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Old 12th May 2010, 17:41   #1
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Default A Wilderness Photologue: Kanha and Bandhavgarh

This is my second series of photologue, first one being a visit to Bandipur and Devarshola
See Link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...devashola.html (A Wilderness Photologue - Bandipur & Palaniappa Estate (Devashola))

Some guys in this forum have put up really nice write ups and good pics of wildlife visits, i was tempted to put up my report as well. I am not that good with words, but hopefully this would be interesting.

For the first time I am visiting a wildlife sanctuary outside the southern states .
As one of my fellow photographers calls it “The Central Indian Tiger pilgrimage”; visiting Bandhavgarh and Kanha was a fantastic experience seeing close to 15 different tigers in their habitat, other mammals and quite a lot of birds. The plethora of species here is just magnificent to say the least and has to be experienced by anyone aspiring to shoot wildlife.

Kanha park info:
Terrain: Sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines
Area: 1945 sq kms, tourism zone is about 450 sq kms
Species: The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine, hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger, and leopard.
The birds species in the park include storks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, ring doves, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, and fly catchers.
Time to visit: The climate of this region is tropical. Summers are hot and humid with a maximum and minimum temperature of 40.6C and 23.9C. Winters are pleasant with an average maximum and minimum temperature of 23.9C and 11.1C, respectively. The annual average rainfall is 152 cm. The park is closed from July to mid-November during monsoon.
Source & more info at: Kanha National Park ,Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, National Parks Of India, Wild Life Tours India,


About the trip:
The trip was co-ordinated by one the most prominent wildlife photographers from Bangalore, Jayanth Sharma. The programme was planned perfectly and there was lot of attention to each and every detail of the trip with regular feedback's taken from our co-ordinator on every aspects, it was a privilege to shoot beside him and understand the concepts, nuances, techniques in shooting wildlife.
The programme was to spend 3 days, 4 nights in Kanha with a chance of going on 6 Safaris.
5 of us set off from Bangalore and caught the 10:30 am IT flight to Nagpur. There was a stop over at Indore at 12:30 pm, landed in Nagpur at 14:10 hrs; we had a Innova waiting for us. Had some excellent Rajasthani food in Nagpur, drew some cash and set off. The drive to Kanha was about 6 hrs through Seoni, passed through some forest corridors on the way. Reached at the Tuli Tiger corridor resort at 8 pm, had the welcome drink and checked into our rooms. Resort is very well kept and staff was quite courteous. The spread at the restaurant was delicious with 1chicken/1 mutton gravy dish, salads, variety rice, different rotis, deserts and the works everyday. Experience was pleasant throughout except a small problem with the manager at the restaurant; when we asked for some kababs/dry items to be included in the buffet told us “These items would be polished off quickly by the guests, hence we don’t keep them”. The very next day he corrected himself and became extra generous and we gorged on a plate of Tandoori Kebabs on the final day! Kudos to our co-ordinator again for setting things right!

Safari’s:
The programme for the next 3 days was quite hectic; the safari gates open by 6 am, so we used to wake up by 3:30 am get ready set off by 4:30 am. The most important thing here would be reporting to the gate early as each gate allows up to 75 vehicles inside the park at a time! We entered from the Khatia main gate and used to wait near Kisli gate before entering the park. If you are even the 4th or 5th vehicle to enter the park you end up facing lot of dust from the vehicles in the front, so we normally used to be the 1st or 2nd vehicle to get in. A guide from the forest department get allotted by the computer and each guide is assigned to particular gypsy. Only 4 wheel drive vehicles which are registered as tourist vehicles get entry into the park. Guide knowledge is quite important to track wild animals as with a good guide combined with some luck u have a chance of good sightings, with a bad one your chance of tracking predators are less.

These are few of the pics taken at Kanha. (I’m sorry I don’t have any landscape of terrain pictures as such because changing lenses in the dusty weather is a big pain). All pics taken with Canon 40D + Canon 100-400 IS lens combination.

Barasinga or Swamp deer, this a huge species of dear almost on the verge of extinction but about 300 of them survive in Kanha and thanks to the efforts of forest dep. , they are being bred here.

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A Gaur calf
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The dominant male tiger of Shravan Tal, Langda (Limp)
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Langda's action in evening light
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A oriental honey buzzard relishing on a honeycomb
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Spotted Owl
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The dance of our national bird. Had to spot metre here as the bird was in shade and the light was behind.
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Shikra a fearless raptor with its blood red eyes.
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More to follow....

Last edited by redrage : 12th May 2010 at 17:47.
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Old 12th May 2010, 17:48   #2
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Awesome pictures redrage.

