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Old 20th May 2014, 17:31   #76
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

I have been reading this post from the start and I'm really overwhelmed by the member composition of this fabulous forum. If it hadn't been for TBHP I don't think that I would have known that something like this exists in India. Right from the start everything was new to me and I'm just speechless by your experience. My heartfelt thanks to you for letting us know your invaluable experience. Proud to be a part of TBHP!!

Just one question - How do you manage to identify the tigers? Is it based on the Stripe formation? Apologies if this question is damn silly. More than googling the answer, I thought it will be appropriate if the answer comes from the person who had such close encounters with this magnificent animal.

Last edited by gabrielthomas : 20th May 2014 at 17:39. Reason: grammar correction
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Old 21st May 2014, 11:42   #77
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

As the finger prints of each human is remarkably & strikingly different from that of another human, similarly the stripe formation, especially that on the face of the Tiger, is different from another.

After some practice and keen observation one can learn to differentiate between the two similar animals.

Inspite of roaming the jungles of India since 1991 and sighting Tigers regularly since 2011, I still get confused.

And then there are the guides & the drivers who identify for the benefit of the tourists..!

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Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post

Just one question - How do you manage to identify the tigers? Is it based on the Stripe formation?
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Old 21st May 2014, 13:02   #78
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielthomas View Post
Just one question - How do you manage to identify the tigers? Is it based on the Stripe formation? Apologies if this question is damn silly. More than googling the answer, I thought it will be appropriate if the answer comes from the person who had such close encounters with this magnificent animal.
Thank you for your kind words.

Your question is not a silly one but a very interesting one. Identifying tigers is not a joke and can not be done by everyone, just seeing a tiger and saying which is it is an art.

One way of identifying a tiger, and which is the layman's way, is to tell by the area it roams. For example if you find a tigress in a place called Berda of Ranthambhore most probably it will be "Berda Female" or Tigress id T41. But then this way is never fool proof. Reasons being that these days RTR has lots of tigers and their cubs which share territories. Hence identifying tigers just by their territory may not be always right.

Second way of identifying the tigers is by matching their stripes. Stripes of each tiger, especially at their flanks) differ from each other. This is a more scientific way but more time consuming. Here you first see a tiger, take its pics, especially of their flanks and then match the stripes with the data base provided by the FD. So for tourists like us, this way also doesnt work.

The third way which IMO is the best and the fast way is to look at the tiger, judge his colour, his attitude, his facial stripes and say which tiger is it. Though this way maybe the easiest, but not many people possess this art of knowing the tiger by just looking at its face.

Infact I know of only one person, Mr. Dhirendra Godha, who can identify tigers of Rajasthan by just looking at them. Infact he is so good that most of the times the FD also sends him pics of tigers they need identities on.

Basically I get my tigers identities first confirmed by him and then write it here.

Regards


09/05/2014 - EVENING SAFARI : FOREST DEPARTMENTS PREDICAMENT

When we were entering in our zone from the Sighdwar Chowki, as ususal we checked from the gaurds there about the reports of movements of the tigers. We were told that the cubs of the tigress T-17 were giving direct sighting at a place called Dhakda. We knew that the cubs would remain there for a long time (more about there later) and decided to search for other tigers and then in the end visit Dhakda to have a look at the Sub Adult cubs of T-17.

As usual we went around looking at all the water points as in this heat the cats and other animals love to be around water, but nothing. In between we got news that T41 and her cub were spotted at Semli Nallah so we thought of checking that out too. But the tigress had moved out from there with her cub so nothing again.

We then made our way to Dhakda and as we had guessed the cubs were still sitting there, but were deep inside in the bushes. By the time we had reached, most of the other gypsy's had moved out as they had to complete their safari. By the way, these days, as per the new rule, tourist vehicles have to complete the full round of the zone and have to take a ticket from the last point in the zone and have to submit it while exiting. By doing this the tourists are not short charged by an incomplete safari and in case a tiger sighting happens the vehicles do not stay for long as they still have to go till the last point and get a ticket.

So apart from us there was just another tourist vehicle and that too left within minutes. We still had 30 minutes left before we had to exit the park.

