Once the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the gorgeous Ranthambore National Park is a proud member of the Project Tiger programme. A stone’s throw from the gateway town of Sawai Madhopur, this park has much more than the majestic tiger to spot.
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Trinetra Ganesha Temple Visit at Ranthambore Fort
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ranthambore Fort stands atop a 700 feet hill, located in the core area of the park.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Ranthambore Fort stands atop a 700 feet hill, located in the core area of the park. Built in the 10th century, it is a testament to the glory and valour of the Chauhan dynasty and has witnessed historic sieges and battles. An architectural marvel, the fort has many attractions like Toran Dwar, Mahadeo Chhatri and Sametonki Haveli. It’s most visited site is the ancient Trinetra Ganesha Temple. India’s favourite deity – the God of wealth, fortune, wisdom and education – is unusually depicted here; he has three eyes and resides with his entire family. This powerful Trinetra Ganesha was said to have ended the fiercest war fought at the fort, the 1301 clash between Rao Hamir and the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji. Ever since, he is beseeched by marriage invitations – sent by post from various corners of the country – to bless new weds while other devotees throng in person to have their wishes fulfilled.
High Tea at Awan ki Chowki
A former hunting post, AwankiChowki is a spectacularly isolated venue blessed with a small water body and surrounded by the jungles of Ranthambore.
A former hunting post, Awan ki Chowki is a spectacularly isolated venue blessed with a small water body and surrounded by the jungles of Ranthambore. Located away from the lodge, guests have to trek for 10-15 minutes to reach it. A table is set on the terrace, at same spot where the flag post stood earlier, announcing the hunting schedule of the royals. Awan ki Chowki is conveniently close to gates 9 and 10 of Ranthambore National Park, so guests can opt for high tea straight after their safari. Full of character, history and exciting anecdotes of 20th century safari trips, a leisurely meal at this distinctive location – offering breathtaking 360 degree forest views – makes for postcard-perfect memories.
Boat Safari on Chambal River
The concierge at Sawai Madhopur Lodge arranges a boat safari at the National Chambal Sanctuary, a 5,400 kms, tristate protected area for the protection of the critically endangered species.
The concierge at Sawai Madhopur Lodge arranges a boat safari at the National Chambal Sanctuary, a 5,400 kms, tri-state protected area for the protection of the critically endangered gharial (Indian crocodile), the red-crowned roof turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin. A 90-minute drive from the lodge takes guests to Palighat, the confluence of three rivers, notably the legendary Chambal, a tributary of the Yamuna which flows into Rajasthan from Madhya Pradesh. The safari – best experienced during evenings in summer and mornings in winter – is a treat for photographers and nature-lovers.
Shop Exquisite Local Crafts
A vacation at Sawai Madhopur Lodge offers guests a chance to discover the region’s world-famous textiles and handicrafts.
A vacation at Sawai Madhopur Lodge offers guests a chance to discover the region’s world-famous textiles and handicrafts. A one-stop shop is Dastkar, India’s most admired artisan collective, which leverages the traditional hand embroidery and textile block-printing skills of the local rural population. Here, guests can shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, fashion pieces and trendy gifts like scarves, bags, miniature stuffed animals, bedspreads and lovely saris. Visitors can also return with a vivid piece of the jungle by selecting from watercolour postcards, wildlife paintings and canvasses, created by students of the Ranthambore School of Art, sales proceeds of which go towards the park’s conservation efforts.
Jungle Dining at Machan
Throwback to Indian royal’s cuisine at Machan, Sawai Madhopur Lodge – IHCL SeleQtions
Jungle Dining is a throwback to a time when Indian royals hunted wildlife by day; and as evening fell, cooked and ate their fresh kills in the wild. Classically slow-cooked meats – smoking for hours in coal pits with minimal seasoning - transform into local legends, Junglee Maans, Ranthambori Raan and Khad Murg on guests’ dinner plates. Devoured with bajra rotis and safari adventures, they are a treat for the palate and a lesson in history. The jungle-dining ambience at our outdoor venue – Machan - is enhanced with tables under tents, hanging kerosene lamps and fire-lit torches.
Bonfire Nights at Neem Terrace
Al Fresco dining by the bonfire at Sawai Madhopur Lodge – IHCL SeleQtions
An al fresco venue adjoining the lodge, Neem Terrace is designed for laidback bonfire experiences. The mild fragrance of neem trees, the surrounding wilderness and glowing embers set the tone for memorable celebrations over delicious food.
BBQ evenings with charcoal fired delicacies at Sawai Madhopur Lodge – IHCL SeleQtions
Winters at Sawai Madhopur Lodge are centred around the al fresco venue Bar-Be-Que, where charcoal-fired delicacies offset the chill in the air. Fresh vegetables from the organic garden and premium quality meat are marinated in hand-pounded spice mixes; recipes that our chefs have inherited from Jaipur’s royal kitchens. Each spice mix has a unique flavour profile, which results in a smorgasbord of sizzling delights.
The Ranthambore Safari
Arranged either during early mornings or afternoons, the open-air jeep safari of Ranthambore National Park is an adventure that every wildlife-lover must tick off their list.
Arranged either during early mornings or afternoons, the open-air jeep safari of Ranthambore National Park is an adventure that every wildlife-lover must tick off their list. Ranthambore’s most famous resident, the Royal Bengal Tiger, is diurnal, which means there are more chances of spotting India’s majestic national animal during the day here than anywhere else in the country. The park is also home to leopards, chitals, sloth bears, striped hyenas and wild boars. Deciduous and dense, Ranthambore is a magical world in itself with fascinating flora and fauna, ancient pavilions, temples, mosques and cenotaphs. Guests can follow the Nature Trail on foot to the Shiv Mandir, observe the spectacular sight of red-flamed trees in the summer and spot the forest’s smaller animals. For birdwatchers, three prominent lakes - Milak, Raj and Padam - are ideal spots to observe the Graylag Goose, Indian Gray Hornbill and Nightjar besides several other species.