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Old 6th June 2012, 12:10   #31
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Decky...truly a yeoman service to the RTR. Wish Forest Department/DFO's did similar job of maintaining records all over.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 16:15   #32
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Ranthambhore : 06th Feb - 07th Feb, 2013

06/02/2013 - Evening safari


It was time to visit Ranthambhore again. I had to attend a marriage of a friend so decided that apart from the marriage we should also be doing a couple of safaris while we were there. A safari was definitely on order as I had last visited Ranthambhore in May 2012 and that was 9 months back.

Along with me there were three other guys from Jaipur who were going for the wedding. The plan was simple, we were to start from Jaipur on 06/02/13 at around 1000hrs, reach Ranthambhore at around 1300hrs, check in the Hotel, have our lunch, take the afternoon safari, visit the Ganesh Temple at Ranthambhore Fort first, then search for a Tiger in the remaining time and then back to the Hotel and then go for the wedding.

We started at around 1030 hrs from Jaipur, The route is Jaipur - Kothun - Lalsot - Sawai madhopur - Ranthambhore. From Jaipur till Kothun is NH but its really bad due to road widening, it has very few good stretches and the rest is pretty bad. From Kothun you take a left turn and head towards lalsot. Initially the road is bad, but it progressively gets better as you reach Lalsot. At Lalsot its really really bad but after lalsot when you take a right it becaomes excellent all the way till SWM.

We reached our hotel in Ranthambhore at around 1400hrs ( well we started late) and after settling in had a quick lunch. At around 1500 hrs we were ready and started towards the Jungle for our safari.

This is the route we took on the safari. Click on the link to see it on google maps/earth.

We came to know that a massive male tiger T-24 has made a kill and is sitting near the kill at Pandu Deh area. We asked the guide if we could go to the spot before going to the Temple. The guide told us to visit the Temple first as T-24 is known to be lazy and is also known to sit at one place for hours together. So he was pretty sure that even after the temple we could still see him.

So our first stop was the Ganesh Temple at Ranthambhore Fort. After climbing countless steps and entering through numerous fort gates we finally reached the temple.
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After paying our respect to the deity we moved towards Pandu Deh. When we reached the spot we saw a lone gypsy standing there. That gypsy was standing about 20 feet away from where the Tiger was suppose to be sitting. The gypsy had some filming crew who were making a documentary on tigers of Ranthambhore.

The driver of the gypsy told us that T-24 is sitting, but not eating the kill, but will definitely start feeding again if we stay out of sight. So we decided to have a look at the tiger first and then move away from him and wait for him to come to eat the kill.

First Look at T-24

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Feeling bored??

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Sitting about 4 feet away from his kill

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By the way this chap is the same guy who killed a forest guard recently. Apart from him he has apparently killed 2 more people in the forest area.

Look at those canines

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Another yawn
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With that we decided to give him some space and move away. We must have gone about 100 mtrs away from his sight and stopped the gypsy. After about 10 mnts we decided to go back and have a look. He was, as suggested by the driver of the other gypsy, on the kill eating it

Eating his kill

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They use their tongue first, that acts like sand paper to scrape off the hair from the carcass
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He gets up to get a better position to the kill
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Looks at us briefly
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Pulls the kill
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Good for me as he pulls it on the other side of the tree. Now I have a better view
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and settles down again
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starts to eat again
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Gives us another stare
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and back to tearing the animal apart
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He is no bothered of our presence
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It was already 30 mnts since he had been feeding continuously so he takes a breather
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And back to chewing. Infact we were so close to him that we could hear him chewing on the bones
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Changes position again (the bottom right black thing in the frame is the filming crew's camera)
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Oh those eyes & not to miss that CLAW!!!

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The prey and the predator!!
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From time to time he looks as us
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We see him for over an hour and it starts to get dark. Apart from not getting sufficient light to click its also time to exit the jungle. We leave T-24 to his feeding spree and leave him. But not before taking a few parting shots
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To be contd....................
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Old 2nd March 2013, 17:39   #33
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Simply mind-blowing. What a massive animal. Nearly as big as Romeo and what canines. Looks very skittish too. He has that "don't mess with me" look.

That look in the 4th picture from bottom, sends shivers down the spine. Oh boy, I want to see him and the T 42.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 13:21   #34
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Default 6 Tigers in One day!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Simply mind-blowing. What a massive animal. Nearly as big as Romeo and what canines. Looks very skittish too. He has that "don't mess with me" look.

That look in the 4th picture from bottom, sends shivers down the spine. Oh boy, I want to see him and the T 42.
Thank you. I personally dont want to see T-42, kind of scared for obvious reasons, Really dont know when he is in a funny mood. Lately heard that even T-17 charged on a gypsy. So never know about wild animals!!!

