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Old 26th March 2014, 15:10   #271
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Wonderful report and great snaps. Selfish I may be, but I've to tell you that I miss your earlier narratives that gave a wonderful feel of the jungles. Perhaps, then you had more time to pen them down
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Old 27th March 2014, 10:29   #272
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Thank you so very much.

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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post

Wonderful report and great snaps.
This indeed came as a pleasant surprise. Please point out what exactly was lacking in the narration. I have tried my best to pen down my experiences. And I always take time out of my hectic schedule to write..

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Selfish I may be, but I've to tell you that I miss your earlier narratives that gave a wonderful feel of the jungles. Perhaps, then you had more time to pen them down
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Old 27th March 2014, 12:47   #273
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

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Thank you so very much.

This indeed came as a pleasant surprise. Please point out what exactly was lacking in the narration. I have tried my best to pen down my experiences. And I always take time out of my hectic schedule to write..
There is nothing lacking in your narration, sir. But your earlier logs had a wee bit more of the sounds from the jungle. Sample this

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While the morning was very chilly, as the day progressed, it started getting warmer. The Jungle was silent except for two and both happened to be avians. One a peacock & the other a Jungle fowl. This being the mating season for the pea cocks, they were bellowing mating calls that were being answered in the same decibel level by the pea hens. The whole Jungle reverberated to their calls. The second was this Jungle Fowl. For him the the Sunrise was a perpetual happening. Periodically he kept on calling. After a point it became quite irritating.
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Old 13th April 2014, 11:37   #274
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

This picture shall make you very happy and urge you to undertake a trip to the forest.

T 19 a.k.a Krishna became a mother for the second time and gave birth to four cubs. It has been almost 15 years before any Tigress in RTR gave birth to a litter of four.

This picture is courtesy Nalla Muthu.

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-t_19.jpg

Krishna escorting her cubs near the Rajbagh Lake

I'm planning a trip. Want to see and cuddle these cubs. Let the mother's anger be damned...!
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Old 13th April 2014, 23:33   #275
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Never mind mum, I wouldn't want even a friendly pat on the face from one of those kittens!
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Old 21st April 2014, 12:40   #276
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Ranthambhore residents & others get ready - I'm coming along with Koshy Sir (llamrei), my wife and a dear friend Prajesh (kp_zen) on the weekend.

And listen you 4 young brats of Krishna and the grown-up of Laila, put on a show for me or else I'm going to get very very upset with you and stop playing hide & seek...

BTW, I've mailed this to Krishna at T19_rajbagh@ranthambhore.zone3.in
and to to Laila at T41_bhakola@ranthambhore.zone5.in
....
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Old 21st April 2014, 14:35   #277
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Excellent travelogue and thank you for the route map. I visited RTR last weekend and we had an absolute blast.

Saw T19 without the cubs and T23. Ran into Nalla as well, while we waited for T19 to come out - great guy. Even offered us tea and juices for the wife and the kids.

Great trip overall.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 20:18   #278
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

A bit of a worrying and bad news from the R'bhore forests. On another forum somebody posted today on my thread the following:

"Returned from RTR yesterday (21st April). One bad news is that one cub of Krishna (T-19) is missing since 19/04/2014. Krishna is very angry and roaring repeatedly as if calling her lost cub. God knows what happened to the 4th cub!"
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Old 28th April 2014, 17:07   #279
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

GD sir, how was the trip? Hope you saw what you went for. Please update the thread at the earliest. A friend also visited ranthambore this weekend and spotted her without the cubs, so fingers crossed.
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Old 29th April 2014, 11:17   #280
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

It seems you did not read my latest Sariska travelogue.

If everything would have gone according to the original plan, then I would not be writing about my experiences at Sariska. Instead it would have been Ranthambhore.

I was scheduled to be in R'bhore on the 26th & 27th doing 4 safaris in search of the newborn cubs.

But due to un-avoidable circumstances it got cancelled at the last moment and suddenly I found myself at a loose end.

