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Old 4th May 2011, 00:09   #76
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Default re: Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post

HVK & Abheek did suggest the route via Amangunj as it goes through the buffer zone of the Panna forest & is more scenic, but by that time it was too late - I had already taken the route via Satna. I passed a gate that said Panna Tiger Reserve. Stopped, took a picture of the entry gate and drove on. Since my itinerary was already planned & timed, I had not included Panna in the schedule.
There is recent good news from Panna. One of the Tigress there has given birth to 2 cubs.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I shall be doing injustice if I do not mention Dr. Abheek Ghosh, a cardiologist from Nagpur, a wildlife conservationist, resident expert on Pench and a great friend & host.

My trip would not have even passed the conception stage if Abheek had not stepped in. My boarding, lodging & the jeep safaris at Bandhavgarh, Pench & Kanha were totally taken care of by him. I only had to do the online safari bookings at each of the forests. i will not praise him much or else his heart will bloat. Thank you Abheek for everything.
The pleasure has been entirely mine sir.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
During discussing the trip, I had stressed to Abheek that I generally do not like to spend a lot on boarding & lodging and am a budget traveller. Poor Abheek, he took this literally and booked me in Bandhavgarh in a hotel/motel called Kolkata Kutir.
That, probably was the only goof up sir !

Pray carry on......
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Old 4th May 2011, 00:42   #77
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Tiger cubs in Panna by a researcher from Wildlife Institute of India

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Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-17788740374d07670639c99.jpg

So many parks to visit and so less time !!

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
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Old 4th May 2011, 09:15   #78
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post

I've a familial connection with Maihar through my marriage. Maihar is world famous for two things - Maa Sharada Mandir & Padma Vibhushan Baba Allaudin Khan Saheb.

My late father-in-law Pt. Satyadev Pawar was amongst the first disciples of Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan.

Paucity of time (it was 4:40 pm) was the excuse that I gave to myself. I shall regret this for ever.
GD Sahab,

No wonder you have a that musical inclination in you, comes to you through your in laws.

Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan Saheb, Ustad Allaudin Khan Saheb, Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan Saheb, Ustab Bismillah Khan Saheb, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor Ji. Pandit Ravi Shanker Ji, Pandit Jasraj Ji, Ustad Rashid Khan (and many more I am incapable of quoting).


Can any one out perform Pandit Jasraj Ji's (20 mins.), singing..."Mero Allah Meherbaan"?

The Goddess Durga temple in Varanasi started arthi on Dussera, only after Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb's annual Shehnai ritual, dedicated to the presiding Goddess.

Aisa Desh hai mera!

I had the honour to meet and interact for long with Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb and Pandit Jasraj Ji, one to one.


Where did you take me this morning in thoughts so deep and their memories?

"Paucity of time (it was 4:40 pm) was the excuse that I gave to myself. I shall regret this for ever".

"Only they come to me whom..I call."
GD Sahab, your time will come.
Regards,
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Old 4th May 2011, 11:13   #79
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It wasn't. The fault was entirely mine. Probably could not communicate properly.

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post

That, probably was the only goof up sir !
Please refrain from inflicting mental & visual torture. I might be forced to get in touch with a certain resident MBA Tigress in Nagpur to put a tight leash around your neck & rein you in..

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Tiger cubs in Panna by a researcher from Wildlife Institute of India

Attachment 539810

Attachment 539809

So many parks to visit and so less time !!

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
Thank you Fazal Bhai. I have had the exalted company of Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustaad Ashish Khan, Uma Bua (Uma Sharma) and a score of others on the dinner table in my house...

I can also boast of listening to Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa saheb, Gudai Maharaj & Pt. Kishen Maharaj playing at my FIL's house in a very very private concert.

We shall discuss this common aspect of ours in private..

Maa Sharada will surely call me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
GD Sahab,

No wonder you have a that musical inclination in you, comes to you through your in laws.

Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan Saheb, Ustad Allaudin Khan Saheb, Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan Saheb, Ustab Bismillah Khan Saheb, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor Ji. Pandit Ravi Shanker Ji, Pandit Jasraj Ji, Ustad Rashid Khan (and many more I am incapable of quoting).

