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Old 8th December 2013, 19:35   #61
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Post Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

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Thank you and Yes it is possible to take part in the census. Next time send an application to the field directors office showing your interest to volunteer in the census. The census takes place every year on the full moon night of May.
That's nice to hear! where does one get the applications? could you kindly tell how much it would cost! Thank you!

Safe travels,
T.U.P
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Old 9th December 2013, 01:13   #62
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Excellent pictures! I enjoyed reading this travelogue of yours! Awesome narration.

Looking forward to seeing more of Ranthambhore and it's Tigers through your posts
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Old 28th December 2013, 13:39   #63
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

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Originally Posted by T.U.P View Post
That's nice to hear! where does one get the applications? could you kindly tell how much it would cost! Thank you!

Safe travels,
T.U.P
Till last year there was no application form, a person just writes to the field director of the reserve and they added your name to the list of volunteers. The whole process is free. You only pay for travelling from your home city and for accommodation other than the census night.

Regards
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Old 18th January 2014, 14:01   #64
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Ranthambhore : 06/01/2014 To 08/01/2014

This time Ranthambhore visit was with a difference. This was a family holiday and was the first time my parents and my wife and daughter were accompanying me to Ranthambhore. I had visited the park many a times before and had also seen a tiger in almost all my safari's so the hopes of my family seeing a tiger were very high.

The plan was to start from Jaipur post lunch on 06th Jan, reach the hotel by evening and relax that evening. Next day On 07th Jan, visit Ranthambhore fort in the morning and post lunch do a safari. Next morning on the 9th, if no one wanted to do a morning safari I would do one alone and after doing the evening safari we were to return back to Jaipur.

ROUTE : We started for Sawai Madhopur by 1600 hrs. I am always in a dilemma as to which route to take as there are 4 approaches and none of them are perfect. There is some or the other stretch that is bad in all the routes. Finally I decided to take the lesser of all the evils and stick to Jaipur - Kothun - Lalsot - Sawai Madhopur route. Apart from the fact that this route has a small stretch of bad road, this route is wide and because Jaipur and surroundings were getting thick fog during mornings and evenings this wide road would be helpfull to drive on if there is fog.

From Jaipur to Kothun the newly constructed NH12 (toll road) is a bliss to drive on. If the railway crossing at Shivdaspura is open one can do the 50 odd kms in under 40 minutes. ( Rail over bridge is under construction).

At Kothun one has to take a left for Lalsot. This is where the bad stretch starts. Out of the 40 odd kms, the first 7 kms there is no road and you have to drive on a mud track. Road widening is going on so they have totally removed the top surface and because of the drive season its only mud you drive on. Though the surface is uneven but luckily there are no craters on the road. After this 7 kms, the road gets better as you move towards Lalsot.

From Lalsot take a right for Sawai Madhopur. Now you are on a single yet very wide toll road that is called a Mega Highway in Rajasthan. This 70 kms of the road is pretty smooth to drive on and you would reach Sawai madhopur in about 1 hrs time. Just be carefull of the speed breakers and tractors ladden with sand.

We encountered some fog en route and by the time we checked in the hotel it was 1930 hrs.

HOTEL : We were booked in Ranthambhore Regency Resort. The hotel stay was complimentary for us so I shall not be too critical of the Hotel. Well infact, the hotel was actually pretty good with neat, clean and big rooms and the food was also excellent. But something if they need to improve on was the basics of service and courtesy. That I guess will only come with man power training. My daughter who has dietary requirements was well looked after so on the whole the experience was very good.

07/01/2014

After having a decently early night we all got up lazily in the morning. Luckily there was no safari booked in the morning because Ranthambhore as well was fogged out that day. By the time we got ready after breakfast it was 1030 am and the fog had started to clear up. We left for Ranthambhore fort. Ranthambhore fort is deep inside the jungle and has a very famous Ganesh Temple inside. The entry to the fort is from the entry of the National Park itself. Pilgrims going to the fort are allowed to go for free either on foot or on their vehicles. They just have to pay a parking fees of Rs20/-. Well the rule is that you should also show the R.C. and PUC at the entry point but no one bothers to check. The pvt vehicles going to the fort are supposed to stick to the main road and not venture into any of the zones leading inside the forest area. You do see a lot of animals along side the road itself and if you are really lucky you will also see a tiger.

