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Old 14th February 2012, 11:56   #271
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

I had earlier planned to visit Sariska on the Sunday the 5th February, but for some important household works, the plan had to be shelved. In the meanwhile I had got back my 300mm f/4 with the TC14E-II that my friend had taken with him to the Rann and had returned with some awesome pictures. I had to try this out for myself. The itch was getting stronger by the day. I already made-up my mind to go to Sariska, come what may, on the 12th Feb.

Placed a call to Harisingh to know about the latest and the news was not very encouraging. The Big Cat sightings were far & few. Anyway, messaged Prajesh (kpzen), Ashish (ashthedivx) & Sachin (sach.sri) asking if they would like to come along. All of them said that they would confirm by weekend as it was only Wednesday then.

Sachin & Ashish confirmed by Saturday and Prajesh backed out due to office commitments. It was decided that this time we would travel in Sachin's Scorpio and would take a different route than what I normally take through NH8. Had heard a lot about this route from Dhiraj (deky) and Sachin.

By Saturday evening something else unfolded. I was waiting outside our condominium in the car for my wife to come down as we had to visit the Mall for some shopping. She came and told me that Pradeep Deswal, my immediate neighbour & friend, was also in the lift and he came to know about my Sariska visit and was very excited to know. Pradeep owns 72 acre of land near Siliserh Lake where he is planning to build a resort. He too came out and stopped on seeing me. We struck a conversation and I invited him to join us for the trip. He said that he would think about and inform.

After returning from the shopping, I got busy preparing for the trip.

Sunday, 12th February, 2012

At 12:30 am I got a call from Pradeep that he too would join. So now we were four. I immediately sent a message to Harisingh to get entry tickets for 4.

The ETD was 2:30 am as the forest timings had changed and the entry was at 6:30 am. The rendezeavous point was my place and Ashish was there just a few minutes before 2:30 and Sachin arrived by about 2:40. We were ready to zoom off. Loaded our stuff in Sachin's Scorpio and by 3 we had hit the tarmac. The Nikonians were in a majority this day. Ashish, Pradeep & I use Nikon gear while Sachic uses Canon. Between us we had the following equipment:

Ashish - D80 with a 18~135 & 70~300

Pradeep - D90 with a 18~55 & 70~300

I - D300 with a 105 Micro & 300 + TC14E-II

Sachin - 7D with a 100~400 L

Sachin & I also carried a monopod each as both our lenses were quite heavy. I had bought a new genuine battery for Ashish after the fiasco on our last visit and gave it to him. The grin on his face said it all.

The rest of the gang

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5772.jpg


to be continued.../-
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Old 14th February 2012, 12:04   #272
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Hope you guys had a good time. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
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Old 14th February 2012, 15:45   #273
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
The rest of the gang

Attachment 887790


to be continued.../-
Thanks GD Sir for a nice introduction and picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robimahanta View Post
Hope you guys had a good time. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
Oh yes, we did have a good time on the trip - especially testing my new lens.

Also, courtsey Pradeep - we had a awesome lunch by the countryside.
BTW - i have uploaded some pics from this trip on my TL for Sariska. You can have a look....
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Old 14th February 2012, 17:51   #274
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Sunday, 12th February, 2012

Sachin's 1 year + old Scorpio VLX with the M-Hawk engine was very silent as compared to my Scorpio's DI engine. And was more powerful too. We hit the NH8 and soon were cruising. The truck traffic at that hour was unusually thick till the Manesar toll. We got open roads after that and soon the speedo was hovering around 110 kmph.

This new route (for me) that Sachin would take was a turn from Dharuhera/Bhiwadi and then to Alwar via Tijara. The road was something I had seldom seen. It was a four-lane smooth tar road without any potholes and traffic. The distance - 165 kms one way.

The Route

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Road to Sariska by NH8 that I always take, used to consume minimum 4 hours of travel time and had traffic woes. In the evening when I used to return after taking adinner break at Behror, invariably it would be past midnight. The distance - 200+ kms one way.

By 5 am we were crossing Alwar and it was a great surprise to me. Since the forest entry was at 6:30, Pradeep said that we should go to his property in Siliserh and have refreshing hot tea made with fresh milk. We reached his place and the drive was almost similar to an OTR. The caretaker was woken up and we sat in the open and a fire was lit. It was a wonderful experience under the night sky that was full of billions of stars; you don't get to see them in the city.

Pradeep asking us to sit

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5688.jpg

Fire being lit

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5691.jpg

Ashish looking intently at the fire

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5687.jpg

The Fire in full bloom

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5692.jpg

Ashish's killer look

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5697.jpg

Sachin enjoying the warmth

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5698.jpg

Hot tea arrived and we all were refreshed after drinking it and then were on our way to the Sariska Tiger Reserve's reception office where Harisingh was waiting.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th February 2012 at 17:56.
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Old 14th February 2012, 21:11   #275
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Today the reception opened fifteen minutes late and we reached the Park's gate at 7 am. While waiting for entries to be made I clicked my first picture with the 300mm + TC14E-II. Wanted to get the hang of the lens, its perspective & composition.

Sunrise & the Clouds - picture is soft because it was taken handheld and there is a slight shake

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5706.jpg

I've been a frequent visitor to Sariska when it boasted of 20 Tigers (pre 2000) and didn't see any, even when no Tigers were there (post 2000 till 2008) and also after the relocation in 2008. Given below is the Tiger census upto 1997 conducted by the Forest authorities:

Species 1991 1992 1993 1995 1997

Tiger 18 22 24 25 24

Interestingly the census shows a progressive population every year. Now we know that it was a doctored census.

Photographs were taken on a film SLR but the travel never chronicled then.

Why am I mentioning this? Hardly any tourist visited Sariska then, but now I've been observing over the last one year that Sariska has become a hot destination. While earlier hardly 3 or 4 gypsies were seen roaming inside the forest, today all the 20 gypsies are inside the forest both times on most days. Saturday & Sunday are totally booked and many a tourist has returned disappointed.

Till June 2011 I could enter the Park in the morning and come out only in the evening, roaming the forest the entire day in all areas. Since October 2011 some rules were introduced on the lines of Ranthambhore, roster system for guides & gypsies put in place and zones demarcated. Currently there are two zones - 1 & 2. Whatever zone is allotted, one has to stay in that zone only and God forbid if the Tiger is sighted in the other zone as you cannot go there.

Today we were allotted Zone 1. At the entrance gate we came to know that some villagers had reported the presence of a Tiger in the Darunda area and also had seen a male leopard. With this exciting news we straightaway made to Darunda as this falls in Zone 1.

We saw the pug-marks of a male leopard that were fresh and we followed them for a while till they disappeared in the bushes. We reached Darunda and waited as we had heard a Cheetal call in a distant. The call ceased after a while and the jungle fell silent.

We saw a few birds and some spotted Deer and also two villagers who were guarding their grazing cattle. What surprised me was that they were very non-chalant about the presence of a predator nearby. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

White-breasted Kingfisher - caught napping

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5709.jpg

White-breasted Kingfisher - wide awake & alert

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5713.jpg

Spot billed Duck

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5720.jpg

Black-winged Stilt

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5723.jpg

Villagers

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5726.jpg

Juvenile Spotted Deer

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5727.jpg

Male Magpie Robin

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5731.jpg

Spotted Deer crossing the road

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5743.jpg

I'm particularly not satisfied with the pictures that I've shot since I was finding it difficult to adjust to the weight & perspective of the lens as I was shooting handheld. With a prime lens you see only one view and you can't adjust to the scene as there are limitations.

After a fruitless wait and chasing some more alarm calls we decided to go to Karna ka Baas which is one of the biggest waterholes in Sariska. Migratory birds & crocodiles are to be seen there. Karna ka Baas falls in Zone 2 that technically was out of bounds, but we sneaked in. The rules will get stricter in future and then this sneaking would stop.

While we didn't see any crocs as the Sun had not fully come out, we did see the following birds.

Juvenile Painted Stork

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5752.jpg

Adult Painted Storks

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5756.jpg

Bar-headed Goose

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5761.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5764.jpg

Thus ended our morning safari and we headed back, hoping for the best during the evening safari.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th February 2012 at 21:16.
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Old 14th February 2012, 23:47   #276
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

@Gd Sir,
Lovely pictures of the birds and reflections. Through this TL we constantly enjoy the wildlife of Sariska. Thank You for sharing.
Regards
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Old 15th February 2012, 00:36   #277
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Pradeep had made arrangements for 'desi' lunch at his property and thus we proceeded towards his place that was just 13 kms away from Sariska on way to Alwar. We wanted to explore his land during daytime and also see the Siliserh Lake. As we turned into the road leading to Pradeep's land, we realized how picturesque the surroundings were. In the morning due to darkness nothing was visible.

We first straightaway drove to the Lake area. On the banks of this huge body of freshwater is located the property of the erstwhile King of Alwar called The Hotel Lake Palace Siliserh (Alwar) Heritage. More details about this place can be had from the link provided.

The entrance charges was Rs.50/- per person that could be exchanged or adjusted against refreshments taken from the cafeteria there. We had tea & some snacks on the terrace from where the view was breathtaking. The pictures:

The sunlight was harsh and it was very hazy on the mountains. I had to go a stop under to eliminate the haze. Dunno if I succeeded in doing that or not. These pictures have been shot with the Micro 105mm lens.

Some views of the Lake

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5765.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5766.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5773.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5774.jpg

Entertainment island for the king with jetties to park the boats

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5768.jpg

Is this the effluent from the Palace & nearby village polluting the water?

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5767.jpg

Portraits

Sachin

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5770.jpg

Pradeep & Sachin

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5771.jpg

From here we proceeded to Pradeep's land where a delicious & sumptuous lunch was waiting for us.

As soon as we turned into the mud driveway at a distance I saw a Caracal sitting in the middle of the mud-trail. I told Sachin to drive very very slowly near the animal so that we could take our once-in-a-lifetime photograph. This was a mistake. That shy, nocturnal animal simply vanished into the bushes. It was very disappointing. Instead we should have stopped right there, mounted our bazookas on the camera and shot from a distance. I asked the caretaker about the Caracal and he casually said - Sir, they come quite frequently. Wow, and here we scourge the forests, just to have a glimpse of this animal.

As we walked towards the chairs, I saw that the lunch was being laid out.

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5775.jpg

Freshened up and sat down. Bread from Wheat & Pearl Millet (baajra), Potato-carrot vegetable, Kadhi-Pakoda, Green & red chill chutney, Lassi, freshly made butter (makhhan) and farm-fresh carrot, tomato & onion salad.

While we were having our lunch, 4 cots were laid side-by-side with a mattress & a pillow. We were asked to take a short nap before going for the evening safari. We declined because had we done that then we would've woken-up only in the evening..

After thanking the caretaker for the wonderful lunch we proceeded to Sariska again. Again Harisingh was waiting with the entry tickets and this time we had been allotted Zone 2.

While waiting at the entry gate to make entries I saw this bee trying to gather Nectar. All the below pictures have been shot with the 300mm lens without the TC.

Bee gathering Nectar

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5776.jpg

The Sun was bright & warm and we straight away went to Karna ka Baas as we were sure that the crocs would be basking. And sure they were; two of them.

Crocodiles basking in the Sun

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5778.jpg

Wood Sandpiper

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5780.jpg

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5782.jpg

My first attempt at panning and capturing a bird in flight & landing.

Flight of the painted Stork

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5786.jpg

A cropped & closer look

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5786a.jpg

Perfect landing

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5788.jpg

From here we headed this time on an entirely new different route that would take us right on top of the Eastern Mountain where generally ST 3 roams. Hardly any jeeps go there. It was a long and tough trail. This trail also went through a Leopard habitat. Nothing came out of it. Finally this road ended at the Pandupol Temple.

Mothercare

Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2-5791.jpg

Here we got an information that one jeep driver had a flash sighting of ST 2 crossing the road about 20 minutes back. We rushed and reached that spot. Waited. Random Cheetal calls where being heard and we were going here & there in the direction of the calls. Nothing emerged or was seen.

It was time to return as the closing time was approaching. Slowly we headed towards the exit and were out by 6:10 pm. Maybe better luck next time. But I enjoyed thoroughly. I didn't have to drive, I was driven for a change. I could manage some decent avian pictures.

By 7 pm we were on our way back by the same route we had come. At times Sachin's truck's speedo showed 120 km/h. For the first time I was back at home before 10 pm from Sariska and had dinner. Now this route is going to be the one that I would take every time I go to Sariska.

Hope you enjoyed the travelogue of this visit. Bye for now, till the next time.

The end..

Last edited by gd1418 : 15th February 2012 at 01:06.
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Old 16th February 2012, 18:55   #278
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Beautifull pictures once again GD, and congratulations on your new acquirement!! Waiting for Sachin and Ashish to post their pics now!!

Since this thread is becoming a bible about Sariska, if I may be allowed to tell the readers about the most amazing visual experience I had about Sariska and two of its tigers while sitting here in Jaipur in an auditorium.

Well, actually I was invited for a special screening of the movie "Tiger Dynasty". This movie is produced by BBC and the director and the photographer is Mr. Nalla. In India the movie will be shown on Discovery Channel.

The 1 Hr. documentary film is about the first two tigers (male & female) relocated from Ranthambore to Sariska and their journey to the road to settlement at Sariska. The problems faced by them and the behavioral changes seen by the other animals due to the absence of tigers and after their re-introduction in Sariska.

The story telling is compelling, the narration is lucid and the cinematography is out of this world. I believe its shot on HD.

Yes, as frequent visitors of Sariska, one can make out that some shots that are supposed to be of Sariska are actually of Ranthambore but I guess thats done in all wild life documentaries.

Overall its a must watch.

I have couriered one DVD of the documentary to GD1418 as a token of appreciation of being such a staunch wild life enthusiast. All those who in Delhi and are interested to watch it may borrow it from him!!

Regards
Dhiraj

NOTE:- I have nothing to do with the documentary, no personal gains what so ever. As a wild life lover I thought it would be only fair to share it with like minded people
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Old 16th February 2012, 20:26   #279
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Thank you Deky for liking the pictures. Sachin is traveling & Ashish has yet to post the pictures of his last visit when he saw ST 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post

Beautifull pictures once again GD, and congratulations on your new acquirement!! Waiting for Sachin and Ashish to post their pics now!!
Nalla Muthu is a known wildlife videographer who works extensively in Ranthambhore. I know when this documentary was being shot in Sariska. Refer to my post #: 10 on page 1. The first picture of the videographer on the jeep is that of Jamshed Khan who is a team member of Nalla's. Jamshed camped in Sariska for more than 3 months to shoot. I deliberately mentioned as a research team because at that time it was not supposed to be leaked. Jamshed & I struck up a great friendship and I made it a point o follow him wherever he went on my visits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post

Since this thread is becoming a bible about Sariska, if I may be allowed to tell the readers about the most amazing visual experience I had about Sariska and two of its tigers while sitting here in Jaipur in an auditorium.

Well, actually I was invited for a special screening of the movie "Tiger Dynasty". This movie is produced by BBC and the director and the photographer is Mr. Nalla. In India the movie will be shown on Discovery Channel.
Thank you for the DVD and the compliment. So now I know why you were asking for my postal address..

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I have couriered one DVD of the documentary to GD1418 as a token of appreciation of being such a staunch wild life enthusiast.
Why this disclaimer?

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Originally Posted by deky View Post

NOTE:- I have nothing to do with the documentary, no personal gains what so ever. As a wild life lover I thought it would be only fair to share it with like minded people
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Old 16th February 2012, 20:49   #280
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

my answers are in bold:-

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
The first picture of the videographer on the jeep is that of Jamshed Khan who is a team member of Nalla's. Jamshed camped in Sariska for more than 3 months to shoot. I deliberately mentioned as a research team because at that time it was not supposed to be leaked. Jamshed & I struck up a great friendship and I made it a point o follow him wherever he went on my visits.

Just checked the acknowledgements at the end of the DVD, and Jamshed's name has been mentioned, so yes you are right, its the same documentary. You see it and then you will believe how nice it has come out.

Thank you for the DVD and the compliment. So now I know why you were asking for my postal address..

Lol, i wanted it to come out as a surprise to you but guess, could not hold myself from posting

Why this disclaimer?

Just to make sure people do not take my post here otherwise!!
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Old 20th February 2012, 12:55   #281
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Panna Tiger reserve scores while Sariska fails to deliver.

This was the article that appeared in the HT of Friday, 17th Feb, 2012.

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

When will we hear the exciting news from Sariska?
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Old 24th February 2012, 20:58   #282
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My first ever Tiger, rather Tigress sighting was in Sariska on 23rd Jan, 2011. It was ST 2. I had submitted its photograph, taken then, to NDTV for their Tiger campaign.

I won an award for it.

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

The picture of the Cat that was sent can be seen here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...nched-3529.jpg
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Old 24th February 2012, 20:59   #283
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Dear GD Sir,


Very nice travelogue !! Rated 5 star

Regards,

Gaurav
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Old 24th February 2012, 22:37   #284
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
My first ever Tiger, rather Tigress sighting was in Sariska on 23rd Jan, 2011. It was ST 2. I had submitted its photograph, taken then, to NDTV for their Tiger campaign.

I won an award for it.

Attachment 893212

The picture of the Cat that was sent can be seen here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...nched-3529.jpg
Congratulations sir. We, here, are a privileged lot to get to see your snaps without much effort!!!
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Old 5th March 2012, 11:52   #285
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Default re: Gurgaon - Sariska - Gurgaon - Phew...Finally sighted one of the Tiger Cubs of ST2

Piece of news you guys may be interested in. This news is about villagers tussle and subsequent results in Sariska

Click here to read the article that appeared in TOI-Jaipur on 05/03/2012
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