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Old 21st June 2020, 21:24   #1
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Default A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh, this place would be on every wildlife enthusiasts bucket list as it has the highest density of tigers in wild. Ever since I fell in love with wildlife Bandhavgarh has always remain on the list. Somehow it had been eluding me and my family for quiet sometime. But we got into a situation we were kind of forced to plan trip to this place.

Actually it was a fall out of our amazing trip to Africa (I plan to write a travelogue of this one as well). So our tour operator made a mistake in our Africa tour and thus he agreed for arranging an Indian trip for our entire family (this was well negotiated by my wife ). The tour operator specializes in wildlife tours and it suits us. During this time my brother was doing a economics research project at Bichiya near Kanha in MP. So the choice was limited to Kanha or Bandhavgarh. But Since I have been to Kanha twice and brother probably every week for last 3 months we decided to plan for Bandhavgarh.

Only challenge was since most of us had taken leaves recently, we had to limit ourselves only to two days at Bandhavgarh. Options for travel from Pune to Bandhavgarh are limited, especially flights and limited number of days meant we cant drive down. So train it was, the tickets were booked and our tour operator completed the safari bookings as well.


I had asked for at least two safaris in Tala zone. I had heard about the beauty of Tala zone. So we had 4 safaris - 2 for Magadhi and 2 for Tala zone.
  • 14th Dec both safaris in Magadhi zone
  • 15th Dec both safaris in Tala zone

First Safari

We as entire family of wildlife lovers are very used to with getting up early and try to be the first few vehicles at the zone gate. This morning was also no different. We were all hoping for some lovely sightings, however this safari nothing happened only thing that I could see were some Langurs and Peacocks

Langurs playing on tree
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_09371.jpg

Peacocks just roaming around
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_0949edit.jpg

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_0952edit.jpg

While there was some disappointment, we knew we had three more safaris to go. We went back to the resort to have a quick but sumptuous lunch. One thing I would like to mention that food in MP has always impressed me, be it a roadside dhaba or a jungle resort the food always turns out to be excellent.


Second Safari

We were the second vehicle in queue for our second safari. Just 10 mins into the safari and we saw one jeep stopped midway and its driver also signaled us to slowdown. And we were just going to turn lucky for the entire remaining safari

The first sight - brothers just having their siesta
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_0964edit.jpg

They were just sitting here and doing nothing for next 15 minutes or so.

After sometime the one of the brothers probably gets bored and gets up starts walking
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_0968edit.jpg

The other one continued to pose for us
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_09982.jpg

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10001.jpg

The look
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10011.jpg

After a while the other one also gets up and starts walking, so we also started moving ahead trying to track them as they went into the trees adjacent to road

One from the right side of the jungle suddenly came out, and it came very near, in fact too close for me to focus

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_1006edit.jpg

The aggressive look
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_1019edit.jpg

While this one moved back in the trees again, we could see his brother coming of out of left side of the road

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_1033edit.jpg

The gracious walk
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_1054.jpg

He looked towards the dense jungle and walked on later
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10671.jpg

While the sighting was on our Guide told us that these are sub adult cubs of Dotty tigress. They are three brothers so the tigress and the other cub can also be around, especially the third cub since now they mostly roam around together without mother. When cubs reach about two or two and half years of age they are more independent.

While we moved on we saw some Gypsys near a pond (kind of waterhole but a little bigger one), and there the third sub adult cub was. Our guide and driver did a good job of parking the vehicle in such a way that we get to see the tiger. Although he was on the other side of waterhole, we could see him well

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_1070edit.jpg

He was enjoying a nice bath towards the end of the day and probably was also enjoying the attention that he was getting.

Now scanning vehicles from different direction
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10751.jpg

I found that all three tiger cubs were quite used to with vehicles and were not going into thick jungle because of vehicles, so I am sure when they grow up they will be sighted often in Bandhavgarh.

