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Old 20th January 2014, 13:50   #46
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

X-posting

The Tadoba maneater - which media is talking about - could be one of the tigers which we narrowly missed seeing. We had waited for 15 minutes to see a tiger that a previous vehicle had seen in Yenbudi/Panderpauni area. It is likely that one has been doing the killings.

At this point of time there are 3 high profile maneating tigers operating - near Corbett, near Dodabetta and the Tadoba one. There was one there near Bandipur/Nagarhole a few weeks back.

This (so many maneaters operating at the same time) hasn't happened as far as I remember - at least in the last few years. Increasing number of tigers, shrinking habitat?
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Old 21st January 2014, 10:37   #47
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

This is an excellent drive with great narration and picture. Some specific which brugh my attention.


Pachmarhi Tourist Bungalow: Picture is awesome. The tourist bungalow looks out of the world.

Chameleon crossing a hill road: No pain no gain. I always love to shoot at low angle. Wherever allowed and possible i shoot in this angle. Excellent picture.



Satpura National Park – Leopard: You have attracted my attention to this place. Being a regular to Bandhavgarh, i will definitely visit this place.


Churna forest rest house in Satpura National Park: The beast is looking great on the forest road.

Crouching leopard: You have got a superb angle here. Just loved the eye contact.


Overall it is a superb travelogue with great picture. Yes, always i wanted to do first day first show at any national park but it is pure luck to sight animals during this time. Sightings are not good due to tall grass in Tadoba.
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Old 24th January 2014, 19:55   #48
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Originally Posted by Subrat Seet View Post
Overall it is a superb travelogue with great picture. Yes, always i wanted to do first day first show at any national park but it is pure luck to sight animals during this time. Sightings are not good due to tall grass in Tadoba.
Thanks Subrat.

The D7100 is a nice camera for wildlife (if one works around the buffer), but I have outgrown my 70-300mm quite a while ago. Lots of compromises when shooting. Next time I will probably rent the new 80-400mm or a 300mm f/2.8 with TC.

I was always curious to do a 'first day first show' in a park, but I wouldn't do it again. When one has just a few days in a year, it is not worth it. The sightings are bad.
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Old 28th January 2014, 15:02   #49
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Great Pics Nilanjan. Wish we would have gone together for the Ladakh trip. You photography skills would have been really appreciated.

Did i get you right?.. You said that you have had the clutch Plate of Bison replaced?
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Old 28th January 2014, 16:55   #50
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Great Pics Nilanjan. Wish we would have gone together for the Ladakh trip. You photography skills would have been really appreciated.

Did i get you right?.. You said that you have had the clutch Plate of Bison replaced?
Thanks Manuuj. Yes, I got that replaced after the Himalayas trip. Probably a mistake on hindsight - wasn't required.

Will connect when I plan to do another trip up North.
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Old 1st February 2014, 17:10   #51
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Default Tadoba - last few safaris

We had completed 5 safaris without seeing or smelling a tiger. Every other vehicle seemed to have had quality sightings of the big catsIt was almost painful to even sit at a dining table and hear about how someone followed a tiger for 15 minutes. When we took a detour, we missed a tiger. When another vehicle took a detour, the folks had great sightings. 10 minutes too early, 5 minutes too late...we had a big 'last mile' problem!

The moon sets as we wait in queue for the Moharli gate to open
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Cleaning after a meal. Check out the rough tongue.
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Tadoba Lake
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This is the barrier that separates Moharli from Tadoba zone
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On the 6th (afternoon) safari, we came across a recent Sambhar kill beside Tadoba Lake. It was hidden among Teak fronds, around 30 feet from the water's edge. We waited for a while before we were forced to head out due to the increasing number of vehicles piling up behind. But this was at least a positive sign - gave us some hope for the next morning. It was dark when we were heading to the gate. We saw a few vehicles - 500m ahead - slow down and stop. When we reached them, they said that there was a leopard sitting beside the road - which vanished just a few seconds before we arrived.

Fawn
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Serpent Eagle
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The elusive male gives us a glowering glance from far away
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Next day morning, we decided to go to the lake but take a slightly roundabout route. Murphy was accompanying us as usual. When we reached the lake we saw quite a few vehicles parked on the trail, with all passengers having a big smile on their faces. A big male tiger was on the kill when the first vehicles arrived, and even walked parallel to the lake for a few minutes before heading off inside the forest - 5 minutes before we arrived. This was becoming quite ridiculous. We decided to wait for a while, though I was skeptical that the tiger would come out, given the vehicles and humans. After 15 minutes someone whispered 'tiger'! A big fat tiger - after a heavy meal - was slowly walking parallel to the Gypsy trail, a few hundred metres inside the forest. He was too far away to get a good shot. It seemed that he would be crossing the trail further ahead, after a bend, so we moved towards that direction. He came out on the trail, gave us a glance, crossed and then went inside undergrowth. First 'Stripes' of this trip. We hoped that the tiger would return to the kill in the afternoon, given that a significant portion of the kill was left.It had started stinking though.

