Frequently Asked Questions
How to get there?
Q. Which is the best way to reach Sawai Madhopur.
A. Most visitors drive down to Sawai Madhopur through Tonk (on the way from Jaipur) or Dausa (on the way from Agra). We, however,recommend that you take a train to Sawai Madhopur. This town lie on the main Delhi - Mumbai train route and has excellent train connections from most parts of India. You can download a list of recommended trains from a few important towns. Train tickets can be booked from any station in India. If booking train tickets are too much of a bother for you, we can book and post them to you, for a nominal fee.
Also see Camp - Location
Q. How far is the Sawai Madhopur station from your place and can you arrange to have us picked up from the station
A. Yes, we can arrange a transfer. We are 5 kilometers away from the Station. Call us up at (91 7462) 221728 or send a mail to us - with your train details and we will send a car to pick you up from the station. The driver will meet you at the platform and would be carrying a placard with your name on it. Our check-in & check out time is 12 noon. In case we have availability, we will be happy to provide an early morning check-in or late check-out, complimentary.
Q. How do I get from Agra to Ranthambhore by train
A. There are limited options from Agra to Sawai Madhopur by train. The regular train from Agra to Sawai Madhopur leaves Agra at 0500 hours. We recommend hiring a car for sightseeing in the morning in Agra and transfer to Bharatpur railway station to catch train no. 2904 - Golden temple mail. The distance is 55 kms from Agra and takes about 1 hr 15 minutes. The Golden Temple Mail departs from Bharatpur at 10.45 am and arrives at Sawai Madhopur railway station at 1.05 pm. You would need prior reservation to get on this train.? Another option is - Jan Shatabdhi, Train no. 2060. This leaves Bharatpur at approx 3.30 pm and arrives at Sawai Madhopur at 6.00pm. If you take this train you can visit Fatehpur Sikri, which is enroute to Bharatpur from Agra, have lunch at Bharatpur and board the train. This train is not very crowded and on most days it is possible to just buy a ticket and get on this train. We can arrange a vehicle for your transfer and your train tickets and lunch at Bharatpur, if you desire.
Q. Which is the best way to reach Sawai Madhopur from Jaipur by road
A. The best way to get from Jaipur to Ranthambhore by road is to go from Jaipur to Tonk and from Tonk to Sawai Madhopur.
Jaipur to Tonk: From the outskirts of Jaipur one has to take the bypass that joins up with the Tonk Road and drive to Tonk (about 90 kilometers from Jaipur) via Chaksu and Newai. On the outskirts of Tonk there is a bypass that leads to Kota and at the end of this bypass there is a left turn that leads to Sawai Madhopur. This left turn on the Tonk bypass is not very prominent and it is advisable to check up with someone on the Tonk bypass. The road from Jaipur to Tonk is a two-lane State highway and is pretty good, though not as good as the road between Delhi and Jaipur. It takes slightly less than one and a half hours to get to Tonk from Jaipur.
Tonk to Sawai Madhopur: From Tonk to Sawai Madhopur is about 90 kilometers via Uniara and Aligarh. This is a single lane road that is not very well paved but there is hardly any traffic on this road. It takes over one and a half hours to get from Tonk to Sawai Madhopur.
When you enter Sawai Madhopur, you will cross a railway crossing, about a km ahead of the crossing you will come across a flyover. Climb up on this flyover till you reach a T-junction (on top of the flyover) Turn right over here and carry on straight till you reach a traffic roundabout, turn left here.?About 500 mts ahead the road curves to the right, and a further 500 mts from here you have to turn left (on the main road)...You will then be on Ranthambhore road. The Ranthambhore Bagh is 2 kms down, on the right side.
Q. How do I drive from Delhi to Sawai Madhopur
A. There are two ways to get from Delhi to Sawai Madhopur - one is via Jaipur and the other via Mathura. Either ways the distance between Delhi and Sawai Madhopur is around 450 kilometers but the drive via Mathura takes about an hour more than the drive via Jaipur. Delhi to Jaipur:
The distance between Delhi and Jaipur is about 260 kilometers and one has to take the national Highway 8, which is a fantastic four-lane toll highway. It takes less than 4 hours to get to Jaipur. A good place to halt for a break on this highway is the Rajasthan Tourism run RTDC Midway at Behror (about half way between Delhi and Jaipur). From Jaipur you have to head to Tonk and from Tonk to Sawai Madhopur (see the answer to the above question).
From Delhi / Mathura / Bharatpur to Sawai Madhopur by road: The alternate route from Delhi to Sawai Madhopur is via Mathura (140 kilometers and good ) - Bharatpur (40 kilometers and bad road) - Dausa (130 kilometers and good road) - Lalsot (30 kilometers and single lane good road) - Sawai Madhopur (90 kilometers, single lane average road). It takes slightly over 8 hours to get to Sawai Madhopur from Delhi from this route. On this route the road from Mathura to Bharatpur and a small patch between Bharatpur and Dausa is not very good but the rest of the road is fairly good.
