Finally she appeared!!!
Roaming freely in the jungle without caring for anyone, anything…just she and her freedom…
I am so jealous of her at times, but when I think of her struggle, it makes me happy to be where I am. She is a loner and marks her territory. Protecting her cubs is also pretty difficult from poachers, monkeys and many other ferocious animals.
I am talking about none other than “The Tigress”.
My journey with her started since my childhood days..
I have walked the jungles of Chitwan, Bandipur, Nagarhole, Bannergetta, Jim Corbett, just to have a glimpse of her in the jungle, roaming freely.
Finally, on my birthday 2021, I spotted her at the Jungles of Ranthambore, not once but twice..
Such is the grace of my guru.. He always sends me gifts..gifts which are precious to me and He fulfills every desire of mine.
His Grace is all I ask for.
So coming back to my Tigress.. I have always loved this beautiful divine creature, not because of any conditioning, but due to a natural bent of mind to see her in the openness. It gives me a sense of freedom and liberation.
My road trip:
11-01-2021, much needed break owing to the pandemic.
- We started for Sawai Madhopur at 9 in the morning, post breakfast.
- Took the tonk highway.. this smooth highway reminded me of New York.. The road is that good..
- Checked in at Sawai Vilas by 2.30 pm. A new property..4 star, with a swimming pool..
- Since I am gluten intolerant, they gave me option of bajra and channa roti.
- Chilled in the hotel room till evening.. evening tea by the pool…played snooker.
- Dinner by 9 pm
- Then began our super exciting morning, at 7 am next day, in the chilling weather of Rajasthan. Since zone 3 was the most popular out of 10 zones, we could not get the jeep. So we booked a Cantor. This carries about 30 people in one go. It’s open and gets too windy. We were shivering to our deepest bone. The Cantor drive was crazy as these were old army trucks converted into carriers. As if God had forgotten to place the shock absorber, ride was a roller coaster one.
- The driver stopped by at the entry gate facing the fort. The fort was at the mountain top and looked very appealing. (I knew I would have to come back another time to cover it).
- We fed some birds at the entry point. That was exciting, feeding a long-tailed bird, as it came and sat on traveler’s hand.
- I silently prayed to Swamiji as it was my birthday and was hoped that I get my gift.
- After a few bumpy rides, we did hear a calling. Calling of deers, warning other animals that a tiger was around. That was scary. What if the tiger pounded on us from the mountain top!
- We drove after the calling and after much running around we spotted the one, the one and only “The Tigress”.
- Oh, what a sight! We kept glaring at her. She walked away from us as though totally unaware of our desires. Desire to just glance at one of the most admired animal in the mankind’s history.
- I thanked Swamiji for this wonderful gift, for fulfilling my childhood desire to spot the tiger in the jungle’s openness.
- You know greed is our innate nature, As if it was not enough, we had another booking at 2pm.
- This time my brother’s family too joined us and we were far more comfortable in a personal Jeep.
- With two kids with us, our ride got more exciting. We all were waiting for one glance and this time we had booked zone 6.
- Trust me and I am not lying. We had another sighting and this time it was a teenage tiger, waiting for his mom to come back from the hunt.
- It was tucked away in the bamboo shoots. We waited for a long time for the mother to return and went around the lakes too. Sighting tigers is more or less easy at River beds.
- It was not a close encounter, but at least I had the sighting.. slow and steady I will win the race.. planning to go again this April for better sighting. will have to keep trying my luck!
- Best time for sighting is April- May. Since it’s hot, tigers like to stay mostly around the water bodies.
- Personal Jeep’s are safer and less bumpy.
- Take full day pass for all zones and you are free to roam around in any zone, (There are 10 zones on the whole). Cost is close to 20k INR.
- Zone is always as per season and the tiger. All zones have a tiger as it marks its territory. Female needs 14 km and male needs 20 km area.
- Booking is done through agents or through government of India site..
- Lots of good properties to stay.
- Fort is also doable and is located at the top of the mountain. We have to climb 150 steps to reach there.
- For personal jeep we paid 1200 per head and for cantor we paid 800 per head.
We endlessly spoke about the tales of Machali, the tigress that killed a crocodile. She is the one who has given a powerful breed of tigers to the jungles of Rajasthan. Her most famous tale of killing a crocodile is uttered by every localite. Even after our trip, we watched videos of the Machali and other tiger attack tales.
Do visit Our Nations’ Pride- the Jungles of Ranthambore.
I have made a quick video on my trip.. u will enjoy this
We booked our jungle safari through Mr. Bhupendra Sharma- 9784999879
We stayed at Sawai Vilas
featured pic credit: https://pixahive.com/photo/an-alerted-tiger/