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Old 25th May 2010, 08:37   #31
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Wonderful pics GD saab. Just imagine while you standing there in water taking pics of beast, beast decided to do a dog act of removing water shaking whole body
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:24   #32
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Wonderful pictures. Tuskers at close range?
The resort also looks very nice.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:30   #33
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Most of the resorts have their own Elephants and they are taken to the Kosi river for daily bath & scrub. We were to witness that.
Reminds me of the time when I was there, sitting on the river bank and watching the scrubbers work on the elephants. Actually, after some time, I started getting jealous of the beasts. Just chilling in the water and receiving the treatment of a SPA.

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Wonderful pictures. Tuskers at close range?
The resort also looks very nice.
I don't think that those elephants are Tuskers.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:00   #34
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Thanks Rajeev. Fortunately for me, the elephants are not known to do the doggy act of removing water..! However I was warned by one of the mahouts, not to venture closer as an iadvertant kick would land my camera and me in the Kosi with a massive bruise to my elephantine ego..

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Wonderful pics GD saab. Just imagine while you standing there in water taking pics of beast, beast decided to do a dog act of removing water shaking whole body
Ampere, thanks and no they weren't tuskers. The beasts were being addressed by feminine names.

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Wonderful pictures. Tuskers at close range?
The resort also looks very nice.
I too envied them in that heat..

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Reminds me of the time when I was there, sitting on the river bank and watching the scrubbers work on the elephants. Actually, after some time, I started getting jealous of the beasts. Just chilling in the water and receiving the treatment of a SPA.

I don't think that those elephants are Tuskers.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:26   #35
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The elephantine bathing continued with the one who changed sides got up in the midst and ventured into the deep to frolick.

In the deep

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2049.jpg

Taking a shower

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While I was watching the beast's water play, I heard some strange sounds behind me. Since my back was to the other elephant that lay prone, I was almost scared that the beast had gotten up and was behind me.

I slowly turned and was relieved to see these two mules carrying sand and crossing the river. I was immediately reminded of a short story I had heard as a child - There was trader in a village who used to go to another village across the river with his donkey carrying salt to sell. The donkey one day stumbled in the river and fell down. After a lot of effort when the animal got up, he realised his load had become lighter. The donkey repeated this act another day and to his delight the load again was lighter. Salt used to melt in water.

When this became too often, the trader realised that the donkey was upto some trick. This time the trader loaded sand on the back of the donkey and proceeded to another village. The donkey repeated his act again and after sometime when he tried getting up couldn't do so as the load had become doubly heavier. The sand had absorbed the water.

Mules crossing Kosi

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2050.jpg

Laden with sand

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2051.jpg

Well, coming back to the other elephant, it was her time to get up to change sides. It got up, sprayed her back with a shower that had more pressure than a jacuzzi and sat down. It had to be pulled by the ear to lay on its side and the scrubbing started. Pictures shall explain more aptly.

Seems to me a female inspite of tuskers - Mammary gland

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2062.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2064.jpg

No jacuzzi could match this pressure

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2065.jpg

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Not only humans, but elephants too need ear pulling

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2067.jpg

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Ear scrub

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2054.jpg

With all the water sports over, it was time to return to the room as the sun was getting hotter and we were feeling hungry too. It was lunch time. A sumptuous buffet spread was laid out in the common dining hall that was round shaped thatched hut. I gulped a few portions of fermented barley water to keep my kidneys well-oiled and lunched. After a heavy belly we returned to the room for siesta as there were quite a few activities in the evening..

To be continued....!!

Last edited by gd1418 : 25th May 2010 at 12:35.
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Old 26th May 2010, 13:43   #36
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The day comes to an end

After a refreshing nap got up around 6 pm. Evening activities were to start from 7 pm, first with a screening of a wildlife film, followed by a musical evening and finally dinner.

The wildlife film screened was on the Royal Bengal Tiger by the Bedi Brothers. Was very informative and interesting. Also it built up the excitement in me for the next day's jungle safari. With the film over the musical session started.

The empty seats

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2081.jpg

Jimmy

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2073.jpg

Unfortunately for Jimmy the vocalist/guitarist, almost all the guests present left to have dinner except me. Jimmy played exclusively for me and belted out some old Rafi & Kishore numbers. I enjoyed that immensely.

It was dinner time.

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2080.jpg

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Had a light dinner since we had to get up early next day to be ready by 5:30 am. The Bijrani gate would open at 6 am to allow the jeeps to enter.

Dinner over strolled outside the resort complex onto the road. Even at 11 pm there was intermittent traffic. The doorman informed that this road leads to Ranikhet and is a shorter route compared to the traditional Haldwani-Kathgodam route. He aslo told that the speeding vehicles have many a times injured and killed fauna trying to cross the road to go to Kosi to quench thrist. Human sensitivity at its lowest..!

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We had planned a short walk outside the resort but it was pitch dark and across the road was the dense forest. I casually asked the guard if he had seen any wild animals in the night and he related his story of the last year. A small drain flows next to the resorts that in monsoons carries the Kosi overflow. The guard said one night while at the gate he heard some strange sound near the drain. He came out and saw a young male tiger drinking water. Guard got totally scared and ran inside to the reception and locked himself in one of the rooms. Came out only at day break.. After listening to his tale, we lost all the desire to take a short walk and with our tail and bravado firmly tucked between the legs returned to our room.

Dreaming of seeing the elusive cat the next day, went off to sleep....


To be continued....!

Last edited by gd1418 : 26th May 2010 at 14:01.
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Old 27th May 2010, 14:08   #37
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6th April, 2010 - 04:15 hrs

Single room, three occupants & one bathroom. Tough call. We had to be ready & leave by 5:30. I was the first to get up and started getting ready followed by my wife & daughter. By the time they were ready, I was all set to "hunt" the Tiger. I decided against carrying my camera bag, and boy was that a mistake? In retrospect, sure it was. Hung the D300 with the 70~300mm around the neck with the cleaning kit in the pocket and was ready to leave. At times I missed my 18~135 badly inside the jungle. The widest that I had was the 70mm... My wife & daughter equipped themselves with the binocs & the S220 and we were ready to go.

Ready to "shoot" the Tiger

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-0466.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-0437.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-0438.jpg

Since my package was with all meals inclusive, while doing the booking I was told that the breakfast & lunch would be packed when on a full day safari. There at the camp it was made known that just 3days back the forest authorities have banned food packets from outside, and whatever is to be eaten has to be done so at a decrepit eatery located inside the forest at the Bijrani Forest Rest house. I came to know later that the contractor who ran that eatery had paid a huge tender amount to get that contract and he in cahoots with the forest authorities had managed the ban.

Well, this was not to bother me as the resort people said that they would make the payment for whatever we ate.

A few points about the visit to the jungle. Corbett being the first Tiger reserve of the country, highly publicised and boasting of a decent Tiger density, is visited by a huge number of tourists. Permits for visitors and the vehicles are issued by Corbett Tiger Reserve Office located at Ramnagar everyday from morning 5:45 to 8 am on first-cum-first serve basis. Huge ques start forming from quite early every day. The permits for morning & evening safaris are issued separately. While the permits for morning safari can be booked in advance, the evening safari permits are issued on the same day.

The jungle opens from 6 to 11 in the morning & 3 to 6 in the evening. Both in the morning & evening only 30 vehicles are allowed inside. As sson as a vehicle with a valid permit enters, it is verified by forest authorities, visitors's photo ID card checked and a forest guide assigned. Then only the vehicle can go in the jungle.

I had booked two full-day safari and that meant that from 11 am till 3 pm we couldn't come out of the jungle and go to our resort, but chill inside only either at the Bijrani camp or the Malani camp. When I mentioned this to Suman prior to my journey he cautioned me against this, as he too had done the same last year. He said that there was no place to rest at the Bijrani camp and it would be unbearably hot. Well, my bookings were done and I couldn't back out.

As soon as we stepped out of the room, I shivered. There was a nip in the air and it seemed that not packing something warm was a mistake. Our jeep (Gypsy 4x4) with the driver was waiting and the permits were with the driver. We boarded and were off to Aamdanda Gate. An open jeep going at 60kmph, nearly froze us. We saw occupants of other jeeps that we passed with shawls around them.

Reached the gate and ours was the 2nd jeep. Entered, permits checked, Photo ID checked, guide assigned and the safari began. On way passed a small village called Dhikuli that was barricaded with an electric fence. Boy, what an exciting life these villagers lived.

The Track

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2095.jpg

The jungle thckened as we proceeded and I saw a Cheetal in the bushes. Alarmed he/she let out a call - it almost meant "beware, 2-legged animals have entered again today".

