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Old 8th March 2012, 14:16   #1
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Default Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

This was one trip that we were eagerly waiting for to happen and finally it happened with a bang.A lifetime experience for us to remember and a trip that has kindled the wildlife bug in the three of us.Truely a trip of a lifetime and nothing more.

It all began on a wintry January evening when plans were hatched by the usual suspects (me & my wife,thankfully our little lady hasnt yet begun to indulge in planning so we just have to deal with two devious minds at the moment!)to go to some unusual place.The usual places of Goa,Ooty,Kodai and the likes were all done with and dusted.Even though some of the places in South India had some real repeat value,our argument was that when there is so much to see in India,why waste time on places that we have already seen and experienced.Names like Kanha,Panna,Bandhavgarh were thrown up.But when it came to driving distance from Hyderabad all these places were shot down as it was just a 2-4 day break that we were looking for.That is when we came across Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.We started to read up on the place and we were more than convinced that this was the most ideal place for us to go to.The three clinching factors in the same order of priority were

1.Lovely place to stay in the form of Svasara
2.Very high density of wildlife
3.7-8 hours of driving time.

For us our priority on any of the trips that we have gone on has been our place of stay.The destination has been important but we have come to a self realisation that our place of stay has become a sort of priority for us and there have been places we have gone just for the sheer presence of a lovely hotel and there have been places that we chose not to go to inspite of all the importance the place has simply due to lack of good places to stay.We did our share of internet research and an old issue of Jetwings(the Jet Airways inflight magazing)settled the issue of where to stay in Tadoba for us.Our search ended at Svasara,a brand new resort that was open around 6months back.The only drawback with Tadoba from what we saw was good places to stay.So Svasara came as a breath of fresh air.Reservations were made and dates were finalised.

Doesnt matter how many drives you do,the night before a long drive is always a sleepless one and this previous night was no different.Tanked up at Shell Somajiguda.Did a tyre check at my regular place behind Kakatiya(Wheel-O-City).Bought a new air compressor as my existing one had conked off.Cost me around 1200rs and comes with a flashlight as well.

Next day morning we left home on schedule at 0530.Our plan was to take the 4laned NH7 instead of the route via Karimnagar & Chandrapur.To get onto NH7 from Sainikpuri,the easiest way is to take the Bolarum-Risala Bazaar-Kompally(near Dhola-ri-Dhani).We were on NH7 in exactly 15mins.From thereon it was a breeze on the modern North-South Corridor's main highway of NH7.Having said that in my opinion,the NH7 between Hyderabad & Bangalore is in much more pristine condition and maintained in crisp condition as opposed to this stretch of the NH7.We flew by the towns of Medchal and before we knew it,we were crossing
Kamareddy.There is a Harita(APTDC Restaurant) just before Kamareddy.There is also a Malgudi adjacent to Harita(which was not open at that time of the day).We chose not to stop at Harita as we had packed up our breakfast with us.Beyond Kamareddy,the 4 laning is in progress in full swing all the way upto Armur.The Armur bypass is not yet ready which forces one to drive through the messy town.Negotiating Armur town takes some time and some patience.Beyond Armur the road gets back to the 4laned beauty that the NH7 is.Road quality also improves tremendously.Just before Adilabad,there are some spectacular vistas when the forests rise in front of you on both sides of the highway.We stopped by the wayside some distance before Adilabad.The only disadvantage with the new age 4 laned highways are the complete absence of roadside trees which otherwise always provide plenty of shade and enough scope for the upteen breakfast stops.On the new 4 laned ones,there is hardly a tree except for the shrubs which are grown on the medians.The idli breakfast was polished off in no time.

Another notable thing on this stretch of the NH7 is complete absence of the BP COCO pumps which have become synonymous with all the new Indian Highways.It was always a pleasing sight to see those BP COCOs rising out of nowhere on the Indian highways.On this stretch there is one at Kamareddy and the next one is at Adilabad.We refuelled at Adilabad BP COCO.Credit Card payment accepted.Hyderabad to Adilabad took us 5hours with a breakfast stop of 30minutes.

