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Old 1st October 2011, 18:03   #181
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

October 2011

Like most other sanctuaries, Sariska too opened today after a hiatus of 3 months.

While the animals of other sanctuaries must have got some reprieve from the peeping Homo Sapiens, in Sariska their peace is shattered on every Tuesday and Saturday, round the year, when the entry is free for the devouts who visit the Pandupol temple situated deep in the forest, some 20 kms away from the entry gate.

Some new changes have been brought in. The gypsies have been fitted with a GPS tracking system and a 7 day refresher course for the guides was conducted 2 weeks back.

Well, coming to the point, I'm visiting Sariska tomorrow for an afternoon safari from 2 to 6 pm. Hope to meet some of my old friends....whoopee..
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Old 1st October 2011, 19:03   #182
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

How come only one safari?? And I was in full mood to come but I think I shall leave you and your four legged friends alone this time, as you know with me they dont show up

Happy sighting!!!
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Old 3rd October 2011, 12:30   #183
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I only had a Sunday to spare and if I had tried for the morning safari (incidentally there was a sighting of ST 4 in the morning) then to spend time from 10 am to 2 pm was an issue.

Deky, they didn't come out to meet me as well. It was the greenest Sariska that I had ever seen. The grass was so green & high that even the Cheetals were barely seen. Saw only a couple of Neelgais & Sambhars and that too because of their height..

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How come only one safari?? And I was in full mood to come but I think I shall leave you and your four legged friends alone this time, as you know with me they dont show up

Happy sighting!!!
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:49   #184
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Sariska National Park - 2nd October, 2011

I was restless, the camera had not seen action for close to 3 months and my Scorpio shod with new tyres was itching to crunch some miles.

Almost all the National Parks open in Ocotber after a hiatus of 3 months during the monsoons. Sariska opened on 1st October. The following day being a Sunday I planned a trip immediately. Since I had to return back the same day, only the afternoon trip was possible.

A quick call to Harisingh set the whole thing up..

Brief discussions with friends on the route to be taken - Gurgaon - Sohna Road - Alwar - Sariska or the ususal NH8 till Shahpura and then left via Viratnagar & Thana Gaazi, settled the issue in favour of NH8. What a mistake..!

Left for Sariska with wife at 9:30 am. Reached the Gurgaon - Manesar Toll that was made famous by the killing of the Toll Collector for a mere Rs.27/-. I had imagined that after that incident, there would be heightened security at the toll booths, but it wasn't so.

That set me thinking at the cheapness of the human life. Just for the heck of it I thought of making a comparison and this is what I found:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-free/...k_Feather.html

A peacock feather costs more than a human life.

Well, to continue with the travelogue, I encountered heavy truck traffic throughout. The widening & construction of the flyovers on NH8 seemed to be at a standstill from what I had seen in June. And then I hit a traffic jam. It was the Behror crossing that has always been choc-a-bloc.

Negotiating that traffic bottle-neck I broke free after almost loosing 40 minutes and then plunged head-long into another one at Kotputli. Phew...!

Since we hadn't had breakfast, stopped at Highway King to grab some quick grub and by the time we reached Sariska it was 2:20 pm. Late by twenty minutes... The road from Shahpura to Thaana Gazi was a pot-holed one and patchwork repair was in progress.

Harisingh & Rajinder (brother of Rameshwar) were waiting for me and after parking my vehicle, collecting my camera bag we boarded the gypsy and entered the jungle.

I had never ever seen Sariska so green. Small water bodies everywhere. Natural waterholes brimming. It reminded me of Ranthambore that I had visited on 1st of October in 2010.

Green Sariska

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5242.jpg

The forest was unusually silent and for the first 90 minutes not a single animal was visible.

At the Park entrance gate, the senior forest guard - Uday Bhan Singh Nider, an old acqauintance had mentioned - " साहेब, सवेरे एस टी फोर काली चौत्री के तरफ दिखा था. और वहां से बाहर नहीं आया है ".

An extensive scouting of Kaalichautri yielded nothing. Travelled all the routes extensively but nothing stirred. At the Tehla area I went to look for ST 3 that was heard giving calls about 3 days ago. Instead I saw this hanging on the tree.

