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Old 12th August 2016, 15:18   #1
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Default The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

I had always wanted to visit Ranthambhor National park, but had never got around to do it. Ranthambhor is situated in Rajasthan, about 10 kms from a town called Sawai Madhopur. RNP is about 685 kms away from my home, here at Ahmedabad and the choices were to either drive down or take a train, since flight connections were not convenient. (The nearest airport is Jaipur, about 200 kms from the park) June is hot and humid and driving down in the heat would be challenging.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-screen-shot-20160812-2.45.32-pm.png

Accordingly, my friend and I booked train tickets departing Ahmedabad at 2130 hrs and reaching Sawai Madhopur at 0830 hrs the next morning. Perfect! It had been quite some time since I had travelled by train, and that too on an overnight journey. I had a very restless sleep.

We reached Sawai Modhopur on time and there was a car waiting to take us to our hotel, where we checked in, freshened up and had breakfast.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-hotel-view1.jpg

The hotel is a comparatively new structure, made on the lines of the old fort/palaces, but with concrete, cement and bricks (and possibly stone) and not stone and limestone as was used in the olden times. The combination of concrete, steel and stone used in the buildings and surroundings, including elaborate gates, makes the entire structure heated up and heat pretty much radiates all over the place.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-courtyard1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-hotel1.jpg

There is no greenery inside the walls, save for a few odd potted plants and small shrubs and this possibly accentuated the heat. The rooms were quite good and spacious. In fact too big. My room could have easily accommodated 5 people with two double beds, a bethak and enough space to put in a couple of beds if required.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-bed12.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-bed1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-bethak1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-room1.jpg

We did not dare come out of our air-conditioned rooms, just braving the heat to go to the dining area for a spot of lunch. Safari was at 1530 hrs and the sun was blazing away, with the mercury rising up till 45oC (113o F)

Promptly, at 1530 hrs, we set off for the forest in the blazing sun, with a thin safari cloth hat protecting me from the elements. I was on the first (back) row of the gypsy, since needed to anchor my gimbal head by a clamp to the roof bar of the gypsy. The hot wind blew at our faces and now we understood why the locals covered their faces with a cotton scarf. It was pretty grim, but the excitement of visiting the jungle overpowered our discomfort. The jungle was only about 10 kms from our hotel and soon we were at the gates.
Ranthambhor has 10 zones and the most visited (with better chances of sighting) are from 1 to 4. We were at zone 3 today.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-gate-details1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-info-room1.jpg

I do wish we don't waste money on useless "tourist" information rooms. This room was quite dirty, the panels peeling off and hardly anyone may have set foot inside during the past year or so. I have only shown the relatively cleaner side of the room here.

Last edited by earthian : 12th August 2016 at 17:32.
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Old 12th August 2016, 18:34   #2
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The first safari:


One of the advantages of visiting the park during June is that there are comparatively lesser tourists. The Indian families keep away due to schools having reopened as well as due to the excessive heat and the overseas visitors also find the weather extremely inconvenient. The main advantage is that sightings are quite frequent since the tigers prefer to stay near the water bodies.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-lake1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-lake-view-moti-mahal1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-rajas-hunting-lodge-lake1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-hunting-lodge1.jpg

There are quite a few natural water bodies and some artificial ones, maintained by the forest department. Most of the natural water bodies have crocodiles and it was quite surprising to see some of them even in a tiny water body, which could dry up possibly in a week. When I mentioned this to our guide, he opined that the crocodiles have been known to move away to a different water body over night.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-croc1.jpg

The park takes its name from Ranthambhor fort, said to have been built by Maharaja Jayantha during the fifth century AD. It is a beautiful fort and in good repair even after a millennium and a half.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-fort-overlooking-lake1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-cliffs-overlooking1.jpg

There is a Ganesh temple within the fort and many devotees walk from the nearby villages and visit the temple. Festival days are pretty crowded, I am told. (More about this later)

