Friday, May 25, 2018

Ranthambhore Where Tigers Rule

Hunting Reserve of an erstwhile Maharajahs, the ruins strike awe as the jeep rolls down the rugged terrain. Ranthambore is well known for its tigers, and the ancient temples, forts, chattris and hunting lodge all now throttled down by forests. Decay and withering is the tell tale sign of once magnificent structures exhibition of pomp and glory of the Maharajahs of Jaipur - now a bustling capital of Rajasthan.   

The rot has not set in for the forests and wild denizens they thrive well. Tigers now occupy the biodiversity rich region, and tourist flock to admire them. The big cats can be seen here in all there glory in the natural habitat - and who would not like to see them. 

Popular for tiger safaris the ancient ruins and splendorous lakes of the National Park are the jewels of this niche habitat wild denizens. Not to be left behind the tourist lodges at Ranthambore are among the finest with a rich tradition of hospitality that equals the days of the Maharajahs in their opulent palaces and forts.       

Besides being home to the big cats the reserve boasts of wide array of mammals and amazing flock of avian. Safaris are thrilling, be it on a jeep or a canter, the excitement never mitigates as you get one experience after another, a tiger on hunt, crocodile basking and shrill alarms of deer and the Nilgai. 

Tucked away in the chain of Aravali Hills the erstwhile hunting reserve is now the mainstay of tourism in Rajasthan. The big cats have created history after return from near extinction. Legends (tigers) now eternal have ruled the dizzling heights of the ramparts and the lush green meadows inundated by magnificent lakes large and small.      

Resort Ranthambhore

High End Hotel 

Luxury Hotel Ranthambore

The canopy, water bodies, grasslands and torturous terrain create their own niche in which species survive. One of the best places to see the tigers in the wild Ranthambore is most visited in India. Entrenched in the itinerary of Golden Triangle many a holidays are made here. 
Male Tiger 

Ancient Temple
Situated near Sawai Madhopur three hours drive from Jaipur the reserve is easy to access. The tourism infrastructure is sound with many five star and luxury hotels for a memorable stay. Tigers abound and you can see and photograph them with ease. A few days of safaris will offer an experience that no other venue will offer in India.   

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

Tadoba Gate
Situated in the banks of Andhari River the sylvan retreat is a spectacular tiger landscape. Tiger in this wilderness roam free amidst the verdant forests hills and valleys. Tadoba is named after tribal Taru whom the residents still venerate. He was a chieftain who was killed in an encounter with a tiger. A shrine is dedicated to him in the verdant confines of the forest under a large tree near the Tadoba Lake.       

Map of Tadoba 

Jeep Safari

The rich biodiversity region is situated in the Indian State of Maharashtra near Chandrapur. Chandrapur is at a distance of approximately one hundred forty kilometre from Nagpur City. The reserve is an amalgamation of Tadoba National Park and Andhari River Wildlife Sanctuary. It is now under the aegis of Project Tiger Program and hence is known as tiger reserve.  

The predominately Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests contain diverse flora and fauna. The diversity is incredible in this cradle of  Chimur Hills, Kolsa and Moharli Ranges. The wide expanse of forests is contained by the Lake which divides the dense canopy from the region containing farmlands and human habitation. The lake is a birder's dream come true with wide assemblage of shore and wetland birds. The colourful avian are a delight to one's eye, and the melange of colours that they are adorned with is simply striking. Marsh crocodiles make their last stand here after facing persecution all over Maharashtra.      

A safari in the forests of Tadoba is an exciting proposition especially for wildlife enthusiasts on a holiday. Wildlife in its best can be seen frolicking on the dusty jungle pathways that intersect the forests. Nilgai, sambar,  chital and barking deer. Exciting encounter with a tiger is what all holiday makers yearn for, but no less of a thrill is the sight of a slot bear ambling around or a wild dog packs on a hunt. 

Among the other carnivores that inhabit these forests are the leopards one of the World's most enigmatic creatures.  Together the leopard and the tiger constitute a thrilling find on the safari but the jungles of Tadoba has much more to offer. A holistic experience is what enlightened tourists yearn for and I believe the reserve is spectacular.      

For tourism purpose the park is divided into many zones with dedicated entry gates. Booking a permit in advance is much advisable. This can be done from the office of the DFO at Chandrapur or at the respective entry gates.    

Most of the hotels and resorts are situated around the entry gates. They offer wide variety of amenities in the remote jungle. You can avail accommodation in a budget resorts or a five star hotel depending upon the choice and your pocket. Accommodation is also available at State run MTDC and guest houses belonging to various departments.    

Tourism is controlled in Tadoba Tiger Reserve in India and limited entry is available. For making a holiday here advance planing is a must. In order to reach the preserve one has to arrive at Nagpur and then drive to Chandrapur or the respective gates.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Raipur Amazing Rise

Many years back I was on my first trip to the City of Raipur in the then erstwhile State of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. An important part of extensive land of the state of MP, Raipur nevertheless was neglected. Though culturally and economically rich the telescopic management was taking its toll. 

Too big to manage with rising insurgency, the extra dimension of the state was eventually bifurcated and a new State of Chhattisgarh was born. New State, New Government catapulted Raipur into state of unprecedented development in India.          
Amarkantak - Neeraj Vegad

Development surge has not taken place solely because of new capital was being established. Raipur and its surroundings are endowed with many productive features which came into picture as the city emerged from submergence and started to scale the growth map of India.    

