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Old 24th November 2009, 10:44   #31
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A spot in the "chawr" where a Hindi movie was shot (I forget which).
Kaal, starring John, Esha Deol and Ajay Devgun as the Bhoot. How can I forget it, I sent messages to all my friends telling them about the suspense and they have after me since

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Slight whine from the front diff after switching back to 2WD (for a few seconds I thought it was some kind of bird call!), which needed reversing up for a few feet - wife's suddenly surprised that I am reversing, and explanation required about disengaging the front hubs.
Is it required to take a reverse once 4wd is changed to 2wd.

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Yes - Rs.150 for vehicle entry permit for 24 hours, and Rs.50 per adult (valid for 72 hours on a single entry). That's the fun - you can't send your car out on its own to renew the permit for the next day , so you end up paying the entry tax for the person all over again!
Thats a big joke, why cant the vehicle permit be taken for 3 days if a person wishes so !!
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Old 24th November 2009, 10:55   #32
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The photos are awesome!
I especially like the ones where one can see the crocs under water, the lone elephant and the river bend.



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and it's time to sit down with my novel.
Ditch that novel and get down to writing Gurudev! This is the best alter-take on otherwise Tiger journeys of Corbett!

One needs to visit Sunderbans to get the real feel of being at a tiger's mercy. You get the smell of the tiger for hours, the boat people tell you that it's stalking the boat from behind the mangroves and you never get to see it.
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Old 24th November 2009, 10:57   #33
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Night-time, and it was time for some more experimentations with the camera.

The freshly painted walls of the FRH bungalows lit by a few bare CFLs had this rather stark look. Without a tripod and at ISO3200, the noise was so prominent, but it somehow made the pic look good to me.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07627k120.jpg

And then I converted the image to B&W to get this look.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-geometric-patternsk120.jpg

The polished floor of the verandah reflected the image of the chairs, and in the still of the night, I had nothing better to do than try capturing that picture.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07628k120.jpg

Even the shadow of the pillars off the verandah seemed a good subject to capture at that time.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-pillarsk120.jpg

And a quick trip down to the river again, to shoot the steps leading up from the viewing gallery.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07624k120.jpg
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Old 24th November 2009, 11:05   #34
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Doc, a bit OT, but hasn't M&M changed the hib cap design to something smaller to avoid it getting broken. May be you should get it changed.
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Old 24th November 2009, 12:29   #35
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Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Kaal, starring John, Esha Deol and Ajay Devgun as the Bhoot.
Yes, that's the one - the guide did tell us, but we forgot.

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Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Is it required to take a reverse once 4wd is changed to 2wd.
Yes, for automatic freewheeling hubs like the Scorpio/Safari, the hubs engage automatically when 4WD is engaged. When going back to 2WD mode on the fly, the hubs do not disengage - so the standard operating procedure is to reverse a few feet to disengage them.

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The photos are awesome!
I especially like the ones where one can see the crocs under water, the lone elephant and the river bend.
Thanks.
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Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
Ditch that novel and get down to writing Gurudev!
Not a Sidney Sheldon!
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One needs to visit Sunderbans to get the real feel of being at a tiger's mercy.
Indeed. Sunderbans is one place I have been planning to go to for many years. Perhaps sometime soon...
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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Doc, a bit OT, but hasn't M&M changed the hib cap design to something smaller to avoid it getting broken. May be you should get it changed.
I wasn't aware of that. Will check. Thanks for the info.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 24th November 2009 at 12:31.
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Old 24th November 2009, 20:12   #36
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Whatever be the bad about Corbett, I was impressed with the maintenance that the people there put in to keep everything shipshape.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dhikala-board.jpg

The British era furniture is still in use, with a fair amount of diligent carpentry.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-chairtable.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-bench.jpg

For 4 months in a year (15th June to 15th October), the rains make a mess of things. Then, from 15th October, the repair and cleaning up begins, and by the time CTR opens to the public on 16th November, the work is mostly complete. The roads are cleared of foliage overgrowth, the tall grass is cut away, all buildings get a fresh coat of paint, all thatched roofs are redone,
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-reception.jpg

and broken bridges are repaired.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-wood-bridge.jpg

This bridge was a rickety structure which creaked as we passed over it (gently), but I assured myself that if it can take the load of a Swaraj Mazda LCV with passengers over it,
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-mazda.jpg

it would take the load of the Hawk.

Incidentally, a 4-hour ride on one of these Mazda/Canter open buses from Ramnagar into the jungle costs Rs.600 per person, and these are often booked for days in advance.
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Old 24th November 2009, 20:42   #37
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SS-Traveller,
A very comprehensive travelogue. Pictures are equally complimenting capturing the moods, accomodation and the times of the day, the first stitched shot is very well composed. The size of the elephant grass is cleverly scaled by the elephant in the foreground.
Need to be there soon, thanks for sharing.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 24th November 2009 at 20:43.
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Old 24th November 2009, 21:56   #38
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
SS-Traveller,
A very comprehensive travelogue. Pictures are equally complimenting capturing the moods, accomodation and the times of the day, the first stitched shot is very well composed. The size of the elephant grass is cleverly scaled by the elephant in the foreground.
Need to be there soon, thanks for sharing.
Regards,
Thank you.

