Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most scenic places in the Western Ghats and a biodiversity hotspot is a 391 square kilometers (151.0 sq mi) protected area in Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala state, South India. It is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world supports diverse habitat types and endemism. The wildlife sanctuary, which had an area of 285 square kilometers (110 sq mi) was established in 1973. Previously it was known as Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and it became the 38th Tiger Reserve and second of Kerala in 2010 February 19. This sanctuary is under the consideration of UNESCO to be declared as the World Heritage Site.

Tented_Niche_Accommodation_at_Parambikulam_Tiger_Reserve Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills, is the home of four different tribes of indigenous peoples including the Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar and Mala Malasar settled in six colonies. The thick, opulent habitat of the sanctuary with ample water supplies make it an abode for wildlife and thereby for tourist who can have treasured memories of animal sightings and that of being in the lap of mother nature. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is the most protected ecological piece of Annamalai subunit of Western Ghats, surrounded on all sides by protected areas and sanctuaries of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the sanctuary is endowed with a peninsular flora and fauna which are excellently conserved due to a total protection and minimal human interferences. 

Geography :

The sanctuary is located between Longitude:76° 35’- 76° 50’ E, and Latitude:10° 20’ – 10° 26’ N. It is 135 kilometers (84 mi) from Palakkad town and adjacent to the Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary to the east in Tamil Nadu. Much of the sanctuary is part of Anamalai hills with peaks up to 1,438m (Karimala Gopuram) in the southern boundary of the sanctuary, 1,120m (Vengoli malai) in the eastern boundary, 1,010m (Puliyarapadam) in the west and 1,290m (Pandaravarai peak) in the north.  The sanctuary has three man-made reservoirs; Parambikulam, Thunacadavu (Thunakkadavu) and Peruvaripallam, with a combined area of 20.66 km. The Thuvaiar water falls empty into one of the reservoirs. There are 7 major valleys and 3 major rivers, the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy. The Karappara river and Kuriarkutty river also drain the area.

Flora and Fauna: 

images Morning_at_Parambikulam_Tiger_Reserve ctuaries are home to 32-36 tigers. About 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 61 species of reptiles, 47 species of fish, over 1000 species of insects and 124 species of butterflies have been reported from the region. The presence of 250 species of birds offers fantastic bird watching opportunities. It is also home to 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 268 species of birds, 61 species of reptiles, 47 species of fishes, 1049 species of insects and 124 species of butterflies making it the perfect destination for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

The sanctuary has a variety of trees mainly teak, neem, sandalwood, and rosewood. Even the oldest ever teak tree, Kannimara Teak exists here. It is about 450 years old and has a girth of 6.8 meters (22 ft) and a height of 49.5 meters (162 ft). It won the Mahavriksha Puraskar given by the Indian Government.

Climate : 

The challenging hill ranges here are placed at an altitude of 300 to 1438 m above sea level and the place offers a good climate with temperatures ranging from 15 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius. The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary gets the monsoon rains.  The average annual rainfall is 1600 mm. The place receives rainfall in the months of January, February, March and April. From November to April is a most preferred time for visiting this place.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport is Coimbatore international airport (110km), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Coimbatore railway station (96 km),  which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Road: The nearest town is Pollachi (47 km), Two daily buses connect the tiger reserve to Pollachi.

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Periyar National Park

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Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 km2. In this astounding location of Kerala, the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is considered as the most protected area for the elephants and the tigers. One of the most renowned national parks in South India, the Periyar National Park is set high at the Western Ghat ranges. is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though its a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake. Apart from Elephants, the other animals to be seen in the Periyar sanctuary are Gaur, Wild Pigs, Sambar deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Dole or Indian Wild Dog and very rarely, a Tiger.

The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. This sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants from close quarters. This lake is created with the construction of a dam in 1895. This lake strolls around the forested hills. For the local wildlife it is a lasting source of water. Though it is known across the region as a Tiger Reserve but visitors arrive here to see the playfulness of the Indian elephants while taking bath in the Periyar Lake.

Climate :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve,_Periyar_Lake,_Kerala The temperature varies depending upon the altitude and it ranges between 15 °Celsius in December and January and 31 °Celsius in April and May. During the monsoon (July-August), it ranges from 19°C to 21°C. Annual precipitation is between 2000 and 3000 mm, about two thirds occurring during the southwest monsoon between June to September. The best season to visit Periyar wildlife sanctuary is from the months of October and June, Elephants in search of water come out during summer months of March to June and hence, for best wildlife viewing.

Flora :

Periyar_Tiger_Reserve The park is made up of tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests, grasslands, stands of eucalyptus, and lake and river ecosystems. The research followed 49 species of mammals, 246 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 22 species of fishes and 112 species of butterflies. In the central part of the park, Moist-deciduous forests and Woody grasslands abound. The floral attractions of the park are approximately 2000 species, The tall trees of the forest rise upto a height of 130 to 140 feet! Primates of Four species can be obtained in this park such as Common Langur, lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur and Bonnet Macaque. The medicinal gloriosa lily grows in the park. The endemic flora includes Habenaria periyarensis and Syzygium periyarensis.