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-fort-write-up1.jpg

I always make it a point to explain to my guide and driver that I enjoy the jungle in all its elements and grandeur and am not tiger centric. Both of them paid little heed to me. Probably they had heard this before and knew better? I made a mental note to ask questions about the flora and fauna (apart from the tigers) both to test the knowledge of the guide, as well as ram home the point that I enjoyed just being in the jungle. However, the best of plans go awry. We proceeded ahead and turned the corner and came upon this magnificent sight:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-lake1.jpg

The heat, as previously stated, keeps away the crowds and we were the first to come upon this scene. There was no jostling, maneuvering, positioning or worming our way in, as normally happens in parks where a tiger gets sighted. We pretty much had the area to ourselves except for one more gypsy. I believe that the morning safaris are the preferred ones during this hot season. Just about 40 minutes into our safari and we strike gold! What ever I may say about enjoying the jungle per se, there is no doubt that a sighting of the big predator gives one a feeling like no other. The blood rushes in your veins when the game’s afoot!

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-storks12.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-drooling1.jpg

Is it my imagination or is he drooling at the prospect of having lunch? I hope I am not "it". Nearby was this tree-pie (correct me if I am wrong) glaring at me. Seemed a contender for the angry birds movie sequel, if they make one.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-angry-juvenile-teepie1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-sambar1.jpg

A sambar anxiously scanned the environment. Sambars are said to be the most reliable alarm raisers. Most animals give out alarm calls based on what they consider threatening to themselves or their friends/associates. A case in point is the monkey which raises the alarm (either upon sighting a tiger or based on some other animal’s alarm call) so that the sambars, deers and other animals down the food chain could scamper to safety. The monkeys are also known to drop half eaten fruits, flowers and such like from the top of the trees for the deer to feast upon. While there is definite value for the deer in such a friendship, WIIIFM the monkey? In Gujarat, we normally shy from doing anything that does not generate “value” for ourselves, which can be understood from the famous adage “Mara ketla taka?” - What is my percentage? (of the profits) However, unlike other animals, a sambar would give an alarm call (sounds like a sharp blast just like a horn) only when it sees the tiger with its own eyes. Hence, it is normally said that a sambar (alarm) call is indicative of a tiger in the vicinity. One needs to be a student of Bioacoustics to be able to distinguish between various alarm calls of a particular being. Or is that a student of Zoo-musicology or Acoustic Ecology? There is an interesting study being conducted at Cornell, which I came across accidentally, on the subject of Bioacoustics. See this.

The tree-pie has an interesting voice. This was the first first time I heard it. Some of the birds were quite bold and came to our gypsy foraging for food.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tree-pie14.jpg

This is a sad state of affairs when the "wild" gets domesticated, so to speak. We must do more to educate our people in the need to preserve our environment. Mere slogans or hoardings would not be enough, leave alone the correct approach. We need to catch them young and make it a part of the school curriculum. I was informed that the tigers are quite used to humans too. At least those that frequent the area allowed for tourists, are. The ones in the core zone, or the areas not allowed for public viewing, are said to shy away when they hear a gypsy approaching. In the Mara (Kenya) in one of the concessions, there is a well known cheetah and her cubs, that have a liking for climbing on the top of the safari vehicles. What should we do to safe guard the environment and its inhabitants? Ensure that they are protected, are as nature meant them to be, by avoiding human interaction? What about the poachers then, who would have a field day? Pun unintended. This subject has been much debated and there does not seem to be an ideal solution.

Even this jungle babbler looks kind of angry.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-angry-babbler12.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-angry-babbler1.jpg

We proceeded down the trail and met some vehicles, the occupants of which informed that a tiger was sitting inside a step well located nearby. We gingerly approached the well and peeped in. (we did not come out of the gypsy, in case anyone reading this misunderstood my statement above) There she was, cooling off, and not happy at the intrusion.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-well1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-well12.jpg

Suddenly she got up and started coming up the steps. She caught us all unawares, especially me, since I had the 600mm lens attached to the camera (I have only one camera body. Meaning to get another one). Still I fired off for all it is worth...