A few glimpses of cars inside Corbett.

A Forester in the forest...
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-foresterk120.jpg

An old Toyota...
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-toyotak120.jpg

...and a new Toyota with a flat tyre.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-flattyrek120.jpg

A spot of nostalgia for me. I still miss mine.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-nostalgiak120.jpg
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Old 26th November 2009, 00:08   #39
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Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
Id give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
Id sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you
Id tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
Id make a wish for sunshine all the while.

- John Denver

Attached Thumbnails
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07685k120.jpg  

3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07643k120.jpg  

3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07663k120.jpg  

3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07678k120.jpg  

3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-dsc07688k120.jpg  

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Old 26th November 2009, 14:22   #40
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Hi,

As usual beautifully narrated travelgue from you. Corbett is one place where I wouldnt mind going over and over again. As of now you have made me visit Corbett again through your lens and through your narration. Thanks.

You are right apart from the tiger its also the "peace" that invites all the people over to Corbett. I have been to Corbett 4 times, always stayed in one of the FRH's and never seen the tiger, but always thoroughly enjoyed my experience and proximity to the nature.


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The only intrusive bit was the electrified fencing all around, which we were told was set up about 4 years ago. Before that, there used to be frequent intrusion of wildlife at night into the FRHs, and firing in the air was the only way they could be scared away. The electricity is only turned on at night, but we were not trying it out during the day either! Hands off strictly, my daughter was told.
At Dhikala the electric fencing wasnt working till last year, so I am glad to hear that atleast at gairal it is working

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Do book in now on the phone if you are going the next weekend. You won't be able to take your own car into the forest unless you are staying in one of the FRHs - and Gypsy-wallahs fleece you at the rate of 2500 - 3000 rupees for a 4-hour trip. Surely you don't want to ride a Gypsy with your Gurkha around to eat Gypsies for breakfast! Although there was just one occasion where we really needed to engage 4WD, when we got stuck on a narrow track with a Gypsy coming the other way.
Since I or my friends do not have a 4wd vehicle what we usually do is we hire a Gypsy on daily basis from Ramnagar itself ( i.e if we have acco in the FRH's). The daily charge is anywhere between 800/- to 1000/-. This does not include the fuel. The fuel is refilled when we finish our stay at Jim Corbett and come back to Ramnagar. This way the Gypsy guy also doesnt short cuts the safari to save fuel and we can take the gypsy anywhere anytime, well obviously on the stipulated routes and within the stipulated time.

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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Sir, nice narration. Have always wanted to go to Corbett but never materialised. Your travelogue gives a good perspective.

BTW is there only one FRH. Like WLS in MP, cannot one take their own vehicle with a guide?
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And yes, you can take your own car in, but I think it is only if you are also staying in one of the FRH's for the night. And roaming around the forest does not require one to compulsorily take a guide either - maybe once to get your orientation fine.
There is one zone in JCNP where you do not need bookings in FRH to be able to take your vehicle inside. Do Not remeber the name of the zone, but in that zone you can obtain day passes for the vehicle. Otherwise in rest of the zones you have to have bookings in FRH's to be able to take your vehicle in.

As far as taking guides, if I remember correctly taking a guide on every route, once in the zone, is mandatory (I think not taking one isnt an option). The guide apart from showing you around also makes sure that you do not venture in the core zone, stay on the designated routes, do not get off your vehicles, do not litter etc etc.

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Lucky you! whenever we have gone to corbett, the accomodations inside are always booked!
Did you go for advance booking or something, or you were just lucky!
I guess next time we will also go and stand in the line!
Lately the number of huts in Dhikala has been increased. So chances of getting a booking increases. If for some reason you cant get a booking on arrival at Ramnagar, the other way is to book yourself in the Dormitories at Dhikala. ( best if you bachelors). After reaching Dhikala you can straight away approach the reception and tell them you need rooms/huts if any cancellations. Usually there are cancellations or the FRH guys always hold rooms for VIP's who dont turn up and you can get their rooms. We did that last time and got best rooms, though we did end up loosing money that we paid for the Dorms.

Also I would like to add for all the prospective travellers to JCNP, you could also try to get a booking at KANDA FRH. Kanda is not know for spotting a tiger but its on one of the very less traveled routes ( on the other side of the river). The nature there is raw and untouched and you happen to see more wild life there. Also its at a height so you have excellent views from there. The only thing with Kanda is that it doesnt have a mess so you would have to carry your own eggs, maggie, bread, biscuits etc etc. Usually the caretakers of the FRH will make you Dal/ Chawal on request.
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Old 26th November 2009, 20:45   #41
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As usual beautifully narrated travelgue from you.
Thanks, deky.

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Since I or my friends do not have a 4wd vehicle what we usually do is we hire a Gypsy on daily basis from Ramnagar itself
Yes, that's another way to take the Gypsies, but there is no fixed rate - 1500-2000/day is par for the course in peak season, plus petrol. However, even small hatches like Wagon-Rs and Santros can make it comfortably to Dhikala. From Dhikala, Gypsies are available at fixed prices (Rs.800) for a 4-5-hour morning/afternoon safari (this includes fuel).