Since the "visit jungle" itch had already started and before it took alarming proportions, I planned a trip to Sariska.

Since my daughter's college exams are starting next month and ending on 17th May, Ranthambhore shall be planned after that only.

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GD sir, how was the trip? Hope you saw what you went for. Please update the thread at the earliest. A friend also visited ranthambore this weekend and spotted her without the cubs, so fingers crossed.
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Old 29th April 2014, 11:39   #281
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
It seems you did not read my latest Sariska travelogue.

If everything would have gone according to the original plan, then I would not be writing about my experiences at Sariska. Instead it would have been Ranthambhore.

I was scheduled to be in R'bhore on the 26th & 27th doing 4 safaris in search of the newborn cubs.

But due to un-avoidable circumstances it got cancelled at the last moment and suddenly I found myself at a loose end.

Since the "visit jungle" itch had already started and before it took alarming proportions, I planned a trip to Sariska.

Since my daughter's college exams are starting next month and ending on 17th May, Ranthambhore shall be planned after that only.
I haven't actually read the sariska thread as was off to mumbai for last 4-5 days for a wedding.
In my case I have had maximum sightings during May and towards the closing of the park. Which I beleive is easier due to summers and lack of water and better visibility. So I guess, after your daughters exams, would be an ideal time to visit and a good chance to see the cubs.
If Possible, let me know your plan, might join in to remove my(24 month) itch for ranthambore which my 9 month old daughter has caused.
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Old 30th April 2014, 10:50   #282
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

From this year onwards Waterhole census conducted on Budh Poornima in May every year has been discontinued. There were several complaints. While there were serious enthusiasts, for some it was a picnic.


Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-census.jpg
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Old 30th April 2014, 14:29   #283
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Excellent write up GD sir and as usual great pics, specially the ones of the tigers and the Crested Serpeant Eagle. Appreciate your passion for the wildlife and really admire the way you describe your experiences which makes us also a part of the adventure.
I myself have been planning a trip to Ranthambore for quite some time now but since my baby was young we couldn't do it. Now she is 2 yrs old so going to corbett in about two weeks. Ranthambore is scheduled for Oct - Nov this year.
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Old 31st May 2014, 13:49   #284
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

My Ranthambhore visit - 26th May to 28th May

How do I start? My perfect planning got jeopardised. And I was in a foul mood last week. It was good that my office staff was was on peak performance & efficiency mode and did not have to face my wrath.

My office project that was to end on 21st noon got extended till the 24th.
I had confirmed bookings at Ranthambhore from 22nd May to 24th May for 6 safaris. But that was not to be. I was staring at a loss. But Guddu Bhai being Guddu Bhai, said and I quote - "बॉस, आप मेरे बड़े भाई हो. आपके ऊपर कोई लोड नहीं आएगा. मैं मैनेज कर लूँगा". I thanked him profusely and said that now since the goddamn "jungle itch" has surfaced and taking some disastrous proportions, I would come visiting and very soon.

Fortunately for all of us the project ended on 24th morning and by noon it was sent to the client. Within an hour the client's mail arrived conveying his joy & satisfaction. As soon as I read the mail on my phone, dialled Guddu Bhai and the conversation went as follows:

Me: गुड्डू भाई, क्या हाल जंगल का?

Guddu: सर, बहुत बढियां. अच्छी सैटिंग हो रही है. कब आ रहे हो?

Me: सोच रहा हूँ की छब्बीस से अट्ठाईस. कैसा रहेगा?

Guddu: सर जी, बुकिंग तो जून ३० तक फुल है. करंट में उठाएंगे.

Me: कैंटर में तो नहीं जाऊँगा. जीप ही चाहिए

Guddu: सर, आप आ जाओ और बाकी मेरे ऊपर छोड़ दो.