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-coming-up1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-coming-up12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-coming-up13.jpg

Is it my imagination or is she glaring at me?

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-glaring12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-glaring1.jpg

*WIIIFM=What is in it for me

Last edited by earthian : 12th August 2016 at 22:06. Reason: house keeping
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Old 12th August 2016, 18:59   #3
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The first safari (continued)


We were quite elated. Two sightings on the first safari! In Bhandhavgarh, I did 4 safaris without any sighting and then I got lucky on the fifth one. Since we had disturbed the tiger and he had gone into the bush, we reluctantly moved on. A short distance away, we saw some gypsies bunched together and we knew it had to be a sighting. No way would gypsies bunch together like this for lesser mammals or birds.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-mad-scramble1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-mad-scramble12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tourists1.jpg

Yes, we were spot on. After waiting for our turn, we saw this tiger drowsing in the late morning heat.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-will-you-guys-leave-me-alone12.jpg
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The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-will-you-guys-leave-me-alone1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-who-this1.jpg

There we go again. That deadly stare. Don’t know why all these tigers stare at me like that. The tiger was not going anywhere and there were some gypsies behind us and hence we gave way and moved on. By this time I had become choosy and I was not going to take photographs of tigers idling away! Action was needed. Shows how a bit of initial luck can make one change one's spots...er stripes. Rather grandly, I commanded the driver to move on for better sightings. The next hour or so, we aimlessly roamed in the hot sun, with the heat cooling..sorry evaporating what enthusiasm the initial sightings had brought. By 1830 hrs we knew we were licked and decided to head back, with the driver taking the opportunity to put in one sideways stating that “a tiger in hand was worth ten in the bush”. It did not help when the other members nodded in agreement. The first law of the jungle is to treat your guide and driver with respect. I must have said this to countless people who embarked on safaris and here I was forgetting the basic rule. So with a hot head on a hot day, we reached the hotel, had a hot* shower, and sat down for some much needed refreshments.
After dinner we went off to bed at around 2330 hrs, eager to see what the morning safari would bring.

* The water, understandably is very hot, even when the mixer is turned all the way to "Cool".
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Old 12th August 2016, 19:41   #4
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The second safari


The combination of heat, lack of sleep (in the train), and the air conditioner conking off after midnight gave me a whopping migraine and I finally fell asleep after 3 am. Wake up was at 0530 hrs and luckily, I was okay. A quick shower and a cup of tea, and we were on our way to zone 2 to see the mother and three cubs that had been sighted there.

The first day had given us three sightings of three different tigers and our hopes were high for a similar performance on this safari . Zone 2 is rockier than zone 3 and after about an hour of jumping in the seat with the nearly 7 kgs of equipment banging upon my thighs, our hopes of sighting a tiger, leave alone the mother and 3 cubs , were pretty low.

The only saving grace was this beautiful specimen that we saw early into our morning safari. The juvenile Oriental honey buzzard was on a clear unhindered sight and that too during the magic hour!

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-ohb1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-ohb12.jpg

I am loath to rack up the ISO, though the IQ with my camera, on ISOs till 1600, is pretty decent. In fact they can be decent even at 2000 ISO under circumstances. I wanted to take a BIF picture of this buzzard, but with all the fussing around with the camera settings and the other occupants muttering about “nuts” and “bird brains”, I missed taking the picture when it took off. It didn’t help when I caught the driver smiling.

