Spot a TigerDelhi - Sariska National parkTotal No of days - 2Dated - March 2011
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
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A Sunday morning breakfast at McDonalds Manesar took us a little further to Sariska totally unplanned and unexpected. Our route was - Delhi - Nh8 till Bheror - Alwar - Sariska ---- Alwar -Sh-25- Dharuhera - Manesar - Delhi. We covered a total distance of 400+ kms and the time was Sunday morning 8 am to 10.15 pm.
Turned left and saw the sign of Alwar 45 km and immediately the road condition deteriorated and got worse as we moved ahead. After aound 5 kms I even considered returning seeing the road condition but come what may, we are going ahead. Got my first hit on the sheild and reduced the speed to 30- 40 kmph. It took almost 1 hr to cover this stretch to reach a diversion marked as "Alwar Surang". Took that dtour and after a km we were infront of the this tunnel. Took a break and continued our journey.Everything changed after we crossed the tunnel , the roads were butter smooth but narrow and again started flying. After 15 kms we hit Alwar City by 12.20. City has decent divided road , just went straight to cross the city passing Bhagat Singh Chowraha, Bijili Ghar, then to Ghati road to Sariska.
Last 4 kms was horrendous. Virtually no road and big ditches. With in first 100 meters i had three underbody hits. I even thought not to continue further. Then slowly avoiding big ditches like sidewinder snake, I took almost 30 minutes to cross the stretch. The truck traffic was also high and they are not ready to leave the center road. At last by 1.30pm we landed at Sariska Project tiger Reserve office.The reserve opens at 7 am with last jeep entry at 3 pm and should exit before sunset.
Paid Rs 490/- as entry fees and stuck a deal for Jeep safari @ Rs 1200/-. As discussed at the office came to know there are 3 core areas which needs 4 to 5 hours to cover - one core area with an average of 40 to 50 kms. Hence we selected core-1 as we also wanted to visit Hanuman temple ie Pandu Pol.
We spent around 4 hrs. Tried all possible routes to track the tiger. Followed 2 calls by the spotted deer, no success. By 5.30 we were exited as it was becoming chilly and had to leave the limits by sun set.
Started back around 5.45pm. Route planned was Alwar - SH25 to Dharuhera. Was told by drivers that the road is good and will have moderate traffic after 7pm. Indeed the road was good as road widening is in progress. I think during day the traffic movement will be slow. Reached NH8 by 8.30 and had dinner at Nirulas , Manesar and reached home by 10.15 all safe.
Trip 2 to SariskaCame to know Club Mahindra has started a camping site at Sariska near Thana Gazi. Made a cold call to enquire availability, they confirmed availably on 22/23 of March.
Reached by 1 pm - visit 3.30 pm - 6-30 pm Jeep safari Morning - Drive to Hanuman pol
Afternoon - Visit again same timing 3.30pm - 6.30 pm Jeep Safari 10 am check out and return.
Started by 7 am , Took the Delhi - Bheror - Kotputli - before (Shahpura) Virat nagar - SH13 - Thana Gazi - Camp fort view.
Reached our destination by 11.30 am.
Tied up the Guide Hari Singh for the Jeep safari. Our camp site is around 5 kms away from Sariska.
Day - 1 Completed the formalities of check. The accommodation here are tents (with A/c). It was our first experience in a tent. Nice open space with lots of greenery and flowers. Now the plan was to do our safari from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm, tied up with the guide. We had to reach the ticket counter by 3.15 pm. it is around 5 kms fromm Thana Gazi. Thana Gazi has lots of marble sculptor units making murtis of Ganesh ji and other goddess.
By 2.45 pm we were out from our Camp, heading to office site at Sariska. The road is bad in the jungle region, was told there is a stay order from supreme court for repair. 5 kms took 25 min. Hari Singh was ready with the tickets and jeep.
Costs are - Tickets - Rs 60 per person, 250 for vehicle entry , Rs 50 for tiger fund. Rs 1100 for Jeep - 3 hrs.
Parked our vehicle (Rs 20 for parking) and jumped into the gypsy. I clearly instructed Hari , today we will go around places where tiger spotting possibility is high. He informed us that there was a ST-2,ST-4, spotting at Bhairav Ghati around 1 pm. We were a bit apprehensive of spotting, more over its Tuesday, lots of local vehicles travelling to Pandu Pol.
Reached the main entrance gate, completed the formalities, Hari Singh enquired on update or news about any spotting. Sadly no news. We headed to Kali Ghati , this is one of the points from where you can get further information about location of tigers, if any one has spotted.
Searched a couple of water sources and finally reached KaliGhati by 5 pm. We took a quick stop over and Hari Singh went to find any update.
We waited there for 15 minutes, then got the news that ST-2 & ST-4 are resting somewhere at Bhairav Ghati . This message was given by a tracker gypsy. We headed to Bhairav ghati. Reached there in 10min. There was a red tracker gypsy and already 3 more safari gypsy parked and one of them was the Nat geo guy with his film camera.
We were told the both of them are resting somewhere with in 200-300 meters. Waited for 15 - 20 minutes but no sign. It was getting darker. Slowly the crowd was building up with locals too. This area was becoming messy with locals stopping with curiosity. Wait goes on...
ST-2 , emerges from bush. He slowly started walking parallel to our jeep , we too started to follow. All of them frantically were racing to reach our spot. It was a total mess after that. Since we had a wonderful position I could click some shots.By this time it was a complete traffic jam around. We too were stuck, cant move forwared or backward. ST-2 crossed the road and disappeared. Immediately followed by ST-4 too disappearing into the thick woods. Had the crowd been more disciplined, the tigers would have stayed more.
We returned satisfied , it as already 18.20 we had to rush back.So finally a satisfying day Tigress Spotted Reached main gate at 18.45 , Had a tea at Tiger Den (HTDC hotel) and we were back to our camp by 8 pm.
Day-2 Morning we planned an early morning trip to Pandupol in our safari. Reached ticket counter by 8.45 am, took tickets and we head on to the forest. Morning we saw lots of Sambar, spotted deer, neelgai grazing around. Reached pandupol by 11 am. Spent around 1 hour there and returned to our camp by 1 pm.
Afternoon After noon we again went for our second trip of jeep safari. We started by 3.30 pm. Since the mission was accomplished, plan was to go around and if lucky then spot the tigers again.
Were going around the water points and en route to Kali Ghati, we were crossed by a white tracker gypsy, they informed that ST2 is spotted near Slopka water spot if you rush then there are chances of spotting. We rushed to the spot. There were 2 gypsys with foreigners. We were just in time to Spot ST2 again.
Spent around 5 min by the time ST2 left the spot. We went around the Core 1 area and were back in camp by 7 pm. The next day we planned our journey back.