Sunday, March 20, 2011

India 2011 - Day 6+7 Ranthambhore

We left Jaipur after breakfast for our next destination.

On the way we stop at a place were they actually raise cattle. We wanted to use the toilets. You had to make your way through some of the animals. On the way back Susan was butted by one, fell and broke her camera. I did find it a bit intimidating ... and unnecessary since after one look at the 'ladies' I didn't have to go any more.

We learned that they use the dung and herbs and other things to make incense. Oh yeah!

We arrive at the hotel Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge after noon and have lunch immediately. 
Then we get assigned to our rooms.
The way to lock our room is very interesting.

Ranthambhore National Park borders the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. These are the former hunting grounds of the Maharajah of Jaipur. The park is now a 512-square-mile nature preserve since 1973 (one of India's largest) and is home to diverse plant life, historic ruins, and hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and of course, Bengal tigers. The main mission of the park of course is to protect the endangered Bengals.

In the afternoon we take our first game drive (one of three half-days). At the entrance of course is an opportunity to buy hats, vests, t-shirts etc. Don't forget to bargain!
Our first glimpse at the Ranthambhore Fort in the distance.

We had not driven around long and there ... what excitement, a tiger. We were told that it is not guaranteed to see one considering that there are only about 30+ in this vast area.

(same picture cropped)


It surely is a unique experience to catch glimpses of this majestic and fascinating animal. How lucky we were.

(same picture cropped)

A spotted deer which might be the tiger's next meal. We saw lots of them.

We are driving around and around. Our guide is looking for these. But no more luck today.

Lots of these where we exit the park.

Dinner was outdoors. It was a bit chilly, but lots of open fires, lots of ambiance, a couple of local beers "Kingfisher".


Fresh bread!
Next morning! Very early! We are assembling for another game drive.

This time the drive goes close to the Ranthambhore Fort.The ruins of the great Rajput jungle fort are 1000 years old and stand 705 feet high.

A magnificent Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis). Are we actually driving through or just very close by?

It was a sunny but crisp day, after every curve another beautiful picture ... and a lot of wildlife: spotted deer, Sambar deer, marsh crocodiles, many different birds, ducks etc.

The ruined pavilion Rajbagh stands on the banks of Rajbagh Talao, one of the three lakes in the park.

Partridges not in a pear tree.

We saw many many peacocks. And a lot of other birds. Not easy to take a good picture. Some things you just have to commit to memory instead.

Back at the fort.

Why did I take so many pictures of monkeys? I don't even like them much.

Wild boars.

Our travel group of 24 was divided in two for the game drives, 12 in each. At lunch time we heard that the other group had been very lucky seeing a tiger make a kill. Well, that is the luck of the draw ... or ... nature. James and I were very happy that we had seen a tiger the day before already.
The three drives had been wonderful. We had seen a lot of wild life. Not all can be captured in photos, at least not with my good but basic camera.
But then our group really was lucky: we saw a leopardess. Aaahh!

Wow, a leopardess.

(same photo cropped)

I had been able to take several photos but the high grass is covering her too much.

1 comment:

  1. Magical! How wonderful to have seen the tiger and leopard! And I love monkeys, so I enjoyed those pictures. Forgive the brevity of my comments - my hand makes typing difficult. But I'm loving this so much.