May 31, 2015

Ranthambore Chronicles: Trailing Krishna till the Rajbaugh ruins.

After all the fun and frolic with her cubs, it was time for business. Krishna set off from the beautiful water front towards the hilly terrains of the jungle. As she crossed our gypsy she gave us that 'do not mess with me' look and moved quiet rapidly towards the thorny slopes while her cubs began venturing further off from the mother.

KRISHNA WALKS TOWARDS OUR GYPSY
SHE WADES THROUGH THE LAKE FRONT
BEGINS HER ONWARD CLIMB OF THE HILLY TERRAIN
BUT DECIDES TO GIVE US THAT KILLER LOOK
SIZING US UP WHILE SHE MAKES HER WAY TO THE HILLS
As Krishna kept climbing she let out some low growls at short intervals following which her cubs would either respond to her by a growl back or ensure that they got into her range of eyesight, perhaps smell!

When she came closer to her resting point she let out quiet a panic in the otherwise sonorous wild. There was a stage when we could see her climbing one part of the hill and as she did that the barking deer let out an alert on the other side of the hill following which there was a trail of dust let loose by the escaping deer herd. Witnessing such commotion of the wild was indeed an experience we had never had...
APPROACHING THE SIDE WHERE THE DEER PEACEFULLY GRAZE GREEN GRASS
CHAOTIC RUN TOWARDS SAFER TERRAINS
We trailed her through winding roads and thanks to the precision of our guide were positioned at vintage points to the tigress. She found herself a cool shade to retire for the next hour while she gazed intently at the herd of deer at a distance. Patiently we stayed with her watching all her moves while the Tiger Toothpick bird kept entertaining us with her funny moves.

KRISHNA OBSERVING A HEARD OF DEER FROM HER RESTING ZONE
THE ATTENTIVE DEER CONTINUE TO GRAZE WITH SOME OCCASIONAL CAUTIOUS LOOKS
KRISHNA DOZES OFF FOR A BIT

SHE WAKES UP & LETS OUT A CALL TO HER CUBS

FUNNY MR. TIGER TOOTHPICK SCHEMING SOME MOVES
GIVES A GAZE TO THE RESTING TIGER 
Mid-way through we needed to break the monotony and decided to explore the area's surrounding the lake to look out for her cubs. At this stage we discovered the incredible ruins and a couple of her cubs resting and playing midst the thorny shade.

ONE OF THE CUBS CONTINUES TO EXPLORE THE ZONE AT A CAUTIOUS DISTANCE FROM THE MOTHER
ONE MORE OF THE CUBS LAZES UNDER THE SHADE
When we returned towards Krishna we realised that she was up again and moving towards the Rajbaugh ruins. We quickly maneuvered our vehicle towards the picturesque Rajbaugh just in time to see the beast cross over from the thorns to the water. She seemed to give us a knowing look as she made her majestic walk towards the water body.

THE INVITING RAJBAUGH RUINS

KRISHNA MEASURES THE DISTANCE
SHE LOOKS READY TO TAKE THE WALK
GIVES US THAT FAMILIAR LOOK
BEGINS HER WALK TOWARDS THE WATER BODY
DOWNWARD CLIMB, THE LAST TIME WE SEE HER SO UP CLOSE!
The sight we captured was simply beyond breath-taking. My dream of watching the tiger amidst the ruins and its jharoka was somewhere coming true. She tactfully waded the water body and crossed over to the other side. She waited at the water edge for a few minutes, gave us a gaze back from the distance and slowly disappeared towards the direction of the ruin.

KRISHNA CROSSING THE WATER TO GET TO THE RUIN

TOURISTS FROM VARIOUS ANGLES GETTING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BEAST.

THE FINAL LAP AS SHE FINALLY DISAPPEARS INTO THE TALL WILD GRASS
As luck would have it, we were at a distance from this beautiful structure and given that I had a basic lens was unable to capture the majestic view of the tigress in her fortress. However, at this stage I just kept my camera aside and enjoyed the show to my fullest desire.