There is one distinct characteristic of the State of Chhattisgarh and that is its charismatic beauty, Endowed with large tracts of forests, natural phenomenon and unique topography - a virtual greenery pervades all over.    

Dominated by tribal communities, the state is experiencing an economic resurgence thanks to abundant natural resources in form of minerals and ores. Raipur now the Capital City is experiencing the fastest growth followed by neighbouring Bilaspur. 

Development and economic growth has spurned the tourism industry as well. Wildlife tourism and sightseeing have emerged as segment leaders. Chhattisgarh comprises of Sal & mixed forests some of which have been brought under state protection and declared as National Park and wildlife sanctuaries.  
Hotel Celebration Raipur

Albeit at a nascent stage, tourism is growing by leaps and bound. Some of the destinations that could boost tourism are Guru Ghasidas NP, Sanjay Dubri TR, Kanger Valley NP, Indrawati TR, Achanakmar TR and Amarkantak Hill Resort              

The State abounds in places of tourist interest, apart from natural places, it is rich in cultural inheritance from ancient times. Chhatisgarh is one of  the least explored places in India. 

From the earlier impression of a sleepy town lost in the remote confines of a large state Raipur City was a big surprise whence I last visited it.  The dimensions of the capital city were burgeoning with fast development, businesses, offices, high end hotels, restaurants, eateries, malls, all indicating towards a rising business hub. In time to come Chhattisgarh will outpace   many other states of India.           

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Destination Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

Esoteric Abode of  Vibrant Life Amid Serenity 

Reclining Visnu - Sesh Shaiyya

From unknown to worldwide popularity has been the saga of this verdant paradise on Earth. Bandhavgarh National Park was erstwhile kingdom of Maharajahs of Rewa. Successive dynasties have ruled this forest kingdom. The ruins are witness to this historic upheaval of centuries of conquests. Temples, fort in ruins, stables, idols, and manmade caves are creation of the warring dynasties.    


Conquerors made their marks before being vanquished by the victors, but the forest lay unperturbed by the turbulence in its premises. The ecosystem nurtured and protected, the wilderness ruled by the tiger. No more a fiefdom of the usurpers, the destination is home to an impressive biodiversity. People of all walks of life from near and far arrive here to witness the exuberant growth of its flora and the enchanting fauna. 

Bandhavgarh first came to light whence the white tiger was discovered nearby. Since then this esoteric recessive gene has not been discovered in the wilds of tiger lands.             

Declared as a protected area, the park is a conservation unit that nurtures critically endangered animals. Tiger rules supreme as a tertiary carnivore accompanied by the leopard and the wild dog.

Other carnivores found are the jackal, fox, hyena and the wolf. The last two I have not seen since many years and they are probably on verge of extinction. Deer and antelope form the prey base while numerous life forms complete the web of life to form an ecosystem with niche habitats.    

Park is home to more impressive avian species albeit few birders arrive here to watch them. For major share of popularity has been taken over the big cats. After the films by NGC and BBC the paradise gained wide publicity and witnessed a sudden surge of tourists from all over. 

Situated at the edge of the reserve at Tala Village the Kothi of Maharani is reminiscent of a lonely past. Protected as a hunting preserve, the Maharajahs of Rewa were avid hunters and conservationist as well. The hunting privilege was accorded to few dignitaries and the woods were well protected. 

The Kothi along with the scattered ruins are now frozen in time. In the early days of tourism post independence a rest house at Tala provided accommodation to the few who visited this preserve. Then the White Tiger Lodge was established followed by plethora of lodges once tourism mushroomed in this remote quarter of Central India.  
Crested Serpent Eagle

Bandhavgarh National Park now a tiger reserve is regarded as a major conservation centre. Tourism flourishes alongside to extol the nature’s bounty and the saga of preservation.   
Brown Fish Owl

The ideal access point is Jabalpur City in MP. Connectivity by air and overnight rail is preferred while local arrivals drive from the satellite towns like, Khajuraho, Katni and Satna.  Accommodation can be availed at luxury hotels in Bandhavgarh near the main Tala Gate. 

Albeit wildlife can be experienced throughout the open season, overseas travellers prefer winter season. Wildlife photographers prefer the extensive sunlight of the scorching summer. Park is closed during the monsoon from July to September.      

When planning a tiger safari fetch along books on birds, binoculars, cloth as per the seasons and personal necessities. 

Image Courtesy Kamaljeet Hora

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Mukul Yadav Lens Man Incredible

I have known Mukul Yadav since we met at CourtyardHouse at Kanha. He was assigned to photograph the resort at Kanha for its brochure creation. Mukul did an excellent job to highlight the varied facets of the boutique property as well as the aesthetics. As expected he was marvellous.     

Based in Jabalpur he is active in many forums that highlight the art of photography. He carries out many assignments locally as well as all over in India. A soft spoken man without airs he speaks through his art and communicate he does well. His pictures are showcased below.  

Tiger at Kanha National Park in India

Bhedaghat Boating


Dal Lake Kashmir


FloatingLamps Narbada




Mukul Yadav


Vijan Mahal Jabalpur

CourtyardHouse Kanha
These are some of the photographs among many that I like the most. Mukul Yadav is active on facebook page MIFOSO