It seemed that our luck had run out. Our expectations were high after the fantastic sightings the previous day. We waited by a small (artificial) water body, in the hope that the predator would come to cool off. i passed the time taking some pictures of the birds which were around:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tree-pie1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-high-iso1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-magpie-robin-singing1.jpg


The oriental magpie robin has a sweet voice and s(he) can sing in many tones/voices.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-red-vented-bulbul1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-drongo1.jpg

Some tree pies were drinking water. The area was shady and i had to rack up the ISO, much to my chagrin.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tree-pies-drinking1.jpg

A fawn shyly peeped around a tree:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-fawn1.jpg

While we were waiting for the tiger to show up, two gents came on a noisy motorcycle and proceeded to crank up a noisy and evil smoke spewing diesel pump:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-filling-water12.jpg

We knew that there was no way any tiger would come near this water body now, and we moved on.

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Old 12th August 2016, 20:21   #5
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The second safari (continued)



Two hours into our safari, we saw a group of gypsies trailing behind a tiger:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-gypsys-chasing-tiger1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-gypsys-chasing-tiger12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-crouching-tiger1.jpg

There was a water truck coming from the opposite side and quite fast too. Even though we all madly waved to him and shouted, he kept coming and stopped just a few meters from the tiger. If you notice closely, the tiger had squatted on the ground, tensing to leap. Apologies for the quality of the photograph, since the reflection of light from the rear view mirror of the gypsy put off my meter.

This sighting was quite poor and there was no opportunity to get some good pictures. We moved on and chanced upon this tiger cooling off in this pool.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-water-body1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-water-body12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-drinking1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-water-droplets1.jpg

New spreads fast in the forest, especially if there is a tiger sighting. The tigress here is not snarling but is yawning- the end of a yawn that is.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-yawning1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-yawning12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-yawning13.jpg

Within no time we were surrounded by gypsys ( should it be gypsys or gypsies? seeing that this is a brand name, used as a common noun). We reluctantly gave way and as we were moving back the tiger decided to move too. All our pleas to the driver were in vain and he moved back quite a bit and parked about 50 meters away from the action.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-growling1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-moving-away1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-moving-away12.jpg

The tigress was marking the tree and if we had stayed at the same spot we would have had a grandstand view....however due to the pigheadedness of the driver, we were to lose that shot. I muttered about how adamant people could be and it is lucky for the driver that he did not turn around and see my face. If looks could kill.....

But I was to eat humble pie, and yes, crow about the intelligence of the driver just a few minutes later.
There she was. Coming right at us. I was in a vantage position and had my 50mm lens fitted. She sniffed the tree and turned and marked it.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-coming-our-way1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-sniffing1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-marking1.jpg

and then she crossed just 10 feet away from us...

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-crossing-just-ahead-us1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-crossing-just-ahead-us13.jpg

Again, that warning look. Seems I am pushing my luck.
And then it was gone.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-then-gone1.jpg
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Old 12th August 2016, 20:48   #6
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The third safari


The driver had earned a good tip, and I had thanked him for being adamant. The others had hidden their smiles. There was a debate as to whether this was the mother of the 3 cubs with one side feeling that it was a mother who had a full meal and were pointing to her erect teats as an indicator of motherhood; whereas the other side felt that it was a pregnant tigress. Jury is still out. Maybe some jungle veterans could shed light. I thought that the sighting could not get any better than this, but was to be proved wrong.

This safari, we again went to zone 2 after the mother and the three cubs, but they proved elusive. After travelling on the rocky surfaces for close to two hours, we asked the driver to show us some scenic spots. Might as well make some use of this safari. He took us to Jogi Mahal which is very near the main gate. This was a forest guest house once, but now is not open to visitors anymore. Pity. It would have been wonderful to spend a night here.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-moti-mahal1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-deer-lake1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-pigeons1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-lake-drying1.jpg

The water level in the lake has reduced considerably. i shudder to imagine what would happen if we had two drought years one after another here.