Me: ठीक है. छब्बीस सुबह ५ बजे पहुँच जाऊँगा, कमरा नंबर १ कर देना और ३ बजे से ऐसी चला देना. जोन २, ४ या ५ ही चाहिए और जीप में बीच की तीन सीटें ब्लॉक कर देना

Guddu: ठीक है.

Immediately after this conversation the "jungle itch" subsided giving some relief. The plan was to leave by 10 pm on the 25th. Wife was sounded, the kids as usual refused to come and her iPad was put on charging. In all this excitement, I forgot my laptop at office while returning home on 24th.

Without the laptop I wouldn't be able to empty the memory cards after each shoot. So on Sunday the 25th, I had to make a visit to the office to pick-up my laptop. Came back home, topped up TB II on way, had lunch and slept since I had to drive all night. Woke up at 7:25 pm, packed my stuff, arranged my camera equipment, watched Adaalat on Sony and went for a bath.

While I shall continue later after checking my photographs and selecting, here is a teaser and also a good news that should keep you glued...

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-28may2014.jpg


Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-t39_cubs.jpg

Ranthambhore is rocking and the coming season in October 2014 should be very very interesting.

Sunday the 25th May, 2014

I had scheduled the departure at 22:00 hrs, but it was a typical case of man proposes and wife disposes. It was 22:30 when we took the lift to go down to the parking. By the time all the stuff was adjusted in the boot, engine fired and we started to roll it was 23:00 hrs. Late by an hour.

When things don't go my way, then it adds to the stress. I wanted to take it easy and drive comfortably instead of racing against time. It was the usual route for me that I always take when I go to Sariska and instead of turning right towards Alwar City, took a left turn on the Bandikui-Sikandra road to connect on NH11 and then via Dausa - Lalsot to Sawai Madhopur.

The dreaded NH8 till Bhiwadi was kind to me and I did not experience any heavy traffic or a jam. What surprised me was that I took only 39 minutes to reach the Kapriwas turn towards Bhiwadi. It has usually taken me almost an hour every time I go to Sariska.

Monday the 26th May, 2014

Except for a near miss of a head-on-collision with an oncoming Scorpio at a curve near Bandikui the entire drive was un-eventful. The other car was overtaking a truck on the curve. Who gave that moron a driving licence? Thankfully the road was very wide and I managed to swerve to the left and save. This shook my wife too much and she kept on mumbling the rest of the way that daytime driving was much safer and henceforth we must do so. Well.....

Leaving NH11 and entering Dausa city and then turning towards Lalsot from Gandhi Chowk took us through some real bad roads. It has been the same since the last few years. After driving for a few kilometres we hit a peach of a road and made good speed. Nearing Lalsot the story was the same but road repairing & renovation work was in progress. The clock read 4:22 when I entered the outskirts of Sawai Madhopur. Spotted a tea-stall and stopped. The phone rang and it was Guddu Bhai who was enquiring my whereabouts. Informed him that the ETA would be before 5.

The Resort is located about 1/2 a kilometre from the main Ranthambhore road and teems with some wildlife like Hare, Monitor Lizard, Leopard and an occassional Hyena. The road to resort is almost like an off-road track and during monsoons only a SUV can negotiate that track. As I neared the resort, my wife pointing to the left squealed in excitement - "देखो देखो जंगली खरगोश".

Since it was so sudden that I looked and saw a pair of Jungle Hare frozen in the headlight of my car. A nasty expletive came out of my mouth and I exclaimed that the safari is ruined. She asked me why but I didn't answer. The famous Hare jinx hit me even before the safari had started. I knew for sure that there wouldn't be any Tiger sighting today.

Well, irritated & upset checked into my room, freshened up, readied my camera gear and waited for the jeep. It arrived at 6:15 along with my preferred guide - Rajesh Gujar. Since my tickets were taken on current booking I had no choice. Instead of three tickets that I had asked, I got only two and this meant there would be 4 other occupants. Already a couple were sitting in the middle seat, so I had to settle for the rear seat.