Bee Hive

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5236.jpg

We had to exit the park by 6 pm and I told Harisingh to go via Kaalichautri again. Except a few herds of Cheetal, couple of Neelgais, a few Sambhar deer and a wild boar which was almost invisible in the tall green grass, nothing else.

But the immense greenery was eye-soothing and though the Sun was harsh, the forest was cool and as the evening progressed it became much cooler. Exited the park a bit disppointed for not having met my old friends. Will come back for sure. Maybe on 23rd...

Last edited by gd1418 : 4th October 2011 at 13:52.
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Old 28th October 2011, 12:17   #185
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Planning to visit Sariska on 30th after a gap of 28 days. Heard a lot of activity was going on. Two days back ST-6 & ST-3 and ST-4 & ST-5 were found together and mating.

Near the Tiger re-location enclosure, a leopard was sighted for almost 10 minutes.

Excitement building up.
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Old 28th October 2011, 13:37   #186
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Would have loved to join you this trip, as i too was planning this weekend (Sat - Sunday). Cancelled as my cousin is in town on Sunday. May be next time. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 8th November 2011, 13:01   #187
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Sorry for the delay in writing about my visit to Sariska on the 30th October. A lot many things happened in my personal life that caused the delay.

30th October, 2011

About 8-10 days back Ashish (TBHP handle - Ashthedivx) had messaged me asking when I would go to Sariska. I told him that there were two probable dates - the 23rd & 30th. He said that 30th suited him since the Diwali season would start after 23rd and he wouldn't be able to make it. So it was the 30th October that a trip to Sariska with Ashish was planned.

On 28th Ashish messaged me saying that he wasn't in a position to accompany me since his father fell sick and was hospitalised. He was sounding highly disappointed. Better luck next time Ashish....

My plans were finalised and then I messaged Dhiraj (TBHP handle - Deky) informing him of my jungle visit. Though he had guests visiting, on 29th he confirmed joining me with his wife & daughter.

My kids as usual didn't want to come with us and we both wife & I left at 8:30 am on Sunday the 30th. Instead of the ususally taken route on NH8, I decided to go through the newly laid 4 lane Sohna Road via Alwar. Alwar was 129 kms from this road; shorter and faster.

The Route

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I found this road to be excellant, devoid of traffic but with two major drawbacks:

1. Too many speedbreakers of various sizes & shapes without any white markings on them. While they can be seen during daytime, in the night it would be a nightmare.

2. Unlike NH8, no eateries on the way till you reach Alwar city.

Made good time and by 11:15 am was in Alwar. The evening safari would start at 2 pm and we had enough time on our hand. Stopped at a restaurant in the city to have some tea & snacks and then proceeded towards the sanctuary.

The road to Sariska from Alwar is lined with many Resorts, Resto-Bars etc., some swanky and some not so swanky. Surprisingly, except for only one The Gulmohar Sariska Resort, there is none on the road if you approach from NH8.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 8th November 2011 at 13:25.
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Old 8th November 2011, 14:10   #188
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Dhiraj called in to check the position after he had turned right from Shahpura (NH8) and had stopped to have tea. He would reach Sariska by about 1:30 pm.

Harisingh, my regular guide, called to check my postion and also informed me that today my driver would be Khagesh, the elder of three brothers, the other two being Rameshwar & Rajinder. I was delighted as Khagesh was a fearless master tracker and was a tarzan re-incarnate as he knew the jungle inside out. He was specially deputed by the Forest department to track-down on foot that temperamental T 7 when he was relocated to Sariska as ST-6 and had vanished for more than a week after being let out free from the enclosure.

It was 1 pm when I reached the Sariska Tiger Reserve's office and Harisingh met me on the road itself and informed all arrangements were in place. Since we had an hour to ourselves, we decided to go to RTDC's Tiger Den to have lunch and park the car. I messaged Dhiraj about my status and settled down to have lunch - vegetarian thaali. No other option at all. A fantastic prime property ruined by Government's callousness. Dhiraj joined a while later and while he & his family didn't have lunch, they had brought some delicious onion & Aloo paranthas. It does help to have a 5 star chef as your better half..!