Its about 4 kms from the entry point till the fort parking. From the parking it takes about 45 minutes of walking uphill to the Ganesh temple. The road is again under maintenance so cars with really low ground clearances should be avoided here. But I believe that in two months time this stretch will also be pretty smooth to drive.

We took about 30 mnts to reach the fort parking and another 30 minutes to reach the top. I have already written about the fort in the previous chapters so wont say much about it. The climb up to the fort is really worth the effort as the views you get of the jungle and especially of the lakes is mind blowing.. In summers remember to take a lot of water as it can get really hot. Also remember not to take any open food inside as the monkey's there can be really harrasing.

All my family members including my parents are relatively fit so we didnt have much of an issue going up and down, It was rather fun.

Some pictures of the fort

My mother and my daughter ready for the climb
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Family half way to the fort
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Views as we go up
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Parul (wife) and Aira (daughter) enjoying the sun and the views
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Aira clicks us climbing
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Monkey's that can be a menace
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One of the kunds in the fort area
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The Ganesh temple is right at the end of the fort. Since we had to return back by 1300 hrs (reason later) we decided to skip the temple and return back.

The evening safari starts at 1400 hrs in winters. I had not booked any safaris because we were not sure as to how many of us would like to go for safari's. The sun was out now and the weather was nice so all of us had decided to go for it. But the problem was that no safari was booked till now and I had no inclination to pay agents any extra money for booking us any safari. I in my previous visits to Ranthambhore knew that the forest department always has a few quota of Tourists gypsy's that they can give at the last minute. I had some how managed to get in touch with the concerned person and requested him to keep a gypsy for my family which after a bit of persuasion he agreed to do so.

He had asked us to come at the booking center by 1300 hrs and to make the payments and get the permit. I dropped my family to the hotel and left for the booking center. It took me about 30 minutes to complete the formalities. I had come to know that T19, a tigress had descended down in the morning from a hill and had settled near Malik Talab. This was zone 3. I requested them to allot me zone 3 and they even obliged me with that.

So with the booking done and permits allotted we were ready to go for a safari in zone 3 after lunch.


07/01/2014 : Afternoon Safari

With the lunch done, the extra woolens including jackets, gloves and warm caps packed in a bag we were ready by 1415 hrs at the hotel entrance waiting for our Gypsy. Most of the good hotels also provide guests with blankets to wrap around and these blankets are real life savers during the late evening. So check with your hotel and do carry them along.

Our vehicles was one of the last ones to come to hotel and by the time it came, most of the hotel guests had already left for their safari in their respective canters or gypsy's. I was not bothered as I was kind of certain that I would see a tiger and it did not matter if we were the last ones or the first ones in our zone. After brief introductions with the guide and the driver we made our way to the jungle. The guide had a very interesting question with us, he wanted to know if we were interested only in the tiger or we wanted to enjoy the jungle? Well apart from me the rest of my family unanimously voted in favour of only the the tiger!!

Zone 3 of Ranthambhore is considered to be the most scenic of all the zones in RTR. Doodh Baawri,Tapman Nalah,Rajbagh Lake,High Point,Padam Talab, Mandook and Karonj Ka Nalah are the most prominent points of Zone 3. The resident cats at these points include T-19 (Krishna) along with her three cubs and T-28 (Star Male). Though you hardly see any leopards or sloth bear here yet because of its scenic beauty and also a wide variety of birds and antelope population it is very popular with tourists.

We made our way from the fort to Padam Talab. The whole area was quiet, but there were lots of birds at the lake. From Padam Talab we made it to Rajbagh and again except the birds the whole area was silent. Apparently T-19, the female Tigress was resting in the grassland at the edge of the lake. There were around 10 vehicles waiting at the edge hoping for some movement, but every thing seemed very still. Suddenly in one of the forest dept. gypsy's that was parked along side us had a message on the wireless that a tiger was being sighted at Jharoka (not a part of zone 3), and immediately all the VIP gypsy's which are zone free zoomed towards that area. We were left waiting for the tiger in the grassland, whom no one was sure was even there or no.

