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Found 9 results

  1. India pleasantly surprises me always. No one is ignorant to the fact that we have 16% of world population living in less than 1% land mass of this planet, and 4% of this 1% is the protected area in India. If the bio-mass pressure of our population was not enough on the shrinking forests of our country, add to that the pressure of cattle grazing. The growing demands of a developing nation do not help the cause either. To say that the Government is not doing enough will not be fair, and even more unfair will be to say that the people of this country are intolerant, not by a distance when it comes to environment. If one travels in the interiors you will still find, rural India worshipping trees, animals, mountains, streams, and practically everything that is in nature. No wonder this is the reason, why despite all adversities, all activists, politicians, NGO’s, courts, etc, India has still managed to hold on to some key species. The so called #TigerExperts had given a apocalypse that Tiger shall not survive to see the turn of the 21st century. Well, the Tiger survives well into 16 years, with a increasingly healthy population. Did these experts underestimate their subjects of study, and overestimate their own expertise? Maybe no, they were perhaps quite right at the time of this prediction, perhaps they did not understand the Newton’s 3rd law of motion. For every forest being disrobed, there are many Krishna’s prohibiting the same. There are poachers and there are protectors. In summary the experts saw only one side and predicted, they did not see the other side, the positive side, the human side. But I would still like to thank them for the prediction, cause that woke up lot of sleeping souls of the society, who did not wait for someone to tell them to rise, awake, and stop not till the goal of protection is reached. I would like to share an incident that I witnessed in #BandhavgarhNational Park in Feb 2016. Do see the image of the same below the text. While doing an evening safari in #Bandhavgarh, from a distance I noticed a forest guard sitting near the #Rajbhera waterhole. On looking closely we see a cheetal (spotted deer) by his side, and the guard feeding him with water and leaves. We waited. When we asked him what happened, he said, while patrolling this morning he noticed the deer, who was old and weak, almost dying next to the water hole. He then fed him with leaves and water. Thereafter, the deer was able to lift his head after a couple of hours. When he came back in the evening to feed the cheetal, he saw more improvement. I was touched by his gesture, no one had told him to do that. We appreciated his work, and what he said after that amazed me, and made me laugh simultaneously. He said, “Sirji hum to tiger ko bhi aise kar dein agar woh karne de”. (we would treat / handle the #tiger similarly if he allows us to). His voice and eyes had genuine concern and love for animals. Whether the deer survived the night by himself or not, whether he became food of some #predator or not, is not important. What is important is, that we do have a lot of sincere people in our forests doing their job very sincerely, silently, away from media and recognition. In my eyes, he did not only save the cheetal, he saved the tiger, and the forest simultaneously. His boss sits about 35kms from #Bandhavgarh, still he was doing something beyond his job, with no expectations, and perhaps hence I could see the smile and peace in his eyes. This is why I say, that there are Krishna’s working silently in many areas. A silent forest ranger at work in Bandhavgarh National Park I have not lost any hope despite a lot of adversity. Nature will regenerate, it is powerful enough to take care of itself, it has done so for eons, and will continue to do so eternally. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  2. Strictly my view, but arrived having seen many Tigers over 28 years of safaris in various parks of India. It was not easy to arrive at this decision but not a difficult one either. In the current Tigers in the Wild it is Umarpani Male in Kanha National Park who will get crowned as the largest Tiger in central India. Son of Legendary Munna, and Umarpani female, he is a huge Tiger who has outsized his parents, and is all set to takeover reins from his father as King of Kanha. Read the link below to know about him and his competition today. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  3. Aap Ne Baagh Dekha? Definitely the most important phrase we learned on this trip. The answer, btw, is yes, 17/16/15. Hint: Could have something to do with: The Tiger definitely is my most favourite animal, and so it was quite a logical decision to do a return trip to India. Africa may have "wilder" parks, may have more diversity of larger mammals. But it doesn´t have the tiger. Simple as that. For that reason alone India will always be a fantastic destination for any animal lover, and certainly one I will return to time and time again. Especially since there´s so much more to see than just the king of the jungle. A unique culture and timeless monuments: Splendiferous birdlife: Abundant "regular" animals like deer and monkeys: Very rare and elusive creatures: Impressive giants: All three from Kaziranga, a most special and wonderful place in Eastern India´s Assam. And the place which was the reason for this trip to be a very "Safaritalky" one. A team-up of "Mrs. Trip Report" @@Atravelynn , secret lurker @@AndMic and my humble self. (And yes, Lynn and me will be sharing trip report duties on this one.) Our interest in seeing this extraordinary stronghold of the Indian Rhino brought us together. Andrew, Lynn and yours truly on the banks of the Brahmaputra. All started here, btw: That´s what they try to tell you in Central India´s parks, Kanha, Pench and Tadoba in our case. But no need to worry ... let´s just say good things happen to those who travel with Lynn.