These were the two male cubs of Sundari T74 & T75

T17 CUBS AND FOREST DEPARTMENTS PREDICAMENT

Tigress T-17 or Sundari has three cubs T73 -female, T74 & T75 both are Male. The cubs are exactly 2 yrs of age as of May2014. But unfortunately T-17 dissappeared under mysterious circumstances when the cubs were just over a year old. At 1 year the cubs would have not survived on their own if the forest department had not interfered. 1 year is too young for cubs to hunt themselves so they had to be provided food by the FD.

This practice makes the young tigers human friendly. They start associating food with humans and develop a tendency to move around humans for the want of food. I am not blaming the FD here, they had no option but to save the tigers at any cost so they maybe did the right thing (or maybe not) but for sure this practice has made these cubs super human friendly and lately these cubs have been giving super sightings to the tourists.

For the record, baiting has been stopped for these cubs and now they have been encouraged to hunt on their own and apparently they have been doing it with great success. But still sighting these cubs is pretty easy as they still live in a very small area of the park and seeing humans they still hope for a free meal. This will explain the sequence of pics that will follow

For their sake I hope they grow up to be independent tigers and carve out their own territories soon

Pics So Far

A crocodile scurrying for cover
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04819.jpg

A pair of partridges
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04822.jpg

Another huge crocodile basking in the sun
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One of the Male cubs in the bushes. Not sure if it is 74 or 75 but lets call him "X"
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04826.jpg

The other one of either 74 or 75 and lets call him "Y"
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04827.jpg

A closer look at "Y"
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"X" playing peek a boo with us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04837.jpg

By this time the other gypsy leaves and "X" gets bolder and gets up
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04843.jpg

Takes a few steps towards us and sits down again
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04854.jpg

"X" Starts walking at us again. He seems to be bolder than his other male sibling
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04861.jpg

"X" settles again more closer to us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04867.jpg

"X" keeps looking at us. Expecting a free meal??
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04872.jpg
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04890.jpg

While "Y" is firmly sitting where he was sitting earlier
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"X" gets bored and yawns
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Realises he is not getting anything "X" moves away from us
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"X" display's his family jewels - Told you he is a male
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04919.jpg

Proof that "Y" is a male too, but not as restless as "X"
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04930.jpg

A closer look at "Y"
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"Y" is bored too and gives a yawn. Btw he is not angry, pic is clicked as the yawn was about to finish
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04949.jpg


Story of 74 & 75 to be continued.....
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Old 22nd May 2014, 13:18   #79
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The story of "X" and "Y" continued from previous post

After the big yawn "Y" relaxes.
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04957.jpg

After some time "Y" gets up from his place and goes to "X". Some nudging and pushing happens behind the bushes that I am not able to capture
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04973.jpg

After some time both of them i.e T74 & T75 get up and again walk towards us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04979.jpg

And settle down again. "X" being the more bolder of the two is sitting closer to us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04989.jpg

"X" being the more restless of the two gets up again
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc04999.jpg

It appears that "X" would go straight for the water
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In between "X" changes his mind and looks at us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05007.jpg

Something catches his attention
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Looks at us again
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Takes a few steps towards us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05018.jpg

And turns around and gets back to his brother
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05026.jpg

It appears that "X" wants his brother "Y" to come along but "Y" doesnt want to move so "X" returns back
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05031.jpg

And this time "X" gingerly walks towards the water
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05044.jpg

And settles down in the stream
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05052.jpg

At this point "X" is in front of us and "Y" is directly behind us. We are sandwiched between two tigers and that cant be a good scenario if one of them decides to charge. So we move the gypsy, so that we have both the tigers in our line of sight.

"X" keeps an eye on us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05070.jpg

Cooling off
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05075.jpg

It was a scary situation with tigers around us and it getting dark so we decide to move. "X" gets alert as we get ready to leave
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05079.jpg

We have to stop the gypsy again as "X" gets ready to jump out (hopefully not on our gypsy)
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05085.jpg

"X" has had enough of cooling off so he gets out of water
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05092.jpg

Tiger has the right of way, "X" reminds us by growling at us as he passes us from the front
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05099.jpg

A last look at those intense eyes before he joins his brother "Y"
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05106.jpg

It was time to get out of the park. Earlier a few gypsy's had seen T16, as that place was on our way we stopped for a couple of minutes where she had been spotted but it was not to be. We were not dissppointed as we had just seen her grandsons.

