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Old 15th June 2012, 23:01   #1
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Default Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison

The Bison - my Fortuner - plays a key but 'in the background' role in this travelogue (more of a photologue). It got me to Tadoba and back, and performed capably. Rest of the time it baked in heat, standing under the central Indian sun without any complain.
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Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_4904.jpg

Could have been the summer heat or the full moon. But after reading so many excellent travelogues about Tadoba and the great sightings this year, I decided on the spur of the moment to drive down to Tadoba (1050km one way) and back, in a span of 4 days.

Office leave, resort booking, home permission - all were sorted out at the last moment. In fact the day before I was supposed to leave.

I drive a pretty capable and reliable vehicle, so minimal check was required to ensure that it was ready for a long trip and night driving. Distance wasn't the issue, but I was worried about lack of sleep. Everytime I plan to get adequate rest before a long drive, fate intervenes and I am saddled with last minute stuff to close.

Some folks said I was crazy. If I am doing a 2200+ km round trip, why in 4 days? And in peak summer? Well, I was not sure that Tadoba will have the same sightings next year - parks have a combination of factors coming together to give great sightings in a particular season. And for various reasons I needed a break. Badly.

I booked my place at Svasara resort in Kolara, Tadoba for 3 nights. Plan was to start on Wed night around midnight, and come back on late Sunday night. 4 days - Thursday, Fri, Sat and Sunday. Was influenced and helped greatly by RanjitP's travelogue and PMs, by Sach.Sri's and Subrat's travelogues and by Dr. Abheek Ghosh's postings about Tadoba. Thanks guys.

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_5342.jpg

Packing was easy, since over the years - with my numerous dashes to the Nilgiris - I can pack my bag for a jungle trip in 15 mins. Torch, Camera, Swiss Knife, Cargos, Hat, some tshirts, common medicines, boots and usual stuff - I am done. This time I made sure I had enough cotton stuff to wear in the heat. Worked till evening. Finished some pending stuff in the night, and was heading out to my vehicle a few minutes before midnight.

There were clouds drifting over me, and the moon was bright. A nice, cool breeze was blowing. I was hoping that I could out run the monsoon.

Route planned and taken: Bangalore - Shamshabad Bypass - Miyapur X-road - Medchal - Anantapur - Karanji - Wani - Warora - Chimur - Kolara.

Target: start around midnight, and reach Tadoba in time for the afternoon safari.

The resort was marked on Google Maps, so it was easy to find the way. Don't rely fully on Google Maps though - the directions took me to a 10 feet wide street through Warora, and I was stuck there with cows, chickens, parked bikes and oncoming vehicles making movement impossible for 5 minutes.

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_4423.jpg

The drive to Tadoba was uneventful. On the NH7 between Bangalore and Hyderabad, one can drive fast. I seldom use my Lightforce Blitz spots on any road, but this was the right time and rght road to leverage them. With those spots + highbeams on, one can maintain close to daytime driving speeds. That is, if one is not feeling sleepy.

Unfortunately, I started feeling drowsy after a few hours, and was forced to nap in a petrol pump for an hour. Not surprising - my plans of rhaving 8 hours sleep the night before, and 1 hour nap in the afternoon had gone for a toss. Managed to maintain my energy levels while crossng Hyderabad. After crossing Nirmal, I needed to splash water every 30 mins on my face. A few times, I did some jumping jacks to get some circulation back and wipe out drowsiness. Once, on a desolate stretch of road, I was given funny stares by a lone shepherd when I was jumping up and down. Even his goats gave me a condescending stare as they walked by.

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_5785.jpg
Somehow, the put down by the goats gave me a fresh lease of energy. Anantapur crossed by fast, and then I was crossing the bad stretch on NH7 around the Andhra - Maharashtra border. 21 kms of bad stretch...one needs to be careful about the potholes that appear out of nowhere. Anyway, in a Fortuner, one can maintain pretty decent speeds over all sorts of terrain. In spite of losing one hour due to forced nap, I was in Karanji around noon. I called up the resort, and Ranjit - the manager - told me that I should be ready to leave for the safari by 2.30 pm. Since I was going on a shared safari, I couldn't keep the other guests waiting. I still had 120+ kms to go on state/unknown highways, and had heard that some stretches are full of potholes, and frequented by mining trucks. Anyway, this was a challenge - one that the Bison (my black Fortuner) was well positioned to tackle. So off we went. Fatigue vanished - strange what a challenge does to you. I don't care much about the Fortuner's road presence, but this time it helped with the mining trucks. They were nice enough to give way to the Bison after some honking and flashing, and I managed to reach the resort in just two hours - at 2 pm. The resort manager was somewhat surprised to see my so early after we spoke. Anyway, I had time for a well needed shower and a quick lunch before the safari.

Lessons learnt - obvious but still worth repeating: get enough rest beforehand (so that you don't get sneered at by shepherds and goats), plan city crossings properly, know your and your vehicle's capabilities, familiarize yourself with the route and map. Keep drinking lots of fluid especially in summer.