Luckily I was allowed to take the decisions in our gypsy. I asked our driver not to wait but to take us around zone 3. We roamed around for about an hour and this is what we saw in our zone

An Owl, id not sure
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Rudy shell Duck
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Rudy shell duck resting
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A cormorant with a fish
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Another duck, is it swamp hen?
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Some more birds in the grass land
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A crocodile basking in the sun
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An owlet
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So after taking the round of the whole area we decided to come back to Raj Bagh and see what was happening at the grass lands. In between we saw all the gypsy's going to a place called Tapman. As we closed in all the gypsy's had congregated at one place and this is what we saw

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03408.jpg

To be contd....
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Old 19th January 2014, 11:39   #65
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Fresh breath of life in to the old thread. Lovely family holiday.
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Old 19th January 2014, 14:41   #66
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

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As we closed in all the gypsy's had congregated at one place and this is what we saw

Attachment 1192411

To be contd....
Can't wait for more pics of the striped beast. Something I read in the papers a while back told me that the poor beasts in Ranthambore were on the decline. Hope now that the tigers have increased in numbers as well as sightings!
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:22   #67
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Hope now that the tigers have increased in numbers as well as sightings!
The net tiger population even after some natural/unnantural deaths and trans-location has increased with the birth of new cubs over last year. But sightings have decreased as some of the most popular tigers in the tourist zones are either dead or have changed their area

SAFARI CONTD..

The news of spotting a tiger spreads in the jungle faster than a wild fire. In no time around 20 vehicles congregated there and every one trying to get a vantage point to get the best view of the big cat. This is where the knowledge of the terrain and knowledge of the tiger habits come in the picture. The tiger we saw was was a female T-19 or Krishna. She was aggressively walking with a purpose ignoring all the vehicles. She had gone in a Nallah and I was kinda certain that she was patrolling and scent marking her area. I asked our driver to somehow get the gypsy out of the melee and park it at an opening further ahead where we could see the Nallah. Our gypsy was the first one to reach there and we waited hoping that we were right and T-19 would reach there.

Now the rest of the story with picture.

T-19 disappearing in the Nallah
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03408.jpg

Just ahead we found an opening and ours was the first gypsy to reach there. It was not much of an opening but still you could see most of the Nallah from there. In no time 19 reached there
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03409.jpg

By that time rest of the vehicles had lined behind us. Suddenly some thing happened that is unimaginable. We all were concentrating on the tiger and suddenly we hear loud roar of people. As we turned our head we see that a smartly dressed gentleman with shades on had got of his canter and had started to move towards the nallah on foot. He had his cell camera on and was trying to get a photograph of the tigress from close quarters. He had got to about 15 feet from the tiger and 15 feet is just about a jump away for a tiger in the wild. And the worst part is that with people shouting he still didn't realize what a blunder he was doing and continued going closer. But luckily someone pulled him in their gypsy before something unfortunate happened.

In all this 19 continued her walk
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03411.jpg

She kept smelling for unknown scents and kept marking her area in the process
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After a while she again disappeared behind the bushes in the Nallah
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03418.jpg

I again decided to move from there and park further ahead and wait for the Tigress to reach there. There didnt seem to be any approach to the Nallah close by so we had to meander around the plateau. As we were going around we saw a huge black ball of fur on the ground. It was a Sloth Bear
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03437.jpg

This was my first ever proper sighting of a Sloth Bear in the wild, have seen a fleeting glimpse in the dark before, so this was kind of special. The bear continued to feed on the termites and insects, giving us glances from time to time
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03442.jpg

It moved away from us and we decided to move on ahead and reach the Nallah. But sometimes your presumptions go horribly wrong. We waited for about 15 mnts at the Nallah for 19 to appear, but she did not. Suddenly we hear a roaring sound from the place we had left the bear and realized what had happened. The tigress must have smelt the bear and must have left her path to chase it away.

