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Old 24th June 2015, 11:01   #16
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Enjoyed this travelogue. Great pictures. This must have been such an amazing experience, to the see these majestic beasts at such close range.

Though Karnataka has one of the largest populations of tigers, they are not at easy when there are many tourists around. Rarely do you get to see such long sightings.

Cheers

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Old 24th June 2015, 14:03   #17
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Awesome travelogue and a befitting tribute to Gurudutt, my friend and a great human being. He indeed will be missed for ever.

I have read this account before, dont remember where, but loved reading it all over again. Ranthambhore and tigers are always special!!

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The route which I took to Ranthambore was ‘Jaipur - Kothun - Lalsot - Sawai Madhopur’
The road stretch till Kothun was good but the moment I took a left for Lalsot, I felt as if I made a mistake in understanding the directions being belched out by the Google maps and comprehending the correct route. The initial stretch of close to 10 Km was atrocious to say the least. Time taken to cover these 10 Km was around 40 minutes!
Some time in the year 2014 this 7 kms stretch was repaired and was a pleasure to drive. But the quality of the material used was so poor that it could not withstand the over load trucks, hence now it is in a pretty bad shape again


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Our trip to the fort was good barring the fact that my car (Etios Liva) was just not suited to negotiate the kind of track that leads to the Fort from the Park entrance. More so because of the road repair that was going on.
You will be glad to know that the road repair is complete and the road till the fort can be traveled by any car now.


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More than halfway through the safari, we stopped for a loo break along with a couple more gypsies. The beautiful surroundings provided a perfect background for a photo op. Even the peacocks obliged and posed for the shutter bugs.
This is at Kachida Chowki. The lake with pink moss and peacocks greeting the guests is very special here. Infact zone 5 has been very lucky for me and I have spotted multiple tigers here. In the year 2013 the following tigers used to roam in zone 5:- 24, 28, 64, 19, 73, 74, 75, 41 with cub, 25 and 6


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There was this female in zone 4 (Not aware of her details) that had given birth recently and was consistently being sighted in zone 4.
Should be T19, but I am confused as in Dec 2013 her litter should have been around 2.5 years old and her next litter was to come in jan/feb of 2014!!

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I managed the morning gypsy, courtesy the field Director of RTR and so it was to him that I rushed before the bookings opened for the afternoon safari. He was an extremely courteous man and came across as a helpful citizen unlike many other govt servants that we encounter these days. He generously offered to take us along in his own vehicle for the afternoon safari in a bid to guarantee us a sighting. Moreover, as he added, the vehicle was fitted with a wireless set that kept updating him on the sightings in different zones and obviously the vehicle could hop from one zone to another in a jiffy.
Respect towards an Army man is heartwarming, I am so glad that he helped you out.

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Immediately our driver identified her as T-19. The next 30 minutes was pure pleasure as T-19 gave us a memorable first sighting. As most of you would agree, nothing can match the joy and excitement of a first ever sighting.
Absolutely, the first sighting of the majestic tiger is the most special ever. Its always etched in the mind. For me ST2 (sariska) was the first tigress that I ever saw. ST2 (or T18 earlier) is the sister of T19 and then the second tigress that I saw was T17. She is again the sister of T19 &18 or St2. But unfortunately she is no more now.

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At Jogi Mahal we were accompanied by the ACF, Mr. Daulat Singh Shaktawat. He is the same forest official who was injured in an attack by T-7 in Aug 2010. My wife asked him all about that particular incident and he very kindly explained the circumstances which led to the unfortunate incident. What was amazing is that even after such trauma and shock, he was back to Ranthambore among the wildlife and the tigers. Such passion is truly commendable.
Here is the picture of the attack.
Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve-8.jpg

Photo courtesy this blog and you can also read more about the attack on the same page


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The incident that I mentioned regarding the attack on Mr Daulat Singh happened some time in 2010. Apparently, T-7 was spotted in a peripheral village of the reserve and had already attacked a calf in the early hours..........Amidst this ensuing chaos, Mr. Daulat Singh along with a few more of his forest rangers was trying to locate the tiger and administer the tranquilizer. The moment he got close to the actual location, T-7 pounced upon him and caught him unawares. Fortunately, a ranger who was nearby had the sense to immediately throw a bamboo stick on to the tiger and succeeded in shooing him away from Mr. Daulat Singh. Had it not been for the prompt interference, the gentleman wouldn't have survived to tell the tale.

The State government promptly evacuated the injured ACF by sending a chopper and the timely medical aid saved his life. T-7 was later tranquilized and shifted to the reserve.
Mr. Daulat Singh Shekhawat is indeed a very brave and also a very hard working officer. Its always a pleasure to sit with him and enjoy his stories. He has in depth knowledge of tigers and their behavior.

Also you maybe interested to know that after the attack, T7 started to wander off in search of a new territory. He left RTR and reached Bharatpur and also as far as Mathura. later he came back to Bharatpur Birds sanctuary. In Feb 2011 he was tranquilized and shifted to Sariska. He is now knows an ST6.
Initially he had a very bad temper and used to snarl and growl on tourist gypsy's. This has been noticed and recorded very nicely by Gurudutt in his blog.
Now he has cooled down a lot and gives good sightings to tourists in Sariska. This pic is of him from last week clicked by me
Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve-dsc00020.jpg


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Finally after an agonizing few minutes (which felt like hours) T-24 inched his way into zone 3 and passed dangerously close to where we were seated.

The next 30 minutes were pure bliss as T-24 (Sitaara) put up a grand show without a care in the world.

Having been supremely satisfied with our tryst with Sitaara, we made our way out of the park.
Ok now, this male tiger is neither T24 nor Sitara (star) this is 99% (as per the left flank and on top of the left eye markings) T64. He is the male cub (now an adult and huge) of T19 from its first litter.