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_4566.jpg

Last edited by nilanjanray : 15th June 2012 at 23:20.
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Old 15th June 2012, 23:13   #2
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Just when I thought of switching off for the day. What wildlife pictures can do!! Superb ones! Just the right kind of car for these kind of roads. 2200 kms is quite a distance for such a short roadtrip. Looking forward to more pictures and experiences. The goats incident was really funny.
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Old 15th June 2012, 23:21   #3
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Wow superb Tiger pictures. Can never have enough of them. Tadoba seems to have been this seasons favourite place for tiger sightings. Looking forward to rest of the pics.
Regards
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Old 15th June 2012, 23:23   #4
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

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Old 15th June 2012, 23:54   #5
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

awesome captures, eagerly waiting for the detailed travel report with lots and lots of pictures.
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Old 15th June 2012, 23:56   #6
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Thanks folks for the appreciation. Yes, Tadoba was rocking this year. Last year in spite of visiting 3 parks I didn't see so many unique tigers.

Playful Telia cubs near #2 tank in Moharli

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_4600.jpg

Tadoba: 14 Tigers and a Bison-dsc_4403.jpg

P.S.: I forgot to acknowledge W.A.G.7's Tadoba thread in my first post. Better late than never.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 16th June 2012 at 00:00.
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Old 16th June 2012, 00:53   #7
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Default Monsoon is my favourite season at Tadoba :)

You seem to have had a great trip Nilanjan. And as Coolcat says Tadoba has indeed seen the best of the best Tiger sightings this summer. The best part of the whole story however is that Tadoba unlike other Tiger reserves will very much remain open in the monsoons too (albeit partially) and most of the action which we see now gets carried over to the monsoons too and we end up having such fabulous sightings as these :

Tigress in the Greens (by far my best wildlife shot till date) - Telia female , mother of the cubs posted by Nilanjan
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The omnipresence
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Tree shrew - a delightful little creature to photograph if you can get them to stand still and pose for you.
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(In) Green bear babies
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Love is in the air.
Its monsoon time, lets get wet !!

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A full grown Trinket Snake enjoying a meal of a Nightjar road kill
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Ghost in the greens
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Flower power - Yeda Anna (HridayJyoti and Fatboyslim will remember this one)
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Sab ka Baap - Wagdoh male, the father of the telia cubs posted by Nilanjan (Sachin bhai will remember this sighting)
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Asian Paradise flycatcher in full glory
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Lets break free
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Monsoon is regeneration Time
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All of these pics were shot last monsoons in Tadoba and we also had a lively get together of wildlife enthusiasts from all around the country too celebrate the Wildcats Foundation day too on 15th August. More on the foundation day celebrations later.

Sorry to hijack your thread with these pics Nilanjan. By the way your thread title reminded me of the Anderson stories.

Pray continue.

regards,

Dr. A Ghosh
www.facebook.com/abheekg
+918805788633

Last edited by abheekg : 16th June 2012 at 00:57.
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Old 16th June 2012, 01:36   #8
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

ah! same here, I'm already late to go to bed and saw this one, couldnt stop. Wonderful trip log and great pictures as usual! A long ride with bison and Tadoba waiting.. nothing can match. Nice write-up, I was like, hoping to see the jumping jack image while you were narrating that instance
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 16th June 2012, 05:36   #9
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Thanks a ton Abheek and Nilanjan, i am already so excited to get on this trip. 22 Night is when i start for a 2 night stay at Svasara. Lets see if we can get good views of the Tigers. I am driving with family.

Have been waiting for this TL to show up for, excellent pictures, i am sure more will be coming one after the other , and we are waiting.

@Nilanjan, do not remember, are you on Nikon or Canon?
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Old 16th June 2012, 08:28   #10
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Hey Nilanjan,

What a TL for the weekend!!! It is raining Tigers in TBHP these days and we are having feast for our eyes!! Outstanding pictures as usual with nice write up.

Looking forward to more. Rated five stars!!!
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Old 16th June 2012, 09:15   #11
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Absolutely brilliant photographs . And i must say what luck to enjoy such wondeful sightings of the big cat.
I primarily shoot landscapes but after the recent wildlife threads on T-BHP
i am getting a strong urge to invest in a long lens for wildlife. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 16th June 2012, 10:54   #12
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Exclamation re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Coool!!! So you did manage a quick trip before the monsoons set in !! Awesome pics. Now, waiting for more pictures, please do post them asap; can't really wait to see all of them Tadoba is the 'happening' place right now with all those sightings and all.

Great to know that you opted for Svasara. It's pretty convenient too, very near to the Kolara gate.
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Old 16th June 2012, 11:15   #13
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

This totally cracked me up....

Quote:

Once, on a desolate stretch of road, I was given funny stares by a lone shepherd when I was jumping up and down. Even his goats gave me a condescending stare as they walked by.
Graet narration, awesome pictures. And this picture, by far, is the best. Almost tempted to ask you for the RAW image to make a big blow-up for my room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Thanks folks for the appreciation. Yes, Tadoba was rocking this year. Last year in spite of visiting 3 parks I didn't see so many unique tigers.

Playful Telia cubs near #2 tank in Moharli

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Old 16th June 2012, 11:20   #14
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Default re: 14 Tigers and a Bison, at Tadoba

Always a treat to read your crisp travel logs combined with great photographs.
Well the 14 tigers are there but pictures of the bison are missing.

Great Going Sir!!!
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Old 16th June 2012, 13:29   #15
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Its raining tigers on the forum here.
Great start Nilanjan! Awesome photographs of the cubs. Waiting for more!
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