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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:46   #166
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Default Good news for Tigers at Sariska

The Rajasthan State Government, in an ambitious project, plans to implement satellite based surveillance of the Tigers in Sariska, thus eliminating the need of the heavy, ugly looking radio collars.

Read this in detail in the Hindustan Times of 1st June, 2011

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-tigernews.jpg
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Old 21st June 2011, 10:57   #167
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Call of the wild - 18th June, 2011.

Visiting wildlife sanctuaries and watching the animals in wild is an addiction. And no rehab facility in the world can cure this addiction.. After a long satsfying visit to Bandhavgarh, Pench & Kanha in the month of April, the itch to visit the Jungle surfaced again and with a vengeance.

Taking time out from work seemed problematic and the nearest park the Sariska Tiger Reserve would close on 30th June for the monsoons to reopen in the 1st week of October.

A friend of mine who had visited Sariska on the 10th & 11th mailed me a mouth-watering information. Though he had no sightings of the Big Cat, he kept in touch with Harisingh (my guide) and Harisingh informed him that on the 13th morning, ST 4 (male) killed a cow in front of his jeep and dragged the cow into the bushes after making angry gestures at the gawkers. This show went on for full 40 minutes. Harisingh made a video of this on his mobile. He subsequently gave me that video (I don't know how to put this on YouTube and link it here).

This meant that ST 4, that had gone over the hills and was not visible for quite sometime had come down in the plains. Excited at this news, I planned to visit Sariska on Sunday the 19th June. Wife too jumped at this idea and I decided to reach Sariska on the night of 18th, stay at RTDC's Tiger Den and take the morning safari the next day and also the noon safari and then leave for Gurgaon.

Booked an AC room at Tiger Den online (Rs.2500 + taxes for double accommodation and this is off-season rate), called Harisingh and informed him of my plans. He would make the necessary arrangements for me.

On Saturday, finished office work by 4 pm, proceeded for home and enroute topped the tank of Scorpio. Picked up wife, camera gear, one set of clothes and left for Sariska by 6 pm.


to be continued.../-

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd June 2011 at 16:01. Reason: Changing 19th to 18th on request
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Old 22nd June 2011, 10:17   #168
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Call of the wild - 18th June, 2011.

The day in Delhi/NCR was hot and humid, but as soon as we crossed Manesar, we saw dark clouds on the horizon. And just after Dharuhera, the skies opened up. Intermittent heavy showers & drizzle was encountered right up to Paota.

Major expansion work on NH8 is being carried out with diversions galore and traffic snarls at Dharuhera, Shahjahanpur, Behror & Kotputli. Battling all this reached Highway King at 9 pm. Stopped here to use the washrooms and had some snacks & beverages.

It was 10:30 pm when we reached the Tiger Den at Sariska.

RTDC's Tiger Den, Sariska

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The night receptionist, who was more of a watchman had a boorish attitude. By his demeanour it was apparent that guests at that hour were unwelcome. Since it was the first time I was staying overnight in a hotel at Sariska, this 'warm welcome' came as a shocker.

Government should not be in hospitality business. A wonderful property in prime location and barely a few meters away from the Park's gate, but highly mismanaged.

Inside the lobby I found these two canines having a free run of the place.

Resident canines of Tiger Den

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My wife is scared of dogs. When she questioned their prescence inside the hotel, the answer she got was and I quote - " जंगल के कुत्ते हैं, आ जाते हैं, इन्हें कौन रोक सकता है (These are dogs from the forest, they wander in, who can stop them)".

Well, we were shown to our room on the ground floor and that had a lawn in the front. Another shocker - I saw a big Bull grazing on the hotel lawns..

Big spacious room, AC switched on and we were strictly instructed not open the balcony door. Why? Was told that sometimes wild animals roam around in the night and might jump in. Woooah, how exciting?

Dreaming of a Tiger or a Leopard roaming the hotel property in the night I dozed off. The morning safari would start at 6 am.

Call of the wild - 19th June, 2011.

The alarm woke me up at 5 am and we started getting ready. Tea for my wife was served at 5:30 am and by 6 am we were out on the lawn waiting for Harisingh & Rameshwar with the jeep. I was 'shot' by my wife while I was readying my camera gear.

