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Old 17th March 2011, 10:36   #16
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Thank you everyone for the compliments and comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
Rishi would you please share the address & contact number of the IB booking authority.

I will get this for you from my dad as I had stored it on his phone.

Where in Barpeta road is the DCF office & what kind of permit do they issue? Any ID proff, car document photocopy or photograph's needed?

As you are turning of from the main highway there is a HP petrol Pump. Past the petrol pump you need to take a right into town and the office comes on the left about 500 metres from the turn. They give you a permit to take your car in and also verify that you have done the booking. You just need to give them your name and car no. No photos or any other permits were asked for

Can one enter the park with own vehicle and drive upto the IB without booking or forest guard?

Yes you can but some of the stretches are very bad to do it is a small car. This is especially where the bridges are broken and you need to get on the small rivulets which were dry but lot of rocks on the approaches. There was a new Swift which had gotten several bumps on its bumpers. A Sumo or anything with that hieght is preferred.

Car entry fee will be added to the bill at the end of your stay.

Is it possible to cross over to the Bhutanese side of the park by road and visit the nearest town from the IB road?

You can only take a walk there or pay the guard a lil tip and he will let you drive a little in but you are not allowed to reach the nearest town as the Kings Manas bungalow is closeby.

What facilities does the IB have, (cook, kitchen, warm water, extra bed/bedding, power back up etc.).

They have a canteen which serves food but no warm water. We tipped the guys as we reached so they gave us whatever we need including warm water (done over firewood). Otherwise the rooms are quite ok with beds, mosquito nets, western toilets, etc. Power is through genset which is switched off at about 10 p.m.

Where is the last shop and petrol pump before reaching the IB?

Barpeta road

And lastly the list of things that you would suggest future visitors to carry along.

Recommended to carry water (bottles) for drinking. Otherwise everything was available.

Thanks & hope you don't mind for so many questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
Dear Rishi
I had been waiting for this thread to start off for sometime now as I am contemplating visiting this park sometime this year.

The forest bungalow by the river seems to be the best place to stay. This place is very similar to a forest bungalow by the pench river inside the park which is not open to general tourists.

Your shot of the awaiting Drongos stands out of all that you have uploaded.

Keep it coming.
Waiting for you to visit Pench in April.

Dr. A Ghosh
Thanks for the comments. Look forward to seeing soon in April as well. It is indeed the best place to stay. although not very clean and the service is very laid back as with any govt. run place in Assam. We were fine with that since the view was superb and the drive there was a safari by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Sarmarishi,
What a beautiful place, What a beautiful place to be!

I could look out of the inspection bungalow window till eternity, the bungalow itself is perched on a most beautiful location and they also have chopped a tree for the sweeping view.

So what happened...did Mrs. and Mr. Peacock finally mate?
I will be coming back to your thread for more.
Regards,
Thanks Fazal Sir. Yes the view was beautiful and the water was crystal clear and very cold. I did try to swim but my legs froze as I entered and hence didnt attempt immersing myself.

Mr. & Mrs. Peacock did finally mate but they decided to make it a private affair and hence no photos. They went into the bushes and we stopped again at the spot where they showed us their antics but they were inide and only could be partially seen.
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Old 17th March 2011, 10:46   #17
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Transporting myself back to Manas...

As we entered the park we had booked for a Gypsy to take us for the evening safari. The gypsy was to turn up at 3 p.m. but due to some confusion none turned up. We then had to radio some people and finally a Gypsy arrived only at 5 p.m.

Our guard however, turned up at about 3 p.m. itself and while we were waiting he suggested that we take the Endeavour. However, we were not too sure and wanted the thrill of an open Gypsy. Hence we decided to wait. In the mean time, the guard and I took a small hike into the forests. I am so glad that we did that till the Gypsy arrived because this is what I came across:

Black Capped Langur infant
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Black Capped Langur Adult Male
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Wild Water Buffalo in the Wallows (Not too big a specimen though). We came across a rather large one on our morning drive
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Then came our Gypsy and we were off. We were a little late as the sun was going down fast. I did not manage to capture a lot of animals but saw quite a few. The list includes Sambhar’s, Elephants, Khaleej Pheasant, Water Buffalos and the elusive The Civet Cat. The Civet was my first spotting, unfortunately no photo as we followed him under our Gypsy headlights on our way back.

Thus ended an eventful day. We had a few drinks and dinner by the river and were off to bed by 10:30 p.m. before the lights (generator) are turned off.