This would have been the scene I could have managed to capture if we would have stayed put and hadn't been greedy for clicking more of T-19

Photo Courtesy : Dhirendra Godha, Samachar Jagat
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-img20140110wa0004.jpg

We returned back and by that time the face off was over. The bear had disappeared but 19 was still visible but was looking intently towards Malik Talab
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03449.jpg

It appeared that she was on a kill. Though with the alarm calls of spotted dear echoing all around it seemed that her cover was blown yet she continued staying alert
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03451.jpg

She must have identified her prey and moved into attack position
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03452.jpg

She stood still for some time and then suddenly leaped and disappeared in the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03456.jpg

The commotion that followed can not be described in words as it was surreal. Though we coudnt see but we could feel the herd of spotted dear running helter skelter for cover. Suddenly we see a young deer calf continuously jumping atleast 10 feet in the air and running towards our gypsy and disappeared. Most probably this was the target.

Soon 19 appeared again from the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03469.jpg

She looked in despair at the lost opportunity
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03471.jpg

But again started walking confidently straight towards us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03480.jpg

She found a tree, sprayed urine, changed direction and started to walk away from us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03483.jpg

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03490.jpg

We still had some time left before the safari got over so I asked the driver if we can still follow 19 and he agreed. We came to this creek where she would have crossed if she continued walking
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03491.jpg

We did see her crossing but from a distance and after that she entered Zone 5, which we were not allowed to go
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03493.jpg

It was anyways time up so happy and contended we returned back to the hotel.

The excitement after watching the big cat was such that no one felt cold even tho it was really cold, everyone in the gypsy was chirpy and was discussing the sequence of events,

The discussions continued late at night over bon fire and dinner.
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Old 11th February 2014, 13:10   #68
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On 06/02/2014 my friend Vishvas and I decided to make a day long trip to Ranthambhore once again. Two of our other friends were already at Ranthambhore since the day before and had asked us to join them.

Our plan was to leave Jaipur early in the morning by 0400 hrs, reach the hotel where our friends were staying by 0630 hrs, freshen up and leave for safari by 0700 hrs. Our friend Dhirendra Godha had already organised a safari for us in a gypsy.

MORNING SAFARI - 06/02/2014

We started the safari at 0730 hrs and headed straight for Kachida area where last evening my friends had seen the 3 sub adult cubs of now missing tigress T17. While going to Kachida we crossed Bhoot Khora and Polki Nala where Macchali T16 was also seen yesterday. But when we reached Polki Nala we were told that Machhali had climbed a hill and was not to be seen so we carried on ahead (Later we were told that Macchali came down and gave a good sighting).

We crossed Kachida Chowki and went a little ahead where there was intermittent pea cock alarm call coming but the cubs were not to be seen. We waited for some time and then decided to go ahead. Next we crossed Bagda and reached Anantpura. At the chowki we checked for any movement of any tiger but there was not much news of any so we decided we should go to Semli area. At Bhakola we saw fresh pug marks of a huge male, presumably it was T6, who is one of the biggest males in RTR who was walking ahead. We lost the pug marks into the thicket soon and now we had nothing. At Semli some intermittent alarm calls of spotted deers started again so we decided to check them out. Again after searching hard we found nothing. Later we were told that in the same area another gypsy had a sighting of T41 with her cub.

Now that we had missed seeing Macchali and T41 due to our impatience we finished our morning safari and came back to our hotel and relaxed.

AFTERNOON SAFARI - 06/02/2014

For the afternoon safari we went on Zone 2. In the morning a few gypsies had seen T24 and T39 on this zone. So we were hopefull that we might just see a tiger. We continued till the end i.e Guda Chowki without any luck, the jungle was all silent and there was not even a single alarm call. At Guda while we were resting we heard some alarm calls of spotted deer coming from a distance. We enquired about the same but the chowki incharge told us that these calls were far away and there is a river bed in between and the gypsy's cant go further than the river. But there was some ray of hope so we decided to atleast check till the river bed.

The way to the river bed was from a fire line made by the forest department. As soon as we reached the river bed, all the calles fell silent. Thoroughly dissapointed we decided to return. As we were returning back to the chowki we saw a tiger right in the middle of the fire line squatting. What luck, this was Tigress ID 22, also known as Gayatri. She is one of the oldest females of RTR and is seldom seen.

Seeing our gypsy she carried on, on the path for some time but as soon as other vehicles appeared from the front she went inside the bushes. It was hardly a 5 minute sighting but atleast we wouldnt have come empty handed.