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to be continued.../-

Last edited by benbsb29 : 24th June 2011 at 09:54. Reason: Dates edited as per OP's request.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 10:50   #169
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Call of the wild - 19th June, 2011.

The jeep arrived and we were the 2nd vehicle to enter the forest. Aah, the smell of the jungle. Took a deep breath and filled my lungs. Felt rejuvenated. It had rained quite heavily during the last two days and all depressions, drains, potholes etc., were full with water. The waterholes that had dried up in March were now full with water. Water was in abundance for the animals.

The brown and bare topography was now lush green; sighting would be difficult. Sariska, this time, reminded me of Ranthambhore in October.

The jungle was resonating with the loud bellowing sounds of the peacocks and at every nook & corner they were spreading their gorgeous plumes and dancing. On the road, on the dirt track, on the branches, here there & everywhere.

Avian photography is alien to me. I've tried and failed miserably. This time I fiddled with my camera setings and experimented. Some of the pictures may not be that good.

In flight

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Majestic

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Impressing the peahen

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5090.jpg

Show over

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For the first time was able to get a record shot of the Jungle Hare

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This Jungle Crow was found gathering grass & twigs to build a nest

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5076.jpg

to be continued.../-

Last edited by benbsb29 : 23rd June 2011 at 12:01. Reason: Date edited as per OP's request.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 13:10   #170
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Sir,
Great to see the latest updates. The lush green jungles have thier own magic even if the sightings are low.
Really liked the picture of the jungle crow with his beak loaded with twigs.
Regards
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Old 22nd June 2011, 15:55   #171
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Amazing report and shots..glad to know hope remains for Sariska. I was also fortunate to have some rare sights at Bandhavgarh last months..your report prompted me to plan for Sariska next..thank you
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Old 22nd June 2011, 22:14   #172
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Call of the wild - 19th June, 2011

The Jungle was unusually silent. No rutting calls, no alarm calls, only the bellowing of the peacocks. Traversing through all known places in the jungle yielded nothing. Not even pug marks.

What was more surprising was that we didn't see much Deer as well. Normally Sariska is teeming with Sambhar, Cheetal & Neelgais.

The day was getting warmer and balmy and there was no way the Big Cat would stir from its resting place. We returned back to the Hotel. The noon/evening safari would commence from 3 pm.

The room I booked came with a plan of MAP; it meant that Dinner & breakfast was included in the cost. Since I reached on Saturday much after the dinner time, I was told that I could have lunch on Sunday instead. That was a nice gesture.

We had breakfast in the dining room where a buffet was laid; it consisted of Butter Toast, Omellette, Poori & Aloo ki Subzi, Tea & Coffee. After breakfast retired to the room, freshened up and went to the reception to request a late check-out. After some persuasion they agreed to let me check-out at 2 pm. That was ok as we would have to spend only an hour in the lobby.

In the meanwhile Dhiraj (Deky on TBHP) messaged that he would like to join for the noon safari. I was delighted and asked him to come over. Packed our baggage and went for lunch at 1:30 pm. Since my wife wanted to go the Pandupol Hanuman temple, we asked for the vegetarian thaali. The food was excellent. I had half expected this. We enjoyed our meal, went to the room, picked up our baggage and checked-out.

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In the meanwhile the weather took a turn for the better. Dark clouds appeared on the horizon and a cool breeze started flowing. We were happy that we wouldn't have to sweat it out in the jungle. Waited in the lawn for Dhiraj to show up. He arrived at 2:50 pm and at 3 Harisingh came with the jeep.

We were the third vehicle to enter and decided to go straight to the Temple and then explore the jungle later as by then it would be perfect time for the predator to move out.

This time on our way we saw herds of Cheetal, Sambhar and a couple of Neelgais. Saw this young male Cheetal on the verge of puberty with tiny antlers protruding.

Sub-adult male Cheetal

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5126.jpg

Reached Pandupol and the primates there never cease to amaze me.

Rhesus Macaque in various pose

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This female Golden Oriole decided to go & hunt for food

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Saw this Hoopoe near a waterhole picking up seeds or insects from the ground.

