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Old 28th July 2010, 11:20   #16
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Apologies for the delay folks. Was too eager to start this thread and share photos but then, had to hit the bed after the first post as I was driving from 4.30 AM yesterday and had to go to office once back in town. Here is the rest of it..

What triggered this trip is another TBHPian, Fazal Ali Adil’s travelogue on TATR - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-4-tigers.html (Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!). I knew that I was at the fag end of Tiger spotting season and my chances of seeing the majestic beast in the wild were close to nil. Added to that, I had recently done a Jog – Agumbe – Hampi trip and running a little low on finances. But again the peak season would not start until Feb 2011. And I will be driving (Oh yeah! Chance to hit the highway again). These thought triggered my gray cells and I decided to go ahead.

All the while, I had been in touch with Fazal who had shared that there had been a tiger sighting at waterhole#7 at Moharli range, the week before and it might still be a good time to visit TATR, despite the onset of monsoon. I might just be lucky here!

Then came the next hurdle. I had invited a lot of my friends to join me and most of them refused or dropped off at the last moment. I even put up this vacant ad on TBHP - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...y-24-26-a.html (2 vacant places to visit Tadoba (TATR) July 24 - 26), but no one seemed to be interested. I call it a hurdle as I always prefer to travel in a small group which adds to the fun and works easy on the pocket. Nevertheless, I had decided to go ahead with wifey if no one is joining in. That’s when my colleagues from work, Satish and Naga offered to join in.

That settled, we were off to TATR on Saturday morning by 5.30 AM.

The Route: Hyderabad – Shamirpet – Karimnagar – Ramagundam – Mancherial – Asifabad – Ballarpur(Ballharshah) – Chandrapur – Mohurli.

The Roads: The roads upto Asifabad are excellent, especially the Hyd-Karimnagar stretch and one can easily maintain an average of 70-80KMPH. The only bad stretch is (as always is the case) the border area between Asifabad and Ballarpur. The road tends to get narrow, potholed for about 20 KM. Then on, once crossing over to the MH side, the road is patchy but ok. Rajura onwards the roads are again good upto Chandrapur. There is a small bad patch of 3-4KM just after the Chandrapur Thermal power plant (Ruts created by regular coal truck movement). The forest roads are a drivers delight. Metalled and lush green on both sides with occasional chances of wildlife spotting, even in the buffer areas.

Some pics from the roads:

The Route
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-route.jpg

Just before siddhipet
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1339.jpg

Chai break
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1341.jpg

Lower Manair Dam - Karimnagar
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1342.jpg

Ramagundam super thermal power station
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1343.jpg

Just after AP border, before Rajura
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1354.jpg

Jai Maharashtra, Jai vidharbha!
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1359.jpg

Moharli gate, buffer area entrance
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1362.jpg

Entrance formalities+chai paani
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1363.jpg

Moharli buffer area forest road
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1366.jpg

The Erai reservoir
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1367.jpg

Total Distance: 997 KM Door to Door

Overall FE: 15.3 KM/L
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Old 28th July 2010, 11:29   #17
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Ok, you've got me hooked. Waiting for the wildlife to come in. BTW if you had not done the second post you would have got the cold stare from me.
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Old 28th July 2010, 11:41   #18
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I am hooked on to this thread now.
let the wildlife pictures begin
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Old 28th July 2010, 12:33   #19
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Looks like only 1/3rd of the python is out on the road and 2/3rds gone in. Hence I felt that he looks longer than 8 feet. Once we caught a 15 feet python in Udupi. It was taken to a forest area with much pomp and fanfare. It took 8 of us to carry that bugger! Seems he'd swallowed a small goat or hare or something like that. So he was in his semi dazed state and didn't try asphyxiating us.
Etorque. Roll out the tiger stuff man. I've seen lions and leopards in the wild. Yet to see a tiger.
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Old 28th July 2010, 14:33   #20
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It was a wonderful meeting with you ExtremeTorque and you guys were extremely lucky to see a tiger in almost every drive that you did in this park.

My laptop is on ventilator so updates will be slow. Will try to post some updates and pics asap.


regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
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Old 28th July 2010, 14:40   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Superb pics. I'm all eyes. Give me more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
The constrictor was scary alright.Looking forward to more
Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
That bugger looks like a reticulated python. And he looks more than 8 feet!
Yes MX6, i was sure this would delight you. I have some more close shots for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit View Post
Yes, A python it is. I think you are extremely lucky to see a python in the wild. And I hope you will post pics of the cold stare soon
Lucky is the key word. We were so lucky, that the driver whipped out his own handcam to capture it. He says 'Tigers are dime a dozen', i've very rarely seen azgars in the wild. Cold stare is coming soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unoczar View Post
kya irada hai boss?? you cant start a thread in the middle of the night and leave us hanging.. POST!
Sorry unoczar, didnt mean to keep you waiting, i dozed off while posting the next part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Am hooked !

Did you get any more pictures of the Python ?
Yes, many more. And a video also!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
In two words - Awesome Beginning. Now where is the rest? F5 F5 F5
Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Cold stare, close encounter with a Tiger? Wow, don't tell me you met them very close. I'm all eyes to read & waiting for the pics. Pls keep them rolling.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
An interesting thread title to start off with, the COLD STARE part of the story says it all . Please don't keep us lesser mortals waiting.


You seem to have known the python for long ? From that image it doesn't look so .
Thanks much sudev, aargee, rjstyles, krishna! Coming up shortly is the cold stare.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kri$hna View Post
A nice thread beginning, it is always an awesome experience to spot the wild.

Now i am curious about "THE COLD STARE". Bring it on...FAST PLZ

btw, what is the location ? Moharli ? how far from hyd/blr ?
It is about 450KM from Hyd, in the Chandrapur dist. of MH. My next parts will cover all details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeDrive View Post
Ok, you've got me hooked. Waiting for the wildlife to come in. BTW if you had not done the second post you would have got the cold stare from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schitre05 View Post
I am hooked on to this thread now.
let the wildlife pictures begin
Sure, coming up shortly
Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Looks like only 1/3rd of the python is out on the road and 2/3rds gone in. Hence I felt that he looks longer than 8 feet. Once we caught a 15 feet python in Udupi. It was taken to a forest area with much pomp and fanfare. It took 8 of us to carry that bugger! Seems he'd swallowed a small goat or hare or something like that. So he was in his semi dazed state and didn't try asphyxiating us.
Etorque. Roll out the tiger stuff man. I've seen lions and leopards in the wild. Yet to see a tiger.
yes MX6, it was more than 8ft is my guess. It quickly climbed into the bamboo shoots, which couldnt take the weight and broke. I have the entire video.
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Old 28th July 2010, 14:46   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
It was a wonderful meeting with you ExtremeTorque and you guys were extremely lucky to see a tiger in almost every drive that you did in this park.

My laptop is on ventilator so updates will be slow. Will try to post some updates and pics asap.


regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
Doc, you are back! It was a pleasure having you! Yes we were very lucky to spot the striped on 3 of 5 times we were there. Please feel free to post your pics from the trip.
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Old 28th July 2010, 15:17   #23
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The agenda for the remainder of my day at work is now set. All I will do is press F5 F5 F5

Nice beginning BTW.
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Old 28th July 2010, 15:37   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kri$hna View Post
btw, what is the location ? Moharli ? how far from hyd/blr ?
The jeep says Tadoba. Its in Chandrapur district.
The Python snap is nice and chilling! MX would say soothing. What say you MX?
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Old 28th July 2010, 15:42   #25
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Python's are cool creatures. They are not venomous. They rarely attack humans. They normally go for small creatures.
Snakes are the most mis-understood creatures in the world.
I'm eagerly waiting for the video of python.
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Old 28th July 2010, 15:45   #26
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Awesome pics there and I can't wait to the rest of the pics. The teasers were superb. Please get it going.
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Old 28th July 2010, 16:10   #27
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After driving for 8 hours, we reached the Moharli gate of Tadoba at about 2.30PM. The range has well demarcated area’s called the buffer area and the core area. The core area is where the Tigers and other wildlife are mainly concentrated. But the locals tell us that there are as many Tigers and animals in the buffer area as many in the core area.

We quickly completed the formalities at the MTDC guest house, had a quick lunch and headed for the 3PM safari. The rates for hiring a Gypsy for the safari are pretty reasonable and the entry fee, camera fee and guide fee are very economical.


Open Gypsy - 1300
Entry per head - 20 Adults, 10 Children
Camera fee/per camera - 5
Guide fee - 100
LMV - 50
HMV - 75
Spotting a tiger in the wild - Luck and Priceless!

MTDC restaurent, Moharli
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-2.jpg

Joining formalities
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-3.jpg

The room, MTDC Moharli
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-4.jpg

As you can see the pictures from my previous post, all the way from Hyderabad, it was raining intermittently and I was almost certain that we would not be able to spot a single Tiger. It was the same scene in Moharli, though it was a bit hot and humid, it was raining and drizzling. Now, you can call me pessimistic here but I am told that the best season to spot a Tiger is in the summer – with not much water available, all animals congregate near the watering holes. Since it was raining, I was sure there would be abundant water in the forest and the Tigers would not come out in the open.

With these doubts in my mind, we headed into the forest. The Gypsy driver started zooming on the forest roads and both he and the guide seemed to be looking for something on the sides of the main road where ever there is a by lane or fire lines. A quick enquiry and the driver tells us they are trying to look for other vehicles.

The road into the core area
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-1.jpg

Land of the tigers
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-5.jpg

Our ride on day1
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-15.jpg

“Wait, are we here to spot other vehicles or to spot some wildlife?”. “Ruko sahib, aapko Tiger dikhaunga.” After heading for about 7-8KM into the main forest, our driver takes a quick left into one of the by lanes.

The bylanes
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-7.jpg
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-9.jpg

The gypsy, I noticed had balding tyres and here was our guy negotiating slush and water puddles and some good speed. After about 15 minutes into the thick undergrowth and trying to duck bamboo shoots from hitting our faces, we spot a wild boar crossing the road. “Shucks, not enough time to whip out the camera”, my wife sighs. We move further ahead into the jungle and come face to face with another Sumo.

The sumo
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-8.jpg

The gentleman inside, sitting beside the driver has a Sony handycam, fixed to the vehicle from the floor area. The driver, guide and the sumo driver exchange pleasantries and information of no luck with the striped one. The sumo moves ahead in the opposite direction and we too move in the search of the cat. After negotiating a curve and a puddle on the by lane, the gypsy totally loses traction and almost heads for a tree. Lukcy us, it just stops short of the tree, but the tyre is stuck in deep rut. The driver changes to 4W and slowly pulls us out and we head back into the wilderness. Another 15 min drive and the gypsy comes to a grinding halt. There is another jeep parked about 50 ft from us and we can see the guide signaling to us to kill the engine. We quickly kill the engine wait with bated breath.

The jeep ahead of us ready for action
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-10.jpg

Then it happens! It slowly emerges from the deep undergrowth and heads towards the jeep in front of us. We can here the shutters of the SLR the gentleman in that jeep.

Burning bright
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-11.jpg

Close up
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-14.jpg

Walking tall
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-12.jpg

Close up
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-13.jpg

It strolls for a few seconds, giving us and the other jeep mates some good shots and moves into the opposite bushes. By now there is a complete blockade of jeeps behind us. I could count 10 of them behind us and 10-15 in front of the jeep opposite us.

Traffic jam
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-6.jpg

There is another cub that is trying to cross and join its brother/sister on the opposite side, but is disturbed by the commotion of jeeps trying to get a close look at it. It abandons it plans and keeps strolling in the bushes, amid the noise of jeeps and people gasping at the sight. It put up a good show of about 15mins giving us some good shots before disappearing deeper into the bushes at the sound of a car reversing. This guy had the reverse buzzer on and apparently scared the cub away.

The second tiger cub in the bushes
‘THE COLD STARE’ - I always heard about it, read about it. Now I know it - up close-16.jpg
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Old 28th July 2010, 16:15   #28
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Python's are cool creatures. They are not venomous. They rarely attack humans. They normally go for small creatures.
Snakes are the most mis-understood creatures in the world.
I'm eagerly waiting for the video of python.
MX6, i need to upload the video from home. It maybe a while, but will try to upload the other pics of that python climbing the tree ASAP.
I agree about the pythons. Infact, none of the constrictor family members are known to attack humans is what i learnt from NGC, except for a few Anacondas, that too deep in their territory.
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Awesome pics there and I can't wait to the rest of the pics. The teasers were superb. Please get it going.
Thanks much murali. The update is here.
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Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
The agenda for the remainder of my day at work is now set. All I will do is press F5 F5 F5

Nice beginning BTW.
Thanks iceman. I will try not to disappoint you.
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Old 28th July 2010, 16:17   #29
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The cat looks majestic! So were you guys in two groups?
Who took the snap from the back?
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Old 28th July 2010, 16:19   #30
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The silence is palpable from the photos itself on the first spotting of the cat! Way to go.
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