Our initial plan was to return back to Jaipur after the evening safari. But the heat had drained us out so we decided to have a restfull night and return to Jaipur after doing the next day morning safari.

Morning safari next
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Old 27th April 2015, 14:35   #80
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

I realise that I have a lot of back log with my visits to Ranthambhore and penning the experiences down, but hopefully I should catch up soon.

So here's, continuing from the previous post

10/05/2014 - MORNING SAFARI


One of the reasons that we stayed back for the next day morning safari, apart from being tired by the evening, was that we had got news that Tigress T19 was moving around Malik Talab. T19 had recently given birth to a litter of 4 but unfortunately one of them did not survive. So if she was moving around Malik Talab, she might have shifted her cubs there as well. So it was the excitement of maybe being able to see the young cubs we decided to stay on.

Oh BTW, before I move on with the morning safari, we did a night safari again on the peripheries of the park. We did not see any tiger this time but we saw a jungle cat, a leopard at very close quarters and also a palm civet in the night. No pics to prove as none of us were carrying our cameras

Next day morning safari started with a bang. As soon as we entered the park on to the fort road we saw fresh pugmarks of a tiger. This was most probably T72 or Sultan whom we had seen at Jhoomar Baori during the night. When we reached a place called "Aade Bala Jee" on the main road there were a few tourist vehicles parked there. One of them had seen T72 sitting there 5 mnts back and had also clicked a snap. Later Sultan had disappeared in the bushes. We decided not to wait as our sole agenda that day was T19 and her cubs. Little ahead, again on the main road we again saw a few more vehicles parked and this time it was T72's father T24 who was sleeping deep inside the bushes. This explained why T72 had parked himself before as he most probably he did not want a show down with his dad who was ahead of him.

After a few pics from difficult angles of T24 we decided to move on in search of T19. When we reached close to Malik Talab, there was a gypsy already waiting at a place where they had seen T19, without her cubs, earlier briefly. She had disappeared in the bushes. We decided to wait there and hope that she would come out again and go to the small stream nearby as the day gets hotter.

After a wait of about 30 mnts she did come out and parked herself on the road right in front of us. Luckily there were not many vehicles around, just 2 more apart from ours. But unfortunately she only came out alone and without her cubs. She did not visibly appear disturbed by the vehicles and appeared quite relaxed. This behavior of her's somehow proved that she had no cubs in tow this time.

But we were still hopefull. One of the vehicles had left by now and the other vehicle and ours decided to back off more, and not be in her line of sight. The reason being that if she indeed had cubs with her, she might get them out if she see's no vehicles around. We waited in the shade but nothing moved. We must have waited for about 45 minutes but T19 had settled herself firmly at that place. So we also decided to take a round and come back after some time.

This time we approached her from the opposite side and she had not even moved an inch from when we had left her. As soon as we reached to her she decided to get up and get inside the bushes and disappear. By then our time also was over and we returned back to our hotel and later back to Jaipur. While we were returning back we again saw T24 resting, rather sleeping in the same position at the same spot.

Sighting the cubs would have to wait till the next time.

Pics from the Morning safari

T24, oblivious to all the vehicles, sleeping on his back in a shady area
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05122.jpg

Summer months are difficult for everyone
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05140.jpg

T-19 emerging from the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05147.jpg

Settling down in front of us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05150.jpg

Grooming her self using her long and rough tongue
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05176.jpg

and then a big yawn, showing her canines
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05190.jpg

Looks at us from time to time
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05200.jpg

Something catches her attention on the ground
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05203.jpg

Its the flies that are troubling her
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05210.jpg

The Royal look
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05213.jpg

We back off and park in a shady area and she goes to sleep
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05271.jpg

Even a passing peahen does not bother her
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05279.jpg

As we wait for some action I click my surroundings. A peacock resting on a Baniyan tree
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05274.jpg

Peacock is so beautifull that it deserves to be our National Bird
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05282.jpg

A Magpie Robin
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05302.jpg

Golden Oriole
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05313.jpg

I keep clicking while the others in the gypsy pass their time reading local daily's
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-20140510_092459_resized.jpg

Seeing no action happening we go close to T19 and then decided to leave the area for a while
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05320.jpg

Another peacock in its full glory
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05343.jpg

After sometime we approach T-19 from her front and she is still snoozing
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05357.jpg

After a while decides to get up
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05366.jpg

walks towards us
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05367.jpg

And disappears in the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05380.jpg

On our way out we see T24 still resting peacefully
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc05393.jpg

The end of this trip to Ranthambhore
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Old 27th April 2015, 14:46   #81
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March 18th, 2015

It was after a long time I was visiting Ranthambhore with a gang of my wildlife crazy friends. I had visited in between also but was mostly with my family and the emphasis then was to relax and on family time rather than on wildlife.