Can any one out perform Pandit Jasraj Ji's (20 mins.), singing..."Mero Allah Meherbaan"?

The Goddess Durga temple in Varanasi started arthi on Dussera, only after Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb's annual Shehnai ritual, dedicated to the presiding Goddess.

Aisa Desh hai mera!

I had the honour to meet and interact for long with Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb and Pandit Jasraj Ji, one to one.


Where did you take me this morning in thoughts so deep and their memories?

"Paucity of time (it was 4:40 pm) was the excuse that I gave to myself. I shall regret this for ever".

"Only they come to me whom..I call."
GD Sahab, your time will come.
Regards,
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Old 4th May 2011, 20:38   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I might be forced to get in touch with a certain resident MBA Tigress in Nagpur to put a tight leash around your neck & rein you in.

I have had the exalted company of Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustaad Ashish Khan, Uma Bua (Uma Sharma) and a score of others on the dinner table in my house...

I can also boast of listening to Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa saheb, Gudai Maharaj & Pt. Kishen Maharaj playing at my FIL's house in a very very private concert.

We shall discuss this common aspect of ours in private..

Maa Sharada will surely call me...
GD Sahab,
Don't worry he will be in the same leash as us, not long from now. I am awaiting that day. Bahut ho gayi azaadi!

Inne Wadde Wadde log????
You are so lucky, these are living treasures, legends, the void they leave behind just cannot be filled.

However, the company of Fazal, chotte mian is due on your dinner table laced with our discussion.
Regards,
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Old 4th May 2011, 21:08   #81
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Bandhavgarh National Park - 14th April, 2011

Out of the eight National Parks of Madhya Pradesh -

BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK

PANNA NATIONAL PARK

PENCH NATIONAL PARK

SANJAY NATIONAL PARK

KANHA NATIONAL PARK

SATPURA NATIONAL PARK

MADHAV NATIONAL PARK

VAN VIHAR NATIONAL

- Bandhavgarh, spread over an area of 1162 Sq. Km with reported population of 57 Tigers is known for world's highest density of Big Cat. It is also famous for the discovery of the White Tigers. Out of this area only 450 Sq. Kms. has been opened for tourism.

Bookings for permit for safaris inside the National Parks in MP is done online. Some available permits, not booked online, are sold in current daily. For that one has to come quite early to the designated gate and wait and it is on first-come-first-serve basis. That has eliminated corruption & manipulation.

Bandhavgarh National Park is divided into three zones - Tala (Gate 1), Magadhi (Gate 2) & Khitauli (Gate 3). Out of these three zones Tala is very popular and much in demand as Tiger sightings are more here. Magadhi rates second and Khitauli is the last & least visited.

My pet peeve/grouse - there have been so many threads in the past on Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Corbett, Pench, Ranthambhore etc., but none have any information on the logistics. For a first timer, apart from beautiful pictures of the animals and the landscape, no other information is available.

By the time I concretised my plans with Abheek, got to know of the online bookings and the zone to be booked, it was late. All the safari permits for Tala zone were sold out. So, the next best Magadhi was booked for three safaris - 14th morning & evening & 15th morning.

When I undertook the safari I also came to know of some other interesting factor; there are routes inside the zones - In Tala it is A, B, C & D, in Magadhi it is E, F, G & H and in Khitauli it is I. To prevent crowding, at random the routes are allotted every day/evening. For example one can be given the route A-C meaning to enter by route A and exit the park by route C. And the gypsy drivers have to stick to the route allotted strictly or else the gypsy, its driver & the guide shall be banned for a week minimum.

Mukesh Burman was supposed to accompany me for my morning safari in the Magadhi zone but he had to go out of Tala for some work. His brother Narayan was assigned to me. He came to my room the previous night to take the safari permits and informed that he would be at the resort at 5:30 in the morning.

We were ready by 5:15 am and Narayan arrived at 5:40 and we headed towards Magadhi. Enroute the assigned guide hopped in and we got talking. I was a bit keen on sighting B 2, the biggest male of Bandhavgarh and the guide informed that B 2 had crossed over to Magadhi from Tala in the night.

