Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg
Showing posts with label Wildlife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wildlife. Show all posts

Monday, 6 March 2017


Google Maps: Chail, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Visit during March-April for 3 days. Nights are cold but it is less crowded and more pleasant weather wise.
  • Stay at Chail Palace for a royal experience. Plan a visit to nearby market for lunch as the lazy morning and cold evening are mostly to be spent inside the resort.
  • Drive / trek to Kali Tibba, Cricket Ground and Wildlife Sanctuary. Chail is small town for a relaxing weekend. 

Taking a detour from Kandaghat, it takes one hour to reach Chail - a small hill town near Shimla. Being small works in favour for those seeking seclusion amid a decent infrastructure. We had booked two rooms in the Himneel Block of Chail Palace which is an actual palace converted into a hill resort by the Himachal Tourism. We were the only ones staying in this block and the sense of freedom this gave us was a very happy one.

Sunset from Chail Palace

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur)

Google Maps: Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan, India
  • The best time to visit is in October. However from August to November, migratory birds keep flocking the sanctuary.
  • Stay overnight in one of the nearby hotels and start as early as 5.30AM for best experience. By 7 it gets hot and little less pleasent.
  • Bicycles are available on first come first serve from the reception. It the best medium of transport. Battery driven vans are also available but they are so boring.

We reached Bharatpur, the host city to Keoladeo National Park (KNP), late in the evening. We had covered two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and had just brushed the third, Fatehpur Sikri, before settling at the edge of our fourth that day.

Inside KNP, Bharatpur

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sariska Tiger Reserve

Google Maps: Sirska, Rajasthan, India
Trip: Sariska > Jaipur

Sariska fell in the first leg of our team outing. We started at 8 AM ans settled at Haldiram@Manesar at 9 for a quick breakfast. At 10 we had crossed Dharuhera and were racing towards Alwar on SH25. It is a newly constructed toll road hence we were able to hit Alwar at 12 Noon. The Sariska Tiger Reserve Booking Office is another 20 miles from here.

Two safaris were booked and we entered the realms of Sariska. There was a placid lake with crocs right in the beginning. We were told that seeing a tiger was rarity but I was surprised by the abundance of wildlife in the form of Nilgai, Peacocks, Deers, Barahsingas, Wild Boers and Sambhars.

We settled at the end of the road at Pandupole Temple. Legends says here Bhim was tested by Lord Hanuman for strength and humility. The place draws hundreds of worshipers on Tuesday hence the reserve is open for personal vehicles twice a week (Tue, Sat).

While returning on the same track we saw a freshly wounded deer. The tiger that did this must have been around. We waited but to our disappointment, nothing came. It was getting dark and we had to figure out where we will stay for the night.

There is an RTDC Resort (Tiger's Den) right at the gate of Sariska but it was looking dull. We wanted to sit around bonfire and sing and booze. Thankfully we got that in Jaipur which is hardly a 3 hour drive from here.

Friday, 18 January 2013


Google Maps: Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu, India

Mudumalai is the Tamil portion of a large forest reserve that spreads in hundreds of sq kilometers at the foothills of the Nilgiris. The part falling in Karnataka is more famous - known as the Bandipur National Park. There is Kerala too in the frame with Wayanad being at the centre.

Elephants on the Highway, Mudumalai

We started from Bangalore at 8 AM and were comfortably seated at the lunch table of Jungle Hut Resort. Food was great and gave the right kick to start for a jungle safari. We moved back to Theppakadu for the hour long minibus ride into the forests. I had already done it with Vivek and Sumeet when I was last here at Bandipur. Still it was fun with a 33 people strong office crowd.

Nilgiris in the morning, Mudumalai

We reached back at resort at 7. Our rooms were good. There were deers grazing at the backyard which merged with the reserve. The room itself was large, clean and utilitarian. All possible luxuries were made available here. The Nilgiris loomed large from our window and made the whole ambiance marvelous.

