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Old 30th December 2013, 15:05   #1
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Default Christmas at Sariska

I had been planning for long to visit Sariska again.

Although April May remain the best times for Tiger sighting over a waterhole, winter has its own charm with the Jungle teaming with a lot of activity all around and Sambhar stags in their winter coats.

The Cheetals grow new horns, by January most of them have shed their antlers.

Chistmas, December 25 is holiday time and it was my anniversary as well, having completed 17 years of married life.

Around December 20 the plan was finalized for a two day trip to Sariska with afternoon Safaris on both days.

One of the first things I did was to call up Guru Dutt ( GD ) 1418 to :

Invite him on the trip
Ask about the best road route to take
Find out about a suitable accomodation.

COuldnt get him on the phone for the first couple of days.

He was busy with his work, I had little interlude of times those days.

I tried Sariska palace, with the thought that it is close to the Sanctury.

I also callled the Guide Hari Singh and fixed up afternoon safaris with him for 25th and 26th.

Sariska Palace said they have a package for Rs. 10,000 with Christmas Dinner included. I dont drink alcoholic beverages so this all inclusive package did not appeal to me.

Moreover I had never heard good things about the level of service there.

Tiger den was out of question. I knew it is a Govt. run tacky shoddy joint.

I googled a bit and found out Clarks Inn a hotel in Alwar. They had a Delhi booking number. I called and found the rates reasonable, Rs. 3800 per night all inclusive.

I called up my elder brother in Patna, he said its a great plan and he will land up in Delhi on 24th morning along with his wife.

I booked two rooms, and called up Hari Singh in Sariska again to confirm. He said he will book a Gypsy and purchase our tickets and entry permit.

GD called me next morning and I told him of my plans. He said he is booked for a Rathambore trip from Dec 26th onwards and hence cannot join me.


I called GD again but couldnt get him this time too.

Options were continue on Sohna Road to Nuh and take the Ferozepur Jhirka, Loharu, Tijara route
Option 2 was take the Tauru road and meet up with the highway in Bhiwadi.
Option 3 was to take NH8 and turn left into Dharuwera and Bhidawi through the toll road.

It was christmas day. Traffic would be much thinner I assumed and we were correct.

The foursome my brother Kaiser, Mrs. Kaiser my Mrs. and me departed in the VLX 4WD Scorpio at 9 AM sharp.

It took us exactly 3 hours to reach Sariska, at dot 12,00 noon we were there. No ques at Manesar toll, not much traffic enroute in any of the sections, on the highway we were doing 100 - 120 most of the time.

Total travel time 2 Hr 45 min to Sariska.
15 minute break to take pictures in a mustard field!

Last edited by desertfox : 30th December 2013 at 15:20.
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Old 30th December 2013, 15:34   #2
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Default Re: Christmas at Sariska

10 KM before Sariska I called Hari Singh. He said we are in good time and would leave at 1.30 PM.

I said I will go to Tiger Den and grab some tea and lunch. The Safari pick up could be arranged from there itself.

Tiger Den looks like a decent building from outside. Step inside and the apathy of a Government enterprise is apparent.

I asked for the restaurant and rest rooms.

The restaurant looked dark, danky and smelly. I passed along and went to the restrooms which was in poor state.

My wife said the ladies restroom was very dirty. I went to the reception and told the guy at the front desk to open a guest room I will pay him.

Next I went to the restaurant and asked for some tea and lunch.

Lunch will be served only at 1.30 the waiter said. OK I said get me three cups of tea and some pakoras as snacks.

He disappeared into the kitchen no one attended to us for the next 10 minutes.

Another fellow came and said no tea or snacks were available.

On the next table I saw some people indulging in Puris and Chole. I said get us that, no it is only for the residents he said.

Usually I restrain myself but this time I marched into the kitchen. I called the cook and asked him to bring me tea and the chole puri.

A senior guy apparently the administrator of the restaurant was there. He said they dont have anything.

It was then that I disclosed that my elder brother is a minister in the state govt. of Bihar and took the name of the Rajasthan Govt. ministers who are my relatives.

Two minutes later, room no 1 was opened, the washroom was clean. Five minutes later mineral water and tea arrived and four plated of chole puri was served. I was sent an ash tray too.

I dont like this, I dont do this but what to say about these pathetic govt. babus. This is the only way they can be tamed.

It was 1.30 PM Hari singh called, I said I am coming to Sariska gate.

We piled into the Gypsy and started out Safari at 1.40 PM and were greeted with a huge Wild Boar

The Camera equipment I have is not as great as GD, but something just about managable.

Between us my brother has a Nikon D 3100 with the basic 18-55 DX AF lens. I have the same plus a 55 to 300 lens but at 300 mm the maximum aperture is restricted to 5.6.

Not very good but managable.
Attached Thumbnails
Christmas at Sariska-dsc_0029.jpg  

Last edited by desertfox : 30th December 2013 at 15:41.
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Old 30th December 2013, 15:42   #3
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Default Re: Christmas at Sariska


At the entrance itself Hari SIngh informed us of ST-3 being near the Brahmnath water hole.

I said I am here to view Tigers, fine. But my interets lie in spending quality time to take pictures of good Sambhar and Cheetal stags and other game for sure. I would like to spend time taking such pictures.

( story to be continued )

Uploading some of the better shots from the 344 pictures I shot on this trip.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by desertfox : 30th December 2013 at 16:08.
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Old 30th December 2013, 16:15   #4
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Default Re: Christmas at Sariska

Called Guru Dutt again, this time for a silly question, how to resize these pics shot in Raw+Jpeg each file was 4.5 to 6 MB.

He instructed me on how to. Here are more pics.
Attached Thumbnails
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Christmas at Sariska-dsc_0260.jpg  

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Old 1st January 2014, 20:55   #5
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Default Re: Christmas at Sariska

Nice start to an interesting travelogue, and good photos.

Why are you shooting RAW + JPEG for wildlife? With a D3100 your FPS will be very low - and FPS/buffer matters for wildlife. Why not shoot RAW and postprocess the select photos, or go all JPEG with pre-tested settings?

I plan to do Sariska + Ranthambore next time I drive down up North on the way to Corbett.
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