GREEN PARROT AMIDST THE BEAUTIFUL JUNGLE TERRAIN
A BIRD MAKERS HER FLIGHT OVER THE LAKE.
FROM THE DUCK FAMILY, I FORGET HER NAME!
LANGOORS COOLING OFF AT A DISTANCE
Heading back to the hotel, obviously enamored by the show we witnessed, was a reluctant return. All through the drive our Naturalist & Driver just wouldn't stop boasting of our day to every other passing fellow gypsy. Watching the 2 men beaming only reassured us that the tigress and her cubs had indeed been kind by letting us in to their moments, quiet graciously to that!

Frankly, I fell in love with the beast once more. They are truly the 'King of the jungle'! :D

Until the next story, signing off...

To read on the entire #Ranthambore trails, follow through these links:
Xoxo,
Sensuous2Spiritual         

May 23, 2015

Ranthambore Chronicles: Meeting Krishna and her 3 cubs

15 minutes into our first Ranthambore Safari we were in for the time of our lives! We had just begun commenting and soaking in the graceful dance of tall jungle grass that swayed against the backdrop of water and hills. The play of nature was beyond compare.

MOVEMENT AGAINST THE SWAYING GRASS FOLIAGE, WE SPOT OUR FIRST CAT.
Suddenly, in a split of a moment, a few of us spotted a patch of moving stripes. Guess it was the odd move of black n yellow against the green velvet grass-bed that caught our attention. In no time, she emerged. Krishna revealed herself to the open grass bed clearly inspecting the morning air. She stretched her limbs, moved a few strides and sat herself down near the tall grass foliage while some of the water birds did a cautious distance adjustment. After all, the cat did make her presence felt!

KRISHNA SITS HERSELF DOWN ON THE VELVET GREEN PATCH TO INSPECT HER SURROUNDING. 
Our naturalist, Satish Upadhyay undoubtedly one of the best in his craft, informed us that Krishna is not alone. She is trailed by her 3 cubs and they will emerge in the open soon. We were too excited about spotting our first cat and were totally trigger happy, almost like we were in a time wrap! As this happened, 3 young cubs playfully emerged out in the open and completely livened up the scene. The mother continued to sit around while the 3 playful cubs leaped, jumped, chased, purred, rolled and flaunted themselves against their estate.

SLOWLY HER CUBS EMERGE OUT OF HIDING AND LIVEN UP THE SCENE WITH THEIR PLAYFUL ACT.

FINALLY THE WHOLE FAMILY CAPTURED IN A SINGLE FRAME.
As we continued to enjoy this scene many more safari jeeps began to pile up where we were parked. The excitement just kept on rising among fellow tourists, most of whom seemed to be professional photographers and film makers. After a good 20 odd minutes of playfulness, the family began walking towards our gypsies. The moment of excitement was absolutely indescribably euphoric. All of us got ready to capture the next few eventful moments with this happy young family romping towards us.

FINALLY THE FAMILY BEGINS THEIR WALK TOWARDS OUR GYPSIES.

THE TIGER STRIDES CAUTIOUSLY PACED, EVALUATING EACH GYPSY IN SIGHT.   

SCHEMING THEIR DAY WHILE THEY MOVE TOWARDS THE DIRECTION OF RAJBAUGH RUINS
One by one, each majestic cat crossed our jeeps while they continued to entertain us with their playfulness. Experiencing the tiger family on the 1st drive itself was a memory etched in our minds for this lifetime. Here are some more shots from this part of the morning. Enjoy your browse while I move on to write the family story that unfolded in the 2nd half of the morning.

TRAINING THE CHARGE THROUGH PLAY.
LEARNING THE PLAY OF SOUNDS
MULTIPLE MOODS OF THE TIGER FAMILY
QUENCHING HER THIRST
THE TIGER LEAP!
AS THEY JOURNEY TOWARDS THE 2ND HALF OF THE MORNING...
We continued to trail this family until late morning but from this point on the family disintegrated. Each tiger cub chose a safe distance from the mother to explore the territory while the mother continue to map her zone with multiple rests and strolls.