The guest house overlooks a huge lake. We reached the property and were just enjoying the scene, when we saw this to our amazement:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-motimahal1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-motimahal12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-motimahal13.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-motimahal14.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-peacock1.jpg

This was it. All the poses that one would want. The last hour of the safari had delivered. Satisfied we started to leave when there was a commotion near the gate as we were leaving. Seems that a tiger had been sighted just next to the gate and the gates had been hurriedly closed. Later on, we would come to know that a sibling had joined the sister and they both could have been there in a single frame, should we have waited a bit longer!
We went back to the hotel for a much needed shower and celebrations. It can’t get better than this, we thought. But tomorrow was another day.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-lazing1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-lazing12.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 12th August 2016 at 21:49.
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Old 12th August 2016, 21:01   #7
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The last safari


This was the last safari of the trip and we decided to see the fort and other local sights since we had had a good sighting of tigers. Or so we thought. We set off from the hotel at 0600 hrs. The sun was just up:

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-sun-rise1.jpg

The entrance to RNP is about 5 kms from our hotel and the last 2 kms or so is through small hillocks and forest area. The road is pretty busty with local jeeps ferrying people to the base of the Ranthambhor fort and plenty of motorcycles as well as people on foot. We were looking forward to go up the fort and had just passed the first forest choky when the guard on duty informed us that a tiger was just round the corner. On the road? Just on the side, he said. We cautiously rounded the corner and we saw a tiger sitting in the undergrowth, about 10 feet from the edge of the road. Mind you, this is a road open to the general public!

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-road1.jpg

The tiger was sitting there minding his own business and i was debating whether to load my 600mm lens on the gimbal head and decided not to since the frame was cluttered with bushes and undergrowth. The real reason probably is that we (an euphemism for I) had got slightly uppity with good opportunities (photographic) yesterday and did not want to waste energies on a cluttered one. How finicky do we get? At Bhandhavgarh, when we had no sightings for 4 consecutive safaris, we were glad of a sighting more than 50 feet away wherein we could just see part of a head! And now, when there is a tiger just about 10 feet away, on an open road, we are not happy. In Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs, this need seems to have been satisfied! The tiger took umbrage. How dare do these lesser beings not give it the respect it deserved? The tiger suddenly got up and started crossing the road, in front of our gypsy.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-crossing1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-jumping1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-jumping12.jpg

We thought that the show was over, but it was not. It was just the start. There was another tiger, waiting for the big one to go and get a drink or whatever. There was a kill, which he wanted. As soon as the big one left, the other tiger came and started pulling the kill up the slope.(which we noticed for the first time)

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-kill1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-kill12.jpg

But it was a difficult task. After trying unsuccessfully for about 5 minutes or so, he gave up and decided to replenish his lost energy.

I was busy adjusting my 600 mm lens, which i had just fixed when there was a commotion. The first tiger crossed the road with a roar and attacked the second tiger, who scampered away. All of us missed to record this event. Four of us and all missed this. Since i was busy with my lens, i missed seeing it too. This tiger pulled the kill up a bit but was too much for him too.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-eating1.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-eating12.jpg
The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tiger-eating13.jpg


By this time, a crowd had gathered on the road, with motorcyclists stopping too. Our driver tried to shoo them off, but every one wanted to see the sight. Tigers are known to be unpredictable when they see a human on foot or motor cycle. This becomes doubly dangerous when they have a kill to protect, just 10 feet from the road. Since all our efforts to make people understand were in vain, we sent word to the control room to send a guard so as to control the traffic, who came and the crowd dispersed, including us.