With excitement we entered the forest. Ours was the third vehicle to go in. Just within 500 meters of entering, the guide whispered to Narayan to stop. There right next to where I was sitting was a huge paw mark about few hours old. I had not yet seen such a big pug-mark. It surely was that of a big male and the guide announced - "B 2 yahan se kuch ghate pehle gaya hai (B 2 has gone from here a few hours back)".

B 2's pug-mark

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4194.jpg

We eagerly moved on further scouring the track & the route, with ears cocked to listen for any alarm calls. The jungle was unusually silent in the early morning.

Bandhavgarh tracks

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As we moved deeper we saw the other two gypsies that had entered before us, parked at a distance. Narayan approached slowly and raised his brow. The driver of one of the gypsy put his fingers to the lip and asked us to be silent. And sure enough there was the Cheetal alarm call. Excited that it could be B 2 on the move as the pug-mark had indicated that direction, I got ready with my camera.

Gypsies waiting

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The alarm call repeated twice more and then fell silent. After some time there was a loud Peahen alarm call and then silence. Waited for about 20 minutes and then moved further as it was surmised that the predator would have settled down in the bushes.

Driving further the track opened up to a vast grassland with thick lantana grass, that could hide everything except an elephant.

Landscape

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4196.jpg

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Faraway on the branches of a tree the guide spotted a pair of Indian Vultures (Gyps Indicus). It is an endangered and notified species on the verge of extinction due to callous use of Diclofenac and other pesticides. These scavenging birds were too far for my 80~200 lens to capture anything decent. This is all what I could manage.

Indian Vulture

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Nothing stirred, nothing moved, no sound at all. This was the same with all the other gypsies whom we criss-crossed. The sun was up and shining and the weather was getting hotter. It was time to return.

On the way out near the gate, we saw this magnificent lone wooly necked Stork, foraging.

Wooly Necked Stork

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Thus ended the morning safari.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 4th May 2011 at 21:23.
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Old 4th May 2011, 21:21   #82
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Ha ha ha ha ha..

Lucky because of marriage..

That day, I'm looking forward to eagerly and shall be an honour to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post

GD Sahab,

Don't worry he will be in the same leash as us, not long from now. I am awaiting that day. Bahut ho gayi azaadi!

Inne Wadde Wadde log????

You are so lucky, these are living treasures, legends, the void they leave behind just cannot be filled.

However, the company of Fazal, chotte mian is due on your dinner table laced with our discussion.

Regards,
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Old 4th May 2011, 23:20   #83
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Default re: Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon

kya gd saaab, had you asked me - I would've told you that the Tala zone needs booking FAARRR in advance. logistics u could've asked me - I did tell HVK himself that time!
I posted FULL logistics on IM - there's still that 0.1% data which is not on TBHP (yet!):
The path less travelled by ! - Bandhavgarh Naitional Park - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com (posts 5/15)
Kanha vs. Bandhavgarh - which is better? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com


Magadhi is a waste in winters - how was it finally in the summers?

That said - nice pics
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Old 5th May 2011, 10:16   #84
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Superb GD Sir. Bandhavgarh is refreshing and will be always on top of my list. Tiger heaven is a good resort, i heard, though i planned for my May 2011 trip but later changed to Nature Heritage. Share some first hand experience of Tiger Heaven.

Pictures are superb. Waiting for May 21 - the day to come, when i will headed for my Kanha (first time) and Bandhavgarh (3rd time) expedition. First time summer expedition to Central India Tiger Reserves.


@ Abheek: Coming via Nagpur to Kanha (7 drives) and Bandhavgarh (6 drives) just befor your trip to Bandhavgarh.
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Old 5th May 2011, 11:15   #85
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post

Please refrain from inflicting mental & visual torture. I might be forced to get in touch with a certain resident MBA Tigress in Nagpur to put a tight leash around your neck & rein you in..

