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Old 24th May 2012, 14:23   #16
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

@deky - All the stories that you have narrated happened over the course of 2 days??? That is scary and action packed.

Couple of those could have been avoided i guess, but for the eagerness of the folks to take snaps. But i don't blame them. I believe some of the volunteers might not have seen the animals in natural surroundings earlier and it would have been in impulse reaction to capture them in camera. I guess i would have done the same.
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Old 24th May 2012, 14:42   #17
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Wow! That was one very eventful night. Seeing the Tiger in its elements definitely makes up for all the hardships suffered by everyone. Thank you for sharing your awesome experience with us.
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Old 24th May 2012, 14:57   #18
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Thank you for sharing your awesome experience with us. Wish such activities happen in all national parks, makes one learn and respect wildlife even more.

Quick question, what happened to those captured poachers? were they interrogated? Did they hear you alert the authorities?? Did they say anything about where had they setup any traps?? sorry for so many questions.

If more of these census takes place in all national parks then there could chances of capturing more poachers off guard and make the parks more safer.

-Sajan
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Old 24th May 2012, 16:53   #19
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

One word - WOW!!

Did not know it was straight forward simple to be part of such and exercise. Does this also happen in Sariska? Have marked next year on calendar already.
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Old 24th May 2012, 17:08   #20
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Amazing. Was thinking of the plight of the tiger in story 5 you said of. Poor things came for water at end of a sunny day only to find a human falling out of a tree

My brothers friend had gone for tiger census in Bandipur national park. Reading your post made me thinking of opting the same next time.
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Old 24th May 2012, 21:45   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
@deky - All the stories that you have narrated happened over the course of 2 days??? That is scary and action packed.

Couple of those could have been avoided i guess, but for the eagerness of the folks to take snaps. But i don't blame them. I believe some of the volunteers might not have seen the animals in natural surroundings earlier and it would have been in impulse reaction to capture them in camera. I guess i would have done the same.
You are right, its the excitement in which we tend to forget the basic rules of safety. But the machaans are also not that secure. Next time I plan to take extra ropes to properly secure my machaan and take a yoga mat so its more comfortable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
Wow! That was one very eventful night. Seeing the Tiger in its elements definitely makes up for all the hardships suffered by everyone. Thank you for sharing your awesome experience with us.
Thanks & Yes it was indeed eventfull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajands View Post
Thank you for sharing your awesome experience with us. Wish such activities happen in all national parks, makes one learn and respect wildlife even more.

Quick question, what happened to those captured poachers? were they interrogated? Did they hear you alert the authorities?? Did they say anything about where had they setup any traps?? sorry for so many questions.

If more of these census takes place in all national parks then there could chances of capturing more poachers off guard and make the parks more safer.

-Sajan
As I said it was a story doing the rounds, We were not the ones who alerted the authorities, it was someone else. So I really dont know what happened to the poachers. I hope they were given a lesson that they would learn for ever.

I know Maharashtra also carried out WHC on the same day. Here is the link to that

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
One word - WOW!!

Did not know it was straight forward simple to be part of such and exercise. Does this also happen in Sariska? Have marked next year on calendar already.
Yes it was suppose to happen in Sariska too. Not sure if it happened due to the unrest or no, but it does happen every year along with Ranthambhore. Join us next time!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Amazing. Was thinking of the plight of the tiger in story 5 you said of. Poor things came for water at end of a sunny day only to find a human falling out of a tree

My brothers friend had gone for tiger census in Bandipur national park. Reading your post made me thinking of opting the same next time.
So did it happen on the same dates in Karnataka too??

I feel the more interest you take, the deeper you fall in love with the wild. I am finding it an irresistible hobby these days to go and spend time in the jungle. I went to RTR again on the 18th, more about it in the next post. The heat be damned

Thanks & regards

Dhiraj
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Old 25th May 2012, 00:30   #22
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Dear Deky, First of all , thanks for the fascinating account of the census and apologies for this off topic tid-bit, I have been part of some of the forest fire fighting volunteer programs in Dandeli, Karnataka and got a taste of the proverbial hell might be like.

Animals are such masters in camouflage that many times I couldnt notice snakes which were trying to flee the fire just inches from my feet. It was a fascinating experience where we were battling the forces of nature ( dry wood, wind , fire and animals) with some home-made equipment of a branch with leaves and gunny bags ….

