Ranthambore Fort was built by Sapaldaksha of Chauhan dynasty. He was the first who put the foundation of the fort and the kings who succeeded him added more structures to the fort. Previously the name of the fort was Ranastambha or Ranastambhpura.
During the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan I, the fort was related to Jains. Prithviraj Chauhan III was defeated by Muhammad Ghori in 1192CE so his son Govindraja IV accepted the sovereignty of the Ghurid dynasty and ruled the kingdom.
Iltumish was the king of slave dynasty who captured the fort in 1226. After his death, Chauhans again captured it. The fort was unsuccessfully besieged by Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud in 1248 and 1253 but in 1259 Jaitra Singh Chauhan was defeated and the fort came under the rule of Delhi Sultanate. Shakti Dev again captured the fort in 1283. Then Jalal-ud-Din Khilji and after that Alauiddin Khilji unsuccessfully besieged the fort. But in 1301, Alauddin Khilji captured the fort.
Rana Hammir Singh ruled Ranthambore from 1326 to 1364 and Rana Kumbha from 1433 to 1468. Rana Udai Singh succeeded Rana Kumbha and ruled from 1468 to 1473. After this Hada Rajputs ruled the fort and then the fort was captured by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat who owned the fort from 1532 to 1535.
Akbar, the Mughal Emperor, captured the fort in 1558 and the fort was under Mughals till mid-18th century. After that Marathas tried to capture the fort so Sawai Madho Singh requested the Mughal Emperor of his time to give him Ranthambore. In 1763, Sawai Madho Singh built a fortified city and named it Sawai Madhopur.
During the British period, there was a rise in the population of the city in early 20th century which was a threat to the forests. So the Jaipur Forest Act was made in 1939 which prohibited the cutting of trees, animal grazing and hunting. But the law could not come into force. In 1953, the area was preserved due to Rajasthan Forest Act.
In 1955, the area that was conserved came to be known as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. In 1973, the area came under Project Tiger which fully prohibited hunting. In 1982, a large area measuring about 282km2 was declared as National Park and the forest areas came to be known as Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary.