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Old 1st January 2012, 13:47   #226
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

We all were wondering on the silence after that last post of Ashish as to what had happened. As I came to know later he was beset with a series of personal issues. So, he will post as & when he gets time.

Since the charm would go away, I thought I shall finish my part of the travelogue and here it is:

11th December, 2011 - 10:45 am

We came out of the Forest and reached the reception area. Since the morning session was Cat-less and the weather Sunny, Harisingh said that though the entry time in the noon was 1:30 pm, we would enter the Forest around quarter-past-two. We had 4 hours on our hand to spend. Having left Gurgaon at 3 in the morning and consuming only a cup of tea at 5:15 am we were hungry. Picked our car and drove to RTDC's Tiger Den in the hope of getting something to drink & eat.

The full apathy of the Government managed hotel hit us. Very curtly and with a contemptuous look we were told that nothing was available then and lunch would be laid only around 12:30 - 1 pm.

Disappointed, we came out and after having decided against having something at the up-market Sariska Palace, headed towards Alwar that was about 35 Kms away. On my last visit to Sariska when I had taken the Sohna-Alwar route I had seen a lot of good looking resorts & resto-bars lining the Alwar-Sariska Road.

to be continued.../-
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Old 2nd January 2012, 21:49   #227
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

11th December, 2011 - 11:00 am

The Sariska-Alwar road is a beautiful single lane metalled road that undulates through the scenic Aravali. Driving is a pleasure.

We reached near the resorts and at random selected one (don't recall the name now) and parked our car inside. Three persona came out and apparently they managed the joint. We were the only one and nothing was ready to serve, food would be cooked to order. Sun was shining bright & they had a big decent lawn that was quite inviting. We sat in the lawn, ordered food and in the meanwhile topped up more than our daily quota of Vitamin D.

We ordered scrambled eggs, Paneer makhani, Yellow Daal & buttered tawa rotis. Either we were ravenously hungry or the food was really delicious. We had our fill and headed back to Sariska. Reached the reception at 1:45 and Harisingh was waiting with the entry permits along with Rajender in the Gypsy.

11th December, 2011 - 2:00 pm

Entered the forest and my friend & forest ranger Udaibhan Singh Nidar (Deky's post #: 202, Picture #: 5) informed that ST 4 & 2 were seen roaming around 12 noon by some villagers. With that exciting news we proceeded. Covered the same route that we did in the morning, but this time the scene was a bit different. We started hearing alarm calls of Peacocks & Peahens. These birds are pretty nervous by nature and are known to bellow on seeing a mongoose or a caracal or a snake. Of course, they bellow on seeing the big cats too, but by their alarm calls it is difficult to decipher.

Only if a Sambhar Deer or a Cheetal Deer or a Langur give an alarm call then one can confidently surmise that a big cat is on the prowl.

We heard an occassional deer call but it faded away. This happened quite a few times from different parts of the jungle and we would rush there and so would the other Gypsies but in vain. It was around 4 pm that we went to the Kaalighati check-post to gather any information from other Gypsies. Except for the pug marks that were seen in the morning or those alarm calls nothing was forthcoming.

Since no one had seen or heard ST 6 emerge from the Daarunda area, Harisingh assumed that it must be still there and as dusk was approaching it was bound to move out to hunt or drink water. We went there, parked at a distance near the water hole & waited. Not even a leaf moved.

The clouds of disappointment on Ashish's face were getting darker by the minute. I felt sorry for him.

And then we heard a faint "PONK" at a distance. We cocked our ears & listened intently. The "PONK" repeated again. It was the Sambhar's call and appeared to be coming from the Dhaan ka Baas area. We listened again and the "PONK" repeated. Without wasting time we rushed there. As we reached the trisection or the Dhaan Ka tiraaha saw two more gypsies going there already ahead of us.

The Sambhar call had stopped. Did the predator sit down in the bushes or killed the Sambhar? There was no way of knowing this. We slowly proceeded towards the water hole that is known as Dhaan ka anicut. Here we parked and waited. I saw this Small Blue Kingfisher, more popularly known as the Common Kingfisher.

Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5453.jpg

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 2nd January 2012 at 21:55.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 22:16   #228
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11th December, 2011 - 4:30 pm

After waiting for sometime there, Harisingh decided that we should circle the anicut from another route and told one of the other two gypsies to park at Dhaan ka tirahaa and other one to keep a watch at anicut and inform if any sighting happened.

The sound in the jungle travels very fast & far - an old saying. How would they inform each other was a mystery to me since the mobile network was unavailable in the forest. When asked, Harisingh laughingly said that it is the jungle telecom.

Little was I to know that in a short while one of the exclusive, longest & bestets of the King's show would be on display for me & Aashish. The road to circle the anicut was very narrow with the Gypsy barely managing to keep its 4 wheels on the trail. On one side were thick green bushes and on the other was the water body. While anything could suddenly emerge from the bushes, a miscalculation would take the jeep in the water.

I always sit on the middle seat just behind the driver & the passenger seat - gives me a good view. Suddenly Rajinder braked hard; I almost broke my front incisors but for my hand with which I was gripping the front roll-bar.

Roll bar marked in yellow

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to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 2nd January 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 00:26   #229
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While Rajinder braked hard, he let out a gasp with a sharp intake of breath. With a quivering whisper Harisingh let out - "ST 6". I asked where and then he pointed to the right with his head.

There in the front at about 7-8 feet away was the emerging head of the Star Male Tiger of Sariska - the biggest, meanest, elusive & temperamental ST 6; hitherto only fleetingly seen by some villagers & forest guards but never by any tourist. Also never photographed in the wild in Sariska.

This 5+ year old magnificient male tipped the scales at 220+ Kgs and from nose-tip to tail measured 11 feet. He was formerly the T 7 from Ranthambhore who was relocated here on 23rd February, 2011 after loosing a territorial fight and rechristened ST 6.

This fellow had and has a terrible reputation. One of the photographs taken of his at Ranthambhore in June 2010 tells all about his temperament.

The clock stood at 4:45 pm. Aashish, who was sitting behind me in the back seat, raised all of his 6' 4" frame and started clicking. Since he was using my camera battery, I sat back and tried to soak in the electric atmosphere. After he had his fill, he removed the battery and gave to me. It was my turn to shoot. By this time ST 6 had emerged from the bushes and came directly on the track. It is time for the pictures to do the talking:

Smelling the leaves

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5320.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5324.jpg

He turns and with an annoyed look starts walking towards us. Harisingh's voice was a croak - "Rajinder, start reversing or else he will attack".

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5327.jpg

Rajinder was as if mesmerised. This jolted him and he deftly started reversing. It was dangerous. We reversed for approximately 200 mtrs. Not once did ST 6 stray from the course and walked in the middle of the track with a contemptuous look on his face straight in our eyes. Oh boy, was that hair-raising?

In the meanwhile my Nikon D300 with the 80~200mm lens was firing away like an AK-47 gone berserk. It was here that the snarl started to form and I turned my eyes & camera away. I wouldn't dare challenge the King in his territory.

The snarl

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5328.jpg

The Royal stroll

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5329.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5330.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5333.jpg

The Look

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5343.jpg

Stroll resumed

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5350.jpg

Some sound caught his attention

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5360.jpg

to be continued.../-
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Old 3rd January 2012, 00:45   #230
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The stroll continues

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5375.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5378.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5381.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5384.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5399.jpg

The Royal Squirt It was here that Rajinder reversed and straightened the jeep with the nose in the front. Now ST 6 was following us.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5402.jpg

Embarrassed..!

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5408.jpg

Oh no, not again

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5418.jpg

Moving away into the bush

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5423.jpg

Emerging again at the Dhaan ka Anicut

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5427.jpg

Settling down

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5428.jpg

Settled

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5431.jpg

Moving away with a straight look at us

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5447.jpg

Parallel to us at 15 feet

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5469.jpg

Turns on to another track

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5484.jpg

Walking away

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5487.jpg

We were inclined & eager to follow but the watch showed 5:25 pm. The closing time was 5:30 pm. I had paid the fine once in the past and wasn't inclined to do so again. Rajinder said that he would take us to the gate in 10 minutes if we sit tight. True to his word we were at the gate at 5:35 pm. Ours was the last jeep. Rest of all had returned disappointed. On that day only we had a sighting and that too for 45 minutes. Aashish made the entry of the sighting in the register. Udaybhan and other rangers along with Harisingh requested me for a copy of ST 6's photograph. I promised them to get on my next visit that is going to happen very shortly. I've already taken printouts. At 6 pm we were on our way back to Gurgaon. Stopped at Sagar Ratna at Behror for dinner and by 1 am was at home. Aashish picked up his car left for his home. The grin & the look on his face said it all..

Last edited by gd1418 : 3rd January 2012 at 00:54.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 07:43   #231
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

GD Sahab...Adaab.

Congratulations on the f/2.8D ED.

Crisp photographs with it, there is a bit of saturation missing and the pics have a yellow tint, perhaps the color parameters.

Loved the serpent eagle tight frame and direct gaze. Looking forward to more.
Regards,

EDIT: Now where did this biggie come up from????
He is posing away for you. Beautiful frontal, stares, sprays and strolls. Love the connect at the water hole and the well composed reflections.

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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:17   #232
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Thank you Fazal Bhai. That was my exact reaction when I saw him. The fellow almost posed & I believe was showing off...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post

GD Sahab...Adaab.


EDIT: Now where did this biggie come up from????


He is posing away for you. Beautiful frontal, stares, sprays and strolls. Love the connect at the water hole and the well composed reflections.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:32   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post


We were inclined & eager to follow but the watch showed 5:25 pm. The closing time was 5:30 pm. I had paid the fine once in the past and wasn't inclined to do so again. Rajinder said that he would take us to the gate in 10 minutes if we sit tight. True to his word we were at the gate at 5:35 pm. Ours was the last jeep. Rest of all had returned disappointed. On that day only we had a sighting and that too for 45 minutes. Aashish made the entry of the sighting in the register. Udaybhan and other rangers along with Harisingh requested me for a copy of ST 6's photograph. I promised them to get on my next visit that is going to happen very shortly. I've already taken printouts. At 6 pm we were on our way back to Gurgaon. Stopped at Sagar Ratna at Behror for dinner and by 1 am was at home. Aashish picked up his car left for his home. The grin & the look on his face said it all..
wow...... is the only word. Very nice pictures

I like the slightly less saturated feel

Your photo shoot of ST2 and ST4 at brahmnath aniket was the reason that i again started visiting Sariska and here you have done it again! Very very nice sighting and good photo op....

Thank you.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 13:46   #234
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Amazing series of events GD and very well captured!! The narration itself is pretty chilling and add to that the photographs are indeed mesmerizing!!!

Congrats
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Old 3rd January 2012, 18:21   #235
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

GD Sahab,

I am coming back to the stoop to conquer, eye level shot again and again (1st in post # 230). Now, its time the "thirst remains" should be deleted from your thread title.

The following eye contact frames are just too good with the collar concealed behind this handsome cat's head.


"Moving away with a straight look at us"
should be enlarged poster sized and placed on the living room wall.
Regards,
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Old 3rd January 2012, 19:45   #236
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

GURU SAHIB THESE TIGER PICS ARE BREATHTAKING! NATGEO CLASS !!

You are one heck of a wild life enthusiast. Super way of writing !!

One Question> Why is it that Tigers do not attack people in Jeeps? Easy meat for them !!

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Old 3rd January 2012, 20:31   #237
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Thank you Sachin for the kind words. Am flattered..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post

wow...... is the only word. Very nice pictures

I like the slightly less saturated feel

Your photo shoot of ST2 and ST4 at brahmnath aniket was the reason that i again started visiting Sariska and here you have done it again! Very very nice sighting and good photo op....

Thank you.
Thank you so very much Dhiraj. Missed you there.. Everytime he looked straight in my eyes, a shiver ran down my spine..


Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post

Amazing series of events GD and very well captured!! The narration itself is pretty chilling and add to that the photographs are indeed mesmerizing!!!

Congrats
Thank you Fazal bhai. Though the thirst of seeing the Big Cat again & again doesn't quench, I shall obey as said..

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post

GD Sahab,

I am coming back to the stoop to conquer, eye level shot again and again (1st in post # 230).

Now, its time the "thirst remains" should be deleted from your thread title.

The following eye contact frames are just too good with the collar concealed behind this handsome cat's head.

"Moving away with a straight look at us" should be enlarged poster sized and placed on the living room wall.

Regards,
Thank you Sir. Delighted that you liked. Tigers or for that matter animals in the wild are generally wary of the Homo sapiens. Unless a Big Cat turns to be a man-eater it won't attack humans as they are not their prey. There are a few circumstances under which a human is attacked by a Big Cat:

1. If suddenly surprised
2. If disturbed while eating/guarding a kill
3. If accompanied by cubs

A jeep is an alien in the animal's vision and is a fast moving noisy creature that the Cats would generally avoid and do so. There have been so many instances in the sanctuaries where a Tiger has walked past a jeep, within a metro, full of tourists without even throwing a glance. They do snarl & bare teeth when some tourists make sound or gesture to attract its attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post

GURU SAHIB THESE TIGER PICS ARE BREATHTAKING! NATGEO CLASS !!

You are one heck of a wild life enthusiast. Super way of writing !!

One Question> Why is it that Tigers do not attack people in Jeeps? Easy meat for them !!
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Old 4th January 2012, 00:33   #238
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

@GD: Despite our not having sighted tigers, we were mesmerized by the story of your spotting that Hari Singh and Rajendra Prasad described to us in lucid detail. Additionally viewing the pics here makes up for the lack of spotting of our own!
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Old 4th January 2012, 12:23   #239
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Vow! Eye level snaps of the King. And thrilling narration, as usual. Hope the rehabilitated Tigers thrive at Sariska, bringing it back to former glory.

Why have they not given any good names to the Tigers instead of an academic ST series? Feels like a laboratory specimen!!
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Old 4th January 2012, 12:30   #240
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

GD Sir, Thirst quenched? Does that mean no more visits to Sariska?

Quote:
Why have they not given any good names to the Tigers instead of an academic ST series? Feels like a laboratory specimen!!
You may have a point. But for me it really doesnt matter if its Munni, Shiela, Chameli or ST6 till the forest guys can ensure their survival in their protected environment!!

Regards

Last edited by deky : 4th January 2012 at 12:36.
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