Khagesh & Harisingh arrived with the jeep on dot at 2 and we entered the jungle. In the morning ST 2 the tigress was sighted and also a leopard. The greenery, that I had encountered on last visit on 2nd October had reduced but still offered enough cover to the wild animals. Fresh mud was being laid on the only tar track inside the jungle. This season quite a lot of changes were introduced in Sariska unlike earlier when it was free-for-all.

The changes

1. Private vehicles totally banned inside. Even the devotees of Pandupol temple have to take the forest approved gypsies.

2. Only 20 gypsies to be allowed per safari.

3. Sariska demarcated in zones (like in other sanctuaries) that would be randomly allotted while buying tickets.

4. Time frame to be strictly adhered to.

I was glad that these changes were brought in and also the fact that Sariska was getting popular once again.

We straight away went towards Darunda where St 4 was last seen after coming down from the mountains. Two more jeeps were parked there and we too waited. Across the water body, the keen eye of Khagesh spotted this monitor lizard basking in the sun. I too had missed seeing this reptile. It was very far. Only with my binocs zoomed at its max I could see this properly.

Monitor Lizard

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5286.jpg

Suddenly, we heard the typical alarm call of the langur - "khok, khok, kharr-khok". There was a predator nearby. What or who was it? This area also happened to be a leopard habitat, so could this be a leopard? The langur was calling continuously but nothing stirred. After waiting for some time Khagesh decided to investigate. He got down, crossed the waterbody that was narrow at one point and looked in the direction where the langur was looking.

Khagesh Investigating

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5287.jpg

He came back after a while and said that the langur is on the tree-top and is seeing the Tiger that has sat down in the bushes after changing sides. The two guides of the other two jeeps also concurred with his surmise and after waiting for a some more time, we moved in a different direction to explore.

to be continued.../-
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Old 8th November 2011, 17:22   #189
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Came out of Darunda on to the tar road that was being covered with mud. Labourers were working on the road and Harisingh asked them about any sightings. The workers said that they saw the Tigress (ST 2) crossing over towards the Jalebi Chowk area a few hours ago which was the other side of forest. They hadn't heard anything after that. That meant the Tigress was in that area only and probably was resting and sooner or later would get up and start moving.

We decided to scour that area only and roam there. Just as we were crossing the road, we saw about 6 or 7 jeeps with tourists emerging from that area and they reported a fleeting sighting. We rushed and slowly started looking for signs or hearing for any sounds. At one place Khagesh stopped and cut down the engine and we all intently cocked our ears for the slightest of the sound or looking for any movement.

In the meanwhile this small butterfly caught my eye at a distance and I tried to focus and capture her in the camera. Can someone identify this butterfly?

Butterfly

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5291.jpg

After waiting in vain for quite sometime, we moved forward and I spotted this Rufous-backed Shrike or the Long-tailed Shrike sitting on a dried branch of a shrub at a distance. The 80~200mm lens proved inadequate to capture this bird.

Rufous-backed Shrike

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5292.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5294.jpg

Then we heard a "ponk" at a distance that appeared to have come from the huge water-body at Karna-ka-Bas. This was the Sambhar deer giving an alarm call. The Tigress was probably moving and coming to drink water. We rushed there, parked in a shade and waited. The Sambhar call continued for sometime and then died down. But we waited. During this time I saw this pair of Grebe Dabchicks in the water.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), also known as Dabchick

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5298.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5299.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5305.jpg

Diving for fish

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5309.jpg

While shooting these Grebes we again heard the Sambhar call followed by the alarm call of Peahens. This time the source of the sound was near Jalebi Chowk. Khagesh reversed the gypsy and rushed there. In the distance we saw the tracker gypsy of the forest department parked and they were looking for the signal from the Tigress's collar. As we neared them we reached a tri-junction also known as "tiraaha" in local lingo and lo behold, the Tigress had walked past a few minutes ago into the bush.

The Pugmarks

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5311.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5313.jpg

As we neared the tracker jeep, we saw this ranger with the antenna held high going into the bushes to get a signal.

Looking for signal

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5315.jpg

By now it was time for us to leave and a bit disappointed we returned. On my way back I decided to take the NH8 back home as the road that I took in the morning passed through that notorious Mewat area and I wasn't brave enough to risk my life & limb.