The most unfortunate part was that , with our infrastructure its not possible to ascertain if a forest fire is man-made or natural. Guys interested in this can contact the local DFO , but never experienced the drop off and pick up , just had to trek back on foot to the nearest road/trail after a hard days work ( but hugely satisfying).

Here in US, there is a volunteer program as well , but the area to be covered is immense ( as I write there are 2 forest fires in Arizona and one of which is expected to be the biggest in this state’s history) and usually there would be air support to the men on ground.

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Old 25th May 2012, 13:01   #23
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Ranthambhor - 18/05/2012

I always wondered how would it be when I see the tiger for the first time? Will I want to see it again or would I be satisfied the first time I see it. All the seniors I asked this question always told me that this is one thirst that is never quenched. The call of the wild is so intoxicating that once you hear it, you will never be able to be far from it for a long time.

So on 18/05/2012 I decided to visit Sawai Madhopur again. This time it was actually some work that I had to do but I was hoping that I might be able to squeeze in the afternoon safari at Ranthambhore .

My friend and I reached Sawai Madhopur at around 0930 hrs. One good thing is that you just need around 3 hrs to travel from Jaipur to Sawai Madhopur so the round trip can be done in a day. On reaching there we made a call to the person whom we had to meet but the person had an un scheduled meeting to attend and said he would only be free by 1400 hrs in the afternoon. Delaying us and wasting our time was one issue and the other issue was that now we would not be able to attend the afternoon safari as our meeting with him would have lasted for 2 hrs at least, and by then the afternoon safari would have started. And we could not have attended the morning safari as it was about to end now.

So basically with all hopes of a safari on this trip ending, we decided to check in a hotel and relax. My friend slept off and I was still thinking what to do. Then I realized that there is more to Ranthambhore than just tigers, it had a formidable fort as well. So I decided to visit that. The road to the fort through the forest is open to all tourist vehicles, provided you have PUC certificate with you. The only problem was the heat as it was close to 1100 hrs and the temperature must be already around 40+ degrees. So armed with a cap, a bandana and lots of water I drove to the fort.

From the entry gate to the fort its about 4 kms of drive ridden with pot holes. Its through thick jungle and from time to time you can see some wild life there as well. The area actually belongs to one of the big tiger males of RTR i.e T-24. So hoping to see something I drove very slowly towards the fort.

I did not take a guide because I was in a hurry to see the fort. Those who are interested in the history of the fort can read it here. But what everyone says is that this was one of the most formidable forts ever constructed. The fort was self sustained and in case of enemy attack it could hold its own for months together without any outside support. The fort was made on a high cliff with straight ascend and that made it really difficult for any enemy to climb up. It also had lots of lakes and check damns were made on the lakes so that they can be opened and the ravines below could be flooded in the event of enemy trying to climb.

The best part about the fort and the surrounding ruins for me was that it gives character to the jungle. It looks as if its straight out of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. Huge banyan trees, lakes, fort walls, ruins and animals, especially monkey’s playing on them reminded me of The Jungle Book , the book that has been so dear to almost all of us since our child hood.

Braving the heat I climbed up around 1.5 kms of the fort steps and visited various temples and lakes.

Here are some of the photos from the fort

Lay out of the Fort
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The stairs leading up to the Fort
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Locals enjoying the view and getting respite from the scorching heat
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View of The Raj bag lake from the fort
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Massive fort walls
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The fort rising above the Forest Reserve
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One of the many water reservoirs within the Fort (Rani Talab)
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Steps leading to “Battis Khamba Chattri” (32 pillar courtyard)
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Monkey’s galore at Battis Khambha Chattri
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Beautifully carved pillars
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Padmavati Talab (lake)
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The ever curious Monkey’s
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After walking around the fort for an hour it was time to come back to the hotel, have our lunch and get ready for the meeting. On my way back I saw this turtle basking in the sun

Turtle with his face partly visible
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It must be 45 degrees now and he was enjoying the sun
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09537.jpg

Back to the hotel I quickly had a shower, we had our lunch and dot at 1400 hrs I called the gentleman whom we were suppose to meet. He called us to his office and were actually hoping that we would be able to finish our work with him in time for the afternoon safari.

To our surprise and happiness the meeting with him lasted only 15 mnts and by 1430 hrs we were free. Now it was time to find a place in the gypsy for us for the afternoon safari. After a few phone calls we managed to get 2 seats in a gypsy. We were told that they will pick us up from our hotel at 1515 hrs. Very happy to go to the jungle we were ready for us to be picked up and luckily the gypsy arrived on time as well.