More elephants, Mudumalai

The six of us planned for a treasure hunt for the rest while others enjoyed the various recreational activities available at the resort. Treasure Hunt proved to be entertaining and was the fitting start to a long merry night. Bonfire was alive. People seated themselves around. Someone started playing a guitar.

Bonfire @ Jungle Retreat Resort, Mudumalai

Then started Antakshari and we all submerged to the tunes of half memorized hindi songs. Booze was flowing wide and soon we were all dazed. There were snacks of different variety pouring in. It must be around 2 that we dispersed to our respective rooms.

Coimbatore sky, nearest airport to Mudumalai

I had to wake up early at 6 as with a colleague of mine, I had booked a cab to Coimbatore. We were not sure but it all ended well as the driver took exactly 3 hours to take us through scenic Ooty to the airport. We were well in time for the 11.45 direct flight to Delhi. At 4 I was home and was still dazed with what happened in the last 24 hours.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Google Maps: Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bandipur > Mudumalai > Ooty

The famous National Park at the foothills of Ooty was our first stop. The road to Bandipur from Bangalore is good and we managed the 150 miles in some four hours. Finding a resort at decent cost is not difficult on a weekday here.

Highway through Bandipur

Friday, 13 June 2008

Jim Corbett

Google Maps: Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand 244715, India
The seven of us started on a midsummer night for Ramnagar. Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve has several entrances, the most accessible among them is Ramnagar. With few hiccups we reached there by 5 AM. It was critical. The booking for rooms/dormitories within the jungle start at 6 and one has to be among first few in the queue to get them. Manas took care of that. As a temporary arrangement, a circuit house was booked for us to rest and relieve ourself in the morning. By lunch we finally entered the gates of reserve and were settled in a large dormitory in the middle of the jungle.

The evening was spent in a jungle safari which proved more adventurous that expected thanks to a female elephant which started running towards us. Those were few scary moments. We were not expecting to see tigers. It is a rare sight even in Jim Corbett.

Later in the night we were surprised to be served delicious homely dinner by the servants. The seven of us then fell asleep after some chit chat and bantering. I woke up at around 4 AM with some noise that was coming from outside. It was still dark. As I came out I realized that two of my friends were already standing outside. It was raining hard. The entire area was almost flooded.

That delayed our exit till 9 AM. Just before we were leaving, two jeep full of girls alighted and the look on our faces was worth a mention. We couldn't believe we were leaving with a worst possible timing. Later we went to Gharzia Temple and had a dip in the flowing river while it was still raining. We were back to Delhi before 9 and a compact weekend holiday was well spent.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Google Maps: Periyar, Kerala, India

  • Periyar is famous for swimming elephants and that is what you should aim for as there is nothing else.
  • The river safari is difficult to book during peak season in a communist state where price is low and everyone is equal.
  • Night safari is overhyped and nothing is exciting about it. Classic dancing events are organized which may be worth watching.

We reached Periyar in the noon and could feel the heat and humidity even at the end of December. The cool weather of Munnar and Kodaikanal had seeped in. We stayed in a hotel which was close to the Bus Stand and hence could move around at ease. We first went to Periyar Wildlife Reserve to ask if a safari was possible. There was one night petrol being offered and we booked for three. A part of the evening was spent at Hotel Ambadi which is at the centre. The hotel served beer with food which was more than we expected.

Periyar River

Monday, 24 December 2007


Google Maps: Munnar, Kerala, India
Trip: Kodaikanal > Munnar > Periyar > Alappuzha > Kovalam

We moved to Munnar after a day stay in Kodaikanal. To reach Munnar in itself is an unforgettable experience. Atleast 20 Km before the place, large estates of tea, coffee and cardamom are visible and as the road meanders through these lush gardens, one has a feeling of sailing in an endless green sea. We stayed in Munnar for three days.

Tea Estates @ Munnar

Tuesday, 6 November 2001


Google Maps: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
How to explore a city that boasts of being listed in the English Dictionary. Being 'bangalored' means getting outsourced literally now. The consequence is an amalgamation of traditional Kannadigas with tech savvy crop of new IT professionals.

Water Tank, IIM Bangalore