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Old 22nd June 2011, 20:38   #61
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

nilanjan,

These are some of the most beautiful photographs I have come across of the majestic animal. I know zilch about photography. The pictures are just beautiful to my layman eyes. I cant stop appreciating it.

It seems Dr Ghosh and anyone in his company is a great photographer .

I am going to save some of them, of course, won't post anywhere. just for my wallpapers.

You guys are doing two very good things, one traveling and having fun and two creating awareness about this beautiful animal.

Thanks
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Old 22nd June 2011, 21:05   #62
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Nilanjanray, excellent pics and equally good trip and narration. Though I love wildlife and Tigers, never could make up my mind to visit a Tiger reserve.

Keep up the good work. 5 Stars from my side!
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Old 23rd June 2011, 05:08   #63
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
Would love to. Please do let me know! Also, would be great to study the tiger family in Bandipur (as per Abheek) where a male, female and cubs are being spotted regularly together!
Rishi and Nilanjan it would be grea if you two get on together . Will solve a big problem for me finding volunteers for some of my planned projects in Bandipur and other forests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by novice_alto View Post

It seems Dr Ghosh and anyone in his company is a great photographer .

I am going to save some of them, of course, won't post anywhere. just for my wallpapers.

You guys are doing two very good things, one traveling and having fun and two creating awareness about this beautiful animal.

Thanks
Please feel free to post my photos (with due credit) anywhere for the purpose of spreading awareness. Let me know if you need high rsolution of any of my pics. I am sure the others will also have no problem.

Thank you for the appreciation buddy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Nilanjanray, excellent pics and equally good trip and narration. Though I love wildlife and Tigers, never could make up my mind to visit a Tiger reserve.
You should do it coming winter. Be my guest in Pench.

Enjoy this pic..

Cold stare Mukunda male cub stares a me through foliage
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-img_3777.jpg

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
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Old 23rd June 2011, 16:48   #64
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Quote:
Originally Posted by novice_alto View Post
nilanjan,

These are some of the most beautiful photographs I have come across of the majestic animal.

It seems Dr Ghosh and anyone in his company is a great photographer .

Thanks
Thanks novice_alto. Regarding photography - maybe if you like wildlife and nature, then photography interest + skills develop naturally :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Nilanjanray, excellent pics and equally good trip and narration. Though I love wildlife and Tigers, never could make up my mind to visit a Tiger reserve.

Keep up the good work. 5 Stars from my side!
Thanks. Will share at least part of the travelogue during the weekend. There are plenty of NPs and sanctuaries in India, I am sure you have visited a few. In fact, one gets to see tigers in unlikely places e.g. in Coonoor - the tea estate bungalow guard told me that he has seen a tiger pass through the tea bushes 100 feet below the bungalow many times. Now who would expect to see a tiger in Coonoor (well, actually 7-8 kms from Coonoor in the middle of jungle and tea estates) in 21st century?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
Would love to. Please do let me know! Also, would be great to study the tiger family in Bandipur (as per Abheek) where a male, female and cubs are being spotted regularly together!
Will do. Though, I am more of a 'go there and chill out/ experience the jungle with all senses/ drive around yourself and come across wildlife' type of a person, rather than hardcore safari types.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Rishi and Nilanjan it would be grea if you two get on together . Will solve a big problem for me finding volunteers for some of my planned projects in Bandipur and other forests.
Abheek,

Great photo. What type of project do you have in mind? Do note that it is not so easy for married folks to go out every weekend, like you can afford to do :-)
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Old 23rd June 2011, 17:21   #65
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Will do. Though, I am more of a 'go there and chill out/ experience the jungle with all senses/ drive around yourself and come across wildlife' type of a person, rather than hardcore safari types.

Abheek,

Great photo. What type of project do you have in mind? Do note that it is not so easy for married folks to go out every weekend, like you can afford to do :-)
Not a problem at all. We can always work something out! I was in Nagarhole for the tiger census and have the contacts of some guys. I believe they have been shifted to Bandipur now. I am sure we can work something out!

I think Abheek is planning to write about male tigers coming back to visit or spending time with the females and cubs. It would actually be good to study them.

Also I have been thinking of collecting and giving the tribals who work at the various anti-poaching camps as well as the forest guards somethings which will come in handy like blankets, sweaters, torches, water bottles, etc. This is primarily because I saw their plight when I went during the tiger census. Would be great if we can do something for them!
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Old 23rd June 2011, 19:58   #66
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Somebody had to bell the cat, somebody really had to. I'm waiting for the day when Abheek gets hooked (line & sinker included). It shall then be very interesting to see if on weekends the Collarwaali gets to spend time with him or the resident two-legged tigress in Nagpur who shall for sure answer to the call of Mrs. Ghosh would..

