Set between the Aravalli and Vindhya hills, the reserve covers 410 square kilometres of dry deciduous forest, rocky hills and open valleys dotted with small pools and fruit trees. Should the tigers evade you, as you pass along misty dust tracks and the crisp morning air disperses with the sunrise, there is plenty of other wildlife to divert you. The lakeside woods and grassland provide an ideal habitat for herds of chital and sambar deer and sounders of wild boar, while nilgai antelope and chinkara gazelles prefer the drier areas of the park. Langur monkeys, mongoose and hare are all prolific, and there are also sloth bear, a few leopards and the occasional rare caracal. Crocodiles bask by the lakes, and some rocky ponds have freshwater turtles. Extensive birdlife includes spurfowl, jungle fowl, partridges, quails, crested serpent eagle, woodpeckers, flycatchers and water birds like storks, ducks and geese at the lakes and waterholes. Padam Talao by the Jogi Mahal is a favourite water source; there are also water holes at Raj Bagh and Milak.
The park’s 10th-century fort, proudly flanked by two impressive gateways, makes a good afternoon excursion after a morning’s nature-spotting. The fort wall runs round the summit and has a number of semi-circular bastions, some with sheer drops of over 65 metres and stunning views. Inside the fort you can see a Siva temple, ruined palaces, pavilions and tanks.