On March 18th, four of us started for Ranthambhore, from Jaipur. This visit was solely dedicated for spending most of our time in the Jungle, hence the plan was to first visit the Hanuman temple at the Fort, then carry on for the evening safari, then do the morning safari the next day and return to Jaipur after doing the evening safari.

On reaching our hotel we quickly had our lunch and proceeded to the fort for the temple. After the darshan the safari started.

March 18th, 2015 : Evening safari, Zone 2

We were allocated Zone 2 for our evening safari. For this zone, one has to pass from the base of the fort, hence our safari gypsy had picked us up a little earlier than usual to give us time to visit the temple. When we came back from the temple we continued on our safari. The other important area's of this zone are Jogi Mahal, Bada Gate, Jhalra, Parniya, Nal Ghati(Kamaldhar),Amrahi,Telan Pacheri, Phuta Bandha, Rishi Ka Deh,Pandu Deh, Phuta Kot, Lahpur Tiraha, Gaandra Deh,Guda Chowki.

Though a lot of tigers roam or cross this zone but generally only T24, T39 with 2 cubs and Sultan are seen here. We had news that T24 was seen at Pandu Deh earlier in the morning so we were hoping that we would see him again in the evening. Pandu deh is almost at the end of this zone so after scanning most of the other areas we slowly reached Pandu Deh. As expected there were a lot of safari vehicles that were lined up and some of them had indeed seen T24 resting in a shade. We were one of the last ones to arrive, so we were in the back of the queue.

After waiting for around 15-20 mnts, to our good luck, T24 started walking and headed straight to our gypsy. T24, or Ustaad got famous because he has supposed to have killed 3 humans in the jungle. He, till a few days back was not very well as he was constipated and had to be tranquilized and was given Enema. he seemed absolutely well today and also seemed well fed. He crossed by our gypsy marking his territory and soon disappeared in the undergrowth again. we presumed that he sat down and started to wait again for his next move.

Ustaad marking his territory
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08347.jpg

Ah those eyes, always mesmerizing!!
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08359.jpg


We must have waited for Ustaad for over 30 minutes and by that time the other safari vehicles had disappeared. Wildlife, is always a game of patience and our patience was rewarded when we saw a leopard walking towards us. Now a leopard in the same area as a tiger is always thrilling. We were hoping that the tiger being the apex predator, will not bear the presence of a leopard in his area and we would soon see some action.

Our hopes got really high when the leopard went exactly to the same spot where the tiger had disappeared, but to our surprise he came out on the other side climbing the hill. That meant that the tiger had gone from there.

The leopard perched himself on a small hill behind some bushes. Though we were the only gypsy around but still getting a clear shot was turning out to be difficult. nevertheless it was a great experience seeing a male tiger and a male leopard on the same day , at almost the same time and at the same location.

The leopard, usually very elusive and very shy
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08446.jpg

A different and a difficult angle
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08458.jpg

Ah those canines!!
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08462.jpg

Soon our time was coming to an end in the jungle and we left the leopard and proceeded out of the jungle. Some images on our way back.


A pair of Partridges enjoying a mud bath
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08509.jpg

A bird of prey on a tree
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08481.jpg

Crocodiles soaking the last rays of sun light

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08501.jpg

The beauty of Ranthambhore!!
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08505.jpg

End of evening safari, next day morning safari in the next post!!
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Old 29th April 2015, 12:31   #82
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

19th March, 2015. Morning Safari

We had got Zone 3 for the morning safari. Zone 3 has Padam Talab, Rajbagh lake, Doodh Baawri,Mandook, High Point, Tapman Nalah, Karonj Ka Nalah in its route. The main residents of this zone are T19 with her 3 cubs, T28 & sometimes T25. T64 & T65 are also sighted here. But the point was that in Zone 3, there was no sighting that had occured for the past few days. We were still hopefull as you never know what happens in wild life and you have to be really patient. Zone 3 anyways is the most beautifull of the zones of Ranthambhore.