Finally he decided to make a move towards us
A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10801.jpg

Just after reaching the nearer end of waterhole, there was some dense grass and the tiger decided to play some hide and seek with us. Everyone was left guessing where exactly he is and from where would he come out. by this time many vehicles had gathered there, we were lucky to be at the right spot as we were early.

After around 10 mins (which seems a lot in jungle when you are anticipating a tiger to come out of hiding), finally he makes himself visible

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10832.jpg

He scanned the territory before fully coming out. Seems he was trying to find way out of queue of Gypsys that had come to see him

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10841.jpg

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_10852.jpg

Post this he crossed the road and vanished into the jungle. By this time it was also the time of end of safari, so we headed back towards the gate.

Thus the end of a very satisfying safari and a lovely, lucky sighting of three tigers.

The great part, post safaris especially evening is when you reach your resort, all drivers and guests chitchat about what you got to see, what are the chances tomorrow, which area should we scan tomorrow. Its fun to discuss this over hot tea and some snacks. I always enjoy these discussions.

Day 2 - Safari 3

I was very excited for today's safaris, since I had heard a lot about Tala zone of this jungle and was looking forward to have some great sightings. But when I came out of my room, it was like a wet blanket thrown on me, it was raining. Of course the question was not that if we are going for safari or not, it was if we will get to see anything. I immediately checked the weather forecast and to our bad luck in entire Dec and Jan it was only today's day that had some rains predicted for it . Anyway we prayed for some luck and moved ahead.

For the first time, I was doing a safari with the soft cover of Gypsy on, by the time we entered the gate of Tala zone, it started pouring, so the cover even from sides had to be pulled down.

It was like the Gypsy is moving but no use as we cant see anything - the Guide kept telling us this is a very beautiful zone etc, but it was making me sad all the more. Its not that I had to sight a tiger to be happy, even jungle itself is beautiful and makes me happy, but definitely not a closed gypsy. During the entire safari, it just rained or poured. To top it all even if the rains stopped intermittently, the fog was so dense that we could hardly see anything.


Day 2 - Safari 4

This was going to be our last safari and we hoped that the rains stops. But looks like we had exhausted all our luck the previous day. It continued raining in the afternoon too. We went into the jungle but no use, as when it rains animals also prefer to stay under the cover of trees and thus are either go deep inside jungle or caves (if there are any).

The only thing that we could do was to go to the 'Sleeping Vishnu' in the middle of the jungle

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dsc_11161.jpg

The view from here was magical too and one should definitely visit this place. Post this it was time to again move out of jungle, as even if it had stopped raining there was no chance of any sightings. So we moved towards the gate.

The day was of disappointment as we could not enjoy both the safaris of Tala zone. Worst was we could not even see the mountain or hillock after which the national park is named.

So we decided that we would come back here in April -May again. Albeit that's not happened too due to Covid-19, so I am now hoping for sometime November-December 2020. I am hopeful that by that time the situation improves.

That's the reason I put title as 'A lovely but definitely incomplete trip'. I hope members enjoy going through the travelogue.

Last edited by drive.click : 24th June 2020 at 00:40. Reason: Completing the travelogue as suggested by moderator
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Old 24th June 2020, 09:01   #2
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Default re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:04   #3
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Default Re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

Excellent opportunity well utilized, I must say! It's been a while since I was in Bandhavgarh and prospects of returning there look a little bleak at the moment. Great pictures too, thanks for sharing.

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Old 25th June 2020, 10:19   #4
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Default Re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

Lovely pictures drive.click.

Quote:
The only thing that we could do was to go to the 'Sleeping Vishnu' in the middle of the jungle
This looks like something out of a movie set. Somehow reminds me a lot about a movie called "Two Brothers", which is about two Tiger cubs living in some ruins.

I love wildlife safaris as well and my favorite so far has been Ranthambore. Will add Bandhavgarh to the list.
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Old 26th June 2020, 09:14   #5
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Default Re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Excellent opportunity well utilized, I must say! It's been a while since I was in Bandhavgarh and prospects of returning there look a little bleak at the moment. Great pictures too, thanks for sharing.
Thanks Styker.