Hahaha.....That was a good one !!
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:23   #86
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I'm neither a member of IndiaMike nor follow it. This thread started in Feb end. If you had read it then, you should've updated me. No?

Magadhi in summers - I've posted my observation above..

Thanks for liking the pics..

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
kya gd saaab, had you asked me - I would've told you that the Tala zone needs booking FAARRR in advance. logistics u could've asked me - I did tell HVK himself that time!
I posted FULL logistics on IM - there's still that 0.1% data which is not on TBHP (yet!):
The path less travelled by ! - Bandhavgarh Naitional Park - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com (posts 5/15)
Kanha vs. Bandhavgarh - which is better? - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com


Magadhi is a waste in winters - how was it finally in the summers?

That said - nice pics
Thank you Subrat. Tiger Heaven is good with courteous staff and they cook some great food. Stay was comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrat Seet View Post
Superb GD Sir. Bandhavgarh is refreshing and will be always on top of my list. Tiger heaven is a good resort, i heard, though i planned for my May 2011 trip but later changed to Nature Heritage. Share some first hand experience of Tiger Heaven.

Pictures are superb. Waiting for May 21 - the day to come, when i will headed for my Kanha (first time) and Bandhavgarh (3rd time) expedition. First time summer expedition to Central India Tiger Reserves.


@ Abheek: Coming via Nagpur to Kanha (7 drives) and Bandhavgarh (6 drives) just befor your trip to Bandhavgarh.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:51   #87
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Talking re: Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon

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I'm neither a member of IndiaMike nor follow it. This thread started in Feb end. If you had read it then, you should've updated me. No?
Sarkar,

You know the traffic on TBHP - threads are discovered by chance wonlee! All I'm saying is that the searching for bandhavgarh on google gets Indiamike results before TBHP - had we discussed it even in the meet, I'd have briefed you!!

Anyways, IM is as good/better a source for off beat destinations within India with regards to logistics compared to TBHP.

Dil maange more pics now

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Old 5th May 2011, 16:28   #88
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Coming soon. Lemme stick to TBHP only. I feel comfy.

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post

Sarkar,

You know the traffic on TBHP - threads are discovered by chance wonlee! All I'm saying is that the searching for bandhavgarh on google gets Indiamike results before TBHP - had we discussed it even in the meet, I'd have briefed you!!

Anyways, IM is as good/better a source for off beat destinations within India with regards to logistics compared to TBHP.

Dil maange moreee pics now
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Old 5th May 2011, 22:46   #89
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Bandhavgarh National Park - 14th April, 2011

After the end of the morning safari, Narayan dropped us back to the resort and we had a sumptuous breakfast of Toast, Butter & Jam, boiled eggs, glasses of milk & tea. After this we retired to our room to take bath & rest. Narayan had said that the noon safari would start at 3:15 pm and he would come to pick us up at 2:45.

The cooler wasn't working and so was the fan. On asking I was told that there is a power cut from 8 to 12 in the morning and 4 to 7 in the evening. I asked if they had a generator. The receptionist said yes. I asked him to switch it on. The cooler started working & power restored. Why do the resort guys have to wait till somebody asks for it?

We told the resort guy that we would have lunch at 1:30 pm. While the rest of the family indulged in morning rituals, I took out my laptop, external HDD & Reliance Data Card to check my emails and transfer the photographs from the camera card to the external HDD.

While the reliance mobile would work erratically as informed by the resort guy, the data card showed no signal inspite of my best efforts. Disappointed, I only reviewed the pictures, transferred them to the HDD and formatted the card for the next session.

And then my mobile rang. It was Narayan. Wondering why he called, I picked up the phone. Narayan informed that another one of his client who had come to Bandhavgarh and had booked 5 safaris, had no sighting in the 3 safaris and had proceeded to Kanha where the reports of the sightings were good. Thus two safaris for the Tala zone were available and would I be interested?

This meant that I had to forego & forfeit my Magadhi bookings resulting in a loss of Rs.2060/-. I made an instant decision and said yes.