Some Pictures

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03973.jpg

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc03979.jpg

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It was anyways time to return. Just a bit ahead, we found that another vehicle was claiming that they had seen T24 on the road. But we were pretty sure that it was 22 only that had come out of the bushes. We decided to investigate a bit but since the time was getting over we returned back to our hotel.

We immediately checked out and left back for Jaipur.
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Old 11th February 2014, 18:09   #69
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Dhiraj - awesome! nice pics and narrative. And what luck, you seem to find Tigers whenever you goto RTR.

very nice.
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Old 13th February 2014, 07:50   #70
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Wonderful !

I wish you guys all the best and though this might be coming a bit early, but i may join you guys too. For now its subject to availability
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Old 10th March 2014, 13:42   #71
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Wonderful !

I wish you guys all the best and though this might be coming a bit early, but i may join you guys too. For now its subject to availability
There is a whole gang of tiger lovers in the NCR region. To name a few, Sachin Srivastav, Harjeev and the ring leader of the gang Gurudutt BC. They keep making regular trips to the tiger parks. You should gang up with them and I am sure availibility can be worked out. BTW they are all members of this forum!!
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Old 10th March 2014, 14:35   #72
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Wow! So many sightings! I have just been to corbett once, taken a full day safari, and seen so many deer that I never want to see a deer again.
I guess my luck aligns only when it snows. So I guess I will stick to searching for snow leopards
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Old 18th March 2014, 18:20   #73
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Wow! So many sightings! I have just been to corbett once, taken a full day safari, and seen so many deer that I never want to see a deer again.
I guess my luck aligns only when it snows. So I guess I will stick to searching for snow leopards
You should and you definitely will see and your photographs will do complete justice to sighting a snow leopard!!

Ranthambhore visit - 15/03/14 & 16/03/14 (Holi weekend)


My friends & their families had plans to spend the Holi weekend at Ranthambhore. My plan was not finalised but I did manage to join them for 2 safari's.

15/03/2014 - Evening safari

I was in a canter and we were assigned zone 1. Tigers T39 & T72 were spotted in the same zone, behind Sultanpur Chowki in the morning so our canter straight away rushed there. The tigers were still there but sleeping in bushes a bit deep inside. We stood there for almost 2 hrs waiting for it to get a bit less hot so that they would do some movement but they did not. So just managed a few clicks when they lifted their head!!!

Not the best angle for photos but still

T72

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Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04230.jpg
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T39

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04313.jpg
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Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04321.jpg

It was time for us to leave and head out of the jungle so we left the tigers in the bushes and made our way out. On our way out we saw a leopard perched on a hill. My first leopard sighting at Ranthambhore in all these years!!

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16/03/2014 - Evening Safari

This safari was again in a canter in zone 5. Right at the end of the zone at Dhakda area we saw 2 tigers sleeping. They were again sleeping in the thicket very far from us. We could only see the stripes and nothing else. So we decided to check out the rest of the zone.

Rest of the zone was empty so we came back to check out on the sleeping tigers. One of the tigers had enough of sleeping so he came out and went to a waterhole nearby to play.

Some pics of Tiger id T75 playing in water

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It was time to head out again and on our way back we had a sighting of the ever elusive Sloth bear

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This caused a massive pile up of vehicles behind us as everyone was making a bee line to come out of the zone in time. But luckily the sloth bear stayed on for a long time and everyone had a good sighting.

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I also enjoy roaming around on the peripheries of the jungle in the hope of getting a glimpse of a Hyena or a Leopard. These animals come out of the park at night and roam around close to human settlements in search of easy food. Did not manage a leopard but did manage

A Hyena

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and A Jungle Cat
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This ended another fruitfull trip to Ranthambhore!!

Regards

Last edited by deky : 18th March 2014 at 18:27.
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Old 19th May 2014, 13:25   #74
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Made an impromptu trip to Ranthambhore on a Sunday (27/04/2014) and was not disappointed. A friend who already had plans had a person dropout from his group and asked me if I wanted to tag along and I happily agreed. We left Jaipur on 26/04/2014 late evening and reached Ranthambhore at night. After checking in the hotel we had our dinner and slept, to be in time for the morning safari at 0600hrs the next morning.