Last edited by earthian : 12th August 2016 at 21:49.
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Old 12th August 2016, 21:42   #8
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

The last safari (continued)


The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-parking-area12.jpg

We reached the base of the fort and started climbing. Such a beautiful fort, built more than 1500 years back. They really built them to last. Today, with all our modern technology, a normal (cement, concrete and bricks) building's "life" is between 50-100 years.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-way-up1.jpg

The fort has a Ganesh temple and hence the way to the top is used by quite a few people daily and by the hundreds on festive days. The view from the top is quite beautiful. Ranthambhor, it seems is a combination of Rann (meaning battle field) and stamb (meaning fort). Earlier Ranthambhor was known as Ranastamb.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-battle-field1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-residental-quarters1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-water-supply1.jpg

Water supply to the fort was earlier by a lake adjoining the fort, but this lake was bone dry now. Water is now pumped through a bore and supplies the needs of the temple and the visitors.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-three-eyed-ganesha-temple1.jpg

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-tea-stall1.jpg

After visiting the Ganesh temple, we stopped by a tea stall for a cup of tea, where our attention was drawn to this selfless man, in his early seventies, who comes up everyday to serve the devotees walking up. He gets scarce water (possibly from the lone pump), fills it in an earthen pot and serves it to the people coming up. His name is Gajodmal Saini.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-water-vendor1.jpg

He does this for no monetary gain, for no publicity, for no desire to increase his "good deeds” bank balances. He does it for the simple reason that he can do it. So that tired devotees who walk up in such hostile weather, get some respite. A person far richer in values than we could ever be. A contended man. I debated whether I should slip him some money to demonstrate my appreciation. But then, I am being dishonest. I wanted to give him money to redeem myself, to shore up on my “good deeds”. Secondly, and more importantly, I would be insulting him by offering money. So with a simple, heartfelt thank you, I took his leave.

We went back to our hotel. Yes, the tiger was still on the roadside and a forest jeep/guard was stationed there.

The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-eating-kill1.jpg

Back to the hotel, a shower, breakfast and preparations to leave after a spot of lunch. We drove to Jaipur and caught the evening train to Ahmedabad. On the way, there were thunderstorms and welcome rain, cooling the weather. We had a bit of rain on the second day in the evening and again the next morning. It had cooled the environment slightly and the best part of it was the dust had settled down.

Thus ended our Ranthambhor trip. 10 sightings of tigers, out of which one could be a second sighting. Hence nine tigers sighted in all, out of a possible 48. My only regret is that we could not spend much time birding. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it as much as i did writing it.

Yes, the Gods had indeed been kind.......

Jai Shree Ram!


The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park-jai-shree-ram1.jpg

Last edited by earthian : 12th August 2016 at 21:50. Reason: house keeping
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Old 12th August 2016, 22:20   #9
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th August 2016, 00:46   #10
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Default re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

Always nice to read your descriptions and see your pictures. The oriental honey buzzard looks a lot like you... or maybe, as it is a juvenile, like your childhood self.

From many many years understanding the body language of domestic-cats, I can assure that the wonderful tiger near the end of post 6 wants to have its tummy tickled.

Except that sometimes they do this when they want to have their head scratched, and, if you get it wrong, you are in trouble!


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Old 13th August 2016, 06:35   #11
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Always nice to read your descriptions and see your pictures.
Thank you, Ni... er, sorry Thad. Though i suspect you are reading it again.
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The oriental honey buzzard looks a lot like you... or maybe, as it is a juvenile, like your childhood self.
My avatar is a crested serpent eagle. An adult to boot.

Last edited by earthian : 13th August 2016 at 06:36. Reason: house keeping
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Old 13th August 2016, 11:26   #12
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Great trip and lovely photos.

I would like to know the details about where you stayed and how much did the whole trip cost you. Also did you pay for every safari day or was it just one whole package deal?
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Old 13th August 2016, 12:40   #13
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Hey earthian !! Brilliant little travelogue there with some great pictures which narrate most of the story so well. Loved every bit of it and thus rated it a well deserved 5*.

It's amazing that you sighted a Tiger in each and every Safari that you guys did; though the last one was the icing on the cake where you spotted the Tiger feasting on it's prey. A very rare sight indeed for many adventurists.