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There is one zone in JCNP where you do not need bookings in FRH to be able to take your vehicle inside.
That's the Dhikala zone.
Quote:
...taking a guide on every route, once in the zone, is mandatory (I think not taking one isnt an option).
That applies if one is not staying inside the zones in a FRH. It is obviously justified to take a guide (Rs.250 for a 4-5-hour trip) the first time to get a feel of the routes, but the subsequent trips can be done on your own. The local Gypsy-wallahs are pretty sensitive to outsiders littering/going off track/getting out of the car, and will report the matter to the gate - in such a case one would be slapped with a Rs.1000 fine before they let the car out. We took the guide for the afternoon trip, but moved around the next morning on our own for over 4 hours. No issues there.

Quote:
The only thing with Kanda is that it doesnt have a mess so you would have to carry your own eggs, maggie, bread, biscuits etc etc. Usually the caretakers of the FRH will make you Dal/ Chawal on request.
Except Dhikala and Gairal, ALL the other FRHs have this arrangement. We were not aware of this, and I guess we were lucky to get Gairal, else we would have had to do with biscuits and dry rations for dinner. Driving to one of the FRHs which have a canteen is not an option at night either, since all vehicular traffic is banned after 5:30PM in winter and 6:30PM in summer.
Quote:
you happen to see more wild life there
...which reminds me, the next post would have to be of the wildlife we saw there!
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Old 26th November 2009, 22:53   #42
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Well, we went to a National Park and we expected to see wildlife. Not the tiger (at least we saw no live ones ), but yes, the closest we came to seeing one was a false alarm. Lots of people lined up on the road and staring away into the jungle, as if the tiger of their dreams would pose for a pic about 30 seconds later. Our guide's comment: The Gypsies do that to kill time and save on fuel. After 15 minutes of staring into the foliage, even we started imagining things!

3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-tigertiger.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-tigertiger2.jpg

If we didn't spot tigers, we saw plenty of spotted deer anyway. Some are tough to spot, and some grazing right out in the open. Not too scared of cars.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-hidenseek.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-hideseek2.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-deer1.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-deer2.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-deer3.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-deer-grazing.jpg

Then there was this majestic black buck who, after an initial session of peekaboo, decided to take as good a look at us as we did of him.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-black-buck1.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-blackbuck2.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-blackbuck3.jpg


[...to be continued]
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Old 27th November 2009, 03:14   #43
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Great narration and photography! The pics by the river are beautiful...a few more wide angle shots would have been great. By the way which camera/lens combo are you using.

As for the long exposure shots of the flowing river, you said about using 30s at f/3.5..thats one heck of a long exposure at such an wide aperture setting. So I was wondering what time was it? Was it pretty dark?

a little bit of tweaking would really make some of the pictures stand out.
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Old 27th November 2009, 09:12   #44
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Good going borda!
Awesome snaps. I really like the one with the dry tree branches against the sky, and the close up of the spotted dear grazing in the bushes. look at the horns on it!
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Old 27th November 2009, 09:18   #45
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Great narration and photography! The pics by the river are beautiful...a few more wide angle shots would have been great. By the way which camera/lens combo are you using.
Thank you. I don't use a dSLR - what I use is a Sony H3. It's ultraportable and I haven't yet managed to master its full potential - once I do, then I'll get me a dSLR.

Quote:
As for the long exposure shots of the flowing river, you said about using 30s at f/3.5..thats one heck of a long exposure at such an wide aperture setting. So I was wondering what time was it? Was it pretty dark?
Yes it was 6PM, and the other side of the river was not even visible clearly with the naked eye.

Quote:
...a little bit of tweaking would really make some of the pictures stand out.
That's another aspect of digital photography that I am trying to learn, but online learning is not the easiest of things... Someday soon I'll catch me a guru who can sit with me and teach me the stuff!

To continue...

Alongside the river, there are a few vantage points for one to park, get out of the car, and enjoy the view. One such is this, where one can see gharial and crocodiles in the river. Another is where eagles can be seen - but we saw none, so shot the Hawk instead .
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-gharial-board.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-gharial.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-croc.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-hawk-eagle-point.jpg

Monkeys are obviously aplenty in the CTR, and when humans and monkeys share space, monkey business happens. Though the authorities are quite sensitive about segregating waste and preventing littering, monkeys are far more resourceful than humans think they are! And the simians are not even scared of humans.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-anyone-.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-monkey2.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-monkey1.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-monkeytoyota.jpg

A few other animals we came across were the elephant - this one was apparently having a bath along with some 20-22 others of a herd, and was continuing to enjoy itself with a sand-bath, as the herd moved on into the tall grass and the trees beyond.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-elephtrunk.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-elephant.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-elephsand.jpg

Then there was a wild boar rooting up the ground. Too far away to get a decent pic, but here's what I could manage.
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-wildboar.jpg
3C's (Car, Camera, Corbett) minus 3C's (Cellphone, Clinics, Classes) = Peace-wildboar2.jpg
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