MORNING SAFARI


By 0600hrs we all were ready and our vehicle was already waiting for us at the hotel entrance. We hopped in and our journey started. We were to go to Zone 5. At the Singhdwar Chowki, while the driver enters the details, I always make it a point to check for tiger movements in the zone. The news was not encouraging as no movement of any tiger had been reported so far.

Not to be disheartened we kept moving along, kept exploring the jungle and tried to investigate each and every unusual sound that we heard in the process. At one point there were a lot of Langurs that were giving alarm calls. There definitely was a predator sp we stopped tried to look around but even after 15-20mnts of waiting we could not spot anything. In the meanwhile atleast 10-12 tourists vehicles had stopped, waited and had passed us. Seeing them pass the other guests in our gypsy also wanted to leave whereas I wanted to stay and wait for some more time. After all spotting tiger is all about patience, but I was outnumbered so we left and moved on as well.

As we moved ahead, everything was pretty quiet. At around a place called Jokha we met a forest guard who was patrolling the area on foot. Jokha is the area where the famed Macchli or T-16 has now taken refuge. I should not be using the word "refuge" for the queen mother, but that's what exactly is happening to her now. Since she has become frail and old, has lost all her canines and thus the ability to hunt she has been literately kicked around by other tigers from one place to another. Even the bait that was given to her by the FD to keep her alive has been stopped due to instructions from NTCA and now she lives on scraps and left overs and really small animals.

So we asked the guard of her whereabouts and he informed us that even she had crossed the mountain and had gone on the other side. As we moved ahead suddenly on my left, I saw something that appeared like a tiger sitting deep inside the bushes, before I could say anything a young boy of 9 yrs who was with us said the magic words "Tiger Tiger Tiger". The gypsy stopped and we reversed and yes indeed there was a tiger in the bushes. We went as close as we could and realised it was T16.

I have spotted T-16 once earlier but it was from a distance, so this time it was much better. Macchli appeared to be frail and kept sitting at one place without making much movements. But still to her credit, she looked pretty fit for an old lady and still has the charm and charisma that has made her so famous. We were the only vehicle for a long time as most of the other vehicles had missed her and had gone ahead. Slowly other vehicles started to come in and soon enough there was to be a traffic jam. Before that could happen I told my driver to move out from the scene so that we could go searching ahead for more tigers.

We had had our fill of Macchli and went ahead to Kachida Chowki. After a break, we went to Dhakda and then Bhakola to look for any movement. At Bhakola, there was signs of T41 and her cub to be around but the day had got too hot for any more tiger movement. It was anyways time for us to head back.

We came back to our hotel happy and rested.

Pics from the morning safari


The Sunrising over Ranthambhore
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The queen of Ranthambhore T-16
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Some more pics of her
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My first time spotting a Gazelle/ Chinkara at Ranthambhore

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A baby crocodile
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EVENING SAFARI


We had some problems with our safari gypsy, so instead of leaving at 1500hrs we only managed to get inside the park at 1600 hrs. Anyway the delay was not much of a concern as the day was too hot for any tiger movement. We were to go to Zone 1 and in the morning T72 was spotted at Kaala Paani anicut. It was a hot day so everyone was pretty sure that he would still be around relaxing in the water so we headed straight to the anicut. At the anicut there were already about 6-7 vehicles in wait but there was no sign of any tiger. Everyone was waiting for the sun to set, so that it gets a bit cooler and the tiger finds the temperature more comfortable to move. It approached 1800 hrs but nothing happened. We decided to scout the area around and move out as it was approaching the park closing time.

Somewhere ahead near a water hole we saw a sambhar deer very attentive. We looked around but saw nothing. We moved around the water hole and again nothing appeared. As we were turning back I saw a tiger at a distance and the tiger was on the move. The driver immediately took us close to that point and it did not take us long to realize that it was T-39, Noor, the tigress.

We were with her for around 10 mnts and it was already getting dark. We took our pics and left her alone and headed out as it was already closing time.

It was a fruitful safari again. After dinner at the hotel we headed back to Jaipur.