I got nostalgic going through your travelogue which made me go back to 2014 when we visited Pench & Kanha National Park and had some fantastic Tiger sightings there. Sharing the link for your reference : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...onal-park.html (Photologue: Pench & Kanha National Park)

I have a road trip planned to Rajasthan a couple of months down the line, but unfortunately this time around Ranthambhore is not on my To Do List as they will not allow my 6 months old kiddo in for the Jeep Safari. Though Rajasthan is beautiful and having my roots there, makes the want in me alive to visit and revisit again and again. Thanks for sharing !!
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Old 13th August 2016, 13:41   #14
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Default Re: The Gods have been kind: Ranthambore National Park

Wow, Wow and more Wow. It was raining tigers for you, definitely Gods have been very very kind to you. I will identify the tigers for you at the end, but first lemme say that your photographs are brilliant.

It seems you guys stayed at Nahargarh Hotel. Though the hotel is nice but I found it to be very westerner oriented. Though the rooms were nice and huge, no TV (not required also) but the food I thought was very bland. What is your opinion?

Now I will try to identify the tigers as per the safari

First Safari - Zone 3

1. First tiger is Star male or T28

2. Second tigress is Arrowhead or T 84, Apparently T28 is the father

3. Third tigress dosing in water is Lightening or T83. She is the sister of T84

Second safari - Zone 2

1. The first Tiger/ess you saw is most probably T60 the mother with 3 cubs. Was she near the diesel genset pump? Sad she didnt get her cubs out. I saw her and her cubs on the last day of June and the sighting was brilliant.

2. Second Tigress is Noor or T39. She indeed delivered cubs (hence the swollen teats), they were photographed once and never after. Most probably she has lost them

Third safari - Zone 2

1. The tigress that you saw from Jogi Mahal is Arrowhead ot T84

Fourth safari - Ranthambhore Fort Road

1. The first Tiger you saw crossing the road is Star male or T28

2. Second Tiger is again male called Pacman or T85.

3. Third Tiger (on your way back), cant see much of his stripes but, is most probably Pacman or T85 again.


Basically you saw all the siblings i.e 83,84 and 85 and father 28 plus T60 and T39. Wonderful I must say!!

Regards

Last edited by deky : 13th August 2016 at 14:03.
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Old 13th August 2016, 14:41   #15
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Originally Posted by Dr.Q View Post
Great trip and lovely photos.
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quote:
I would like to know the details about where you stayed ...
We stayed at the Nahargarh property. It was only a package deal for stay and food. Safari (permit) and gypsy has to be arranged separately. Our hotel package was around 10k per room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Hey earthian !! Brilliant little travelogue there with some great pictures which narrate most of the story so well. Loved every bit of it and thus rated it a well deserved 5*.
Thank you. Am glad that you appreciated it.
Quote:
It's amazing that you sighted a Tiger in each and every Safari that you guys did; though the last one was the icing on the cake where you spotted the Tiger feasting on it's prey. A very rare sight indeed for many adventurists.
Amazing, isn't it? Hence the title of the travelogue: The Gods have been kind...
Quote:
...when we visited Pench & Kanha National Park
Just read your report. Beautiful pictures and very well written. Incidentally, your last safari was in 2014. Don't you think it is overdue for another one now?
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Wow, Wow and more Wow.
Wow!! Thank you.

Quote:
It seems you guys stayed at Nahargarh Hotel. Though the hotel is nice but I found it to be very westerner oriented. Though the rooms were nice and huge, no TV (not required also) but the food I thought was very bland. What is your opinion?
Yes, it was the Nahargarh property. Actually, the first day we were the only occupants. The next day they had sold a couple of rooms. As far as the food was concerned, we actually got to tell them what we wanted for every meal- This made sense since the occupancy was very low. Hence we got the food prepared to our taste. The service was very good. Rajasthan is known for treating it's guests with utmost courtesy and care; and it was no different here.
Quote:
Now I will try to identify the tigers as per the safari
Thank you, Deky. That was awesome. The guides did mention some of the names, such as arrowhead and such; though you seem to be a master.
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