Which camera were you using and what lenses?
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Old 12th May 2010, 19:38   #3
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Holy cow !! Awesome pictures Dilip, I had given up hopes that you would put up these pictures here and share the experience. Nice start and birding is truly your piece of cake. Please go on and share the rest of the trip with us lesser mortals.
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Old 12th May 2010, 19:49   #4
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Great pictures!! The quality is just awesome.
Please go ahead and share more pictures with narration ofcourse.
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Old 12th May 2010, 20:41   #5
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Great snaps. The cats are amazing and so are the peacock and owl !
Very nice indeed.
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Old 12th May 2010, 21:23   #6
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Awesome pics dude. Especially the Tiger resting.

Eagerly awaiting more.
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Old 13th May 2010, 08:34   #7
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Hi redrage,
Dude the travelouge is coming out very good! please unfold the lots of wild life snaps taken by you. Seems you are a proffesional wild life photographer.
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Old 13th May 2010, 10:18   #8
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Your snaps are awesome, I hope to learn to take similar shots some day, BTW looks like Kanha was flooded by BHPians this summer, I know few BHPians gone there but too lazy to write on it..
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Old 13th May 2010, 10:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Which camera were you using and what lenses
He has already mentioned it in his post. You can also check his amazing bird pictures in theme photography thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
All pics taken with Canon 40D + Canon 100-400 IS lens combination.
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Old 13th May 2010, 10:52   #10
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Redrage, great photos and the naturalness in those pics are again eye-catching. In fact the last bird photologue [bandipur] was what made me remember your ID at Eagle Nest and Nameri - you would have done a great job out there with your equipment. Do you have any online photo album like of all your past snaps in any site?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
These are few of the pics taken at Kanha. (I’m sorry I don’t have any landscape of terrain pictures as such because changing lenses in the dusty weather is a big pain)
Thats one thing majority of all wildlife travelogues are missing out of - a wide angle perspective of the forest cover and all.

Quote:
More to follow....
Eagerly awaited!

Last edited by adc : 13th May 2010 at 10:54.
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Old 13th May 2010, 13:52   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post


Eagerly awaited!
+1 to that.
Awesome photography!
Why is the Tiger called Langda? Now a very suitable name for the Jungle King!
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Old 13th May 2010, 17:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
He has already mentioned it in his post. You can also check his amazing bird pictures in theme photography thread.
My Bad. Completely overlooked it! Thanks for pointing out!

BTW, Redrage, where art thou?
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Old 14th May 2010, 09:48   #13
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Sorry friends, quite a lot of work at office yesterday so wasn't able to upload...

Few more pictures from Kanha:

The Barasinga Pair
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More of raptor Shikra:
Quenching thirst
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We ended our trip in Kanha by sighting a ten year old male tiger much past its prime monitoring the Kisli region

The beauty of it was it was about 18:40, absolutely dull and fading light , this huge male is walking towards us. I happened to see most of the my fellow photographers who are regular to these places putting away their camera's and watching this male approaching... The drive shouts "Sir , TIGER !!! TIGER!!" and this giant of a male passes into the forest after glancing at us. There were about 15 vehicles there and seeing him go inside, they head back. Our driver thinks a bit and says the tiger would come back to the main path where we saw it, he reverses the vehicle for 100 meters and we see this huge fellow coming towards us. I Sheepishly click as others are observing.... He passes at about 4 feet from our faces..... It was a Nirvana moment!!!!

Kisli Male
radio collar visible.
Pic taken at 18:40, ISO 3200. Shutter 1/6

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Next up.... Pictures from Bandhavgarh

Last edited by redrage : 14th May 2010 at 09:59.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:20   #14
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@pulsar, riju, raman, sukiwa, adc, sen, sree, gadadhar, sachin, amphere : Thank you all for the comments.
@Sree: Im a Hobbyist. Nothin more.
@ adc: some of my pics on fb profie: Dilip Prashanth | Facebook

Normally naming the tigers in the park are avoided. I assume it becomes controversial what name ? why i suppose. So the guides try to keep a simple name like if the tiger is really beautiful with features standing out then they may call her Sundari, it it patrols a certain area then its named after the area
@ Sen:This one was called Langda as it fought with the other territorial male and started limping.

(Mods: Please merge with the last post)
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:58   #15
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Great pics Dilip, thanks for sharing. Nothing to beat the Central Indian parks for the tiger show, though I still feel the elation one would get sighting a tiger in the South Indian parks can never be matched.

Is it a radio collar which I see in the last tiger.
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