Some photos from the evening drive. More to come soon. Need to find time to resize and write up the safari in the morning, walk to the Bhutan border and the drive back…

A Sambhar Stag in the distance (Fading light just didnt help with any amount of tweaking with ISO and aperture)
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A Khaleej Pheasant
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Old 17th March 2011, 11:04   #18
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Great going. The langur pics are my favorites so far. Amazing bio diversity.
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Old 17th March 2011, 12:24   #19
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After much discussion with the guard who was accompanying us, it was decided that we will skip the elephant ride as it is not as good as the one in Kaziranga N.P and opted to take the Endeavour. Plan was to leave at 5:30 a.m. so we were all up by 4:15 a.m. in the morning. By the time all of us were ready it was 5:15 and then the wait started for the guard. Exactly on the dot at 5:30 we saw him walking up the long sloping road to the IB from his quarters and we were off.

It was a lovely morning. The sun had not risen and there was dew all around. The lovely chill of the morning air awakened our senses and the lungs felt like they were in heaven.

The first creature to grace us that morning was a huge Indian Gaur. He was grazing on our left as we came upon him. He wasn’t very happy that we were disturbing him that early in the morning. If a look could kill it definitely was this.

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We then switched the engine off to give the big guy some peace and quiet and he turned to look away from us at a heard of buffalos further away. I somehow love this pic of the big guy!

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The sun decided to slowly show itself off at this time and I couldn’t resist taking this snap. This is one of the best sunrises that I have come across and also is one of my favourite snaps from Manas.

Sunrise over beautiful Manas
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We moved on and a little further we discovered this big guy to our right. I call him Mr. Olliefaant He had huge tusks (looked enormous in my binoculars) but thankfully he was quite far away and happy grazing.

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This guy was the biggest buffalo that we saw on this trip. Please note the size of his horns. They were humongous!

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And some birds from the morning drive. We are only half way through our morning drive. A lot more to come during the 2nd half

We call this one ‘Daouk’ in Assamese. Someone please help me with the correct name.
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A Grey headed fishing eagle far off
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Pond Herons and Cormorants
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A Greater Coucal/ Bharadwaj
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A Barbet
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Old 17th March 2011, 12:53   #20
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Totally glued to this TL. Manas has lot more to offer. How was the overall experience at IB Guest House?
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Old 17th March 2011, 13:07   #21
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Continuing from where I left off (2nd half of the morning safari)

Our humble ride – would have felt bad if I didn’t take his pic as well. And afterall this a travelogue on T-BHP

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A file pic of me and the guard walking to shoot the bird (erm with my camera).
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The second half was dominated by one of my favourite and also one of the most dangerous animal of the forests. The elephants! We came across herds of all sizes ranging from small to big and also a Makhna. In fact this is one safari where I have come across all kinds of elephants that you can find in the Indian jungles - herds, lone tusker as well as a Makhna.

So the Makhna (Bull elephant without tusks) was the first one who was trying to block our road. We watching him from a good distance as he fell a tree and ate its back, sprayed mud on himself and other things. One shot of the guy.
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Once he had cleared the road we moved ahead. I told my brother-in-law that he needs to slow down when we hit the place as he would be right there so I can get a close-up. But, everyone in the car except dad and me panicked when we came across the guy, including the guard. My BIL ended up gunning the engine instead of stopping. Well, I don’t blame him as the guy clearly was not in a good mood and he turned around to look at us and trumpeted with all his might. He would have done a mock charge and I had anticipated that but no one else wanted to take the risk. He then decided to run into the jungle. Hence, I was left without a better shot of the guy! :(

We then came to this small family of 4. This one was not a very clear shot as there was a lot of fog around this area and they were at quite a distance.
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A picture of dad and me standing on the footboard for better visibility. This was my standard practice during this safari. In fact I realized this gave me a better vantage point than the Gypsy from last evening.
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Next was this small water crossing which was fun. In fact we put on the 4L just for the fun of it. Here are some pics.
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Here is a pic of Mr. Olliefaant which is missing from where it should be.
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Last edited by sarmarishi : 17th March 2011 at 13:19.
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Old 17th March 2011, 14:43   #22
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

After the small water cross we came across this big herd crossing the jungle track in front of us. Unfortunately, we only arrived as they were at the tail end of the crossing. Love the cute small one following his/ her mom.
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The Matriarch
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The elephant train – we counted about 15 of them.
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Next up were Peacocks dancing to the warm rays of the sun. What a wonderful morning indeed.
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The big water crossing was next up
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On our way back I suddenly heard the whoosh whoosh that I have always heard of but never actually seen or heard myself other than on TV. Those who watch a lot of NGC or Animal Planet or havespent a lot of time in the forests of India should be aware of what I am talking about by now. Any guesses?

thats it for today.. Wil wait for the guesses before I continue

Last edited by sarmarishi : 17th March 2011 at 15:04.
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Old 18th March 2011, 00:20   #23
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Wow no one has been able to identify the whoosh sound yet?
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Old 18th March 2011, 06:41   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
Wow no one has been able to identify the whoosh sound yet?
Did you spot a great hornbill flying?
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Old 18th March 2011, 07:03   #25
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Saramishi,
Enjoying your log. The photographs have turned out so beautiful.
Your SUV looks great (door open pic.) sunset kissed.

The Gaur is giving you intimidating looks but the one to watch out for is the wild buffalo, they are mean and dangerous, with many human kills to their credit.

The Black Capped Langur is a rare sight and has been captured beautifully.

Hope someday soon I too can take my son out as a father and son photography team, correction: he takes me out.
Regards,
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Old 18th March 2011, 10:41   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Did you spot a great hornbill flying?
You are absolutely spot on. What an experience it was to hear them flying first and then locating them sitting on a tree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Saramishi,
Enjoying your log. The photographs have turned out so beautiful.
Your SUV looks great (door open pic.) sunset kissed.

The Gaur is giving you intimidating looks but the one to watch out for is the wild buffalo, they are mean and dangerous, with many human kills to their credit.

The Black Capped Langur is a rare sight and has been captured beautifully.

Hope someday soon I too can take my son out as a father and son photography team, correction: he takes me out.
Regards,
Thanks. Yup the buffaloes are dangerous and they are the 2nd most feared animal after the Elephants in the N.P's of Assam.

I was extremely lucky with the Langurs. I had actually gone out on the hike in search of the Golden Langur which Manas is famous for but they were not around. However we located these guys in about 10 mins of walking towards a watering hole. I have many more snaps which I will post at the end of the travelogue. Some of them are rather intriguing.

Last leg of the morning safari: That was one long safari and offered much more that I could ask for

And here it is the Great Hornbil. We stopped the car and I got off along with the guard and walked ahead when I suddenly spotted the pair on a tree further away. These are one of the best shots I could take before they flew off. One of them flew off as I started taking the pics and the other sat for a while. Not long enough though for me to come closer and take better shots. Well this is the best my 300mm lens could achieve as there were too many branches blocking and was very difficult to focus on it. I had to move around quite a bit to get these. I was extremely thrilled that I got to see them as I have never seen them before and the whooshing sound they make while in flight was just beautiful.

The Great Hornbil
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After that only a deer, a jungle fowl pair, a porcupine and the Kingfisher were seen. We got back to the IB at about 10 a.m. Sadly I couldn’t take a picture of the Porcupine as it was too fast!

Not sure if it is a Barking or swamp deer
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Kingfisher
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A Jungle fowl
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and a Jungle Hen pair
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Last edited by sarmarishi : 18th March 2011 at 11:16.
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Old 18th March 2011, 11:04   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmarishi View Post
You are absolutely spot on. What an experience it was to hear them flying first and then locating them sitting on a tree.
I have been to Nelliyampathy on the Western Ghats. This place has about 40+ Hornbills, I guess the Malabar Hornbill. I could see the male feeding the female nested inside a hole in the tree. When that fellow used to fly out, the heavy noise made by its wings used to send a chill down my spine, and that too when you are the only one around. Once you have witnessed and heard that you'd normally never forget that in your lifetime.

I saw a picture with the resort manager of a tree with 15 hornbills, though I had seen only one in real life.

You are very lucky.

Last edited by laluks : 18th March 2011 at 11:05.
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Old 18th March 2011, 11:38   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
I have been to Nelliyampathy on the Western Ghats. This place has about 40+ Hornbills, I guess the Malabar Hornbill. I could see the male feeding the female nested inside a hole in the tree. When that fellow used to fly out, the heavy noise made by its wings used to send a chill down my spine, and that too when you are the only one around. Once you have witnessed and heard that you'd normally never forget that in your lifetime.

I saw a picture with the resort manager of a tree with 15 hornbills, though I had seen only one in real life.

You are very lucky.
That must have been a wonderful experience! I would love to visit the place someday. Do let me know where this was.

You are right about the heavy noise that you hear all of a sudden in the middle of a quiet forest. It is absolutely spine chilling as well as beautiful at the same time.

Infact I thought I was extremely lucky that I got to see them and the Civet which is even rarer than the other cats! So no dissapointments at all of not seeing a big cat

Back at the IB...
Next I walked around the IB and caught this little fellow asleep on a branch. He only woke up when I was almost below the branch he was sleeping on

Giant Malabar Squirrel – Notice the change in coat colour from the South Indian ones (More blackish) He was in deep sleep when I cam across.

Yup its siesta time for me – Look at its hind legs dangling.. so cute the lil guy was!
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I can see you now!
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I climb
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And yay…. I can jump! Can I cast as a character in one of the Japanese cartoons
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A Bird that was too small & faraway for my lens. I also couldn’t identify this one.
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Last edited by sarmarishi : 18th March 2011 at 11:40.
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Old 18th March 2011, 11:59   #29
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Wonderful TL. This place looks amazing,will surely put it in my list of places to visit.
The malabar squirrel down south is indeed more vibrant in colors.
Regards
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Old 18th March 2011, 12:03   #30
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Default Re: Manas National Park & Tiger Reserve, Assam

Lovely place and lovely photographs...
Thank you @sarmarishi!
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