The jinx was slowly tightening the grip. We had to pick-up two more guests and by the time we did all this and entered the forest it was already 7:15 and the early bird advantage was lost totally. The allotted zone was #: 2. It boasted of atleast 5 Tigers. I thought that there was a very very thin ray of hope that I would bump into any one of them and thus break & conquer the jinx. Well that was not to be and we returned without any sighting. The only consolation and saving grace was that there was no sighting either in the other 3 zones. It was then that I told my wife about the Hare jinx that was ratified by Rajesh, driver and one of the fellow passengers.

Returned to our room, had a cool bath, ate breakfast and crashed after setting the alarm to 13:45. Got up as the alarm rang and started getting ready. We had decided to skip the lunch. The jeep arrived at 3:15 and we were ready. This time I got three tickets and the middle row; felt better. The rear seat was occupied by a family of three. They were very nice people and their son who was in 10th class was a wildlife lover. The zone allotted was 4. This too had about 4 tigers but all our efforts to find any was in vain. Though we saw the fresh pugmarks of T 41 and followed it also for a while, they got lost after sometime. The lasting effects of the jinx.

It was one of those rarest of the rare occassion when I had not clicked a single photograph in the jungle. On our way back at the gate got to know that the legendary Machchli was sighted in Zone 5.

Returned to our room, had a light dinner and retired for the day, hoping for better luck next morning.

to be continued.../-
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Old 31st May 2014, 14:02   #285
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!

Tuesday the 27th May, 2014

Before going to bed the previous night I had requested Guddu Bhai to get me Zone 5 and a full jeep if possible. We were up & ready by 5:30 am, waiting for the jeep.

In a good mood

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-0397.jpg

The jeep arrived at 6 and had no other passengers. It was exclusive for two of us and the zone allotted was #: 5. So, everything was falling in place. This zone boasted of 8 Tigers. Someone or the other was bound to show up and also the temperature was soaring. Conditions were in our favour.

We first straight away drove towards the end of the zone near Bhakola to check on T 41, her almost two year old cub and her consort the massive T 6. On the way we minutely checked and scanned the Goolar Kui & Tambakhan area for T 25, Handpump area for signs of Machchli and the Kachida & Dhakda area for the now grown up cubs of the Late T 17.

After spending sometime in Bhakola decided to return and stakeout the Kachida-Dhakda area for the grown up cubs. Enroute we saw this pair of Red-necked King Vulture sitting far away on top of a tree. The driver kept on telling that sighting of this Vulture was akin to sighting a Leopard. I had already seen one in Sariska twice and almost wanted to tell him that the amount of thrill & excitement that one would have on seeing a Leopard would not be similar to seeing a Vulture.

Male Red-necked

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-0145.jpg

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Female Red-necked

Gurgaon - Ranthambhore - Jodhpur - Gurgaon: Big Cats call again..!-0161.jpg

We had heard that the sub-adult cubs were camping in the vicinity. Enroute we checked at the Kachida Chowki for any information but they had none. As we reached the Gudla Ghaati area saw a jeep parked near a small water body. We slowly approached them and in whispers came to know that a Sambar had called twice. We parked there and waited. The Sambar called again and fell silent. Then a Langur called. It meant that a Predator was on the move. Was it coming to the water?

And then from the hill opposite Gudla Ghaati emerged T 75, one of the male cubs of T 17. He sat down on seeing the jeeps. It was difficult to get a shot because of the light conditions and also due to scattered twigs & branches. Not even a record shot was possible. As we planned to move somewhere from where we could have better visibility, the fellow got up and vanished in the bushes. The Sambar called again and then again and fell silent. This meant that T 75 had settled down in some shade. We waited for a few minutes and then pulled away to look for other canines.

We saw a canter and a jeep parked at the Dhakda stream that runs parallel to the trail. This meant a Tiger was in the water. We reached slowly and got a vantage point and saw a partly visible Tigress cooling in the water. She was T 73 the only female cub of T 17. And what a beautiful female she was - just like her mother.

to be continued.../-
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