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Old 14th June 2015, 14:25   #1
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Thumbs up Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Prologue
========
I am a frequent traveler and love traveling to Wildlife destinations across South India. Favorite destination being Kabini (Karnataka). One of my colleagues enjoys the passion of traveling too and so does my better half. One fine day, we decided to travel to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) from Bangalore. We planned the trip in April and booked Tadoba Tiger King Resort for our stay for two nights. We also booked four safaris in a gypsy.

The payment was made in advance and we started traveling on June 4. The plan:
June 4: Early morning start to Hyderabad - stay in Hyderabad overnight
June 5: Early morning start to Tadoba from Hyderabad
June 7: Afternoon start from Tadoba to Bangalore direct (Monday office)
Ride: Honda Jazz

Route
=====
Bangalore to Tadoba: Bangalore (Bommanhalli) - Hyderabad - Adilabad - Kelapur - Wani - Warora - Chimur - Kolara Gate (Tadoba) Now, this is where we got trolled by Google. More later.

Tadoba to Bangalore: Kolara Gate - Chimur - Warora - Wani - Karanji - Adilabad - Hyderabad - Bangalore (Bommanhalli)

Tripmeter
========
Door to Door: 2268 km
Km/l: 14.9
Tolls paid: Around Rs 2200/-
Cruising Speed: 110 km/h - 120 km/h

The Travel
=========
One day prior to our travel, I received a call rom the resort asking me which route I am taking to the place. They sent me a text and suggested the route: Bangalore - Hyderabad - Adilabad - Kelapur - Wani - Warora - Chimur - Kolara. They also told me that the route was suggested by drivers who frequented the trip and we decided to take that stretch.

We started from Bommanhalli at 4:45 in the morning and in no time did we cross the Karnataka state border. Except for the humps, the roads are Okay to drive inside Karnataka. I did have to hard brake once somewhere near the Lepakshi turn in Andhra as an unexpected speed hump turned up - the kinds one finds inside Bangalore.The toll roads are not as great as you would find on the Bangalore - Hassan stretch or the Bangalore - Mumbai stretch. The drive is bumpy and the rear seat passenger is bound to jump in the best of the cars. The Jazz took the beating as I cruised at 100 km/h on the barren empty stretches of the NH44 (old NH7).

Somewhere on the way:

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Caption: Ashish trying to find a subject to click

I did know that there are but a few eating options on the stretch and hence, we packed our breakfast. Somewhere after Kurnool, we were hungry and wanted to stop for breakfast. Finding tree shade is a hefty affair and not finding anything for about 25-30 minutes, I stopped on a truck lay bye and we had our packed breakfast inside the car. Temperature outside was sky rocketing every minute but the insides of the Jazz were holding perfectly. There is a good coffee shop just after you cross Kurnool - Bharat coffee shop. We did stop for coffee for about 10 minutes before continuing on our final stretch.

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Reached Hyderabad and touched the outer ring road. The road is a pleasure to drive and the speed limit indicating 120 brought a smile to my face. Got down at the Hitech City exit and headed towards our pre-booked OYO Rooms Hitech City.

Having heard from a lot of friends about OYO, I had decided to try them out as ours was simply a stop over. To our surprise, the security guard did not let me park the vehicle inside. Instead, he asked us to go and talk at the reception before letting the vehicle in. When we went inside, the checkin process was carried out like you would drive on Bangalore outer ring road at 5:30 in the evening - bumper to bumper. The final road hump was met when we were asked to produce my marriage certificate. That too after all of us produced valid government IDs. When I started questioning, the guy at the reception told me silently: "Sir, checking hua to dikkat hoti hai". Not wasting a moment of our time, we decided to move out and look for other options.

On spot reservations in the Hotel Siesta Hitech were made and they offered us good discounts. We had our lunch and went off to take some rest. Evening, and it was raining hard in Hyderabad. We took the car out around 8:00 and got a tank full for our drive starting at 3:00 in the morning. Had dinner in the hotel.

About Siesta Hitech: Good deal for a one night stay. Reasonable discounts offered and the food was above average. Easy check in and check out process - no hidden charges or nuisances.

Hyderabad to Kolara: We started from Siesta at about 3:30 in the morning and it was raining. Opened Google maps and it sketched out a map for us to get onto NH7. After driving for about 33 km on Okay roads, we finally hit the NH7 from Hyderabad to Nagpur. Now, this stretch of the NH7 is far far better than the Bangalore - Hyderabad stretch. The tarmac is properly laid with proper markings for night driving. I was enjoying cruising at 100 km/h in the light drizzle that continued all the way till Kolara.

The tolls are placed reasonably far and you would want to pay (not so much can be said for the Bangalore - Hyderabad stretch). We had our breakfast at one shivshakti dhaba at the Telangana Maharashtra border and the food was not good. Nonetheless, given the shortage of options, we continued towards Kolara. The roads at the border are okay and not 4 lane. 4 laning is on, but currently there are multiple diversions keeping it to a two lane road without divider.

