Sapaldaksha but it was during the time period of Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan that the fort took shape. It is recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site that places it under the title ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’. The mansion is built upon a 700ft high hill and is one of the major attractions in Ranthambhore National Park. Once this fort severed as a royal hunting reserve and had a sprawling jungle around it giving enough space to carry out this adventure sport.
However during the 1950s it became a part of the ‘Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary’ that was set up to conserve the dwindling wildlife in the area.
Trinetra Ganesh Temple
Situated inside Ranthambhore Fort, Trinetra Ganesh Temple is yet another attraction in Ranthambhore National Park. Trinetra (Three-Eyed) Ganesh or Pratham Ganesh Temple is amongst the oldest temples in Rajasthan. It is one of those temples, where one can find the deities of the entire family of Lord Ganesha. The temple was built by King Hammer, who is believed to be an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha. The legend has it that while King Hammer was at war here, their stocks of food were running out. Then one night, Lord Ganesha appeared before the King and assured him that the stocks will be filled and his problems will be solved by the next morning. Miraculously, the next day, the war ceased and the food stock replenished; therefore the king decided to build a temple for Lord Ganesha here. A large number of Ganesha devotees throng this temple and five artist are held each day here.
Set amidst quaint settings, Surwal Lake is one of the best places for sightseeing near Ranthambhore Park. This lake is the haven for many birds, which are seen here catching fishes especially during winter season. It is a shallow lake, which dries out in summer; therefore it is ideal to visit this place either in monsoon or in winter. The best time of the day to visit here is morning when many birds are seen picking up their breakfast from here. Tucked in isolation, Surwal Lake is ideal for those seeking some solace and peace.
This is the largest lake in this Wildlife Reserve and is one of the main sources of water for the wild animals. The best time of the day to visit here is early morning, when a large number of animals are seen drinking at the lake. One can also spot the rare Chinkara deer here as well. The lake looks more beautiful during the season of water lilies; in fact this is why the lake got its name as Padam, which literally means flowers.
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Village Women Craft
Apart from witnessing the varied wildlife in the park, one has the opportunity to explore the culture and tradition of Rajasthan as well. At Village Women Craft, which is situated at Gas Plant Road in Sawai Madhopur, one can find a variety of handmade carpets, woolen carpets, tribal rugs, wildlife paintings, shawls, bed covers and much much more! Village Women Craft is a social initiative that supports rural women in Rajasthan to become independent and economically stable. It is an incredible place to shop in Rajasthan and definitely a perfect memento of Ranthambhore National Park.