Fauna :

Periyar_National_Park_-India-8 Set amidst Cardamom and Pandalam hills of western ghats in Kerala, Periyar National Park is home to some of the most exotic fauna in the world. There are 35 species of mammals recorded in the park, including many threatened species. It is an important tiger and elephant reserve. The most ferocious of these, undoubtedly is the Tiger. Many tourists visit Periyar just in order to get a glimpse of the Tiger that according to estimates number between 35 and 50. It is valuable for Indian elephant and also for a few of white tigers found here. Other mammals include the gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Salim Ali’s fruit bat, stripe-necked mongoose, and Nilgiri marten. About 266 species of birds can be seen in the park, including Nilgiri wood pigeon, Blue-winged parakeet, Crimson-backed sunbird, Brahminy kite, white-bellied blue catcher, Malabar grey hornbill, Sri Lanka frogmouth, Rufous-bellied hawk eagle, Black baza and Spot-bellied eagle owl. A four-day survey was conducted on December 1–4, 2016, organised under the aegis of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) and found the presence of 13 new bird and 16 butterfly species that were undetected earlier. are about 40 species of fish in the local lakes and rivers include the Periyar latia, Periyar barb, Periyar trout, Channa barb and Travancore loach.

How To Reach :

By Air : Kochi (Cochin)(200-kms)  or Madurai(140-kms) in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airports from Periyar.

By Train : Kottayam is the nearest railway station from Periyar National Park which is only 114 Kms. away. Other nearest railway stations are Changanassery (120 Kms.), Madurai: (135 Kms.) and Ernakulam (190 Kms ) etc.

By Road : Periyar National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Periyar National Park at frequent intervals.

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Rajaji National Park

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Rajaji National Park is distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio-diversity. A paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, the wildlife of the park is blessed with elephants, tigers, leopards, deers and ghorals as its best known life forms. Three sancturies in the Uttarakhand, Shivaliks – Rajaji, Motichur and Chila were amalgamated into a large protected area and named Rajaji National Park in the year 1983 after the famous freedom fighter Late Sri C. Rajgopalachari; popularly known as “Rajaji”.

This area is the North Western Limit of Asian elephants. Spread over an area of 820.42 sq km, Rajaji is a magnificent ecosystem nestled in the Shivalik ranges and the beginning of the vast Indo–Gangetic plains, thus representing vegetation of several distinct zones and forest types like sal forests, riverine forests, board–leaved mixed forests, scrubland and grassy. It posseses as many as 23 species of mammals and 315 bird species.The abundance of nature’s bounties heaped in and around this park, are bound to attract a large number of wildlife conservationists, nature lovers and eco-friends to visit this most breathtaking wilderness area.

City Facts

State: Uttarakhand
District: Haridwar, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal
Famous for/as: Wildlife
Languages: Hindi, English
Best Season: Nov – Jun
Weather: Summer 32 to 45°C
Winter: 20 to 25°C
Altitude: 300-1350 m
Pincode: 249407
STD code: 01334

Distances

Chandigarh to Rajaji National Park 185 km

Delhi to Rajaji National Park 223 km

Shimla Manali to Rajaji National Park 299 km

Dehradun to Rajaji National Park 21 km

Haridwar to Rajaji National Park 43 km

Best Season / Best time to visit

Every season is merriment in Rajaji National Park. Summers from March to June have a moderate climate. Winters from October to February are pleasant and have a cool climate. Monsoons months from July to September receive mighty rainfalls.

Summers is the best season for an elephant ride in the park, which is very enjoyable and a popular activity. The park is open from 15th November till 15th June every year. Post monsoon is best for spotting migratory birds.

Best season to visit here is from October to June.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Rajaji National Park

Jungle Safari

jungle_safari To enjoy the wildlife and nature in its pristine and undulated form, the jungle safari in Rajaji National park is a perfect option. The enchanting experiences of nature walks, Jungle safari by walk or by vehicle at Rajaji National Park is really awesome.

Adventurous tourists can venture out for Jeep Safaris and Elephant Safaris in the 34 km long tracks of Rajaji National Park. One can make a breath taking safari through hilly terrains, lusting greenish valleys and plains, undulating forest tracks, vegetated river beds, thick and dense forest lands and unexplored sprawling grasslands.

During the safari one can spot many wild animals including Asian Elephants, Tiger and King Cobra, Panther, Bear, Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, Kakar, Python, Monitor Lizard, Wild Cats. You can also spot many birds and many species of different plants, shrubs and trees.

The Jungle Safari is a visitor’s delight and one can never forget the real majestic experience getting from the safari.

How to Reach Here

By air: Nearest airport is Jollygrant which is 21 km away from Rajaji National Park and is situated in Dehradun. Jollygrant airport, Dehradun is well connected to Delhi airport. