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Old 30th October 2010, 11:12   #16
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it is great to know that have such clarity on the park ,
Love to go in the near future
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Old 30th October 2010, 16:14   #17
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Default The night of the Kojagiri Full moon and the day after

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
Nice beginning. So, you prepared for this travelogue over a period of time. Its a great dedication and enthusiasm.

I hope you will be putting up a detailed travelogue (photologue ) including the persons participated, travel to destination, accommodation and of course sighting!

Roll them on doc.
Yes sir, this actually is a compilation of my experiences over 2 seasons. Wanted to give a different perspective of documentation of changing seasons as it actually happens in nature and thus make this travelogue a rather different one than the monotonous tiger-tiger-tiger-tiger-tiger-tiger-tiger travelogues that you have seen from me of late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer78 View Post
Great beginning sir. I am planning a trip tp Tadoba and Pench in january and your writeups have been a great help. Looking forward to this one.
BTW : Is January a good time to visit Tadoba and Pench (for Royalty sightings?)
The whole of winter and then summer (that's October to May) is a good time to visit. You will obviously find the landscape totally different in the 2 seasons and animal tracking methods are also different in winter as compared to summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
doc good start there with your travelogue. What's with the 6th and 7th picture ? Dirt on the camera sensor or did you take that image sitting inside a vehicle ? To my eyes it looks like dirt on the camera sensor,whats your take ?
Its dirt on the sensor sir. A result of changing lenses on dirt tracks inside the jungle. Almost ruined this great landscape pic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gajadonga View Post
Doc good to hear that you spend most of the weekends what you want to do.
Wildcat nature club a passion. Good going doc.Waiting for your pics
Thank you sir. Hope you enjoy the pics and the narration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netarchie View Post
I plan to visit Pench, mid-november,that is next month. this report will surely come very handy. Thank you very much sir!
I will be in Pench on every weekend except maybe the third when I would be doing a Nagpur to Kerala drive in the Land Rover Defender. You are welcome to join me if you plan your visit over a weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Doc,

I too have experienced such instances when people say there is nothing inside. It is a pity that some people have no vision or mindset to appreciate the nature and it's beauty.

You pictures of the landscape after the rains are prove the effect of the rains.
I am glad that there are real connoisseurs like you and the others on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Abheekg - I have a question here. I guess it is pretty Valid.
Isnt it a possibility to artificially fill up water holes in the harsh summers for the sake of the animals?

I know that, there is always a counter argument for this, saying that, it should be left to the nature to follow the darwin's theory.

But my question is, we havent left the animals and its surroundings to the nature, which has obviously resulted in lesser rains, lesser ground water levels.

My opinion is, these pretty obviously located water holes, frequented by animals could be artificially filled up during summers and i am pretty sure, we can see some happier animals

Regards
Pramod
Pramod sir. Infact what you are suggesting is actually happening on the ground in the summers. In all the parks the department has made provisions of cemented saucers which are filled up by tankers in the summer months and it is around these saucers that most of the action happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhojraj View Post
it is great to know that have such clarity on the park ,
Love to go in the near future
Thanks. Pench is the jungle where I migrate every winter Would be more than glad to have you as a company in one of my trips.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Enjoy part 2 of the narration now.

(The Narration is in first person by my friend Ashwin Gharote and Rajan Kinkhede who was with me on 23-24 October)


Some people are not clear about my “New Season" idea. Here is an elaboration and the description of the season beginning...

After the sour moment of Wild Boar Attack(Login | Facebook), we had stopped visiting forests for 3-4 Months.

As Rajan has now (mostly) recovered from the injury, we decided to go to Pench with the obvious company of none other than Dr. Abheek Ghosh (His new nickname is 'Tiger Ghosh').

We guys started our trip on 23rd Oct 2010. The special thing to be mentioned about the date is that it was the brightest full moon night of the year. 'KOJAGIRI'. It has been my dream since childhood to travel to jungle under the Kojagiri moon.

The Kojagiri Moon
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This dream was fulfiulled with the company of two extremely enthusiastic guys. Rajan & Abheek bhaiya…

The journey started at 10.30p.m from Abheek bhaiya’s place in his Alto with a load of 2 cameras of his, 2 of Rajan's, a tripod and a whole lot of stuff we thought might be useful, shoved hard down our rucksacks. We started out slowly enjoying the breeze and moonlight. Near Sillari gate, we met two others of our group. Ricku Osan and Kapil Bhatra who joined us from there.

Moon Illuminated Hut at 2.45 am
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We reached Khawasa at around 2.15 a.m. While traveling from Khawasa to Toriya gate we were welcomed by a 'King Owl'. It was a sign of how things were to be, out there in park! An hour long power nap later, we were all set to enter the park. We made our entry at 6 am and started the safari.

A glorious morning

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The weather was pleasant and cold. The breeze was laden with a light scent of a post-monsoon forest covered with dew. Just as we entered the park, after around 100 metres we ran into our dear friend, the Wild Boar. Despite our new distaste for the animal we honored the law of the forest and did absolutely nothing. As we proceed further we saw lots of spotted deers and many different species of birds.

Dew rising near Alikatta

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At our first stop at Alikatta we registered for a Tiger Show. The tiger show, is a elephant back ride, where the tiger is trapped at a location by elephants and you get to see it. Although we are against this system, we registered for a show.(The show did not take place because the tigers weren't located). At Alikatta we witnessed a wonderful sunrise with scent of dew in our nostrils. I can’t actually express the beauty I witnessed. The photos will give you a vague idea though.

Macro Photography underway
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The result : Symmetry of Nature
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After leaving Alikatta we spotted many of different bird species. Our guide spotted a Serpent Eagle on a tree. The Eagle had its wings spread in a unique way(probably to dry them) which obviously made it the object to be caught in our cameras. Abheek bhaiya whistled in Eagle tongue to make the Eagle look at the cameras pointed at it (Please teach us Eagle-tongue, will you Abheek Bhaiya?).

Serpent Eagle
-Hypnotising eyes
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But the king of sky took its time to confirm. I've got a video of this entire incidence, which I will upload soon. Hopefully, Abheek Bhaiya will help us in 'Eagle tongue-to-English' subtitles.

Green Bee-eater
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Another hour-and-half ride later, we made our second stop at Karmazari. At this stop we spent our time in fueling ourselves with hot poha and tea while listening to Rajan brag about his crazy-assed adventures at Karmazari(He doesn't drink tea). Abheek bhaiya, Ricku and Kapil enjoyed 'Tel Malish' over there with folk songs from malishwala. We started back for Touriya gate at 10 am.

Yours truly enjoying " champi" over folk songs

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A somewhat uneventful ride later, it was time to head back to Touriya gate. Another thing I must mention is that our driver was a newbie and the gypsy stopped many times beacuse he couldnt locate the clutch or acclerator or was driving in the wrong gear. Back on the main road to Touriya, about 5 minutes to the gate away, we heard calls from Monkeys. There were 3 other gypsies who had heard it too. Was it for a leopard? Then came the sound of monkey's screaming like crazy. "Abey, Bandar ka shikar kiya Leopard ne", said Kapil. "Holy ****! A leopard?". "It's nothing", said our guide. "Just a fight between two groups of monkeys".

Abheek Bhaiyya had different ideas though............. He was super alert and up in a flash standing tall over the gypsy and started scanning the entire scene with his binoculars. We waited. Silence hammered our ears for minutes. Two of the front gypsies decided it was nothing and went away. It was then that Abheek bhaiyya whispered to us to be absolutely still and quite.

Then the moment of truth came out right in front of our Gypsy - A Tigress sans her cubs as Abheek bhaiyya told us later on.

There she was, the tigress of Bhagin Nalla. We frantically jumped around the gypsy, turning our cameras on hoping to get pictures of her - The moment we did that we got a sharp rebuke from Abheek bhaiyya who said to us to be absolutely still and go about taking our shots and videos or else he would throw us out to the tigress in front of us (hahahaahhaha )

The queen came to the edge of the road, gave us a glance, and crossed it about 30 metres from us. "Oooooo...", went a group of girls behind us. That just made her cross the road faster. Everyone in our gypsy having found decent positions, clicked and filmed.

Baghin Nalla Tigress
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Baghin Nalla Tigress - without her cubs - crossing right in front of our gypsy [we were at the right place at the perfect time - was this a coincidence ? luck ? or some planning of the doc ? ]
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The frantic moment has been video recorded.Ama-******-zing. Even after she disappeared in the jungle, we waited there hoping she might come back.

"Abbhi gayi wo tigress. 2 minutes se miss hui aapki", We said this to the gypsies coming onto the scene late, although we wanted to say "Nan na na na NAA Na, Hah ha ha ha HAA Ha, We saw the tigress, you didn't". We waited till we were the last gypsy in the park. Less than a minute after we started back, our gypsy broke down. Seeing that there was no gypsy coming for us, we started walking for the gate. Right through the area where we had just seen her minutes ago. There were hoofmarks of wild boars too. During the walk back all we were all hoping to meet her again, this time on foot (we didn't). When we reached the gate after a 15 minute walk, the guide and the driver were badly yelled at by the forest officials for allowing us to walk back. In case you've just been inspired by our crazy acts, don't do it. We were fined a thousand bucks for no fault of ours.

We wanted to protest because of the lack of emergency communication system, but Abheek bhaiya asked us not to. Pretending to be sorry, we paid the fine and went to Lallan's for lunch, enormously happy about the morning.



- Ashwin Gharote and Rajan Kinkhede



One of my best pics of this drive: Cuteness personified
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regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
09960332228


. ..........................to be continued.

Last edited by abheekg : 30th October 2010 at 16:28.
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Old 30th October 2010, 22:51   #18
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As usual great job on the lens.

I see a fencing. Which side were you guys? Is that the forest reserve fencing?

Were those three Gypsys on hire? If I remember correctly you own one.

Lets see some more of the tigers and the macros.
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Old 31st October 2010, 11:44   #19
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Dr. Ghosh,
The first shot of the Bagin nalla tigress is the one I love more than the second (though the second one is creating storms on the Internet).

The trees silhouetted against the moon is sheer beauty, also is that Lallan's hut lit by the moon? Brings back good memories of our time spent together.

The green bee eater, the wing stretch, the saturation and colours are awesome, prize winner of this lot.

I am just unable to break the jinx of Tadoba/ Pench visit.
Regards,
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Old 1st November 2010, 16:12   #20
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Vow. This is going to be a wonderful journey doc. A long, well prepared travelogue from you is definitely drool maal. waiting for more.Good to know that your friend is back in action after that rather vicious attack by the wild boar.

One query (though OT with respect to Pench) : How long does it take to reach Tadoba from Chandrapur? I keep coming to Chandrapur occassionally for official work, but never get any breathing space normally to move out. But I think I should plan something better next time
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Old 2nd November 2010, 10:54   #21
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Great start abheek, I love your travelogues and yes there much more to our jungles than just the tiger. The bird and insect diaspora is quite amazing if anybody cares!
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Old 6th November 2010, 12:39   #22
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A long lull here. I guess doc might be busy with another visit.
Abheek, As usual a treat to the eyes, and lot of learning from your log. Please continue, whenever you have time.
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Old 4th January 2011, 04:14   #23
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Dear Friends,
Its been a long lull indeed.
My patients, a flourishing practice and many more wilderness visits kept me very very busy over the last 1 1/2 months. This coupled with a dead laptop and erratic internet connectivity kept me off the forum and away from all of you for a long time.

I have utilised this time well and I have visited Pench on every weekend and done more than 50 drives in the park so far from the time it opened on 16th October.

The result of my extensive travels to Pench have borne very good fruits and I will very soon share with you all some amazing natural history moments that I have managed to record. But first , I want all of you to read my writeup that was published recently by a prominent central Indian national daily. This writeup forms the basis of the activity of "Wildcats Nature Club" which we run here in Nagpur ; and it will also help you understand why I keep visiting the parks so often and why (apparently) I end up having so many encounters with the panthera.

Presenting the writeup :
Tiger conservation, Hope shines bright..................
(advised to click on the photographs for a bigger image and better readability)

Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!-hope-shines1.jpg

Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!-hope-shines2.jpg

The first photograph on this post here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post1731005 (Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!) is from the first encounter with the Tiger family in 2008 that I write about in the 2nd coulmn of this article.

These 2 pics here (encounter in 2008) :

Tiger Family on a walk
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Future King
Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!-future-king.jpg

While these 2 are from the second encounter with the cub which has grown old (encounter in 2010)

Marking her kingdom
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Walking her kingdom
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Critiques and comments are welcome.

Enjoy a rocking new year folks !!

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
09960332228

Last edited by abheekg : 4th January 2011 at 04:31.
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Old 4th January 2011, 05:36   #24
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Nice article Dr. Great one. I was recently watching some expose by tehelka into the tiger trade and was surprised that it still exists!! So much for trustin our PM to do something!

So whats the population of animals at pench now? Any new initiatives?
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:11   #25
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Nice to have you again Doctor.. Good pics there again.
Been following your updates on FB as well.
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Old 4th January 2011, 09:55   #26
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Loved the article Doctor. I wish not only the tigers, but all other animals and plants thrive and survive. Without them our own existence is at stake. I hope to go to some of these places with you one day. Animals or no animals, I am always awed and inspired by jungles. And of these jungles, whether we see the tigers or not, we know they are there. That thought itself is awe-inspiring.

-Biju

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Old 4th January 2011, 12:04   #27
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Everytime I visit your thread Dr. Ghosh, there's a burning desire to jump in to my car and drive out to Tadoba. But a freak accident has pushed out my recovery period by 2 more months. So Tadoba has to wait. What a truly blessed country we are born in. So much of diversity in flora and fauna.
Excellent stuff again Dr. Ghosh.
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Old 4th January 2011, 14:22   #28
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Everytime I visit your thread Dr. Ghosh, there's a burning desire to jump in to my car and drive out to Tadoba. But a freak accident has pushed out my recovery period by 2 more months. So Tadoba has to wait. What a truly blessed country we are born in. So much of diversity in flora and fauna.
Excellent stuff again Dr. Ghosh.
completely agree sir .
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Old 4th January 2011, 15:28   #29
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Default report from 20th Nov 2010: Grand sighting of Badi maa - the legendary tigress

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Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Nice article Dr. Great one. I was recently watching some expose by tehelka into the tiger trade and was surprised that it still exists!! So much for trustin our PM to do something!

So whats the population of animals at pench now? Any new initiatives?
Thank you sir.
Pench has the highest density of herbivores anywhere in the country. Naturally with good meat around, the number of Tigers and other apex predators are flourishing here too. We have started a documentation drive of the predators on behalf of the forest department this season and I hope to post regular updates here. We have been working for about 1 1/2 months now and we already have been successful in doing some great documentation.

I am not declaring now but very soon I will be making an amazing announcement which will demonstrate how Tiger conservation efforts are bearing fruits.

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Originally Posted by MohsinRoadster View Post
Nice to have you again Doctor.. Good pics there again.
Been following your updates on FB as well.
Thank you sir. Yes I was updating facebook from my smartphone on a regular basis and that was the only source f internet connectivity for the last 2 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Loved the article Doctor. I wish not only the tigers, but all other animals and plants thrive and survive. Without them our own existence is at stake. I hope to go to some of these places with you one day. Animals or no animals, I am always awed and inspired by jungles. And of these jungles, whether we see the tigers or not, we know they are there. That thought itself is awe-inspiring.

-Biju
Dear Biju, You are a man after my liking. I must congratulate you for keeping such a mindset while visiting natural history places. Please be my guest and come with me whenever you want to. I am just a phonecall away.

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Everytime I visit your thread Dr. Ghosh, there's a burning desire to jump in to my car and drive out to Tadoba. But a freak accident has pushed out my recovery period by 2 more months. So Tadoba has to wait. What a truly blessed country we are born in. So much of diversity in flora and fauna.
Excellent stuff again Dr. Ghosh.
Thank you sir. Rest well now for serious fun when you recover. In the meanwhile enjoy the biodiversity of India through my eyes.

Continuing with my reporting of carnivore documentation drive at Pench, we came across a super confident Badi maa walking towards us and crossing the road behind my Gypsy.

Here's one shot from our encounter with the grand old lady of Pench : Badi maa - the legendary tigress featured in the BBC documentary "Spy in the Jungle" Tiger - Spy in the Jungle (NOTCOT)

Notice the super confident "i care a damn" attitude as she looked up towards me.
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Do you see something very unusual in the photograph of this Tigress (the reason of joy for a lot of us) ?

and a video of the encounter as shot onher nokia mobile phone by my girlfriend....

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(I think you will have to add me as a friend on FB to be able to see this video)

Let me know if you can't see this.


regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
09960332228


Disclaimer: Although this writeup and travelogue is on a Tiger reserve and will have plenty of Tiger images, I am not trying to send the message out to everybody here that whenever you visit a Tiger reserve, you will surely come across Tigers. Tiger sighting and encounters are matters of luck and patience coupled with a lot of pre tour preparations.
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Old 4th January 2011, 17:23   #30
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Default Re: Pench Tiger Reserve - New season starts with a Bang !!!

Thats a well written article doc. Great read

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Continuing with my reporting of carnivore documentation drive at Pench, we came across a super confident Badi maa walking towards us and crossing the road behind my Gypsy.

Here's one shot from our encounter with the grand old lady of Pench : Badi maa - the legendary tigress featured in the BBC documentary "Spy in the Jungle

Notice the super confident "i care a damn" attitude as she looked up towards me

Do you see something very unusual in the photograph of this Tigress (the reason of joy for a lot of us)
Is the Tigress pregnant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
One query (though OT with respect to Pench) : How long does it take to reach Tadoba from Chandrapur? I keep coming to Chandrapur occasionally for official work, but never get any breathing space normally to move out. But I think I should plan something better next time
Also, can u reply to my above query pls?

Thanks
MM
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