Q. Which is a better mode of wildlife safari - Gypsys or Canters
A. Gypsys are more personal, more expensive and less noisy, but both Canters and Gypsys travel on the same tracks. Both offer the same opportunity for wildlife viewing. Generally speaking, Gypsys are better for smaller groups (4-6 persons) and for special interest visitors, such as photographers, birders etc. For larger groups (10 to 20 persons) Canters are actually better than taking 2-3 Gypsys because everyone in the group goes through similar experiences.
Q. Are morning safaris better than evening safaris
A. Very broadly speaking, mornings are better during summers and evenings are better in the winters. The best wildlife viewing occurs when the sun is not strong - early mornings or late evenings.
Q. Which is the best zone
A. All the 5 zones take you to the heart of the park and as such there is no bad zone. Different zones are better on different days and this can be ascertained only a day or two before.
Q. What are the chances of seeing tigers
A. Ranthambhore is one of the best places in the world for seeing tigers. However, tigers are shy and elusive animals and tiger sightings are a matter of chance. In Ranthambore, if you do not get to see a tiger in 3-4 safaris, you should consider yourself as fairly unlucky. It is not advisable to be totally focused on tigers because you would end up missing a lot of other interesting sights.
Q. You have advised us that entry fees to the National Park are excluded in the package price. Can you obtain these for us
A. At the time of booking we will get your entrance tickets to the park, and charge you for the same. You can pay for them at the time of check-out.
Q. Do I need a permit for small hand-held (tourist) video camera? If so, please advise if you can obtain this on my behalf
A. There is no charge for still cameras but you have to pay Rs 200 per safari for carrying a Video camera inside the Ranthambore national park. The tickets for Rs 200 (for the video) can be bought at the gate and the driver of your safari vehicle will help you buy them.
Q. What are the timings for safaris, into the Ranthambore national park
A. Timings - Morning wildlife safari - 6.00 to 10.00 am & Evening wildlife safari - 2.30 to 6.30 pm, the timings may vary by 1/2 hr, as they are based on the sunrise & sunset time.
Q. What details do you require to book the safaris for
A. We require your Full name/sex/passport no./nationality to book the safari. For Indian residents we need your full name and address.
Q. How much advance do I need to send to book safaris
A. We require full advance payment as all safaris are booked on the basis of full advance, non-refundable against cancellation/change.
Q. We are looking for some hiking options in Ranthambhore area
A. Ranthambhore is a pretty tricky place to hike around. Three hikes that I can recommend are as follows: -
1. The Ranthambhore fort - This is in an area of over 4 square kms and a large part of it is largely unexplored. One can easily spend a whole day and still only see about half the fort. The fort is also a great place for learning about the entire vegetation of Ranthambhore.
2. Chandmari and Jhoomar Baori area - This is actually just behind the Vanya Vilas and is the buffer zone of the park. There are some pretty steep climbs (though for short distances).
3. The Balas and Kala pathar area of Man Singh Sanctuary - about half an hour's drive from the hotel.
I would like to remind you that it is not easy to see wildlife when on foot. One can however see a lot of birds and of course being on foot is the best way to see the local vegetation.
Also see Excursions Safari.
Best time to visit
The park is open to tourists from the 1st of October to the 30th of June. Most of the tourists visit the park between November and March, mainly because the summers heat is unbearable.
The period between November and February is excellent for wildlife viewing, particularly for bird watching. A lot of migratory birds visit the park during the winter months.
During the summer months (April to June), when the temperature soars over 40 degrees Centigrade during the day, sighting tigers is relatively easier than it is in winters.
March is a great month for wildlife viewing and the temperature are not very high.
What to carry
During the cold season - from November to February - visitors are advised to carry enough warm clothing, jackets, gloves, mufflers etc. Due to the wind chill factor, it often gets very cold during the safaris and a jacket can be a welcome relief.
During the summer months - from March to June - it is very hot and loose cotton clothing is recommended. A wide brimmed hat is nice to have during summers. Sunscreens are a must in summers, when the sun is very strong. Mosquito repellents are required, particularly during October and March, even though Ranthambhore is not a malaria prone area.
Binoculars can add a lot of value to ones wildlife viewing. Photographers are advised to carry all the equipment that they would require, including batteries and film rolls (though both of these are also locally available, most of the time)..
"Excellent 2 weeks stay, good food, great people and nothing was too much trouble, very lucky with tigers as well...thank you very much!!"
Chris Brunskill, Nature Photographer, UK.