The morning safari starts at 6.30am but we were a bit late and we could leave our hotel only by 6.45 am. Those 15 minutes made a lot of difference. On the main road in the park which leads to the fort, at 6.32am. tiger T24 was sighted crossing the road. So if we would have started our safari in time we were in for a big chance to spot him. Feeling a bit disappointed we continued ahead and entered Zone 3. We scanned around Padam Talab lake first but everything seemed quiet.

A crocodile enjoying the sunshine
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08523.jpg

As we reached Padam Talab lake we could see loads of vehicles lined up, this is always a good sign as that means surely someone has spotted a tiger. But from where we were we could not see the big cat. Suddenly a lot of vehicle movement happened and tour luck we saw not 1 but 4 tigers coming out in the open. This was the family of T19 with her 3 cubs almost 10 months old.

The show that they put on for the next 45 minutes was mesmerizing. Let the photographs do the talking now

The family coming out in the open to have a stroll
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08529.jpg

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08539.jpg

While the mother and one cub have a drink

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08540.jpg

One cub is watching them and another one (not seen in this photo) sits by the tall grass quietly
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08534.jpg

After the drink, they all make a move
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08546.jpg

The cubs will be cubs as the fight and wrestle each other to the ground
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08551.jpg

The Mom, leaves them all to themselves to sort their play fight out and continues her march
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08556.jpg

She appears on the other side of the water
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08563.jpg

The family soon joins her and they laze around for a bit
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08573.jpg

This cub seems to be teasing his siblings with his tongue out
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08578a.jpg

A family huddle taking place
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08587.jpg

The cubs are always fidgety and move around but the Mom is always on the guard
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08590.jpg

After some more lazying around the Mom crosses the road behind us and goes on the other side
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08600.jpg

Other cub following
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08604.jpg

All the tourists in zone 3 had a bumper morning safari

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08610.jpg

The Mom (T-19) leads the way
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The cubs follow the mom
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08638.jpg

One of the bold cubs that got very close to our gypsy

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08689.jpg

And sat right in front of us as if saying, click me as much as you want
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08717.jpg

Another cub and mother
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08741.jpg

Soon the show finished and the family went on other other side of the hill. We still had some time to kill before the safari was to end. We saw Nalla Muthu, an award winning wildlife cinematographer and started to chat with him. He had unfortunately missed the whole sequence, so we made sure that just to make him more jealous we rubbed it into him a bit more
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08772.jpg

Before exiting I made sure to take another pic of Jogi mahal with the Ranthambhore fort in the back drop and Padam talab in the front
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08767.jpg

This ended our morning safari. We had another safari to do before we left for Jaipur in the evening
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Old 3rd May 2015, 16:02   #83
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Default Re: Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....

Hey deky, your post is misleading. people who read this would be thinking that its so very easy to spot a tiger in ranthambore i must say really great travelogue and descriptions / pictures. One question, do you carry the big cats as well apart from the camera along with you
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Old 15th August 2016, 13:47   #84
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Sorry, have not been active for a while hence this travelogue also has been pending. Will give it another go and try to bring this up to date before the new season starts.

NOTE : All these trips are my old trips and I am just logging them down in my travelogue

March 19th, 2015, Evening safari

Luckily for the evening safari we got Zone 3 again. We were in for a great chance of spotting T19 with her cubs again in the same area. We straightway reached the place where she and her cubs had disappeared in the morning. We were late again in starting our safari so by the time we reached there already were loads of safari vehicles trying to look for them. But no one had any luck so far. Even Nalla's gypsy was there so we and him chose a shady spot and started to chat. By that time the other vehicles had lost hope and had disappeared from the scene. Some times its nice to be alone in the jungle, enjoy the feeling, enjoy the environment, listen to the chatter of the birds, listen to the distant alarm calls or normal calls of animals ot just be quiet and relax.