T24 is nick named ustaad and he was shifted recently from Ranthambhore to Sajjangarh Zoo for allegedly attacking and killing a forest guard. Allegedly again his 4th victim. T24 naver came to Zone 4 or 3. he was in Zone 6 &1

And Sitaara or Star is the nick name for T28. Though he roams in zone 3&4 but Its not him as he has an unmistakable star marking on his eyes.

Anyways, I am sorry I have written a lot, but wildlife is such a passion that I love to read and write about it.

And your travelogue is so interesting that I read each and every word about it!!

Thanks & regards
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Old 24th June 2015, 18:47   #18
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Thanks Deky. When someone as experienced in the Jungle lore as you enjoyed reading this thread, it's a thumbs up for me.

Glad that the route to the fort has now been repaired as it was a major dampener to the tourists.

You say that the Tigress may be T 19, but I really doubt whether it can be. Because of the fact that we spotted her in zone 3 without any signs of her looking after a young litter. But then again, I'm not too sure.

With regards to my mentioning T 24 being spotted by us, you may be quite right. I don't intend to doubt your observation as it is evident that you have mastered the Ranthambore Tigers! I was led to believe that it was T 24 because our guide said so. I stand corrected.

ST 6 has given you a superb pose in such close vicinity. I envy you! I wish I could have joined you in one of your wild adventures. Too bad I'm no longer in the NCR.

Don't be sorry for writing a lot. Your observations have been very informative and rich and we hope to gather more from such posts of yours.

Thanks and cheers.
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Old 24th June 2015, 20:32   #19
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Apologies, The tiger you spotted last is T65 (now 100% confirmed) and not T64 as mentioned earlier. Actually they both are brothers and I get confused as to who is who, but no longer.

Also, yes you did see T19 and till then she had not delivered, she delivered in Jan/feb 2014. She does look pregnant in your pics.

I wont stick out my neck on it but I believe It can not be any other female as zone 3 & 4 are T19's sole property since T17 went missing sometime in mid 2013

Try getting a posting at Alwar (I know our armed forced does not work that way), it used to have a Brigade, an Arty brigade. Sariska is giving great sightings!!

Best wishes for your future wild life trips, I can see that you are getting hooked to it.

Regards

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Old 24th June 2015, 21:24   #20
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

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Apologies, The tiger you spotted last is T65 (now 100% confirmed) and not T64 as mentioned earlier. Actually they both are brothers and I get confused as to who is who, but no longer.

Also, yes you did see T19 and till then she had not delivered, she delivered in Jan/feb 2014. She does look pregnant in your pics.

I wont stick out my neck on it but I believe It can not be any other female as zone 3 & 4 are T19's sole property since T17 went missing sometime in mid 2013

Try getting a posting at Alwar (I know our armed forced does not work that way), it used to have a Brigade, an Arty brigade. Sariska is giving great sightings!!

Best wishes for your future wild life trips, I can see that you are getting hooked to it.

Regards
You got it right! Have no control over where I go next. Incidentally, two summers ago, I visited Sariska along with a gang of friends. Drove all the way down to Sariska including getting lost after Alwar. Imagine our disappointment when we found the gates of the park firmly closed! We had no clue that the park closes at the onset of the monsoons.

We promptly drove back to the familiar surroundings of the NCR and laughed at our stupidity. I wish I'd done some research before embarking on a wild goose chase.

Thanks for the wishes. Will keep bumping into you in this forum and who knows? Maybe in one of the parks, sometime in future.

Cheers!

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Old 24th June 2015, 21:47   #21
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

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Enjoyed this travelogue. Great pictures. This must have been such an amazing experience, to the see these majestic beasts at such close range.

Though Karnataka has one of the largest populations of tigers, they are not at easy when there are many tourists around. Rarely do you get to see such long sightings.

Cheers

KPS
Thank you KPS.

Yes it was indeed an out of the world experience to have the opportunity of watching these majestic animals from such close range. My next aim is to get a glimpse of the Lions of Gir from up close. I hope the opportunity crops up sooner than later.

Cheers!

Note. Sorry Mods, realized later about the back to back posts, tried to merge, but could not find the multi quote function while editing.

Last edited by Hunter3077 : 24th June 2015 at 21:50.
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Old 25th June 2015, 11:53   #22
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Gone one Hunter3077 ! A well crafted travelogue with a perfect blend of pictures.
RTR has been in my bucket for quite a while. I am planning a 7-10 day Rajasthan road trip from Mumbai and planning to cover Jaisalmer, Jaipur and RTR.

How many days should i keep in specifically for the wild life is what I would like to understand from your experience ?
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Old 25th June 2015, 12:21   #23
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Gone one Hunter3077 ! A well crafted travelogue with a perfect blend of pictures.
RTR has been in my bucket for quite a while. I am planning a 7-10 day Rajasthan road trip from Mumbai and planning to cover Jaisalmer, Jaipur and RTR.

How many days should i keep in specifically for the wild life is what I would like to understand from your experience ?
Thank you Ashish.

For RTR, in my opinion, you can give yourself a couple of days at the very least so as to increase the probability of a sighting. Before planning though, make sure to check up the dates as the park will close for the monsoons and re-open only in October.

And if you do have the luxury of a decent amount of time before your trip, then you must book your accommodation and Gypsy safari beforehand on the Rajasthan tourism website. That will solve the problem of looking for a shelter and vehicle too close to your trip.

Regards.
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Old 25th June 2015, 15:53   #24
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Default Re: Maiden trip to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Very nice pics and a well written TL. Also - would echo your and Dhiraj's sentiments about GD sir. He was indeed a gem of a person and a dear friend.
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