CONTD : 07/02/2013 - Morning Safari

Last evening after coming out of the jungle, we attended the wedding and slept. The wedding was quite a massive affair as almost all of Sawai Madhopur plus half of the near by village people had come to attend. There were lot of nature lovers we knew so there was lots of Tiger Talk. Apart from that another highlight was that while returning back to our hotel we saw a massive hyena on the main Ranthambhore road. Spotting a hyena was a first for me.

In the morning we had agreed to start at 0645 hrs for the safari, but we could only manage to leave by 0715 hrs. The 4 of us had the gypsy to ourselves so it was ok as we were not delaying any one else.

The plan was to search for Tigress T39 and her cub named Sultan. Actually I forgot to tell you that last night as we were returning back after seeing T-24, we (the people sitting behind the gypsy) thought that a small animal had chased the gypsy somewhere closed to a place called Phuta Bandha. Our driver didn't see it but told us that it could be Sultan, the cub as he is quite naughty and does play these games. So today we had plans to go back to the same area and see if we get lucky and spot them.

This was the route taken for the morning safari. Click on the link to see it on Google maps.

As we were on our way to Phuta Bandha, close to Padam Talao we saw fresh foot prints of a massive male tiger. This was most probably of T-28. We followed the foot prints for a while but then they disappeared in the thicket. We waited there and tried to hear or see something but nothing happened so we moved on.

It was disappointment at Phuta Bandha too, as there was no sign of T-39 and cub Sultan. Animals were grazing peacefully and monkeys were playing happily on the trees and everything was relaxed. A sign stating that the predator is not around.

Now we decided to check on T-24 again. The same tiger whom we had seen feeding yesterday at Pandu Deh. We reached Pandu Deh and to our surprise, T-24 was sitting exactly at the same spot. Unluckily there were many gypsy's around this morning but luckily the sun was out and the tiger in the sunlight was giving a good picture

T-24 Sitting in the same spot in the morning
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He had finished almost all of the kill over night and only about 1/4th of it was left.

Still guarding the kill
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Enjoying the sunshine
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T-24 had been sitting there for about 24 hrs now. We found no pug marks of his around or any indication that he had left this place in the last 24 hrs to take a walk. Except that he had got up in the night, gone to drink water from an anicut about 15 feet away and then came on the road (where we were) done his morning job (saw fresh scat on the road, took a pic but it was gross, not worth putting up) and gone back to the kill

Time to relax
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Lazy boy goes back to sleep
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As he slept, we had enough of him and decided to carry on to see if we can spot some other tigers. We moved towards Guda area. There we saw some fresh pug marks of a male and a female tiger and decided to follow them. After following them for about an hour we lost them in the thicket. Bad luck again.

The jungle was full of other activity and one of them was male Sambhar deer trying to adorn themselves and get ready for the rutting season. There were lots of them trying to sharpen their antlers and also throwing mud on themselves.

A Male Sambhar Deer getting ready
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The antlers
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At one place we some forest officials downloading data from one of the numerous camera traps positioned in the jungle. They were downloading pics to their laptop from the sd card. The pics confirmed that the two tigers we were following a little while ago had indeed passed that area a while ago. But it was too late now as it was time to exit the park

The Camera Trap
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On our way back we decided to see if T-24 was still sitting at the same place. And we were not disspointed, he was still there. Luckily there wasnt any gypsy around this time so we got a good view

T-24 still at the same place
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His breakfast, lunch and dinner
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He sleeps again
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Look at his tummy about to burst
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After spending about 5 minutes we decided to leave the lazy bugger and head out.

The last view of the sleeping beauty
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At the hotel we had a quick shower and got ready to check out. 3 of us were suppose to head back to Jaipur and one gentleman Mr. Godha was suppose to stay for a few more days before returning. Mr. Godha coaxed us to do one last evening safari before we left and we agreed.

Luckily we agreed as the evening safari turned out to be the best sighting ever for me!!!

To be contd.......
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Old 4th March 2013, 11:01   #35
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

awesome man... what luck and sighting. We tried to catch T-24 the last time when we were in R'bhore - but in vain.

We head that T-24 had come out and was on the road towards Jhoomar Baoli - but could not find him even after trying for 1 hour.

Cool....
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Old 4th March 2013, 12:24   #36
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
awesome man... what luck and sighting. We tried to catch T-24 the last time when we were in R'bhore - but in vain.

We head that T-24 had come out and was on the road towards Jhoomar Baoli - but could not find him even after trying for 1 hour.