So we had been there at the same spot doing just what I mentioned above. Suddenly Nalla's driver teared through the silence and shouted "Tiger Tiger", we had been so engrossed in our own world that we had T19 cross not more than 5 feet behind my gypsy. The uncanny part is that she came all the way through the woods, so quietly, that we didnt even notice her nor we could hear any movement from her.

This was the end of another wonderful safari. So lets just see the pics now

T19 passing, very close to our gypsy, without us noticing her initially Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08802.jpg

Two cubs following her, the thrid cub this time decided not to come for a walk Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08830.jpg

Rubbing glands and spraying, part of claiming the territory exercise
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08857.jpg

I always wanted a pic like this, with a tiger and Padam talab and Jogi Mahal in the back drop
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08871.jpg

One of the cubs
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08892.jpg

Tiger cubs like human kids are also very curious
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08895.jpg

The two cubs wanting to go to the lake for a drink
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08919.jpg

Tiger paradise
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08934.jpg

Something catches the attention of the cub
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08944.jpg

One of the cubs meditates by the water
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08971.jpg

Biting practice on a piece of wood
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08981.jpg

While the kids play, the mother is always as cool and as poised as ever
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc08998.jpg

But always on a lookout for what her cubs are upto
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09006.jpg

The cubs always tend to get very close to the gypsy
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09023.jpg

With three tigers around, the tourists were spoilt for choices, who to click and who not to
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09043.jpg

After the drink, the family crosses the track and the mom leads them back to the woods
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09049.jpg

A heard of spotted deer catches the attention of the cubs
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09062.jpg

The cubs prepare to stalk and kill
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The mom keeps an eye on them
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09086.jpg

The cubs are too young to kill so it fails, he/she embarrassingly walks away
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09093.jpg

Mom gets up to go and give some encouragement
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09112.jpg

Love and support is all what cubs need
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09150.jpg

After a while the family comes back to the lake side
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09252.jpg

The mother always leads the way
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09259.jpg

To the horizon, the cubs follow
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09281.jpg

The historical park of ranthambhore with the fort in the back ground
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09288.jpg

The tiger army passes more historical structures, the hunting chowkis made my the erst while Maharajas
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09298.jpg

T19 leads
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09301.jpg

Last view before the disappear in the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09345.jpg

With this our evening safari came to an end. Though the family went back in the bushes, but us being ever hopfull we waited and scoured the area around for another 30 minutes. But they had dissappeared.

We came out of the jungle and headed straight back to Jaipur, bringing to an end an awesome 3 safaris we had at ranthambhore
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Old 15th August 2016, 16:59   #85
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On the evening of 09/04/2015, A good friend of mine called me and asked if I wanted to accompany him to Ranthambhore for a day trip tomorrow. The plan was to start at 0400 hrs on 10th March and reach in time for the morning safari. Do the morning safari and rest for a bit and then do the evening safari and come back the same day to Jaipur.

I had done such day trips before as well and I know that they get tiring. But I agreed to it as the pull of the forest overcomes all the tiredness plus my friend had a driver to drive us to and from Sawai Madhopur so that would be an added advantage.

He had already booked the safari's and also had booked a hotel room for a few hours for us to rest in between safaris.

10/04/2015 - Morning Safari

By April, usually it gets so hot that Rnthambhore bears a dry and a barren look. But surprisingly this time around the morning was pretty chilly. Also because of the unseasonal rains the forest was rather green and had lots of small water bodies around. Such scenario is always detrimental for sighting tigers. The tigers love water and with temperatures soaring, the chances of spotting one around a water hole gets higher. But this hasnt been the case lately as the temperatures were very pleasant with lots of water in the interiors, hence the tiger sighting had been very poor.

Nevertheless, not to loose hope we had pre booked ourselves in zone 3 for our morning safari. Best part about zone 3 is that even if you dont spot tigers, apart from other animals, there are birds and the lakes and the fort to look at. But again, we were quite hopeful.

After searching for a while and slowly losing hope we came to a place called Karonji Ka Nalah from where intermittent alarm calls of Sambhar deer were coming. Intermittent calls, like once or twice in 5 minutes, usually means that the predator is resting. Around five other tourists vehicles were already there including Nalla's gypsy. The consensus was that the predator, most probably a tiger and most probably T19 with cubs were resting or eating a kill. This meant that now they would only move after a while. So now we just started chatting as tiger sighting looked bleak

There was a forest official gypsy standing next to ours and suddenly on its two way radio a message came that a tiger was spotted at a place called High point. Now started the race to high point. The distance that usually takes 15 mnts to cover was done in 10 minutes.