Beyond Adilabad the nightmare began.Once you reach the AP-Maharashtra border one would actually stop and wonder if this is the part of the same road that one comes flying on all the way from Hyderabad.Roads are dotted with huge craeter like potholes and what makes it worse is that the craeters were filled with sharp edged stones which can easily take down the side walls of all those Michelins and Yokos & MRFs.So all that good speed one makes up comes to nought.We were cruising between 20-40kph till we crossed the Maharashtra Border and entered Pandharkawda.The 4 laned beauty started again and we were on our way.Boards changed to Marathi from Telugu and the Andhra Thali boards changed to Misal Paav and Vada Paavs!The next town after Pandharkawada was Karanji.This was where we left the National Highway and got onto the Maharashtra State Highway.

We were now well and truly in the heartland of Vidharba region of Maharashtra.Having driven all over Maharashtra,the dialect in this region was so very different and the food is supposedly spicy to the core(thats for later!). This route took us through the Black Diamond town of Wani.The town of Wani has to be seen to be believed.It is absolutely black in color.All the buildings are and roads and trucks are covered in black soot.Wani is a big mining town and a trucker town.All the coal for the Wardha Power Plant is mined at Wani and hence all this coal and soot.The road from Karanji to Wani is undergoing widening so it slowed us down a little.

From Wani we took the state highway to Warora.Warora is quite an industrialised town with a lot of educational institutes.We did not enter the town and instead drove around it and connected to the state highway to Chimur.We heard from a local that there is apparently some IAS guy from Warora who is doing yeoman service and is an excellent administrator discharging his duties in Shimla and the Warora people felt so very proud of him.From Warora onwards,human inhabitation began to reduce and the forest cover gradually began to increase.We knew that we were on the fringes of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.Like someone said,we began to smell the animals!

Chimur is a bustling town filled with shops and all the other facilities that one comes to expect from a town of this sort.This is the closest town to the Tadoba reserve from the Kolara side of Tadoba.A definite mention must go out to the Sygic Maps loaded on my iphone.The GPS was precision personified.Every small turn was so very well marked in the most interior parts of Maharashtra that it is really commendable.I was never a fan of GPS devices but decided to try the effectiveness of one during this drive and I must admit that I am now fully smitten by it.Driving through Chimur,we could feel the Nagpur influence when we saw the oranges in the local shops.These oranges were so very small and so very sweet.Unlike anything that you get anywhere else in the country.No
signs of Santra Barfi though.The vegetables in the markets were very farm fresh.Such a refreshing sight it was.

From Chimur,the GPS guided us turn by turn and landed us up on the road to Kolara.Chimur to Kolara is 5kms and there was not a sign of human inhabitation on the entire stretch except for the occasional scooter or bike.Directions to Svasara were well marked on this road and the manager from the resort was constantly on the phone with us which was quite a reassuring gesture I must admit.The resort is also marked on Google Maps and on Sygic so that helped as well.

After a good 10minutes,we were at the gate of the resort.We were spellbound by the location of the resort.It was bang in the middle of nowhere with no sign of anything except forests as far as the eye could see.Destination Svasara was achieved at 2pm-a good 8.5hours from home in Hyderabad.Driving speeds were moderate and breaks were plenty.All in all we enjoyed the drive.

Aftermath of the drive!

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We were so relieved that the resort had none of the usual hulla-hoo of the check in procedures of filling up long drawn forms and exchange of credit card etc.All those predictable procedures were completely absent and was such a huge relief after an 8 hour drive.The cold refreshments were waiting for us the moment we entered the place.We were shown to our room and thankfully no detailed explanation of the how to operate switches,how to open windows etc etc.I feel hotels now a days think their guests are so dumb that they wouldnt know how to operate a switch!Check in to any upscale hotel today and these check in
procedures are a total killer!!We were being pleasantly surprised with all these absences at Svasara.It was as if we were checking into our own home.Lunch was ready in no time and by the time we freshened up lunch was hot.Piping hot rice,dal,some veggies etc.They make what you want to eat or else you leave the headache of deciding the menu to them and sit back and relax.Thats how meals were decided at Svasara.We decided to opt for the second option as we did not want to stress ourselves!After lunch all that we remember was that we saw the beds and we crashed into slumberland only to open our eyes after a good 3hours.Everything is on the house here.Its a total paisa vasool place.The coffees and teas and tidbits are unlimited and come as and when you want them.We
indulged in a longish coffee drinking session in the lawn outside our cottage.The temperatures began to drop by around 6pm and by night it dropped to around 5-7 degrees.We froze ourselves!Coffee session was followed by a photo session within the resort and socialising with the resort staff.The Manager and his wife hail from Assam and are total wildlife freaks.Imagine from Assam to come and stay in remote Tadoba needs some serious passion for sure.Dinner was again a nice affair.The staff setup a nice little bonfire for us in the garden square for us.Post dinner we were ready to crash again as the next day morning was the big morning for us.The safari morning!

An interesting aspect of TATR is that there isnt a core area and buffer area at the moment in this tiger reserve.The whole forest is a core area and people are free to move around anywhere within the forest.My guess is that once the remaining three villages are moved out of TATR,they might declare that area as the buffer and the rest of the area within as the core area.Tadoba Andhari which is called as the Jewel of Vidharbha derives its name from the village Chief Taru who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger.There is also a shrine till date under a tree near the Tadoba lake in his memory.Andhari is the name of the river that meanders through the Tadoba forests.It is called Andhari because the actual source of the river can never be found it was almost invisible.But local folklore says that the river's source is somewhere in the Pandharpaoni region of Tadoba.

Some pictures of Svasara:

The Entrance:

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Our Cottage:

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The Gazebo

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The Cottage Interiors

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The Bonfire at Svasara

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Cottage by Night

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We had decided to go for two morning safaris simply because we were absolutely in no mood to get roasted in the sun especially with a 3year old in tow.The wake up call and coffee came promptly at 515am.We were up and ready.We were clothed in double and triple layered clothing as the temperature outside was a low 5 degrees.The jeep was waiting for us.Must admit it was such a comfortable jeep.Svasara has their own modified gypsies which are notches higher than the normal gypsies that one gets to see outside.It came complete with a sun roof as well.The resort had packed the ice boxes with ample bottles of water,juices,tidbits to ensure that we never went hungry and more importantly to ensure our little lady never went hungry.The jeeps were driven by their own staff,but the guides were hired from outside.The resort takes care of all the permits and permissions and payments.

The Modified Gypsy

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Kolara gate is exactly 100 metres from the Svasara Gate.The Kolara gate of Tadoba is a very recent addition to the reserve.It was open in September 2011 & is a quiet little gate with the usual gypsy madness all missing here.Only 9 vehicles are let in from the Kolara gate in the morning and same number for the afternoon safari as well.The park is closed on Tuesdays.Based on what we gathered from the people there,the best sightings happen on Wednesday mornings as the animals are all relaxed and are resting after a full day of no-interference by the sound of the gypsies.So if you plan to go to Tadoba plan to be there on a Wednesday morning safari.The authorities are quite strict with the number of vehicles that are let in.Unlike the other national parks in India,Tadoba lets you take in your own cars and vehicles as well accompanied by a park guide.In my opinion it is an utter waste.You just cant see a thing from inside the
cars and the trails are total OTR(Off the Road) territory.There were so many private vehicles that we saw and the occupants were sleeping away inside the car because there is nothing you can see from inside a car.The park also lets in diesel vehicles which I think should be stopped.Talking to the forest authorities,the petrol only rule is going to come shortly putting an end to the diesel menace inside the park.

The Kolara Gate at Tadoba

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Back to our safari experience,the first day the Kolara gate had only 3 cars entering through it.We were told that not many people know about the Kolara gate and so the rush is very low except for the weekends.We were the first ones to enter the park on the dot at 0630.A few metres into the park and we meet our first host of the day-a large beautiful male Sambar Deer.In animals it is just the opposite of what it is in humans when it comes to beauty!All male species of animals are so very beautiful(am sure we have some arguments here!)be it the Sambar,be it the peacock,be it the elephant!