Cool....
Thats true, T-24 patrols the peripheries of Ranthambhore forest. Infact many a times he has even crossed the Ranthambhore - SWM road and reached the hotels.

About Luck, well it got better!!!

07/02/2013 - Afternoon Safari

After having lunch at the hotel we checked out. The plan was to keep our luggage in the car so that as soon as we came out of the jungle we would head straight to Jaipur.

This is the route we took for the afternoon safari. Click on the link to see it on Google maps.

Once we entered the jungle we came to know that T-24 is still sitting on it kill. We had had enough of the same tiger and decided to go to another part of the jungle so that we could see some other tigers. So we headed towards an area called Tamba Khan. There we saw pug marks of a male tiger and started to follow it. Somewhere close to Bhoot khora those pug marks disappeared and new, and even fresher, pug marks of another tiger appeared. This area is the area of the legendary Machali or Tigress T-16.

Following those foot prints we reached a place called Baba Ki Gufa and yes, T-16 was there. She was about 100 mtrs away from us and was sleeping peacefully on a rock. We could not see much from the naked eye, but still the stripes were shining bright in the sun.

Here is a pic of T-16 sleeping peacefully
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We stood their for about 5 minutes and decided to carry on and search for more tigers. We headed towards Lakharda which is Tigress T-17's area. The fact that T-17 has cubs with her also made it worthwhile to search for us.

We looked around for any signs of her presence but there was no luck so it was time to move on.

In between we saw this male Sambhar trying to adorn himself with mud so that he could look pretty for the females. These deer's rub mud on them and then spray their own urine on their body and that apparently excites the females to mate with them

Sambhar Deer

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We reached the peripheries of the jungle and thier we saw some villagers cutting away trees and grass for firewood. Not many tourist vehicle's come in this area so their acts go un-noticed. As soon as they heard our gypsy they started to run away. That's why I feel tourism is a must in National parks so that such activities are curbed.

Villagers collecting firewood
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Still disappointed with not being able to spot any tiger here as well, we decided to turn back and return and look for T-17 again at Lakharda. The jungle was pretty thick here and there was lots of undergrowth. Untill and unless the tiger decides to come right on the track it was impossible to spot one. Here is the the jist of conversation that happened in our vehicle

AP : If a tiger is sitting somewhere in the bushes can we spot it?
DB : Its impossible

Suddenly I think I notice a tiger sitting about 100 mtrs deep inside the bushes

me : stop the vehicle I think I see something
DB : Are you sure?
Me : Yes, looks like a big male tiger, please reverse

We reverse the gypsy to where I think I saw it as all the bushes look the same now

Me : I saw it from this place, it was about 100 mtrs inside from here
DB : Impossible to see inside from here
Me : Excited : Yes I can see stripes, its definitely a tiger
VP : Where? I can see it

I point out the position but no one can see, suddenly

DB : Yes I see it, there are not one but 2 of them!!

Well out of the 6 of us in the gypsy (including the driver) only 2 of us could see it at a distance and the rest were totally blank. There was some talk about taking the gypsy close to them but there was no track that side so it was not possible. Till we were deciding what to do, suddenly we saw one tiger coming towards us and crossing the road from our back. Before I could take my camera out click I could only manage half of its body in frame

Half a tiger

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Then suddenly another tiger emerged from the thicket and started to walk towards us. We realised we have hit jackpot as this was a family of a Tigress with 3 cubs and these were the cubs who were coming towards us. These cubs were 1 year old but if seen separately from their mother looked like adult tigers

Another cub emerges from the thicket and walks straight towards us
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We continue moving forward in the gypsy and the cub continues to follow us

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As these pics are from a moving gypsy, they are a bit blurred

But he comes till about 20 feet from our gypsy
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The driver tells us that they are playing with us and as soon as he stops the gypsy they start to dissappear

Going back into bushes
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We wait for a while and another cub appears from the bushes and seeing us stopped goes back into the bushes
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After some time comes out the mother
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She continues to follow us. She is looking on both the sides as if to keep an eye on her kids.

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She comes very close to us and I dont like the look in her eyes. Now our gypsy is surrounded with tigers. We have two cubs on our left, those we cant see, 1 cub on our right, we cant see and a mother who is following us. This can actually be quite scary. So we decide to move forward and reach an open area and see if the family follows us till there.

to be contd......
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Old 4th March 2013, 12:27   #37
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Mr. Dhiraj, thank you so much for these posts. very refreshing. and your posts will make me go back to RTR much before I planned to.
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Old 4th March 2013, 14:47   #38
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

@Deky: Amazing sightings!! The narrative of the entire sequence of T-24's routine with the kill and T-17's walk with her cubs is very good.