At high point the tiger was resting in a shady place. There was a lot of vehicle commotion as every guest wanted to have a vantage point to have a look. The tiger got flustered and walked past us and disappeared soon in the jungle.

This was tigress T-19 and she had an empty belly, most probably she was on a look out for a kill to feed her cubs whom she had left at Karonji ka Nalah

Pics from Morning Safari

While waiting I found this Alexander Parakeet to click
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09465.jpg

Tigress T19 Resting
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09480.jpg

Soon she got flustered with all the commotion and decided to move on Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09509.jpg

An empty belly, most probably, she had left her cubs and was out on a hunt Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09520.jpg

Tiger habitat, very green for April
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09529.jpg

It was not more than a 5 minute sighting and soon she disappeared Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09547.jpg

It was our time to get out of the park as well. We reached our hotel and checked in for a few hours. After a nice shower it was time to rest.

10/04/2015 - Evening safari

We had asked for zone 5 for the evening safari. Though we had sighted T19 in zone 3 in the morning but seeing her empty belly we were kind of certain that she would try to make a kill. But the direction in which she had moved was out of bounds so even if she did we most probably would not be able to see her.

Hence we requested for zone 5. Zone 5 also has a few tigers and two of them were spotted on the previous day, so there were chances of spotting them again this evening. Nevertheless zone 5 has an area called Bhakola, and I find that to be the most beautifull of the areas of ranthambhore and also this area is nice to spot birds.

Evevning safari yielded nothing for us but we were happy capturing birds. The palash or the flame of the forest tree made the forest look exceptionally pretty

Some pics from the evening safari

Brown Fish Owl
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09569.jpg

Soft Shell Turtle
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09584.jpg

Stork Billed Kingfisher (one of the biggest in the kingfisher family) Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09589.jpg

Palash in full bloom
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09597.jpg

As we came out of the park. there were a few gypsy's that had stopped on the main road and were looking in one direction. Surely far far away in the jungle boundary, there was a leopard sleeping on what looked like a broken hut. My camera with its 300mm zoom and in fading light could only capture this image
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09598.jpg

We had already checked out of the hotel and our driver was waiting for us. Soon we transferred our cameras in our car and were on our way to jaipur.

Thus ending another satisfying trip to Ranthambhore.
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Old 15th August 2016, 19:37   #86
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Amazing sightings, and great photographs. The one with th elake and Jogi Mahal in the background has so much character.
Great story telling too.
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Old 19th August 2016, 13:51   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthian View Post
Amazing sightings, and great photographs. The one with th elake and Jogi Mahal in the background has so much character.
Great story telling too.
Thank you and yes, even I like such pics. They actually capture the true essence of what Ranthambhore is all about

Travelogue Contd...

On 21/04/2015 my friend and I decided to make a day trip to Ranthambhore tomorrow. Actually, we do keep in touch with our acquaintances in Ranthambhore and we keep getting sighting status from them. We came to know that Tigress T19 and cubs had come to the lake area after a few days and had given an awesome sighting to the tourists in the evening. Since she had come in this area (Zone 3) after a long time, she, we presumed will stay in the zone at least for a few days. Apart from that, Tigress T39 had made a kill in Zone 6 and was also being spotted regularly with her cubs.

So armed with all this information, and the prospects of a good tiger sighting looking bright, we decided to leave Jaipur at 0300hrs on 22/04/2015 and reach Ranthambhore in time for the morning safari that starts at 0600hrs. We reached Ranthambhore by 0515hrs, just in time to buy our safari tickets for zone 3 from the booking office.

22/04/2015 - Morning safari - Zone3

Jaipur had started simmering at 41 degrees plus day temperatures. But entering the forest at 0600 hrs, the forest was still a bit chilly. The way to enter zone 3 is via the fort. Today being a Wednesday and an auspicious day for devotees visiting the Ganesh Temple at the fort, there were lots of devotees walking all along the road to the fort. Once we entered zone 3, we decided to scout the whole zone first to see if the tiger family was already out and enjoying the peasant morning weather. Actually, as the days get really hot, early morning and late evenings are the best time for tiger sightings.