Read more on #Ranthambore in the following few blog posts.
You may also find the story on 'Queen of Damdama- #Bandhavgarh' an interesting read. We almost encountered 3 cubs and the young mum but had to be satisfied with just Hiami and her presence. :)

Signing-off...

Xoxo,
Sensuous2Spititual 

May 22, 2015

Ranthambore Chronicles: Zone-3 is all about mystic ruins, water bodies and the wild.

Ranthambore National Park Zone-3, our first safari destination. Breathtaking topography coupled with stoic stone structures & ruins of the Ranthambore Fort; the shortest way to define this mystic zone.

RANTHAMBORE CHRONICLES: THE MAGICAL ZONE-3
I was mesmerized by the beauty of this park. Winding roads nestled between tall hills (the tallest of this picturesque park are en-route Zones 1 to 3) that gives you the view of steep cliff and gorges and arid desert greens interspersed by relatively small meadows and water bodies.

WINDING ROADS NESTLED BETWEEN TALL HILLS

The distinct Gaumukh Talao (cow faced pond) is a place where one can spend hours. Part of the royal heritage, this used to be one of the patrol towers during the Maharaja's rule. Quiet a classic architecture from the Indian heritage portfolio. 

GAUMUKH TALAO




Entry into Zone-3 is bang opposite the popular Ganesh Temple. Full of local devotees and tons of langoors flocking this area, one would hardly think it is in the core of the park. 

LANGOOR QUENCHING ITS THIRST AT THE GANESH TEMPLE ON A SCORCHING SUMMER MORNING



Post the exchange of papers at the Forest Officials den begins the adventure. Just like the earlier few time, this time again we were greeted by another stoic 'dwaar' (stone gate). We were informed by our guide that this gate happens to be a favorite hangout for T28, aka Star Male and many times found sprawled in front of the gate. After all it indeed is his announcing his territory.
WELCOME TO ZONE-3, YET ANOTHER GATE


Covered in thick foliage the road mitigates through twists and turns and in no time we are amidst the open clear view of the 1st talao (pond) called Malik Talao. A large part of the water front is layered with yellow grassland cover, a perfect hide-out for the tigers, followed by a velvet green land patch interspersed with brown land and shining water crests, all inhabited with numerous wild- crocodiles, chitals, deer, sambhar, neel gaye, serpent neck cranes, cormorants, egrets, herons and so many more...

COOL WATER FRONT OF THE MANY WATERING HOLES AT ZONE-3

SUNBATHING FLOOR OF THE COLD BLOODED REPTILES



The next in line of the water fronts is the famous Rajbaugh Talao which is one of the largest water bodies in this zone and has the most stunning view of the Rajbaugh ruins lining its shores. It is just the place I had envisioned when we planned our Ranthambore trip. Secretly wished that I could see the Royal Bengal Tiger show her majestic presence through one of those historic jharoka's of the ruin...'sigh!!!'....

THE PREFECT BLUE TO TAKE A DIP!

RAJBAUGH RUINS


PERFECT JHAROKHA TO SPOT A TIGER!

And of-course, one just cant miss the Padam Talao. Gets its name from the flower lotus aka 'padama', this pond has the shocking pink Jogi Mahal nestled at its edge. In season, the pond is laced with the blooms and I am told that it is a sight to behold. Jogi Mahal is the forest rest house used by many VIP's to date and is from this place that Queen Elizabeth concluded her hunting expedition many years back.

PADAM TALAO


Frankly, each water front has its own uniqueness and as a first timer in this park, I was totally lost in deep discovery of stunning play of nature and man. Given a choice, I could spend many more visits in this zone and as I close this post, I yearn to go back again. In my mind, Zone 3 wins hands down!

More on Talao, Krishna & her 3 cubs in the next few posts. You can read them on the following links:


Xoxo,
S2S


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