The half-eaten kill. See the fang marks on the neck.
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Parakeets were dime a dozen near Tadoba Lake
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Backlit Sambhar
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In the afternoon, I told the driver to head straight towards the lake. We were among the first few vehicles to arrive. When we went near the kill we couldn't find it. Did a croc come up and take it into the water, or did the tiger move it? While we were discussing and scanning the surrounding forest, our guide looked down and to the right side (the kill had been on the left), and got super excited. I followed his glance, and saw a tigress about 20 feet from us, eating the kill. We had been looking far out, and the tigress was well camouflaged in the undergrowth, so we never noticed her in the last 3-4 minutes. She was right under our nose while we were looking everywhere else!

Tigress on the kill
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Friendship attempt
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White-eyed Buzzard. Far away.
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We were able to spend some quality time with this tigress, aka Maya, lady of the lake. She got up, walked past us, went towards the water, cooled off for a few minutes, came onto the road again and then finally vanished into the undergrowth. We got some close sightings, since we had positioned our vehicle well.

Different poses of Maya Memsahib
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After the tiger vanished, most vehicles went off. We hung around because we felt that the male tiger - Maya's mate - could come visiting (like some males we know, he was a bit shy in the midst of a crowd). Two Sambhars with a frisky fawn came down to drink. The fawn did a Bambi act for quite a while, and even came close to our vehicle and looked at us curiously. Got some backlit shots against the setting sun. It was time to go back. Just before we were about to head out, we heard some alarm calls and went to a corner of the lake. Saw the male tiger coming towards us, some 500m away. Then he decided to lie down behind a bush, and didn't budge for 5 minutes. There was no more time left, so we headed back, feeling content.

Following mum around
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Hoopoe
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The Egret has gained acceptance
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Practicing BIF snapshots with different settings
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Next day morning we headed back to Nagpur. I was going to drop my friend at the airport, pick up another friend and proceed to Satpura National Park. Checked with the locals about shortcuts, and took a narrow road which didn't show up on Google Maps (in the forest areas, it always makes sense to check with locals). Hit the state highway after 45 minutes and then it was smooth sailing. By 11 we were negotiating the outskirts of Nagpur, on our way to Chhindwara/Pachmarhi.

End of another day
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Last edited by nilanjanray : 1st February 2014 at 17:18.
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Old 8th June 2014, 10:06   #52
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

Hi Nilanjanray

I suppose with a fortuner, one does not have to worry about reliability issue as its built like a tank. My cousin has just got his new Fortuner and I can see why its such a good buy. I am still a bit of a XUV person however.

That was a good travelogue with beautiful pictures. I particularly liked the close up pictures of the tiger.
Do keep posting pictures of your further journeys.
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Old 9th June 2014, 11:50   #53
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Hi Nilanjanray,

I'm absolutely stunned by the pictures posted by you! Thank you so very much for the visual delight. I hope to make a similar trip in the near future, fingers crossed.
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Old 25th June 2014, 09:45   #54
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Default Re: Central Indian Forests: 4000 km roadtrip in a 4WD Fortuner

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Hi Nilanjanray

I suppose with a fortuner, one does not have to worry about reliability issue as its built like a tank. My cousin has just got his new Fortuner and I can see why its such a good buy. I am still a bit of a XUV person however.

That was a good travelogue with beautiful pictures. I particularly liked the close up pictures of the tiger.
Do keep posting pictures of your further journeys.
True, with a Fortuner you don't have to worry much. Thanks for liking the travelogue. XUV is also a great vehicle I hear - many folks I know bought it.

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Hi Nilanjanray,

I'm absolutely stunned by the pictures posted by you! Thank you so very much for the visual delight. I hope to make a similar trip in the near future, fingers crossed.
Thank you. Just plan properly and start driving.

I haven't finished this travelogue, but have made another trip meanwhile. Lots of writing backlog lol - the 1.5 year old Kumaon trip, this travelogue, the new one.

This time I went to Kanha and Tadoba. Cross-posting a few photos. Someday I will get around to start writing about this one, which was charming in a unique way.

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Old 23rd August 2015, 23:52   #55
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Just plan properly and start driving.

Hi, I Had a question. I'm planning a road trip,from Mumbai via Indore to either Kanha or Bandhavgarh, most likely during the 3rd week of September this year. In your experience, which one should I do, Kanha or Bandhavgarh, considering I have never been to a tiger reserve before and keeping in mind the time of the year, etc. your suggestion shall be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
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Old 24th August 2015, 00:31   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentle Giant View Post
Just plan properly and start driving.

Hi, I Had a question. I'm planning a road trip,from Mumbai via Indore to either Kanha or Bandhavgarh, most likely during the 3rd week of September this year. In your experience, which one should I do, Kanha or Bandhavgarh, considering I have never been to a tiger reserve before and keeping in mind the time of the year, etc. your suggestion shall be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.
Both parks will be closed in September.
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Old 24th August 2015, 13:42   #57
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Ohhh, thank you for your response.
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