Cheetal in the bush

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2088.jpg

After a drive of about 20 minutes reached the Bijrani Forest Rest House (FRH). Parked there and the driver told us to go and have the refreshments etc. In the meanwhile some more vehicles were coming and stopping there.

Bijrani

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2096.jpg

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I was not too keen on any refreshments, so started roaming around the complex, till the others finished. Saw this Langur practising acrobatics on the roof of the FRH.

Acrobat

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-0482.jpg


To be continued....!!
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Old 27th May 2010, 15:13   #38
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OT: Gd sahab : Are you uploading pictures after processing it somehow ?? Why I asked so, some pictures looks too much sharper to me (Ex: Picture No. 7 & 9 in the last post)
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Old 27th May 2010, 15:54   #39
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Great snaps GD sir, loved the camera that you have and ofcourse the photos as well, esp the elephant in the water... the water looks so clean and blue, never see water so clean/clear in India. Looks like a foreign location...
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:15   #40
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Ashish, I never, never ever process any of my pictures. The only processing that I do is to crop the pictures to remove extraneous material.

Picture #7 of the FRH and #9 of the gypises parked are the same as they were taken sans any processing.

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OT: Gd sahab : Are you uploading pictures after processing it somehow ?? Why I asked so, some pictures looks too much sharper to me (Ex: Picture No. 7 & 9 in the last post)
Thanks Ranjith. India is highly underestimated. Everything foreign is not that good. Visit Pangong Tso & Tso Moriri. The clarity & the colour of the water shall stun you beyond comprehension..

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Great snaps GD sir, loved the camera that you have and ofcourse the photos as well, esp the elephant in the water... the water looks so clean and blue, never see water so clean/clear in India. Looks like a foreign location...
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Old 27th May 2010, 17:47   #41
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Refreshments over, we proceeded deeper and suddenly the guide asked the driver to stop and asked us to to be silent. There on the right was the Indian Jungle Fox. A higly elusive animal and seen very seldom. The guide said that in all his 5 years of service he had seen this animal only 5 or 6 times.

Vulpes Bengalensis

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2103.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2104.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2105.jpg

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2109.jpg

Proceeded further slowly and the jeep stopped in front of a tree trunk. Here I missed my 18~135. Since getting down from the jeep was not allowed, with great effort managed to click this picture of claw marks on the trunk.

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2119.jpg

Marks of Tiger claw sharpening on a tree trunk

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2120.jpg

A little further the track changed it was loose sand and like everywhere else we saw the fresh pugmarks. According to the guide it was made an hour ago, meaning Stripes had passed through this place. Sure enough we heard a barking deer call several times that was followed by the call of a solitary Sambhar. Reversed the jeep and slowly proceeded towards the source of the alarm call. Parked and waited. Heard a jungle fowl calling frequently, and then a loud mating call of a pea-cock. The jungle fell silent.

The fresh Pug Marks of a Tiger

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2123.jpg

Some other footprints of wild animals

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2124.jpg

The fresh Pug Marks of a Tiger

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2125.jpg

Moved further and saw this pair crossing in front of our jeep.

A pair of Cheetal stag & doe

Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest-2127.jpg

To be continued....!!

Last edited by gd1418 : 27th May 2010 at 17:54.
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:20   #42
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gd sahib,
Your thread is unfolding so well, I keep coming back for more knowing that an ace like you must have saved the best for last. Your passion is evident by your descriptive narration in words and photographs.
Yes the Indian fox is not seen often.
Will be coming back for more again.
Regards,
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:24   #43
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GD Sir brilliant pics and narration. Reminds me of the old Jim Corbett stories i used to hear and read as a kid
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Old 27th May 2010, 18:26   #44
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Thank you Fazal bhai. Someday would like to accompany you to a jungle.

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gd sahib,
Your thread is unfolding so well, I keep coming back for more knowing that an ace like you must have saved the best for last. Your passion is evident by your descriptive narration in words and photographs.
Yes the Indian fox is not seen often.
Will be coming back for more again.
Regards,
Sammy, thanks and it is flattering. But Jim's narration even today gives me goose pimples and mine is not even a patch on it..

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GD Sir brilliant pics and narration. Reminds me of the old Jim Corbett stories i used to hear and read as a kid

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Old 27th May 2010, 19:10   #45
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The fresh Pug Marks of a Tiger
I got gooseflesh seeing this snap... very much thrilled to see the hungry beast.

PICS of Tiger's

Can't wait to see them
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