Narayan said that he would be coming in a short while to collect payment & fill the forms. Within 30 minutes he was at the resort and then the reality hit me. I also had to pay the premium. What that meant was I had to pay Rs.2100/- to the original booker of the safaris and then again Rs.2060/- to the forest department for accepting my application against cancellation of the original booking.

Is it confusing? Let me explain. Forest safaris in MP are primarily booked online only and whatever remains unbooked gets sold as current. The cost per safari for 5 people is Rs.1030/-. And cancellations are also done online, where you would be refunded 50% of the booking amount.

Now this gent who abandoned his two safaris, recovered his entire booking amount from me, I dunno if he also cancelled online and got 50% back, I had to pay to the forest department afresh Rs. 2060/- for the Tala zone and since I couldn't cancel online my Magadhi bookings, lost Rs.2060/-.

To cut the story short, I got bookings for today evening and the next day morning safari at Tala.

Elated, I prepared for the evening safari. Narayan arrived at 2:45 and within 10 minutes we were at the Tala Gate. I hadn't realised that the Tala Gate was very near my resort. This was the scene that greeted me at Tala. My vehicle was probably the 8th or 9th in the que.

Scene at Tala Gate

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Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4213.jpg

I got down, roamed around, checked my camera settings and got 'shot' in the process by wife.

I, Me, Myself

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The gypsy in front of mine had three Frenchmen. One of them had a juicy lens with a D700 on his shoulder. I struck up a conversation with him. There lying on the seat of his vehicle I spotted a "rocket launcher" - a 500mm f/4 on an another D700. I told this guy that I could kill for this piece of glass. He, with a twinkle in his eye responded - "me too".

Discussion with the Frenchmen

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-1829.jpg

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-1830.jpg

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Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-1832.jpg

While I took a walk till the gate I spotted several "rocket launchers" in various gypsies. I spotted a 600mm f/4 on a 5D Mk II, another 600mm f/4 on a D3s, a 200~400 f/4 on a D200. Oh boy, my own lens the 80~200 f/2.8 looked like a baby in front of them.

The gate opened at 3:15 and one-by-one the gypsies started going in. My daughter piped - "Would we see the Tiger here" ? I just nodded.

A bit inside the jungle saw this Fish Owl sitting and observing the caravan.

Brown Fish Owl

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We saw a crested serpent eagle, pied Kingfisher and herds of deer.

Crested Serpent Eagle

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Pied Kingfisher

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Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4236.jpg

Herd of Deer & Landscape

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4237.jpg

Cheetal's perspective

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4225.jpg

Heard a few alarm calls that did not yield any result and as dusk approached, returned back.

Saw this huge uprooted tree in a thunderstorm that happened two days ago.

Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon-4220.jpg

Reached the resort, Narayan said that he would be there next morning at 5 so as to be in the front, otherwise the que would get long.

We retired to our room, had dinner by 9 pm and hit the bed. This was the last night in B'garh. Tomorrow morning, after the safari we would leave for Pench.

Bandhavgarh National Park - 15th April, 2011

Narayan arrived at 5 am sharp and we were ready. Reached Tala gate and parked. We were 4th in line. Entered the park at 5:45 am. This was a different route than what we did yesterday evening. The area was the territory of a Tigress with two cubs. Morning was frolicking time for the cubs.

Roamed around, waited long at places to hear any call or see a movement. Nothing at all. There was nothing interesting to photograph. Camera & we came back empty handed.

Reached resort, thanked Narayan, freshened up, had breakfast, packed our luggage and by 1 pm we were on our way to Pench via Jabalpur & Seoni.

to be continued.../-

Last edited by gd1418 : 5th May 2011 at 22:53.
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Old 6th May 2011, 20:35   #90
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Default re: Gurgaon - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Pench - Kanha - Bhedaghat - Gurgaon

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
While I took a walk till the gate I spotted several "rocket launchers" in various gypsies. I spotted a 600mm f/4 on a 5D Mk II, another 600mm f/4 on a D3s, a 200~400 f/4 on a D200. Oh boy, my own lens the 80~200 f/2.8 looked like a baby in front of them.
I was thinking about use TC with 80~200 f2.8, are they compatible with it.
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