The welcoming host-Sambar

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The trick when going on these safaris is to be the first vehicle to get into the park.This way you dont have to inhale the dust that is thrown by vehicles in front.The dust that the tyres throw up is unbelievable.Today since we were first in we had nobody in front of us and so that much less dust to inhale.The Sambar gave us a cold stare for a couple of minutes and disappeared into the jungle.This was our first real experience of a sighting.We had made up our minds that we were not a tiger spotting mission and instead were on a wildlife spotting trip and would be more than happy to see whatever we get to see.We told our guide also the same and so the pressure on him was that much less.From the Kolara gate at a distance of approximately 2-3 kilometers,we saw a small village
named Jamni.The village is entirely powered by solar panels for electricity.This village is sadly on its way out of the Tadoba park.The government is rehabilitating the entire village to another village named Ambdi on the Khadsangi-Samudrapur Road of Chimur.The villagers,we were told,were being paid 10lakhs and were free to relocate to anywhere with no more claim or else they had the option of moving to Ambdi alongwith an incentive of INR 50,000 and house constructed by the government.The words of the forest ranger we spoke to keeps ringing in my ears.He was telling us that it becomes so difficult for him to shift every three years when they get transferred and here we are talking of uprooting an entire village and resettling them in a new place.How emotionally scarring and taxing that must be-I shudder to think.What is a surprising and nice story to hear is that in all these years from time immemorial from when Jamni has been existing inside Tadoba,there is not a single instance of man-tiger conflict involving Jamni's villagers.Maybe the tigers also know who the real enemies are and who their friends are.

Moving on,beyond the village,we came across a few paddy fields where the villagers cultivate paddy.The fire lines in the forest trails were well marked by the forest officials.For the uninitiated,a fire line is a certain amount of area on both sides It is quite a task for the drivers & guides to remember the forest trails.They are bare minimum mud tracks with no indicators,but one needs to blindly trust them to bring you back out of the gate.Such skilled people they are.It increases your respect for them that how close some people are to nature.

The Jamni village:

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The Paddy Fields at Jamni with a machaan for the villagers to keep a lookout for the wild boars

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The Moon was still out at 630

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The Forest Trails with well defined Fire Lines

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We came across herds of deers,monkeys,wild boars,sambars.The monkeys & sambars are the best of friends.The monkeys sit atop the branches and break the leaves and throw them down for the sambar to eat.The act by itself is such a lovely thing to watch.We saw this happening at quite a many places.We encountered our first water hole at Pandharpaoni area of Tadoba.The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is divided into three zones.The three being Kolsa,Tadoba & Moharli.The Kolara gate falls under the Tadoba zone.Unlike other tiger reserves in the country,the vehicles entering from any gate can go into any zone.This increases your chances of spotting more wildlife.The safari vehicles in other parks follow a strict route and are not allowed to go into other zones.This has its positives and negatives.

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We stood around the Pandharpaoni lake for a while hoping to see a tiger making its rare appearance any time soon,but nothing happened.So we continued our run through the park.The guide kept looking on the trails for the elusive pug marks.Another reason why you need to be the first into the park-if you are the first vehicle,then the pug marks would be fresh and visible easily,once other vehicles begin to run over the pug marks,it becomes that much more difficult to track the King!And within Tadoba to make matters worse,there is a MSRTC bus that runs inside the tiger reserve taking the route of Chimur-Tadoba-Rajura.We happen to see this bus while we were parked near the Tadoba lake.The amount of racket that the bus creates is unimaginable.We went all around the park and it was such an exhilirating experience.Afterall going and seeing these animals in their territory is such a big high.Look at the irony of it,when we go into their territory they dont do a thing to us.But if they venture out into human territory,we humans make sure we harm them and either kill them or torture them-Sigh.

We were lucky to see crocodiles at the Tadoba lake,which is such a mammoth and absolutely beautiful lake.Once upon a time,before the place was declared a Tiger Reserve,TATR had a crocodile breeding farm inside it,the remnants of the building can still be seen,however the breeding farm was apparently closed down as the numbers swelled to unimaginable limits.Some of them were released into the Tadoba lake and the rest were taken to different parts of the country and released into natural habitats.