  4. India was only a vague thought in my mind--"someday"! I knew I wanted to see tigers, and the myriad of new birds, but it all seemed so foreign and daunting to plan; even more daunting to try to navigate it on our own. I figured that when we finally did go to India, we'd have to go with a group tour, which is really not our style. I'd researched group birding tours, and even inquired about some. But then one day I read the wonderful trip report "Stripes of Wild India" from @@Atravelynn and @@michael-ibk. Maybe, just maybe, it was more feasible and easier than I thought to do India privately? With dreams of tigers and dhole I contacted Wild World India, who had planned Lynn and Michael's trip as well as those of several other SafariTalkers. I did not even bother contacting any other agency as it all fell together so quickly and easily with Vikram of WWI. The price was surprisingly reasonable, much less per day than an Africa trip. At first I had only planned on the central tiger reserves: Tadoba, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh. But after much (well not that much!) deliberating we decided to do Kaziranga as well; which meant cutting out one tiger reserve. In the end, I was a complete copycat and essentially booked the same trip as Lynn and Michael with just a couple of less days! And I arranged to have the same highly recommended guides that Lynn and Michael had used: Rajan in Central India, and Tarun at Kaziranga. Within just a couple of weeks it was all settled! Our itinerary was: Day 01/17 Feb 2016/Wed: Arrive Delhi (City tour) (we arrive at 1 in the morning) : Sheraton 4 Points Day 02/18 Feb 2016/Thu: Fly Delhi to Nagpur, drive to Tadoba : Svasara Jungle Lodge Day 03 to 05/19 to 21 Feb 2016/Fri to Sun: Tadoba Tiger Reserve Day 06/22 Feb 2016/Mon: Drive Tadoba to Pench: Tuli Tiger Corridor Day 07/23 Feb 2016/Tue: Pench Tiger Reserve Day 08/24 Feb 2016/Wed: Drive Pench to Kanha: Tuli Tiger Corridor Day 09 to 11/25 to 27 Feb 2016/Thu to Sat: Kanha Tiger Reserve Day 12/28 Feb 2016/Sun: Drive Kanha to Jabalpur, Fly Delhi: Sheraton 4 Points Day 13/29 Feb 2016/Mon: Fly Delhi to Guwahati, Drive to Kaziranga: Wild Grass Lodge Day 14 & 15/1 & 2 Mar 2016/Tue & Wed: Kaziranga Day 16/3 Mar 2016/Thu: Drive Kaziranga to Guwahati, Fly Delhi & Departure It was all arranged so that we would not miss any game drives during the weekly park closings; we would be traveling during those periods. Perfect! Our arrival via JFK-->Amsterdam-->Delhi on Delta/KLM went smoothly and more or less on time, and we were met cheerfully at the airport by Wild World India's representative, Abishek. By the time we arrived at the Sheraton 4 Points, it was close to 3 a.m. and needless to say we were ready to fall into bed. But, alas, that was not to be because apparently the Sheraton did not have our reservation, and no rooms available! After much argument by Abishek (who assured us it had been booked and paid for and reconfirmed earlier that day--and I believed him 100%) they still could not come up with a room, and so we were shuttled off to the Ibis Hotel. This would not have been a big deal except that it was now past 4 a.m. We were due to be picked up at 9:30 for the Delhi tour, but we moved it up to 10:30 so we could get at least a little much needed rest. An inauspicious start, but honestly that was the only minor "hitch" on the entire trip, and the Sheraton made up for it later... After breakfast at the Ibis, were picked up by our guide for our Delhi tour. First stop was the Qutub Minar complex, a 13th century World Heritage site of . I'll spare you the history lesson but for those interested you can read about it here: A very picturesque archeological site of minarets and mosques. The Qutub Minar itself is the tallest brick minaret in the world. The carvings on the columns are intricate and beautiful. Love the layers of colors The famous Iron pillar of Delhi supposedly never rusts, due to its composition. Its origin is somewhat in debate. For those of you waiting for wildlife, we saw our first Indian mammal here, the Three-striped Palm Squirrel as well as our first Indian life-bird, the Rose-ringed Parakeet. Little did we know how ubiquitous they would be!
