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Old 29th June 2013, 20:10   #226
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

While coming out of the forest in the morning we heard from two jeeps that the one of the male sub-adult cub of T 19 was spotted in the Mandoop area of Zone 3.

20th June, 2013 - Evening, Zone 3

Armed with the above information we lobbied very hard to get Zone 3 allotted to us for the afternoon safari. The spectre of my October 2010 trip was looming large. For once I cursed the Rain-God for showering 13 days earlier than scheduled.

As sson as the jeep came and we boarded that an instruction was bellowed to the driver - "fatafat aur seedhe Mandoop chalo (straightaway and asap drive to Mandoop)".

We reached the Mandoop plateau and slowly started scouting the area. As we approached the Kachha Chhatta and turned a curve we saw him. His stomach was full, he had drunk lots of water, he had cooled himself in the water and was dozing.

Male sub-adult cub of T 19

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8743.jpg

Ours was the first jeep to enter zone 3 and reach this place. It almost gave us a 10 minute window to shoot him in peace before the other vehicles arrived.

Yawned when he became aware of our prescence

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8746.jpg

The vehicle was positioned such that in terms of distance Amit & I were the nearest to him - about 10 to 12 feet. He turned to look at us.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8740bw.jpg

A close-up with 200~400 - the innocent eyes

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1586.jpg

He realised how desparate were we to get a proper shot. Having mercy on us, he slightly got up changed position and sat down again now facing us directly.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8753.jpg

A close-up - one twig or a leaf screws up a classical picture

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1592.jpg

My favourite & best * shot

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1605bw.jpg

* I respect & appreciate your contrary views

The show begins - display of the "killer hardware"

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1611.jpg

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1612.jpg

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1625.jpg

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1627.jpg

Show over and disturbed by the assembly of more vehicles, he gets up and walks away deeper inside the jungle.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8766.jpg

We waited for some more time in and around that place in the hope that his other male sibling might emerge. But that was not to be. Leaving him alone in the dense grass, we returned to the lakes hoping to catch some action. Nothing stirred and it was time to exit. On the way back, saw a lone jeep waiting near the Chhoti Chhatri in Zone 2. Heard a couple of calls from a Cheetal. We too waited and so did the other vehicles.

Far away at a considerable distance, this Peafowl was dancing & displaying all of his beauty. But for the 200~400, I couldn't have captured it.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1629.jpg

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1632.jpg

We returned back to our room. I would be lying if I say that it was routine. I felt a great sense of relief. I would probably sleep very very peacefully tonight. Tomorrw morning would be our last safari and the last day of a wonderful stay at RTR with friends.
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Old 29th June 2013, 20:19   #227
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Excellent pictures! His canines are razor sharp. Looks like he has not yet used it to make a kill by himself.
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Old 29th June 2013, 20:51   #228
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

21st June, 2013 - Morning, Zone 6 & 1

We were allotted zone 4 for the morning safari. But there was apprehension everywhere. A few days back before we left for RTR, a news item appeared on ETV Rajasthan that the foresters of RTR shall go on strike and close the main gate of RTR on 21st morning.

I almost groaned in agony, first the mis-timed rains and now this. When I checked around, almost all said that all the issues would be sorted out much before that. But every day we saw peacefully protesting foresters sitting under a tent at the main gate of RTR. They were not troubling the tourists or the devotees either.

I asked my guide Rajesh about the situation. He said that only on reaching the gate something could be said. I already had a Plan B germinating in my head - if the tourists are denied entry, then I would proceed to Qualji.

When we reached the main gate it was closed, quite a number of foresters had assembled and were shouting slogans, the safari vehicles were denied entry and only the vehicles ferrying devotees to the Ganesh temple were being allowed.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-8768.jpg

We waited in the hope that the matter would be resolved in some time and we would be allowed to enter. But that was not to be and shortly a message was received that all the safari vehicles would be allowed to enter the forest through the Kundal Gate in Zone 6.

Now Kundal zone is almost about 40 minutes away near the old Sawai Madhopur city and it was a mad scramble on the roads - a F1 race started in earnest.

This zone boasts of Sloths & Chinkaras apart from the one or two odd Tigers. Our plan was to enter Kundal, explore and then go into zone 1, explore and then proceed to zone 4. What a windfall gain - three zones at a go.