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Some trivia here-The Tadoba lake was witness to the famous 24 hour battle between a sambar and two tigers on one side and two crocodiles on the other side.The sambar escaped from the clutches of the tiger atleast three times before running into the Tadoba lake and getting stuck on the lake bed.Before he knew it,he had two crocodiles snapping at him but they were apprehensive to attack him since there were two tigers already waiting on the other side.It was a classic setting which wildlife enthusiasts compare with the evergreen Battle of Kruger(google this for more details as its too vast to explain here).Eventually the tigeress got to the deer and finished him off after a good 24hours.Jungle law at its best.

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The Nilgai:

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A Machaan(watch tower)at Tadoba Lake (used extensively during tiger census for physical verification of the big cat population)

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Exit time from the park was 1030 and so around 10 we decided to turn back and head to the Kolara gate.We finish off the sandwiches,juices and water bottles that the resort had packed for us in the ice boxes.We see vehicles from the other zones zipping around trying to make the exit times at Kolsa & Moharli.If they dont,apparently the vehicles are fined an amount,so to avoid that the drivers try to make the exit in double quick time.Yet another crazy thing that happens inside the reserve.Project Tiger clearly states that speed of vehicles inside any tiger reserve in India should not be more than 30kph,and that there should be a minimum of 500mts distance between two vehicles plying on the same trail which obviously nobody follows but everybody knows!& these vehicle go
around at whatever speeds they choose.Another nonsense that happens is Project Tiger clearly states that getting down inside the reserve is strictly a big NO,but people get down at their will throwing all safety concerns to the air.Most of them think this is their town park.People really need to grow up and respect the rules of the jungle and nature.But then when we humans cant follow rules framed by humans itself I guess its a bit too much asking humans to follow the laws of the jungle!!Project Tiger also clearly states that tourists while observing a wild animal has to be at a minimum of 30 metres away from it.But what happens in reality is that given a chance the so called tourists would go on and sit atop the poor animals.What a shame.It would be a good thing to bear in mind that if we do not follow the rules of nature,nature has its own way of imposing its rules on us and sooner if not later that would happen.

e exit the Kolara gate at dot 1030 and head straight to Svasara.By then we were used to the all familiar line of "Sighting Hua?"Anyone and everyone we bumped into had the same question and the implied question was whether a tiger was sighted!!!After quite a heavy breakfast we decided to take it easy and whiled away our time in the room reading up on some interesting books,and before we knew it was lunch.Feasted on quite some nice Pitla & Bhakris (also called as Zunka Bhakar in the Vidharba region).Indulged in a well deserved afternoon siesta and before we even knew it was evening.Had some lovely coffee by the lawn,took a stroll till the Kolara gate in pitch black darkness at 7pm accompanied by the resort security.For city dwellers like us,it was silence at its best.The security was regaling us with stories of the region.The latest was that there is a tiger that has come out of the reserve and parks himself on one
of the village roads daily between 7pm and 10pm and kills human prey.Tigers hunt down animals only when they become old and are unable to hunt for animal prey anymore.Its more of a shame on the tigers part to be hunting humans as humans they know cant run as fast as them.Tigers dont even hunt small animals,not even deers.They only hunt prey of their size like the Sambar.An average tiger weighs around 320kgs and so does the sambar & a one time kill would be feasted on by the tiger over a span of 5-7days.So once they become old they turn to feasting on the easy prey called humans.When we were there,we heard that a 40yr
old man was returning home from Chimur via this same road on his bike and the tiger attacked it and dragged him away into the jungle.Another thing that he told us was that tigers keep sleeping on the wayside and the villagers are hardly bothered.The humans and animals have blended so well with each other in the region that both are not scared of each other.Like he said in his own words "At the end of it all,its a sher and when you see one,your heart races,but we just keep our cool and go our way without disturbing him or her and they also let us go our way"Everybody we spoke to in the region was so proud of the fact
that a lady from Vidharbha region-Amravati had gone on to become the President of India.You could sense the pride when they spoke about it.