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Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Lovely pictures drive.click.
Thanks ChiragM.

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Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
This looks like something out of a movie set. Somehow reminds me a lot about a movie called "Two Brothers", which is about two Tiger cubs living in some ruins.
When you mentioned this I too realised.
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Old 27th June 2020, 00:25   #6
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Default Re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

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The only thing that we could do was to go to the 'Sleeping Vishnu' in the middle of the jungle
The pic looks ethereal, right out of a movie set. Since my Corbett visit, I have been planning to explore MP and its wildlife, but sadly things havenít turned out the way I would have liked them to. I hope I do a get a chance in near future.

Please do share the details of your place of stay and how far was it from the gates.
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Old 27th June 2020, 12:08   #7
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The pic looks ethereal, right out of a movie set. Since my Corbett visit, I have been planning to explore MP and its wildlife, but sadly things havenít turned out the way I would have liked them to. I hope I do a get a chance in near future.

Please do share the details of your place of stay and how far was it from the gates.
Thanks docswarna26 !
Well I wish to visit Corbett for long time. The challenge that I see with Pune (my base location) is any wildlife destination is too far and thus cant just be a weekend trip.

We stayed at Tiger's Den resort. The stay was very good, courteous staff and exceptional food. If I remember correctly, I think it was just about 10 mins drive from all gates.
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Old 29th June 2020, 17:14   #8
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Default Re: A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh

I enjoyed the story of three siblings. Excellent photos, at times frightening as the huge cat, was close to your lens. Though your last safaris couldn't be finished yet at the same time you are fortunate to see the significant view early.
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Old 29th June 2020, 21:05   #9
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I enjoyed the story of three siblings. Excellent photos, at times frightening as the huge cat, was close to your lens. Though your last safaris couldn't be finished yet at the same time you are fortunate to see the significant view early.
Thank you Travelmania ! Yes we were fortunate, but one always expects more
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Old 30th June 2020, 20:11   #10
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Originally Posted by drive.click View Post
  • 14th Dec both safaris in Magadhi zone
  • 15th Dec both safaris in Tala zone
Great trip, nice write up & excellent photos

I was there from 12th to 15th Dec too. Small world huh? You were lucky that it rained only on 15th Dec morning during your trip. That was the last safari of my trip too & believe me we went for the safari just to have Maggie at central point in Tala.

It started raining on 12th late night & it only stopped raining on 13th morning around 11 AM. We were doing full day safari & imagine the frustration of sitting in gypsy with the cover on for 4 to 5 hours. In that we got Bamera Son walking head on in Magadhi near Sehera grasslands for around 15 to 20 minutes while the rain gods had still not shown any mercy. 14th Dec it didnt rain the whole day & I got Solo's cubs in the morning & also got the same sighting of Dotty's sub adults you are referring to. Infact sighting of Dotty's sub adults had started at around 2.30 PM itself. Below are a couple of images I clicked of that sighting. Hope you dont mind me posting it on your thread.
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A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dotty-cubs.jpg  

A lovely but incomplete trip to Bandhavgarh-dottys-cub.jpg  

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Old 1st July 2020, 11:00   #11
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Great trip, nice write up & excellent photos
Thanks Torque123!

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Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
I was there from 12th to 15th Dec too. Small world huh? You were lucky that it rained only on 15th Dec morning during your trip. That was the last safari of my trip too & believe me we went for the safari just to have Maggie at central point in Tala. It started raining on 12th late night & it only stopped raining on 13th morning around 11 AM. We were doing full day safari & imagine the frustration of sitting in gypsy with the cover on for 4 to 5 hours.
Ohh yes, world is small. Happy to know that a fellow BHPian was sharing both joy and pain along with me.

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Below are a couple of images I clicked of that sighting. Hope you dont mind me posting it on your thread.
Thank you for nice clicks, the pics add more content and value to the thread. .

By the way I had read your travelogues of Ranthanmbore and Tadoba and especially had loved the pictures of Tiger walking on bridge of lake. Just that back then I was not a member so couldn't post my response.
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