Thursday, May 5, 2011

T-17 & T-39 : The Queens of Ranthambhore

I am not sure how to start with, Should I write I am feeling lucky or I am lucky. Because if someone visit to Ranthambhore for just a day, take a single safari and saw the tiger, not one but two for good 15 minutes walking like a king on red carpet, then isn’t it too much to believe. But it happened to me.

Scene 1: April 30th 2011, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, 9:55 PM.

The Dehradun Express got late by 1 hour, not a big deal as per Indian standard. I didn’t have reservation in AC coach so while coping with heat and chaos of sleeper coach, it was not in my wildest thought that what going to happen with me in next few hours. 

Since this train reaches Sawai Madhopur at 5:20 AM, so I can’t afford to sleep leisurely and miss the destination.

Around 6:30 I reached Sawai Madhopur. Took a room at Hotel Pareek close to station, got ready after little rest and discussed my travel plan with hotel staff. The main agenda was to visit Ranthambhore fort in first half and then Jypsi Safari that I have already booked online through    

From station Jeep runs at equal intervals to Ranthambhore fort. I just need to adjust myself with 5 people in front plus driver and 12 in backside, 5 each on seats and two on gate. The 15 km ride costs just 15 Rs and since I didn’t want to hire private taxis, so it was the only option I left with.

Scene 2: May 1st 2011, Ranthambhore Fort, 10:00 AM.

In one word, fort is massive, spread in 7 kilometers.

As usual read the history from here.

I’ll just tell you how it has got its name. Ran means battlefield. Tham means a walled fort. Bhanvar means pond or lake. So a walled fort with battlefield on one side and pond around its edge named Ranthambhore. 

This is the statue of one who betrays raja Hamir.

Raja Hamir’s courtroom.

There is a pond behind me where queens used to take bath.

Here I asked the guide whom I paid just 100 bucks after negotiation, that whether Tiger can come here or not, he replied very innocently, nahi sahib tiger itni height par nahi aata hai, 2-4 leopard jaroor honge. I guess he was determined to take the revenge for his 50 Rs that I bargained with him.

Behind me is the fort of Raja Hamir. Due to construction work it was closed.

6000 years old, Lord Ganesh Temple.

Jogi Mahal

Entry point of National Park, as viewed from Ranthambhore fort.

Finally after 3 hour of brisk walking I was somehow satisfied that I have covered most of the part of Fort. Then again I took the jeep ride till booking office where I need to collect the boarding pass for entry. My guide name was Nafis Ahmad, who holds good reputation in area. Usually there are 6 people in a Jypsi but that day a couple from Venezuela reserved the three seats and other two were boys from Punjab. 

TIP: Consider you lucky to share a Jypsi with foreign nationals. Because they tip generously to guide and in return guide do their best to show tiger to them. Otherwise book a Jypsi for your own, and tip a good amount to guide. Also Tiger show is 1% skill and 99% chance, so don't blame anyone if you proved unlucky. 

Scene 3: May 1st 2011, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Zone-2, 3:30 PM.

We came to know that since morning a Tigress T-17 is sleeping just at the entry point. And to our luck she was still there.

Naturally excited we moved further.

A peacock came instantly to share our happiness.

Then came another tip, there was a movement of a male Tiger T-19, and a female T-39 was spotted. Now how they are named and recognized? Usually Radio colors are put on few tigers and then surveillance cameras are used to install randomly to capture the movement.

There starts our tiger hunt. There were few spots with water where tiger movement could be probable. So we started visiting there. It was like chasing mirage.

Any ways there are something else in forest besides Tiger. Like these Male and Female Antelope.

A very good example of animal behavior.

Sambhar aaj tak sirf dosa ke saath dekha tha. Today he/she posed happily for us.

See this one (Kingfisher). Till date I have just drink it, now got the chance to see in real?

Finally the magic happens.

No more words because if she (T-39) gets DISTURBED then you knows what can happen.

Thousands of year old tree.

This one is the second oldest Banyan tree in India; first one is in Kolkata Zoo.

Some Facts:

Hazrat Nijamuddin (9:55 PM) to Sawai Madhopur (5:20 AM) sleeper fair: 167 Rs
Hotel Pareek Charges: 350 for double room with cooler and television.
Online booking cost: 131 Rs (per person for petrol Jypsi)
At the time of collecting boarding pass: 370 Rs (per person for petrol Jypsi)
Sawai Madhopur(7:10 AM) to Hazrat Nijamuddin(12:20 PM), Jan-shatabadi Exp: 122Rs. 

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