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Old 8th March 2012, 14:38   #2
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Back at the resort for dinner-again an elaborate affair.The resort really spoils you with all the attention.There are cycles if you want to cycle the
walkways and there is a small play area for the kids as well.Sleep came quickly in the cold temperatures of 5-6 degs.

Next morning,we were up and ready in our multi layered clothing.The driver told us that all the 9 slots for the vehicles were booked for the morning safari,which meant it would be a huge crowd inside what with the vehicles from the other zones also coming in.The Tadoba zone has the best sightings of wild animals and we were witness to it.Such a wide range of wildlife existed and they were the least bit shy to come out and see us!We met our regular host of the day-the sambar at precisely the same location where we met him the other day.He was probably waiting for his morning newspaper!

The guide told us that a tigeress and her three cubs were spotted during the previous evening's safari and hence all the vehicles today would be around the Pandharpaoni area since that was where they were tracked.Alongside all this,the forest department is conducting their annual Tiger Census and as per reports of the last census,Tadoba has the highest density of tigers in India.Numbers are high and forest cover is less.Around 69 of them were accounted for in the last census.Each male tiger controls a territory of close to 100 sq kilometers & he is constantly marking and patrolling his prime area either by making scratch marks on trees,or spraying urine or a foul smelling anal fluid on grass and plants that are protected from the vagaries of the weather.The prime area of a male tiger is also home to many sub-territories of many tigeresses.Females however do not mark their territory as often as the males.The male tiger
protects the tigeresses and their cubs in his prime area,however once the cubs become sub-adults,they need to move out and mark their own territories.So the moment,a tiger becomes a little old,a fitter and healthier male tiger enters a territory and this results in a tussle and fight often leaving the tigers grievously injured.Like I said earlier,jungle laws!Coming back to our tigeress,this is in all probability was a sub-territory of hers since the trees all had scratch marks of a male tiger.The guide started tracking the pug marks on the ground and and whole place was filled with them.He deduced that there are more than one tiger since they were of various shapes.How correct he was.

We parked ourselves in a clearing near the Pandharpaoni waterhole and the guide was confident that the tigers would make an appearance there before long.It was just 7 in the morning.Moreover we noted that some of the pug marks were wet,which meant that the tigers had come to the watering hole afterall and the guide asked us to trust his instincts which told him that they would reappear again at the lake.Just as we were talking we hear a rustle among the bushes and before we could focus,we see one of the cubs just crossing the road and walking towards the water.By then the barking dears' distress calls began to get
prominent.Very soon the dears joined in.The whole jungle seemed like a Dolby system multiplex.The feeling that we went through cannot quite be put down in words.There was a big herd of deers which was grazing nearby,on hearing the call,the sight that we saw has to be seen to be believed.The deers were standing absolutely still with all their ears up trying to catch the faintest of sounds,even with the noisy gypsies vrooming not a deer moved.Trust the instincts of the guide!!!We quickly go and park ourselves near the watering hole and what a grand show the small cub put on for us.He walked till the lake with a distinct
swagger almost as if he knew the whole world was looking at him and he was basking in his glory.After that he sat on his hind paws and gave us the perfect pose.For the first time we cursed ourselves for not getting a better lens.We let go of the whole idea of photography and decided to enjoy the spectacle.After the show,he decided he want to lie down for a while,following which he walked away into the bamboo bushes.

As we were busy talking in hush tones,we suddenly hear the warning distress call from the Sambar herd,which meant there was a Leopard on prowl nearby.The barking deers are the ones who give out the calls for tigers while it is the Sambars which give out the distress calls for leopards.But before we knew the call stopped,which meant the Leopard had gone away from the region.The madness that observed among humans just for that one glimpse of the cub was unbelievable and dirty.People shouting hooting,jumping on the bonnets.I was
just so ashamed that I was a part of this nonsense.Is it so difficult to maintain silence inside parks?We humans chit chat all the time otherwise.Is asking for silence for a mere 4 hours too much to ask for?Time to introspect people.If readers of this travelogue happen to do a safari at any time of their life,my sincere plea to them would be to maintain absolute silence inside the park.

