Everyone wants to see a tiger when they visit India, but for a chance to sight one sprawled on a lakeside domed pavilion or against the backdrop of a Rajput castle, there’s only one option: Ranthambore, in Rajasthan.
The park lies on the margins of the Aravalli range of hills, amid a tract of dry deciduous forests and grassland. Near its entrance, a long flight of stone steps winds up to the ramparts of a medieval fort, affording fine views over the reserve and its much-photographed lake.
Nilgai, sambar, chital, hyena and boar are regularly sighted here, but it’s because of its tigers that Ranthambore is justly famous. Around forty currently survive in the reserve – each named, and the subject of numerous documentaries – and your chances of spotting one are better than average.