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Abheek,

Do note that it is not so easy for married folks to go out every weekend, like you can afford to do :-)
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Old 24th June 2011, 01:18   #67
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Thanks. Will share at least part of the travelogue during the weekend. There are plenty of NPs and sanctuaries in India, I am sure you have visited a few. In fact, one gets to see tigers in unlikely places e.g. in Coonoor - the tea estate bungalow guard told me that he has seen a tiger pass through the tea bushes 100 feet below the bungalow many times. Now who would expect to see a tiger in Coonoor (well, actually 7-8 kms from Coonoor in the middle of jungle and tea estates) in 21st century?
Your tl has made it to the top 10 hot threads Nilanjan and as such a lot more hits are expected over the next few days. Pray continue your writing.

With regards to the coonoor Tiger, if you can be in touch with the forest bungalow guard and get an idea of the exact dates when he saw the tiger pass and in which direction, I can help you make a mathematical model of prediction of the next apperance of the beast. Any photos showing the stripe pattern would be an additional bonus as that would help me send the pic to my friends in NCBS who can id the tiger if they have him on their records anywhere. the GPS location of the forest bungalow will be needed for the modelling purposes.

I have used this technique to successfully predict big cat presence around a particular date even before. Here's a very crude way of doing it http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2062123 (Heaven & Hell @ the same place....... Melghat Tiger Reserve here I come)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Will do. Though, I am more of a 'go there and chill out/ experience the jungle with all senses/ drive around yourself and come across wildlife' type of a person, rather than hardcore safari types.

Great photo. What type of project do you have in mind? Do note that it is not so easy for married folks to go out every weekend, like you can afford to do :-)
Thank you. We want to establish a network of people who can adopt a few south india parks and do the kind of reporting that we are doing for pench, tadoba, bandhavgad, sariska on this forum and elsewhere. We need to do this to establish :

  1. A system of monitoring of these parks.
  2. To help us get idea about big cat movement so that we can plan our own trips better.
  3. To generate interesting photographs (scientific data) - in case of bandipur we are hearing reports of a male tiger cohabiting with Gauri and her cubs (dominant female tigress of Bandipur and her cubs). We have seen similar behaviour in Pench , Tadoba, Bandhavgad and Ranthambhor. All this data will need proper analysis and this may indicate a change of Tiger behaviour (due to small numbers). I am interested in a long term study of this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
Not a problem at all. We can always work something out! I was in Nagarhole for the tiger census and have the contacts of some guys. I believe they have been shifted to Bandipur now. I am sure we can work something out!

I think Abheek is planning to write about male tigers coming back to visit or spending time with the females and cubs. It would actually be good to study them.

Also I have been thinking of collecting and giving the tribals who work at the various anti-poaching camps as well as the forest guards somethings which will come in handy like blankets, sweaters, torches, water bottles, etc. This is primarily because I saw their plight when I went during the tiger census. Would be great if we can do something for them!
This monsoons, I have also undertaken an ambitious project of distributing free solar lamps to villages without electricity around various Tiger reserves. I am doing the piolt project of distribution in 3 villages - 1 each around pench, tadoba and bandhavgad; and in the long term would want to reach out to villages in south india also. We have a strong funding source for this. You can include this activity Rishi into your scheme of plan for distribution of provisions. We will talk about this offline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Somebody had to bell the cat, somebody really had to. I'm waiting for the day when Abheek gets hooked (line & sinker included). It shall then be very interesting to see if on weekends the Collarwaali gets to spend time with him or the resident two-legged tigress in Nagpur who shall for sure answer to the call of Mrs. Ghosh would..
Thank you for again pulling my leg sire. Thats an indicaion that you have recovered fully

Here are 2 photographs from the mating sequence of the tigers (bamera and Kankati) as captured by our team member Adwait Mahajan.

Post mating fury - Photographs by Adwait Mahajan
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_0145.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_0146.jpg

Explanation of this behaviour: Males of all members of the cat family have backward-facing spines on the penis, which cause pain to the female when he withdraws from her. This helps to stimulate ovulation in the female - female cats are induced ovulators, which means they require the stimulus of mating before their bodies release eggs. Female felids often turn on their mates when they withdraw, snarling and clawing, because of the pain the spines cause them. If you observe felids mating, you will often see the female turn on the male as he dismounts, snarling and clawing at him - this is because his withdrawal hurts her.