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This Cormorant was drying its wings after a dip in the water

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5142.jpg

And then there was this magnificent male Boar with tusk. Only when he turned towards me then I saw that his right tusk was missing. Probably lost in a fight.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5148.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5147.jpg

We heard an alarm call of the Sambhar followed by that of the Cheetal. Rushed towards the area from where the call was coming. Agitated Langurs were on tree tops and it was a chorus of "Ponk, Khok, Khurr, Ponk".

The Cheetal & Sambhar were looking in a direction in the thicket. We parked and shut the engine and scanned with binocs. Couldn't see anything. It surely was a Leopard, but it seems the fellow had heard the Jeep and seen us.

We waited for about 20 minutes and the call died down and the Jungle became silent again.

We were to move towards another area where we heard reports from forest guards and villagers that ST 3 was there, that we saw this Red-wattled Lapwing sitting on the ground and making loud calls. Hearing its call, its mate came and tried to shoo us away. This bird was sitting on its nest on the ground and I wondered why it was feeling threatened by us who were quite far. And then we saw two Lapwing chicks emerge from the nest and run to safety. Very very cute.

Red-wattled Lapwing & its chicks

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Also saw this male Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsyhus saularis)

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5099.jpg

Reached the area where ST 3 was supposed to be, but intense scanning of the area yielded nothing. It was time to return. Came back to the Hotel at 6:40 pm. Sat in the lawn and ordered for some coffee & tea and left for our respective destination soon after.

I stopped enroute at Sagar Ratna at Behror for dinner. It was 10 pm by the time we left Behror. After experiencing a minor traffic snarl near Shahjahanpur reached Dharuhera where a long line of vehicles were stuck in a jam. It lasted for almost an hour. Tired & irritated reached home at 1:45 am.

Although we didn't sight the Tiger this time, I enjoyed for other reasons - the lush green forest, lots of various kinds of birds, amazing behaviour of peacocks etc.

Sariska closes on 30th June for monsoons to reopen on 1st October. Already planning for my trip to Sariska on 1st October that happens to be a Saturday. Will again book a room and do the morning & noon safari on 2nd Oct.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 24th June 2011 at 09:58. Reason: Text corrected as per OP's request.
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Old 23rd June 2011, 19:40   #173
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Another nice one.

Looks like the new schedule of park timings will provide a lot of earnings to RTDC hotel.
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Old 26th June 2011, 13:31   #174
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Beautifull pics as usual GD Sir. Sorry I was away hence could not comment on this thread earlier.

I had a wonderfull evening safari with Mr & Mrs GD. Though it was overcast and cloudy with some intermittent drizzle but the thrill of being in the jungle and watching the wild animals going about with their daily routine made the trip worth it.

Few pics of the wild from my side
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Old 26th June 2011, 13:53   #175
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Superb photos Deky and GD1418. Thanks for sharing on what is definitely one of the best threads on TBHP.

Cheers!
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Old 26th June 2011, 14:00   #176
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Thanks Deky and you are welcome anytime. Some very real candid moments of the primates..

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Beautifull pics as usual GD Sir. Sorry I was away hence could not comment on this thread earlier.

I had a wonderfull evening safari with Mr & Mrs GD. Though it was overcast and cloudy with some intermittent drizzle but the thrill of being in the jungle and watching the wild animals going about with their daily routine made the trip worth it.

Few pics of the wild from my side
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Old 27th June 2011, 12:56   #177
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

This news item, for sure, shall cockle the hearts of all those wildlife enthusiasts who love the Sariska Sanctuary....

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-sariska.jpg

October 2011 should be fun when the park reopens after the rains
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Old 27th June 2011, 13:51   #178
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Another news article today in the Hindustan Times, Rajasthan Edition that might make you even happier.
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Old 1st July 2011, 11:46   #179
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

sirjee - great thread. got my membership, thought i will show some appreciation. As you know i was in sariska on June 25th - 26th and we sighted ST3 and ST4 together
my first tiger sighting in sariska and that too a couple I will try to paste some pics as soon as i figure out how to...
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:10   #180
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Very nice thread, This made my day and we enjoyed the pictures.

Ravi.
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