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Ranthambore Tiger National Park History

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Ranthambore? Rajasthan right? Did you know the word Rajasthan literally translates to the term “the land of kings”. These royals have left behind a huge legacy of palaces and forts in the state. One of them is the very popular Ranthambore National Park. Let us take a look at the history of the park and how it was made.
The Ranthambore Fort was built by the Chauhan dynasty. In the year 944 AD, the dynasty laid the foundations of the fort. It was a vast complex consisting of temples, courtyards and palaces. The Mughal Emperor Akbar captured the fort in 1586. It stayed under the Mughals till the end of the 17th century. After that it passed to the Royals of Jaipur and remained under their control till 1947. In 1966, the fort and the grounds were both handed over to the government.
The royals of Rajasthan were all into hunting. They used this to show their skill and courage to others. When the British arrived in India, they took hunting to a whole new level. Hunting a tiger became the most prized possession amongst Rajasthani royals.
The hunting of tigers was left unchecked for decades. Both British and Indians hunted them and shot them down. As a result of this, in 1972, the government ran a tiger census and discovered that there were only 1827 left in the country. Very soon the government came up with the Wildlife Protection Act which made hunting tigers illegal. They were listed as Schedule I animals and hunting them attracted the highest fines. Other than hunting, loss of habitat was another reason behind the dwindling numbers of of tigers. This is why the government decided to create national parks to protect their habitats.
One of the parks was Ranthambore National Park. A former hunting ground of royals, it now has a population of about 80 tigers and various other forms of wildlife. In 1973, Indira Gandhi started Project Tiger and after that Ranthambore became an area of tiger conservation.


The loss of habitat had made tigers venture out of their areas and attack cattle belonging to villagers. This is why Project Tiger focused on creating core areas, like the Ranthambore National Park, where there was enough prey for tigers. The surrounding areas were turned into buffer zones, where humans and animals could co-exist together.

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