Immediately on enetering Kundal we spotted a pair of Chinkaras grazing at a far away distance. Again the 200~400 came to rescue.

Chinkaras - Black Buck

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1634.jpg

Border area between Zone 6 & 1

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1636.jpg

My three friends in an animated conference

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1639.jpg

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-1640.jpg

Explored zone 1 but couldn't see a thing except so many Peafowls dancing and trying to impress the Peahens. Unusually quite a large numbers of Peafowls & Peahens that I've seen in RTR in this trip.

Exiting zone 1 at Singhdwar met with a jeep that camefrom zone 4 and they had found nothing as well. So there was no point in going to that zone. We decided to return. Going back the same route that we eneterd would almost take an hour, so we thought of taking a chance at the main gate. But it was futile. They didn't allow us to go out. We got down with our equipments and walked across the gate, boarded another jeep that was waiting for us and reached our room.

After our breakfast & freshening up, caught a small nap and bid good-bye to GudduBhai and thanked him for taking good care of us.

Stopped for a brief while at Aditya's to return his lens and thanked him profusely.

By 10 pm we reached Gurgaon and promising to undertake more such trips in future left for our respective homes.

It was one of the best BOYZ DAY OUT, that I had in many many years..!
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Old 29th June 2013, 20:55   #229
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

On the contrary, both the brothers have been regularly making a kill & feeding all by themsleves ever since they separated from their mother.

On this particular day, they both had killed a Samabr the previous night and were gorging on it.

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His canines are razor sharp. Looks like he has not yet used it to make a kill by himself.
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Old 29th June 2013, 21:59   #230
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Is it allowed to get down from the Jeep's once inside the park? I see a couple of pictures where you guys are out from your Jeep. Is it allowed or was it outside the park. Pardon me if this question was not relevant!
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Old 29th June 2013, 23:07   #231
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Lovely photos of the tiger. Envious that Ranthambore is so close to Gurgaon - while I can see elephants anytime I want to, for a tiger I have to drive thousands of kms :-)

So the 200-400mm was your friend's, or did you buy it? Sorry, might have missed the earlier reference to the lens. Were you handholding it?
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Old 30th June 2013, 17:15   #232
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Let me explain Joe. A jungle safari is of about 3 hours. People get the urge to relieve themselves and also stretch legs. There are designated guard posts in every forest where the drivers/guides stop the vehicles for people to get down and freshen up.

Generally animals avoid places where human prescence is detected. And also the guides, drivers and the guards in the post are careful. At the slightest hint of a danger they would bundle the tourists in their jeeps and safety.

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Is it allowed to get down from the Jeep's once inside the park? I see a couple of pictures where you guys are out from your Jeep. Is it allowed or was it outside the park. Pardon me if this question was not relevant!
Thank you Nilanjan. And staying in Delhi/NCR enables us to go to Rajaji/Corbett that is roughly 250 kms away to see the Jumbos.

I couldn't possibly buy the 200~400. That is a dream lens and would need to donate one kidney to get one. It belongs to my friend and he lent me to use. Since I wasn't prepared for such a heavy lens as this, I used it totally hand held and maybe on one or two occassions supported it on the B pillar of the jeep and on the shoulder of a fellow passenger.

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Lovely photos of the tiger. Envious that Ranthambore is so close to Gurgaon - while I can see elephants anytime I want to, for a tiger I have to drive thousands of kms :-)

So the 200-400mm was your friend's, or did you buy it? Sorry, might have missed the earlier reference to the lens. Were you handholding it?
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Old 1st July 2013, 10:32   #233
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

GD saab, great pictures and lively narration. I am still awed with Machli, so much of footage in Discovery and National Geographic, she is definitely is a star along with Charger & Sita( Bandhavgarh). On a side note your triplogs are pushing me to skip Bandhavgarh this year end and head for RTR. Coming back to gear, I have a 70-300mm VR, and in the jungles of Bandhavgarh I felt it was adequate. Sometimes my friend who generally carries a 400mm has problem in framing. 600mm as of now is a dream.
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Old 1st July 2013, 17:49   #234
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Fantastic Trip Report Guru sir.
I haven't even thought of starting mine and here you are already finished with yours. Next time when we're on a trip together, please share a tip or two on how you can multi-task so many things.

The pictures are simply outstanding. And this trip was one of the best I've ever done to any Forest Reserve, more so because all the occupants went with one frame of minds.
Cheers sir and waiting for the next one.
Harjeev
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Old 1st July 2013, 19:17   #235
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Wonderful series of photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post

A close-up - one twig or a leaf screws up a classical picture
It's still good --- but a little use of photoshop would be very justified and would make it perfect
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Old 1st July 2013, 21:05   #236
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Thank you Sid for liking. Machli indeed is a star & legend.

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GD saab, great pictures and lively narration. I am still awed with Machli, so much of footage in Discovery and National Geographic, she is definitely is a star along with Charger & Sita( Bandhavgarh).
RTR after monsoons shall she a lot of changes in terms of hierarchy, territories etc. Many sub-adult cubs will require space and will be asserting their positions.

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On a side note your triplogs are pushing me to skip Bandhavgarh this year end and head for RTR.
70~300mm generally would be adequate but still lacking in range & power. I would rather pitch for the 70~200 f/2.8.

Anything above 300mm (prime lenses) give s a fixed tunnel vision and that increases by the bigger lenses. Realising the limitation of your lens helps a lot in framing & composition.

Well, 600mm remains a dream for many. And I hear that nowadays they are preferring younger kidneys.

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Coming back to gear, I have a 70-300mm VR, and in the jungles of Bandhavgarh I felt it was adequate. Sometimes my friend who generally carries a 400mm has problem in framing. 600mm as of now is a dream.
Thank you Harjeev for all the kind words.. Multi-tasking, hmmm, sounds more a virtue of the female kind.

For me too this trip was a fantastic one. My classmates and you made great company. We must do more such trips in future.

Quote:
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Fantastic Trip Report Guru sir.

I haven't even thought of starting mine and here you are already finished with yours. Next time when we're on a trip together, please share a tip or two on how you can multi-task so many things.

The pictures are simply outstanding. And this trip was one of the best I've ever done to any Forest Reserve, more so because all the occupants went with one frame of minds.

Cheers sir and waiting for the next one.
Harjeev
Thank you so much Thad. I do use PS but only for cropping and image size adjustment. Other than that I don't know any function of this software.

I belong to that school of photographers who try to shoot as the eye sees. I do not believe in PSing the pictures though I know and have seen that after a PS treatment pictures look unbelievably awesome.

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Wonderful series of photos

It's still good --- but a little use of photoshop would be very justified and would make it perfect
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Old 2nd July 2013, 19:49   #237
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Great images as usual gd sir.

I had sighted this gentleman in Zone 3 on that Sunday. He wasn't too bothered with the jeeps around him.
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Old 2nd July 2013, 22:07   #238
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Great images as usual gd sir.

I had sighted this gentleman in Zone 3 on that Sunday. He wasn't too bothered with the jeeps around him.
Baddychat - are you talking about sunday 16th June? I was also there - infact ours was the first gypsy that saw him on that safari (sunday evening)

check it out on -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3160706 (Ranthambhore National Park - Tigers and More!)
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Old 3rd July 2013, 00:02   #239
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Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
Baddychat - are you talking about sunday 16th June? I was also there - infact ours was the first gypsy that saw him on that safari (sunday evening)

check it out on -

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3160706 (Ranthambhore National Park - Tigers and More!)
No Sach.sri i was talking about the 23rd of June. I meant to say that I was there the following Sunday. I sighted him on the morning of the 23rd.

Yes sir I have been through your Ranthambore travelogue already. Great shots.

Cheers
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Old 31st July 2013, 18:33   #240
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

We are just a month into monsoons and the forest is resounding with the sounds of the newborn.

It helps if you are the State Minister for Forests - then you can visit the forests of your state anytime of the year. We the mere mortals can't dream of the same luxury.

But then if you are Bina Kak, then you generously share those rare pictures with us mere mortals. Thank you Binaji.

The camera traps in Ranthambhore have captured some exclusive pictures.

T 26 or Sharmili, a very shy tigress residing in the non-tourist zone of the forest recently gave birth. Some say 3 cubs. One cub was captured following its mother in a camera trap. This photo was made available to us by Binaji.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-t26.jpg

Further Tigress T-11 or the Chirouli female's pugmarks were found along with the pugmarks of her cubs.

The tribe is increasing which is a good news.
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