The drive back on NH8 was smooth unlike as experienced previously. No jams at Kotputli, Behror, Shahjahanpur. We stopped at the Sagar Ratna, Behror for dinner. A trailor Truck had broken down at Dharuhera and here we got stuck in a massive jam. It was 12:30 am when I reached home.

The end - till next visit.../-
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Old 9th November 2011, 17:06   #190
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My Bit now!!

Twice that I visited Sariska with GD, I have visited alone. But this time since my wife and my daughter (4yrs) had holiday on that day so I was keen on taking them along too. Also our guests at home decided to leave a day before. So the decision was made simple. I was also keen on a visit with my daughter as these days in school she is learning the difference between "wild" and "pet" animals, and what other way than a practical experience for her to realize!! I was just hoping she would keep quiet through the safari.

Though we did not manage to have a sighting of the prized big cat, and also due to the thick undergrowth not many of the other animals were visible, but still I with my family enjoyed the experience a lot. We also learnt a lot about flaura and fauna all thanks to GD, the driver and the guide. Sariska every time is a good experience.

Another thing to note is, that every time I have gone with GD, we have not been able to sight the Tiger. Also on my other trips to Corbett (4 times) and 2 trips to Ranthambore I have never seen the tiger. So basically I am the "panoti" (bad omen) but still GD takes me along.

But Hey!! I aint refusing the offer, I still have not lost hope, I am sure one day I will

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
they had brought some delicious onion & Aloo paranthas. It does help to have a 5 star chef as your better half..!
Well I cook at home:P

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
The changes
1. Private vehicles totally banned inside. Even the devotees of Pandupol temple have to take the forest approved gypsies.
Ohh is that right?? I missed on that bit of info. I thought the Tuesday + Saturday rule still continued.

Ok Some pics from my side

My daughter all set and excited
Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-dsc08202.jpg

Machan used for hunting by the erstwhile kings
Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-dsc08210.jpg

my very poor attempt at making a monochrome
Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-dsc08216.jpg

The reptile as seen by my Sony A 200
Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-dsc08219.jpg

Little Grebe in the water body
Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-dsc08243.jpg
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:32   #191
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Will still take you along. Be prepared for 20th in all probability..

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Another thing to note is, that every time I have gone with GD, we have not been able to sight the Tiger. Also on my other trips to Corbett (4 times) and 2 trips to Ranthambore I have never seen the tiger. So basically I am the "panoti" (bad omen) but still GD takes me along.

But Hey!! I aint refusing the offer, I still have not lost hope, I am sure one day I will
You do lie. Ain't it?

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Well I cook at home:P
Actually not. Amazing texture and composition.

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my very poor attempt at making a monochrome
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Old 10th November 2011, 22:38   #192
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Awesome write up and pictures. This is what I call an eye opener . GD sir you know what you have done to me with this thread of yours?
I am ending up picking a DSLR and going to start clicking. One day I will join you for Sariska ( if you grant me the permission to accompany you) .
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Old 12th November 2011, 17:13   #193
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Thank you for liking this travelogue.

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Awesome write up and pictures. This is what I call an eye opener . GD sir you know what you have done to me with this thread of yours?
More than welcome. When are you joining?

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I am ending up picking a DSLR and going to start clicking. One day I will join you for Sariska ( if you grant me the permission to accompany you) .
I invite you to go through my travelogues:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ted-quest.html (Gurgaon - Jim Corbett - Ranikhet - Gurgaon: The Unsatiated Quest)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...r-gurgaon.html (Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...pointment.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...t-gurgaon.html (Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...gra-delhi.html (Just The Taj - Delhi - Agra - Delhi)

Look forward to your comments...

Last edited by gd1418 : 12th November 2011 at 17:27.
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Old 12th November 2011, 20:45   #194
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Sir,

Thank you for the invite and of course I would like to join you every week but due to the distance factor, I am planning to do Sariska in Dec - Jan. keep me posted on your plans during that time so that I will join you for the drives and game.

With regards to your other travelouges, I have been glued on to all those and have read most of them with full focus.
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Old 12th November 2011, 23:45   #195
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Beautiful snaps. This is a great inspiration. I would definitely visit this place once. Hope you don't mind if i contact you for clarifications if any.
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