After this we went of different trails but there were no further sighting of any other wildlife.But the drives through the jungle can be so very addictive that time was almost flying by.By 10 we were out of the gate and heading to the resort.After a healthy and wholesome breakfast and goodbyes to the resort staff we checked out and were on the road back to Hyderabad by 12pm.We left with a heavy heart having to say goodbye to all those absolutely wonderful and beautiful creations of nature,whom we were leaving behind.But we knew deep inside our hearts that this trip had evoked the wildlife enthusiast inside the three of us.

We took the same route via the NH7 back to Hyderabad.The only downside to this route is that eating options are absolutlely zilch.Not even a decent trucker dhaba on this route.We got back home to Sainikpuri around 8 in the evening.

We had such a wonderful trip and we are already planning for our next trip to Svasara & Tadoba.The combination of the resort and the reserve was deadly.

Thank you for taking out time to read this.Hope you have had a wonderful time reading it as much as I have had a wonderful time writing it and recreating the entire trip in words.A pity that the picture were too less even for our liking and missed out on the shot of the tiger as well.Well there is always a next time!

Pictures of the Ghost Tree(They are so called as on full moon nights these trees stand out thanks to their colour and travellers mark their routes looking at these trees)

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The Tiger is nearby and watching us!!The Pug Marks

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The Tiger has marked his area-Claw marks on the tree

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A herd of Sambars

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A Langur

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The Crowd and the mess created by the crowd.The Tiger is on the other bank of the pond

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Goodbye to Tadoba @ Kolara Gate Exit

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Old 8th March 2012, 16:55   #3
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Default Re: Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

Wow, Tiger on the other bank of pond, people stopping over to get a glimpse of Tiger, Tiger foot marks. So much talk about the Tiger all over and so many indications of presence of Tiger and No Tiger Picture. Are you preserving the best for the last ?

The Crocodile and Tiger tale was good to read, i saw something similar on Discovery long time ago where in the angry Tiger killed the Crocodile by getting inside the water, after the Crocodile ate Tigers hunt.

A truly mystique beast i must say. Excellent travelog and pictures. Also the hotel looked really nice.

Tried searching for this reserve on google maps, somehow it does not show.

OT: How is badminton going?

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Old 8th March 2012, 17:41   #4
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Default Re: Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

Here you go:

Location: link
Resort : link

Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Tried searching for this reserve on google maps, somehow it does not show.
OT: How is badminton going?
Amazing log. So no DSLRs? Only Iphone ?
Also looks like you put MMI to good use!
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Old 8th March 2012, 21:52   #5
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Default Re: Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Are you preserving the best for the last ?

Tried searching for this reserve on google maps, somehow it does not show.

OT: How is badminton going?
No,really couldnt take pictures of the tigeress & her cubs,was at too far a distance for my poor camera to zoom in:(.It makes a perfect case for me to invest in a more powerful lens now.sigh.

The below is the route to the resort.Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve must be easily the most "natural" of reserves thanks to its popularity not being as high as the big daddies of tiger reserves-the penchs,kanhas,pannas,corbetts,ranthambores!
Sainikpuri, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh to Svasara Resort - Google Maps

The resort is really one of its kind and is headed by a very able and dedicated team of wildlife people.

Badminton is going good as usual.Got the pair of shoes I finally wanted from the Yonex Pro Store at very very reasonable rates.Shall post the details on the badminton thread.

Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Amazing log. So no DSLRs? Only Iphone ?
Also looks like you put MMI to good use!
I have the Canon SLR EOS 1000D but never felt the need to invest in a pair of lens other than the ones that came with it.For the first time we felt the need when we were completely helpless this time round with the tigeress and the cubs on the other bank and there was no way we could get good shots.So instead concentrated on seeing them via the naked eye
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Old 8th March 2012, 22:03   #6
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Default Some more pictures

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Old 9th March 2012, 14:43   #7
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Default Re: Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

Nice pictures Ranjit. I had gone to Tadoba in October however not in the Kolara Gate. The resort is nice.

The raods from Wani was bad then. How was it now?
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Old 9th March 2012, 19:15   #8
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Originally Posted by gauravdgr8 View Post
Nice pictures Ranjit. I had gone to Tadoba in October however not in the Kolara Gate. The resort is nice.