Summer's just beginning and hope that the year unfolds some more breath-taking pics from the Ranthambore regular visitors like yourself, gd1418, sach.sri, etc.
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Old 4th March 2013, 15:00   #39
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Thanks for this brilliant thread. A tigress approaching a gypsy is one in a million moment. Excellent photographs. Sends shivers down the spine just by looking at the photos. I wonder how it would feel in reality .

My last encounter with a tiger (Kankatiya) was in Bandhavgad. But there, tiger was good 30-40ft away sipping water. The deadly stare and eye to eye look it gives is just out of world experience .
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Old 4th March 2013, 16:23   #40
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Quote:
Originally Posted by manolin View Post
Mr. Dhiraj, thank you so much for these posts. very refreshing. and your posts will make me go back to RTR much before I planned to.
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avid trekker View Post
@Deky: Amazing sightings!! The narrative of the entire sequence of T-24's routine with the kill and T-17's walk with her cubs is very good.

Summer's just beginning and hope that the year unfolds some more breath-taking pics from the Ranthambore regular visitors like yourself, gd1418, sach.sri, etc.
Actually the pics in the last post was of T-30 and cubs and not of T-17 and cubs. We did not see T-17

Yes hopefully this year season will be great for sighting for RTR and Sariska alike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Thanks for this brilliant thread. A tigress approaching a gypsy is one in a million moment. Excellent photographs. Sends shivers down the spine just by looking at the photos. I wonder how it would feel in reality .

My last encounter with a tiger (Kankatiya) was in Bandhavgad. But there, tiger was good 30-40ft away sipping water. The deadly stare and eye to eye look it gives is just out of world experience .
Well read on, the thrill just gets more and more



07/02/2013 - Afternoon safari..Contd

So once we are surrounded by 4 tigers out of which 3 are hiding in the bushes we feel a bit uncomfortable. We know that the mother is following us, though that can be a very good sight but is never a good sign as a mother (any animal) is at her most aggressive nature when she has cubs with her. So We decide to go into an open area so that atleast there is no sudden attack on us. We find a watering hole about 500 mtrs from where we were and head there. We park the vehicle right in the middle of the open area and wait. Within 5 minutes the mother is the first one to come out in the open

The mother emerging
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Keeps on walking

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Looks straight in our eye
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Gives us a killer look (close up of the previous shot)
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Keeps walking but keeps an eye on us
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One of her cubs emerges from the bushes
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The second cub is shy (most probably female) and treads carefully
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The third one is busy in its own
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Two cubs head straight for water

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I change my lens to 18-70 mm to give an idea of the distance

Mother sits in the shade while two of her cubs are having a drink
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Cubs walking towards the mother
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The last one needs a drink too
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One of the cubs marking territory by urinating on the tree

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One cub still having a drink, one with mother and the 3rd wanders off
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Fun & Games Contd......
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Old 4th March 2013, 16:44   #41
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Amazing experience there Deky and an amazing trip we, readers, have had!! Thanks

Waiting for the rest impatiently
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Old 4th March 2013, 18:27   #42
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

This is simply fabulous Deky, what an amazing experience and lovely snaps.

Those eyes are fierce and mean business, no doubt the term - Eye of the Tiger, that is something which is difficult to ignore!

Reading this TL just makes me want to shut down my laptop and run down there. You are indeed very lucky my friend.

Regards,
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Old 4th March 2013, 18:47   #43
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

AWESOME!!! Super-duper shots. I maintain that The Tiger is the most magnificent animal in the jungle.

I was in Ranthambhore last week and managed to see a tigress in the Qualji region. I guess she's called Meera.

I am planning on going again in May, once the heat increases and the chances of spotting go up.

And thanks for the tiger family tree.

Without the intention of high-jacking your thread, I am posting a picture of Meera.
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Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-meera.jpg  

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Old 4th March 2013, 19:19   #44
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Iceman, you are lucky to have spotted one of the most magnificent & biggest female of RTR - T 37. Also called Meera.

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Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post

I was in Ranthambhore last week and managed to see a tigress in the Qualji region. I guess she's called Meera.
If all things go well, then I too should be roaming the RTR in 45+ C in May/June.

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I am planning on going again in May, once the heat increases and the chances of spotting go up.
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Old 5th March 2013, 03:40   #45
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Iceman, you are lucky to have spotted one of the most magnificent & biggest female of RTR - T 37. Also called Meera.



If all things go well, then I too should be roaming the RTR in 45+ C in May/June.
same here. with the kind of heat that one should feel there, maybe tiger, deer and all of us will be jumping into the lake with some crocodiles.
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