Now, as suggested by the resort and by Google maps, we took a right turn just before Kelapur. The nightmare started with almost no roads. The road is SH 233 and is broken almsot all the way till Wani. I could hear and feel the Jazz scream for mercy but we continued as this was the most suggested route (both by the resort and by Google darling).

Somehow, after the ordeal, we reached Wani and took some fuel. You can see big boards saying "Wani - City of Black Diamonds". Wani to Warora is a bumpy state highway but you can manage 80 - 100 km/hr on this stretch. Warora to Chimur is a similar road but with lesser traffic. Once in Chimur, you need to be careful or you will miss the right turn towards the forest. There is big mobile shop on the right side and you need to take the right turn adjacent to the shop. Or else, ask anyone for “forest road”. This is a congested road but the forest is just about 12 km from Chimur. In no time, we were at the Kolara gate. I was happy to see Airtel working at the gate but once you reach the resort - about 750m inside the forest, Airtel gives in. We were three people with Airtel connections and all phones were down.

The Resort
==========
Tadoba Tiger Kind Resort is managed by one very polite gentleman Mr. Parag Deshpande. He is a person you would love to talk to. We were generously welcomed and we got to stay in the Yedanna rooms of the resort. The rooms are HUGE with HUGE bathrooms. Well appointed with hot cold water throughout the day, air conditioning and all amenities you would want for your stay.

The lunch was good and home-like. No fancy stuff, but nothing to bother your stomach either. After our lunch, we rested for about 30 minutes before venturing out for our first safari for the trip. The resort’s jeeps are comfortable and if you stay with these guys, ask for a driver named Javed. Experienced and no speedy drives in the forest that would make you jump. He knows the forest well, and is super polite.

Our first two safaris were dry and did not result in us spotting any cats. In the morning safari, that lasts from 6 in the morning to about 11, the resort packed breakfast for us. The jeep will stop in shade somewhere for you to have breakfast before venturing out in search of big cats.

A few clicks on day 1:

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Our third safari brought in luck and we spotted Maya near Pandharpauni water body no.1. She posed for a good 15 minutes before walking into the jungle.

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Our guide for the second day told us that there was a time when there were very few people visiting Tadoba. He remembered spotting 16 different tigers in a single day!! Just when we were about to go back after our safari, we decided to do one more round of Jamunbaadi and our lucky day - we spotted Choti Taara near the waterhole.

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Choti Taara has two sub-adult cubs - one male and one female. The next morning, some of the vehicles spotted the cubs but unfortunately, we couldn't.

Early morning the next day, we went straight to a new territory - the Katejhri region dominated by a big male. There were no pug marks and no alarm calls - but just when we stopped to click a barking deer, we heard langurs calling. Almost immediately, my colleague Ashish whispered “Leopard - right in front of us”. I turned and saw a beautiful young female leopard standing under a tree right on the road, stalking the barking deer. She stood there as surprised as us and after getting back to its senses, she ran back into the forest.

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Sometime later, this image made me smile and ended my safari tour extremely well:

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No more sightings after this and we got back to the resort. After using the shower, we were back on the road in no time. We thanked Mr Deshpande for packing Aaloo parathas for us for our lunch as finding eateries on this stretch is a pain.

The previous night, I had managed to search team BHP logs for any trips to Tadoba and found out that a better route was available to travel to Adilabad. We followed the route and after reaching Wani, cut across to Karanji using NH 930. The road is extremely good compared to what I had driven the other day and in no time we reached NH7 at Karanji. After that, it was a matter of minutes before we got onto the fabulous NH7 inside Telangana.

Our next break was at Hyderabad when we stopped for dinner at about 8:00 p.m. After our short break for dinner, we started towards Bangalore and driving that stretch at night is much better. I could easily maintain speeds around 100 km/h and we were in my place at Bommanhalli at about 3:30 in the morning.

Last edited by acquillew : 14th June 2015 at 21:59.
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:24   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Need I say anything about the snaps? Looking forward to many more of such logs!
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Old 15th June 2015, 22:33   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Nice trip , thanks for sharing the pics. Kindly post G-maps link you took.
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Old 15th June 2015, 22:45   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Hyderabad-Bangalore is the most dry in terms available faculties. A stretch of 500+ km with very few hotels. I guess without packed food, not much is possible.

What is the camera and lens that you use?

Looking forward to more logs and your experiences.
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Old 15th June 2015, 22:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
Nice trip , thanks for sharing the pics. Kindly post G-maps link you took.
Hi,

The route I took onward was tough like I mentioned in the post.

Bangalore to Tadoba

The route we took while coming back was a better one.

Tadoba to Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Hyderabad-Bangalore is the most dry in terms available faculties. A stretch of 500+ km with very few hotels. I guess without packed food, not much is possible.

What is the camera and lens that you use?

Looking forward to more logs and your experiences.
Thanks much for appreciating the pictures.
I use a Nikon D600. Lenses used are Sigma 500 mm and 70-200 f2.8

I agree about the part about the dry stretches on NH7. One should and must pack food for this road. I read about the stretch on team bhp before the trip and hence was prepared.