Pics from the Evening safari

A kingfisher while waiting for the tiger to emerge at the anicut
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The alert Sambhar
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T-39 emerges
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Has a drink and crosses the water body
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Moves straight at us
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Most likely she is a mother, but her cubs are yet to be seen
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Finally crosses our gypsy from the front
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End of This Trip
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

RANTHAMBHORE TRIP REPORT 08/05/2014 - 10/05-2014

A few friends and I had planned a quick trip to Ranthambhore. The plan was to leave Jaipur by 1700hrs on the evening of 8th of May, do a morning and an evening safari on 09/05/2014 and return to Jaipur after that. But plan changed and we ended up doing a morning safari as well on 10/05/2014.

By the time we left Jaipur it was 1800hrs and after a slow drive we reached Ranthambhore hotel by 2130 hrs. It does not take so long but we kept talking throughout the way and hence drove very slowly. We had invited a guest over at Ranthambhore and after having dinner with him and bidding him good bye it was almost midnight. I love to take a drive in the night on the road that leads from Sawai Madhopur to Ranthambhore as the traffic in the night there is almost zero and the road being on the periphery of the jungle a lot of nocturnal animals like hyena's, leopards and other's can be spotted here.

NIGHT DRIVE AND A TIGER THAT SHOULD NOT BE THERE

At around midnight the 4 of us in a Ford Figo started our drive on the Ranthambhore road. One side of this road has the forest and the other side are hotels and new colonies that are coming up. This side of the forest is the buffer zone where no human activity should be allowed but a lot of old hotels are running on the forest side as well. There is bound to be waste wherever there is human activity, so animals come out of the jungle during the night for an easy meal.

As we drove along we decided to take a round on Jhoomar Baori road as well hoping for a hyena or maybe a leopard looking for an easy meal. We must have not even gone a 100 mtrs inside we saw something that we could not believe at first. It was not a hyena nor a leopard nor any other animal but it was the apex predator the tiger itself.

I have marked the place on google maps where we saw the tiger. Its marked with "A"

We were not carrying camera so we just had to make do with our cell phones to make a video



Video Courtsey : Anshul Pareek

One of our friends Dhirendra Godha, who is a master at identifying tigers of Rajasthan immediately identified the tiger as T72 or Sultan. T72 is a two year and 3 months old male tiger who has not made his territory as yet. Another problem that he faces is that his mother is expecting again or has just delivered new cubs, hence has been chasing him out and shooing him away from her. T72's father T24, who is a dominant male in the area does not let him stick around for long hence T72, in search of his own territory ends up venturing into the buffer zone of the park.

This is not just the case with T72. The population density within Ranthambhore national park and specifically of male tigers is so high that sub adult cubs are bound to move towards the periphery's or the buffer zone. As I had mentioned earlier the complete area within RTR has to be developed so that the tigers get a bigger habitat and all the tigers remain within the jungle

Though we had an amazing sighting, that also for free, but I do feel for Sultan. I hope him venturing close to human settlements does not lead him into trouble. If there is a case of man and animal conflict, the animal is bound to loose.

We almost had a 15 mnts sighting of him and then we decided to leave him alone and get back to our hotel.


09/05/2014 - MORNING SAFARI

These days the morning safari starts at 0600 hrs. But by the time we started from the hotel it was 0630 hrs. After watching T72 last night as a bonus no one was in a hurry. It was as if a tiger had already been sighted so it was not a big issue if we do not sight one in the morning safari. We entered the park and on the agenda first was visiting the Hanuman Temple in the Fort. So by the time we finished the Darshan it was already 0800 hrs. We slowly started to look for any signs of any big cat roaming around. By 0900 hrs it was getting too hot already and the whole jungle was at peace. Nothing was moving and even the trees were quite still in the absence of any wind.

The only option was to look at each and every water body to see if we find a tiger cooling off in them. But it was not to happen. The whole safari finished without any alarm call or any sign of any cat being around. We returned back to our hotel had a swim and rested. Not to be disappointed we were looking forward to our evening safari.

Few Pics From The Morning Safari

Juvenile Rock Python
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Honey Buzzard Female on a tree trunk
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Preening - Trust females to groom even in 45degrees of heat
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With ruffled feathers
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Wooly necked stork
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Next evening Safari
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