There was a group of 9 people who had hired a gypsy and they had 2 seats available in one gypsy that we had taken. This group was from Ahmadabad and they were on a charity mission. Basically they were distributing free masala powders to the guards stationed inside the forest in various chowkis. The main aim was this charity but of course, if the King, read the tiger, happens to be around, who in their senses would like to miss the sight.

So off we went in the jungle. Within minutes of us being in the jungle we got to see the ultimate sight. We saw T-24, one of the biggest males of RTR, resting at a water point. Apparently he had just finished eating his kill and was relaxing in the water literally cooling off. Since we were on a mission we could not stop by him for long, but we had ample opportunity to click his photographs.

We had to leave, but the guys said that we will return back after delivering the packets, as T-24 most likely will sit there till sun down before moving elsewhere. So off we went to Guda Chowki to deliver the packets.

After delivering the packets we roamed around in the area hoping to sight some tigers and some cubs. But the jungle was very quiet. We came back to the spot where we spotted T-24 but he had left too. Then the group from Ahmadabad wanted to see Jogi Mahal from inside. Usually Jogi mahal is closed for tourists but since they were doing charity they were allowed for a quick trip and thankfully we also benefited from it.

After taking a few pictures from there it was time to come out. Suddenly we saw lots of activity happening on the fort walls. The monkey’s were all looking in one direction and looked very agitated. They were making calls when they usually see a predator. The guide said that there is a big Leopard male in the area and most probably he has come out of the cave and is on the prowl.

So we came back on the road again to look for him but of no avail. By then the monkey’s had also settled so it was time to get out.


Pics from the evening

Huge Baniyan Tree at the entrance of the Zone
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Within minutes of our safari we saw T-24 resting at a watering hole
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He was not bothered of our presence
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From time to time he gave us the killer stare
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I always end up watching a mongoose just before or after watching a tiger
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09563.jpg

Our National Bird – Its so beautifull that it rightly deserves the status
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Charity work, may their tribe increase
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A crocodile soaking in the last rays of the sun
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Scared Sambhar deer
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Peacock perched on a tree trunk
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History galore all around in the jungle
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The oldest Baniyan tree, just outside Jogi Mahal
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Birds around in Raj Bagh lake
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Panoramic view of Rajbagh lake
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Agitated and curious monkey’s all looking in one direction after seeing a predator
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09614.jpg

After settling the gypsy bills, it was time to head back to Jaipur. Another successful trip Ranthambhore comes to an end.

The end

Last edited by deky : 25th May 2012 at 13:04.
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Old 25th May 2012, 15:10   #24
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

@deky, Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us. The pictures that you have managed to capture soaring of Rajasthan in the month of May is indeed admirable.
Kudos!

P.S.: quick questions, do all the wild life reserves / national park conduct a census in a similar manner and how do to get in touch with the authorities to volunteer?
I would love to be a part of such expedition.
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Old 25th May 2012, 16:27   #25
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

That"s an awesome adventure Deky. Could you give us the DFO's address so that we could apply as vounteers for the next year.
Also, could any of the nature lovers in the south let us know if this type of an exercise is done in Mudumalai or Periyar wildlife sanctuaries so that we can particpate in this kind of vountary work cum adventure more closer to home.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 26th May 2012, 11:52   #26
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

awesome man - your luck has changed and how . Now you see a tiger on every visit

well - i guess you know by now and i can also attest to the fact, one can never get enough of seeing a tiger in the wild. it is addictive and compels you!

Great narration and pictures as usual.
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Old 31st May 2012, 19:46   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitby View Post
@deky, Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us. The pictures that you have managed to capture soaring of Rajasthan in the month of May is indeed admirable.
Kudos!

P.S.: quick questions, do all the wild life reserves / national park conduct a census in a similar manner and how do to get in touch with the authorities to volunteer?
I would love to be a part of such expedition.
Thanks!!

I am not sure if this is done pan-India. But yes, Rajasthan for sure does it every year on the first full moon night of May. I hear that Maharashtra also did it but if they take volunteers for this excersise or no is not clear to me. Its best to find out from individual park authorities.