Mod Note: Please use the Multi-Quote option, when responding to multiple posts.

Last edited by ampere : 15th June 2015 at 23:24. Reason: Merged back to back posts
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Old 16th June 2015, 07:07   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by acquillew View Post
I use a Nikon D600. Lenses used are Sigma 500 mm and 70-200 f2.8
You will find you are not alone here! There are many photography enthusiasts. See their work in these really long running and very active threads:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...read-1117.html (The Official non-auto Image thread)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...hread-259.html (The Auto-Image thread)
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Old 16th June 2015, 10:15   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Awesome clicks acquillew!

I am sure you had many more clicks. Craving for more pictures!

Can you please share more photos of the resort and surroundings if you have any? It will complete reader's virtual tour to Tadoba
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Old 16th June 2015, 17:59   #8
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Thumbs up Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
You will find you are not alone here! There are many photography enthusiasts. See their work in these really long running and very active threads:
Wow! Thanks @ampere for mentioning the threads. I will be glued to it and will add pictures as and when I click.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Awesome clicks acquillew!

I am sure you had many more clicks. Craving for more pictures!

Can you please share more photos of the resort and surroundings if you have any? It will complete reader's virtual tour to Tadoba
Thanks @abirnale!! I should have other clicks from the forest, but I need to work on them. Have been buried with work, and have not found time to work on all the images yet. Will update the post when I make more pictures from the RAW files.

Unfortunately, I did not click pictures of the resort or the drive. The ones uploaded are the only ones I have.

Next time onwards, I am all about pictures of the ride and the highway!!
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Old 16th June 2015, 23:45   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by acquillew View Post
She stood there as surprised as us and after getting back to its senses, she ran back into the forest.

The picture where she looks straight at us made my spine tingle. That must have been an awesome moment for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acquillew View Post
Sometime later, this image made me smile and ended my safari tour extremely well:
That is an emotional picture which made us wanting for more. The baby just does not want to let you go.
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Old 17th June 2015, 10:41   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Nice crisp log with lovely pictures, thanks for sharing
You'll were lucky with the cat sightings, well worth the 2K Km trip

Can you also share the contact information, tariff/safari charges at the resort ? And no pictures of the resort ?
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Old 17th June 2015, 14:03   #11
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkumarsarat View Post
The picture where she looks straight at us made my spine tingle. That must have been an awesome moment for you.

Thanks @arunkumarsarat
Of course yes
When Ashish whispered "Leopard", I was all ears and eyes and within a moment,we were busy clicking this young beauty. We were probably in the most dense part of the forest with foliage all around us, so much so, that Aparna (my better half), had begun to feel a lil scared. And then, when suddenly you see a leopard standing right in front of you, you feel every rupee you spent and every km you drove was worth that moment when you made eye contact with the leopardess.


That is an emotional picture which made us wanting for more. The baby just does not want to let you go.
I will see if I have more pictures from this sequence and will post them soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Nice crisp log with lovely pictures, thanks for sharing
You'll were lucky with the cat sightings, well worth the 2K Km trip

Can you also share the contact information, tariff/safari charges at the resort ? And no pictures of the resort ?
Thank you @NPV
Yes, the trip was worth every rupee spent and every km driven (like I mentioned above)

The resort:
http://www.tadobatigerkingresort.com/
Phone: +91 7755983051
Tariff: 6000/- per double room inclusive of food and stay, 3500/- per single room inclusive of food and stay.
Safari charges: 3700/- per safari per jeep. We booked an exclusive gypsy for the three of us though you can manage 6 people in a gypsy.

Unfortunately, no pictures of the resort
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Old 17th June 2015, 19:27   #12
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

A couple of pictures I could find in the catalog today:

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Old 23rd June 2015, 12:47   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore to Tadoba - The Land of the Tiger

Hey. Very well presented travelogue with scintillating snaps. The joy of spotting the cat in the natural surroundings is an experience in itself. You had wonderful sightings to boast of.

Do share the finer details of booking a resort and the safari for the larger benefit of us enthusiasts.

Wish you many more such experiences. Cheers!
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Old 23rd June 2015, 17:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter3077 View Post
Hey. Very well presented travelogue with scintillating snaps. The joy of spotting the cat in the natural surroundings is an experience in itself. You had wonderful sightings to boast of.

Do share the finer details of booking a resort and the safari for the larger benefit of us enthusiasts.

Wish you many more such experiences. Cheers!
Thanks Hunter3077!
The booking for resorts is a fairly simple process. This particular resort is managed well and hence a simple phone call can confirm your bookings if they have availability. Half the payment has to be paid in advance when making the bookings. The rest you can pay 15 days prior to the booking date.

Also, since these are high traffic national parks, so plan your trip well in advance - specially if you are traveling on weekends. The rates are mentioned in one of my posts above.

I booked the safari through the resort and they arranged everything very well - packed breakfast and sufficient water!
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