There are a few more pics in this album here Bandhavgad Tiger Expedition - June 2011 | Facebook

Dr. A Ghosh
+919960332228

P.S: If anyone knows about any villages around any tiger reserve without electricity, do get in touch with me
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Old 24th June 2011, 19:58   #68
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Default June 6, 4 AM - 11:30 PM

Abheek,

I was looking for the last picture you posted - fantastic (and lucky) capture! Can you send me the high res version of the photo, if Adwait agrees?

June 6, 4AM - 11:30 PM

Aaah, the #%$^# alarm! Forced us awake at 4 AM after we had slept for a few minutes (or that is what it seemed).

The bathroom was all wood, with a retro look - thankfully the shower had a strong stream. Helps to have a nice shower to quickly clear the cobwebs of sleep. Anyway, we were ready in a short while, and walked down to the gate of the resort. It felt a bit eerie walking with a torch in the dark on a 4 feet wide lane fringed by bushes/trees for 100+ meters. We had seen a big wild boar below the treehouse previous night, and had heard stories about tiger and bear visits within the resort - I have a healthier respect for the boar and the bear than for the tiger - I am fine with suddenly coming across a tiger, but don't want to run into a boar or a bear suddenly. Reason: bears are scared easily, and often unaware of approaching humans. But when surprised, they first take a swipe at your face with their paw, and then think of what to do next. And wild boars, if angry, will not desist till they have killed you, or you have killed them - no shooing them away once they charge, or wounding them and hoping they will run away. That is why even tigers respect big male boars.

We had wasted a few mins having coffee, so were not the first ones into Bandhavgarh. We got CA route for our first drive. The safari started at 5.15, if I remember correctly. Initial stretch was rocky, bit soon the landscape opened out. Saw a few fresh pugmarks on the ground. Suddenly we came across a couple of Gypsies parked by the roadside. A bison kill was visible, and everyone was waiting to see the tiger, which was hidden somewhere closeby. No alarm calls though. Waited for 25 mins, but no tiger. The forst guards arrived. Bandhavgarh authorities had imported 20 Gaurs from Kanha, and were very protective about them - it was a blow to have one killed by a tiger. Probably it was a small one, not fully grown, because a tiger will have its hands full with a full grown one, and has equal chance of getting killed by an adult Gaur.

The meadows of Bandhavgarh are a great place to take raptor pictures - of buzzards, eagles, hawks. After crossing the meadows from where the Bandhavgarh fort was visible, we came near a small stream - again many Gypsies were parked there, and people had seen a tiger a few minutes back. We kept on hearing alam calls, but the tiger didn't appear.

We drove around for sometime, and then about 500-750 m from the gate, saw a group of vehicles standing. There were a number of alarm calls. This was the area where the mating tigers had been seen by countless folks. We knew it was around, but couldn't see it. Then we saw an elephant approaching, and the drivers requested the mahout to go close to the stream beside the road, and let us know if he could see something. The mahout said the the tigress was sleeping behinhd a bush that was 50 feet from the road! The sun was pretty strong by then, and was shining behind the bush, so we waited for the tigress to shift to a more shady place. It didn't disappoint us. It came walking and then lay beneath another Jamuun bush. It was Kankatti, the mating female, the one that had killed another togress and partly eaten her. She had one eye closed, and one ear damaged. She lay down with her legs spread (she had been mating), and took a snooze, while we clicked away to glory (first sighting of tiger, so got carried away). However, we could only see her through bushes, and she was pretty far away, so couldn't get any good pictures.

A word about our resort naturalist - he was a local guy, and a graduate. Very friendly, and with great knowledge of wildlife, trees and animal behaviour. The amazing thing was he could spot animal tracks while driving at 40kmph on a dirt track. But then again, if you have been doing that a few thousand times, I guess you can do those things automatically.

Anyway, we were pretty happy that we saw a tiger at the last moment, just before the gate. Came back, had a good shower (the temperature would have been close to or beyond 40 degrees), and then had lunch. We realized that the quality of cooking was inversely proportional to temperature - lunch was not half as good as dinner.

A short nap, and then ready for the afternoon safari. We got the BD route for the evening safari...

Last edited by nilanjanray : 24th June 2011 at 20:26.
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Old 25th June 2011, 21:10   #69
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5695.jpg

Alarm call
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5699.jpg

Focused
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6451.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6784.jpg

King of the (ant)hill
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7126.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7102.jpg

Forest guard
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7236.jpg

Kanha
Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6956.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6912.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-csc_7197.jpg

Last edited by nilanjanray : 25th June 2011 at 21:13.
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Old 26th June 2011, 00:00   #70
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

The evening safari was somewhat uneventful. But illuminating. The BD route passes by the park boundary wall for many kms. I could see village houses 20 feet away on the other side. The tiger cubs that killed the two humans recently frequent this area, and they jump the face regularly to kill cattle. I realized how easy it is for a tiger to jump across and jump back.