Here is the list of offices all across India in tiger reserves

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashphil View Post
That"s an awesome adventure Deky. Could you give us the DFO's address so that we could apply as vounteers for the next year.
Also, could any of the nature lovers in the south let us know if this type of an exercise is done in Mudumalai or Periyar wildlife sanctuaries so that we can particpate in this kind of vountary work cum adventure more closer to home.
Regards,
Ashok
Thanks, you can mail your application to

District Forest Officer (DFO)
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve
Ranthambhore Road
Sawai Madhopur - 322001

OR

Click on this link and go to contact us

Quote:
Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
awesome man - your luck has changed and how . Now you see a tiger on every visit

well - i guess you know by now and i can also attest to the fact, one can never get enough of seeing a tiger in the wild. it is addictive and compels you!

Great narration and pictures as usual.
Thanks Sachin, yup, been pretty lucky lately.

.................................................. ..................................


Now, in my previous trip report to Ranthambhore, I had written that I had some work there, the work was related to Tigers in RTR only. Now I am in a position to say what work was it.

Actually I had posted a pic of a tiger in my facebook account. It was of T-28, the Star Male of Ranthambhore. Fazal Ali, also a member here, asked me if this Tiger was related to "Ghenghis", one of the most predominant tigers of 1980's. I had no clue of the answer. I did try to google it, but still to no avail. Infact I realised that except "Macchali's" life history, the life history of the present tigers is not available at all.

But now, I feel very proud to say that I am going to post something that has never been made or never been posted before any where over the entire World Wide Web. Though the information that I am going to present is available all scattered in books and at some places on the net but no one till date has collected it into one place.

Luckily for me our Hon'able Minister for Tourism and Forest, Mrs Bina Kak herself is a wild life enthusiast so she herself encouraged me to do this.

Though making the chart presentable was not that hard but collecting information from various sources and various individual and finally tallying them and collaborating them was kind of tedious.

Till now I have done it only on a honorary basis, but now that the chart is complete (well almost, still need some changes to be done here and there) it seems that the Honorable Minister has more plans for me to develop it into something bigger and more informative. So let’s see how it goes from here.

I myself feel very happy and very satisfied that I undertook this project, as working closely with all these learned people, whom I have duly credited in the chart , I have learnt a lot about our National Animal. Though I could not go back till Ghenghis and never could get the answer to Fazal's question but still this was worth the effort.

I hope all you nature lovers find it usefull as well!!

Click on the picture to see it in bigger resolution!!
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-scanning-29-fullnamed.jpg

Last edited by deky : 31st May 2012 at 19:51.
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Old 1st June 2012, 16:56   #28
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Dhiraj,

What you have done is a very highly commendable job. I highly applaud your effort knowing how difficult it is to compile this data.

You must have been very very young, I was a teenager myself back in the late 70's. So let me give you an insight of who Gengis was...

Gengiswas a supremely magnificent alpha male of Ranthambore, who had evolved and mastered a new hunting technique that was later adopted by other tigers there.

Like most tigers ambush the prey on land, concealed behind bushes until the final charge...Gengis too would use the element of surprise but with a very higher success rate. The never seen before technique that he developed was staying patiently, concealed behind bushes and high grass, right on the bank of the lake. Wait for the flock of the marsh deer to get into the water into a depth of 2 feet and above and then single out one, charge from the bank, leap into the water and swim to its prey with his powerful paws at a very frightening speed and seize it.

This new technique had some unique advantages highly favoring the predator:

The deer didn't expect a predator attack in water (until Gengis) as it did not experience it before.

A tigers brain and intelligence is highly evolved compared to a deer,
the deer is wired genetically and with experience to escape from a predator, the new situation needed re adaption of escape strategy.

The deer did not have the traction advantage as on solid ground.

The burst of speed a deer can instinctively accelerate to when alarmed depends on its initial leaps of about 12 feet, which was now lost in chest deep water.

The tiger with its strength and wider paws could easily out swim the deer.

The ambush was set up at the close side of the bank which meant that the far side of the bank could not be reached by the deer before the tiger would get to it.

A book by Valmik Thapar titled,'Tiger, Portrait of a Predator' with magnificent photographs by Fateh Singh Rathore, of the actual action, this book available on Amazon was dedicated to Gengis.

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Regards,
Fazal

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Old 4th June 2012, 11:43   #29
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

That's an amazing work, Deky. Very happy and proud to see such work done by a T-bhpian.

And thanks, Fazal sir, for the info on Gengis
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Old 5th June 2012, 17:00   #30
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wow Dhiraj - Incredible!!!

Totally awesome - love the chart
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