  5. We've just paid deposits for 44 nights in India for February-April 2016. This trip has been over 12 months in the planning so I am really relieved and quite excited to rest easy now and let the safari countdown take care of itself. The itinerary is a mixture of cultural sights and wildlife safaris due to the interests of the group. This trip expanded (along with the size of the group) and morphed into 2 separate sectors from the initial idea of a few cultural sights in around 7-8 days followed by a long multi-park safari for Jane and I to a much longer itinerary as my aunt, uncle and a friend of my aunt decided to join us for the first sector. Consquently, the first 16 days is a 'family and friends' trip mostly around cultural and architectural wonders followed by a long wildlife safari for Jane and I to 9 different national parks and wildlife sites. This is my third trip to India and a first for everyone else - my first 2 trips were architectural and cultural journeys to southern India (1999) and Kolkata to Mumbai (2001) so I am expecting to see a lot of change in some places 15 years further down the track. Delhi - 2 nights Bundi - 1 night Udaipur - 3 nights Amritsar - 1 night Jaipur - 2 nights Agra- 2 nights Chambal River - 1 night Gwalior - 1 night Delhi - 2 nights Velavadar NP - 2 nights Gir NP - 3 nights Little Rann of Kutch - 2 nights Delhi - 1 night Tadoba - 3 nights Pench - 2 nights Kanha - 5 nights Delhi - 1 night Corbett - 3 nights Delhi - 1 night Kaziranga - 4 nights Kolkata - 1 night
  6. In an unprecedented move, the Forest Department has brought about some wonderful changes in the Tourism Policies of Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Panna, and Pench National Parks in central India. This will Officially the changes will be listed by next week on their official website, but the news is actually very good for all foreign guests. 1. The concept of premium zones stands abolished. The extra rates that were charged for the premium zones of Tala in Bandhavgarh and Kanha are now not applicable. Which means all zones in the Madhya Pradesh park will have the same rate, and no premium charges for any zone. That makes the safaris more reasonable. Isn't that great? 2. Most important change; the entry permit rates for Indian and Foreign guests will be same with effect from October. This will actually mean a reduction in rates for foreigners from what they were paying until last year, and what they will pay from coming season. 3. These national parks now will remain open on Wednesday afternoons as well for safari. So no lazing around in the Lodge, or by the pool, hit for the safaris, until and unless you wish to stay back in the Lodge. 4.if you miss the 120 days deadline of booking safari, then don't worry there will be some last minute quota for permits reserved. But my suggestion is not to plan your safaris based on the last minute permit. It is better to book safaris 120 days prior. Many more changes but above are the most crucial ones, which will impact the tourism in these parks in a positive way. Enjoy the Tiger Safaris. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  7. I am planning a trip to India around Easter 2016. We ( family of 4, 2 boys aged 6 and 11) will have around 17-18 days for travelling. We thought that we would have 4 nights in Bandhavgarh, 4 in Kanha and 3-4 in Pench. My travel agent have suggested Infinity Bandhavgarh Wilderness, Tuli Jungle Resort in Kanha and Tuli Jungle Corridor in Pench. Seems good but also a bit pricey. Any feedback on these camps or others would be highly appreciated We dont need a super luxury resort, actually I would prefer a small quiet place with good guides, but since we are travelling in march/april in need a place with swimmingpool. Helps to keep the kids satisfied
  8. Looks like Govt has decided to squeeze tourists a lil more. :-) And anyone with 250mm and above will shell out extra 500 rupees. I will have to see what I will do for my break this year. Cheers
  9. A slide show of pictures from my 2009 trip.

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