Ranthambhore in Winter: A Week in Pictures

The day lies so still
Long grasses of a summer passed
dont nod to acknowledge the season
Winters rest before autumns fall complete
An air replete with hues and calls as keen birds feast
And starlings gather atop the ash black leaves that chatter
To motion bare branches still.

Miles Richardson, A Blackbird’s Year


Ranthambhore forest winter panorma
The plateaus of Kundal (Zone six) on a winter afternoon. The grasses have turned yellow and the trees on the hillsides gradually give up their leaves. They will appear lifeless by summertime but the golden winter light makes for perfect photographic conditions. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.


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A fully grown Sambar stag in winter morph at Malik Talab. The waters recede and the grasses turn yellow from a bright green. Around this time, the Sambar; Ranthambhore’s largest deer species, appear their finest with thick coats and glistening antlers whose velvet slowly dries away. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.

The morning breeze upon first entering Ranthambhore’s portals rushes past you, imparting a physical sensation of refreshment. It also shakes you into wakefulness, sharpening the senses to a degree you have not realised until you begin to pick the sounds of the forest with surprising diligence. Ranthambhore in winter is a time of change; the hues of the hillsides, the luminosity of the light above the tree line and the darker, the animals in their winter morphs full of vitality, all make for an exhibition of the park at its finest.


This week we bring you a selection of some images that define Ranthambhore in winter-time.



Greylag Geese (Anser anser) are one of the species of migratory birds which flock to Ranthambhore in winter-time. With nearly three hundred species of birds in and around the Greater Ranthambhore area through the winter, Birders find it a paradise. Photograph by Jaisal Singh.


Tigers will often bask in the middle of the game track during winter, soaking up whatever heat they can from the sun-baked soil. It is not unknown for a game-vehicle to gently turn a corner and find the Big Cat sitting out in the open, right in the middle of the road. Photograph by Anjali Singh.

A herd of cheetal deer (Axis axis) walk past a tigress lurking in the grass before she begins to stalk them. Winter hues provide ample opportunity to tigers to hide themselves and the golden light often makes them indistinguishable from their surroundings. Photograph by Jaisal Singh.



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Winter is a great time for game-driving in Ranthambhore National Park as the verdure of the post-monsoon forest begins to diminish allowing for deeper game viewing. The cold is no bother for enthusiasts venturing out into the world’s finest tiger habitat in search of wildlife and a natural sense of well-being. Photograph by Anjali Singh.

A vista of Ranthambhore Fort’s “Dilli Darwaza”, an imperial addition in the 16th and 17th century by the Mughals, who classified Ranthambhore as an Imperial Fort. This particular section of the Fort remains concealed for much of the year due to thick foliage which peels away come winter. Photograph by Yusuf Ansari.


Typically uncommon to see, Ranthambhore has witnessed a significant rise in sightings of Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), who are particularly active in winter. Unlike many other bear species, Sloth bears do not hibernate and it is possible to see mothers with their cubs looking for food along forest tracks. Photograph by Jaisal Singh.
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Langur monkeys perform the work of watchmen as the forest around them dries up, giving them a far deeper and clearer line of sight than before. The hard timber of the profuse Dhok trees allows them to manoeuvre through the forests, without necessitating descent at the time of danger. Photograph by Jaisal Singh.

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