At 0700 hrs, already an hour into the safari yielded no results in terms of any tiger sightings, everything was peacefull and all the animals were roaming and grazing happily. There were a few pugmarks on some tracks that were leading to the Rajbagh lake so we presumed that the tigers were still there but had hid themselves in the grass. We had no option but to wait. by 0730 hrs it was getting a bit hot and we decided to relax, wait, watch and try to hear for any unusual sounds or alarm calls.
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09721.jpg

Rest of the story in pictures..

We got fed up of playing the waiting game and decided to take a round once more to see if there was movement at any other place. As we were taking a round of the Raj Bagh lake, at a distance, on the other side of the Lake we saw a lone animal moving purposefully on the grassy banks. Straining our eyes we realised it was indeed a tiger. Since it was alone, we presumed it to be T28, that resides in this area as well.
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09732.jpg


On getting closer, we could hear the tiger roaring furiously. Its then we realised that this was Tigress T19 and was roaring to summon her cubs. We presumed that during the night she must have made a kill somewhere and was coming to take her cubs along with her to the kill
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09740.jpg

The cubs had been hidden in a grassy area. They were so well camouflaged that we must have crossed this area atleast three times but could not spot them. On seeing the mother come, one of the cubs immediately came out of hiding and rushed to the mother for some tender loving care
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09785.jpg

The mother would have been obviously tired and wanted to rest, so the excited cub did get a few kicks from the mother that sent him flying. Both of them relaxed for a bit. By this time the other two cubs were not to be seen.

It was surprising to see a one year old cub, almost a sub adult, still suckling his mother for milk
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09850a.jpg

By this time, the other two cubs had also come out of hiding
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09858.jpg

After about 15 minutes of relaxing, fun and games it was time to move. The mother gathered all the cubs and started to move back in the direction from which she had come from. It was getting rather to hot so it was time for the whole family to have a drink
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09880.jpg

While the rest continued to quench their thirst, one of the cubs decided to mark his territory by urinating on a tree
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09892.jpg

Finally they all got up to move. The mother, T19, the undisputed title holder of "The Lady Of The Lakes" these days leads her cubs through her kingdom
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09918.jpg

The cubs with their burning stripes, have almost attained the height of their Mom
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09925.jpg

Since the cubs have reached the stage where they induldge in mock fights and lots of play, the siblings are always alert to each other or they might get a surprise attack from one of them
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09939.jpg

With the water break done, they begin their march again towards their destination.The tiger army on the move
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09954.jpg

I wish I was ready for this shot as I could have got a nice picture of the cubs playing and chasing each other
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09957.jpg

Though the cubs are naughty and playfull but the mother maintains the discipline and keeps them together
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09963.jpg

I did manage to capture the tiger by its tail before they disappeared in the bushes
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09964.jpg

We knew that the tigers would come out on the other side of the bushes as to reach the kill, they would have to cross the road and go on the other side. So we positioned ourselves and got them on the other side again.

Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09972.jpg

But it was not for long, as they disappeared deep in the jungle and crossed over to Zone 4. We were told later that they did gave brief sighting to those who were in zone 4 as well
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc09997.jpg

We still had time remaining for the safari, so we decided to scout a bit more. We stopped at malik Talab for a while as we could hear distant alarm calls. It could have been possible that the tiger family might come to Malik Talab for a drink, but that never happened
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc00040.jpg

We saw a few birds like this White breasted Kingfisher with a worm
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc00042.jpg

And a honey Buzzard
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc00107.jpg

But it was time to go out now. it was getting rather too hot by this time so we decided to proceed back to the comforts of an AC room. Ranthambhore never disappoints. Even if you dont see a tiger, yet, there are such sights that keep you enthralled all the time.
Ranthambhore : Water Hole Animal Census, tigers, forts and more....-dsc00110.jpg

Coming out of the park was an ordeal in itself, there was a huge traffic jam outside the fort area and we had to wait there for atleast an hour. Finally the FD decided to get the safari jeeps out through a different area that falls in the non tourism zone. So yes, we did waste some time but it was nice to see a new area of Ranthambhore.

Back to the hotel, it was time to relax and get ready for the evening safari!!
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