Anyway, we waited for a long time at a place where a tiger was napping. But it didn't come out and walk past, as we hoped it would.

Sunset was beautiful. Back at the resort, we spent the evening chatting with others at the dining treehouse. Our resident naturalist guide told us that he saw the first fight betwee Kankatti and the other tigress whom Kankatti killed eventually. We also came to know that there was a recent cow kill near the sister resort of Treehouse Getaway (Kings Lodge), and that some people had been lucky to see the tiger cubs - whose mother was killed by Kankatti - feed on the killed cow.

I liked the CA or Ac route much better than the BD route, because the former was much open, and scenic. BD could bebetter for tiger sightings though. Apparently people have seen tigers standing on the rocky wall separating the park boundary from the villages - what pictures they must have taken!!

At Bandhavgarh, 90% of focus seems to be on the tiger - the entire economy is dependent on the tigers. Drivers drive fast to reach a spot that has high tiger appearance potential. As a result, one misses out on enjoying the other stretches or taking photos there because the vehicle is traveling too fast on those stretches. In Kanha, the driver's/ guide's focus is on making guests enjoy the overall Kanha experience, beyond the tigers. I loved taking pictures of the Barasinghas at Kanha. I found them really graceful - more than the Cheetals and the Sambhars. The Cheetal is always apprehensive, and that shows in its walk. The Barasinghas walk like models - fluidly, without hesitant moves.

A few pictures of the deers...
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Old 26th June 2011, 13:12   #71
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Default Barashingha, Sambhar, Cheetal and Kakar...

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6690.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7007.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7389.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_5892.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7005.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7395.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_7081.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6707.jpg

Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner-dsc_6723.jpg

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Old 27th June 2011, 17:03   #72
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

PHOTO WISHLIST
=====================
Elephants: done (more than I care to remember, in all sorts of situations)
Tigers: done
Raptors: done
Bisons (Gaurs): done (in the South as well in MP)
Leopards: to do. Maybe a trip to Yala in Sri Lanka someday...
Himalayan brown or black bear: to do (read that brown bears are found only in Pakistan Himalayas nowadays)
Misc. Snakes: to do

Next long jungle roadtrip will be in the Himalayas. Figure I can reach Kumaon in two days if I get some good rest before starting the drive.
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Old 27th June 2011, 17:09   #73
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

Fantastic Pics and write up Nilanjan! I have not done a shred of work since the time i started reading this thread!

Wish i could have taken up our kind invitation and been there also for this wonderful excursion. Do you have any more pics of the Bison frolicking in its natural habitat and meeting its country cousins? Would love to see some of the Bison in action too.

Rated this thread the full 5 stars it deserves. Keep it coming buddy.

As far the Kumaon Trip goes i shall do my best to be available for that. I too am planning a drive from Delhi to Goa via Pushkar-Mount Abu-Daman and Matheran in Mid October.

Last edited by Manuuj : 27th June 2011 at 17:12.
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Old 27th June 2011, 19:03   #74
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

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Fantastic Pics and write up Nilanjan! I have not done a shred of work since the time i started reading this thread!

Wish i could have taken up our kind invitation and been there also for this wonderful excursion. Do you have any more pics of the Bison frolicking in its natural habitat and meeting its country cousins? Would love to see some of the Bison in action too.

Rated this thread the full 5 stars it deserves. Keep it coming buddy.

As far the Kumaon Trip goes i shall do my best to be available for that. I too am planning a drive from Delhi to Goa via Pushkar-Mount Abu-Daman and Matheran in Mid October.
Thanks Manuuj! Very few pictures of the Bison, I am afraid - was too busy driving, sleeping, discussing the meaning of life, bonding with C2H5OH and going on safaris. Also, had a 70-300 lense on that made it difficult to take wide angle shots - and while driving, I didn't want to stop and waste time. On hindsight, should have done less number of safaris and relaxed more. The Bison performed as expected.

Kumaon trip...let's see when that would be possible. Tough to do it this year. But it would be great to do a trip together in the mountains and the forests.

I do have a few more pictures of my vehicle's kinsfolk, which I shall post shortly.

Btw, why Matheran? You will have to leave your vehicle outside the town. Mahabaleshwar or Panchgani is better - and is a shorter detour off the Goa highway.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 27th June 2011 at 19:05.
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Old 27th June 2011, 19:20   #75
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Default Re: Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortune

At first I was foxed as this didn't register. Then I had to draw on my Chemistry studied in school & college to decipher what exactly this compound was.....

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bonding with C2H5OH
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