Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

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, 27 December 2012


Google Maps: Ellora, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

We started our trip to Ellora with a pint of beer. It was available in MTDC Restaurant right at the entrance of Ellora Cave Complex. We were little drowsy as we closed in on the main temple building. The concept of this structure broke some of our lethargy as the entire temple is carved out of 125000 cubic metre of one solid rock.

Elephants, Ellora Caves