The raods from Wani was bad then. How was it now?
Hi Gaurav,good to hear from you.Thanks.The Kolara gate is so very peaceful IMO.Road widening is happening between Karanji on NH7 and Wani at the moment.But from Wani onwards to Warora and to Chimur is good now.We did Karanji to Chimur in 2.5hours in moderate speeds.

Lets catch up one of these days.

The resort is mindblowing in terms of service and location,we are already thinking of going again!
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Old 13th March 2012, 18:34   #9
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Nice to see that you had a great trip and you were lucky to spot the tigers. The forest look lovely. Thanks for sharing your experiences which will come in handy for planning next trip to the place.
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Old 14th March 2012, 02:50   #10
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very nice travelogue , curious about one thing , since i will be also be driving from hyderabad and with a kid in the car , can you kindly breakup the trips with the places to have the safest food during the trip?

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Old 14th March 2012, 06:13   #11
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Originally Posted by Fauji View Post

Nice to see that you had a great trip and you were lucky to spot the tigers. The forest look lovely. Thanks for sharing your experiences which will come in handy for planning next trip to the place.
Fauji SaarThanks for all your suggestions.Helped us make up our minds.As of now the tigeress and the three cubs have made kolara gate areas their home and so are freely roaming the areas.sightings are for as long as 20mins.Another guest at the hotel had the 4of them playing around their gypsy wheels!!!

Originally Posted by kippu View Post
very nice travelogue , curious about one thing , since i will be also be driving from hyderabad and with a kid in the car , can you kindly breakup the trips with the places to have the safest food during the trip?

Thanx Kippu.As I had mentioned in the writeup,there are absolutely no eating facilitiea on the NH7 all way till Buti Bori which is almost at Nagpur.The only eating place before that is at Kamareddy which comes at approx 1hr from Kompally.At this poiny you have a Harita Aptdc onto your left and Malgudi onto your right.

We carried breakfast with us in addition to all te snacks and tidbits and juices.

On our return pack food from the resort.There is absolutely nothing.If your child is really small you could stop at any of the dhabas which are also in bad condition and ask for hot water to mix milk etc.

Let me know if you want contacts ar Svasara
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Old 8th April 2012, 10:08   #12
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
The Jamni village:

The Paddy Fields at Jamni with a machaan for the villagers to keep a lookout for the wild boars
Hi Ranjit
Finally read your travellogue yesterday. Posted a reply but looks like it didn't go through. Great write up, loved the story telling art you have.
Also I now know what Maachan means always thought it meant tree house. Someone runs a resort by the name maachan about 17 kms from Lonavala on the aamby valley road. They have a few tree houses made of steel in the hill side
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Old 8th April 2012, 10:51   #13
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
We took the same route via the NH7 back to Hyderabad.
Do you think that it is more sensible to take the NH7 route compared to Chandrapur route from Hyderabad, especially since many people suggest using Chandrapur route for Nagpur?
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Old 8th April 2012, 12:05   #14
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Amazing travelogue. Just reading your post, I enjoyed and can empathize the enjoyment that you might have had during your trip.

Could you please share the details with respect to the cost for the stay and for the safari? The rooms look excellent in condition.
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Old 8th April 2012, 19:48   #15
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Default Re: Humbly & Totally Tadoba-ed

A neat travelogue with some crisp pictures.

Would like to differ. Kakar or muntjac deer is a very small deer; even the fawn of a Cheetal is larger than a full grown kakar. And it is also very shy & fearful. Gets alarmed by any kind of noise and gives out an alarm call. Found in abundance in Corbett, they are known to give calls even when they see a mongoose.

Their call are not a reliable source of the presence of a predator, whether small or large.

In comparison, a Sambhar gives out a call only when it sees a large predator. A sambhar's call is a sure give away of the prowl of a Tiger and coupled with that of a langur perched very high-up in the tree is that for a Leopard.

Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post

As we were busy talking in hush tones,we suddenly hear the warning distress call from the Sambar herd,which meant there was a Leopard on prowl nearby. The barking deers are the ones who give out the calls for tigers while it is the Sambars which give out the distress calls for leopards.
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