Thursday, May 7, 2015

Holidays are a Bliss...

We went to Ranthambore National Park (a place known for TIGERS) as an extended weekend was there in our plate. 

A brief description about the National Park (excerpts from Wikipedia):
Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. Tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambore National Park are in November and May. The park's deciduous forests are characteristic examples of the type of jungle found in Central India. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.

Chances of spotting tigers in park is very high in summers (April-June). With temperatures soaring high, this wild beast prefer staying nearing water bodies which provide it food, water and shelter (all at one place). 

I and my DH has already been there on New Year 2015. As we stay in Mumbai, Rajasthan was the perfect place to enjoy winters as its chilling cold at that time. We were on our fifteen day trip Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Rajasthan (golden triangle as its said). Ranthambore was a day stay which we had on our chart and I must tell you it was worth it. We reached our resort (The Pugmark) at night and were supposed to start the safari which starts at 7.00 am when sun is yet to wake up. I was surprised when our resort manager handed us two blankets per person stating "shayeb bahut thand hai jungle main... isse rakhiye". I told my DH that we already are into layers of clothes now what cold??? But on insistence of my DH I was " thik hai its OK"!! After entering the jungle I was the only one dragging the blanket of my DH despite using two given to me... LOLs!! Jungle was so scary during that time .... it felt that am watching a fairy tale in which fairies appear out of smoky, dusky trees covered with fog. During this trip we were unable to spot tigers but were blew out by the beauty of majestic jungle. Our guide told us that spotting tigers is difficult during winters but "agar aapka luck hua toh dikhega jarur". Then and there we had thought that will surely visit the place soon.

It happened very soon. Our plan was made with some of our good friends in the month of February. We all three couples were very excited and just the thought of tiger walking alongside my gypsy/canter would send jitters to me. We were super duper excited and wanted the trip to start ASAP. Months passed then days and here came the date when we boarded our train to Sawai Madhopur. Can't tell you how excited we all were to explore the wild life (especially the National animal - THE TIGER).

We reached at around 7.00 am, weather was pretty cool. Our hotel (Castle Jhoomar Baori - a palace which was converted into hotel, is situated admist jungle) at a hilltop and its location is its USP. Humans are advised not allowed to venture down to the gate on foot either in daylidht/dusk as the road from entrance to hotel (appx 1.5km strech) is well frequented by wild animals (isnt the thought itself is scary). We never dared to go beyond the entrance of hotel (though somewhere at the back of my mind I wanted to go..he he ... CURIOUS MIND).

As our safari was to start in the evening we thought of exploring the RANTHAMBORE FORT( which is more than 1000 years old). It is the second largest fort in India after Chittorgarh Fort. It houses Lord Ganesha (which is also known as Swambhu Ganesh) and its said that all first invitation of weddings happening across Hindu community is sent to this place. The fort is now in dilapidated condition but it still sends tourists wondering as how was the entire fort constructed. 

To quote " The more you know history, the more you will like to know". 

We had five safari lined up,as we stayed for three days in Ranthambore. On our first two safaris we spotted lots of wild animals like Nilgai, Sambar, spotted deer, peacocks and different species of birds but "ALAS" the Wild cat which we were dying to see was yet to appear. Our excitement was on high, when we traced one, on the third safari which we did, on next day of our stay. The wild beast was sleeping on the river bank and was really very far away. We as tourists would have never spotted it, if the guide of the forest was not there. We had first glance of it from binoculars of one of our co tourists and were really excited seeing it.

This excitement was carried over the next day when we again spotted this wild beast relaxing on a rock in the bushes. It was really difficult to trace her but when we saw gypsies/canters lined ahead and looking at one direction our driver and guide became sure of presence of the tiger there. And yes to our astonishment here she was. Yes she .., it is the TIGRESS. It sat behind the bushes and yawned. We have not expected her to come down as it was getting hot and humid but to our astonishment she got up and walked down the rock in front of us. Gosh!! It is a beauty. We were mesmerized by the way she was walking alongside the gypsies/canters devoid of presence of human being around her. She posed to give us some perfect clicks and we walked along with her for almost 10-15 minutes until she disappeared again into bushes.

Sharing some of nice shots we had of this TIGRESS...
All Set to explore JUNGLE!!



See her Yawning!!


Sleeping far away on the banks of the lake!! Seemed like a colorful log from distance.


Admist Bushes!!




WOW, what an experience !! Our guides kept on telling us many stories about wild life which left you pondering as how difficult life these animals spend. Each and every moment someone or the other is watching. One never know when will a full stop occur on there life.
POWER RULES IS THE MANTRA OF LIFE FOR ALL SPECIES OF LIFE.


Lesson - Live life as if there is no tommorrow.
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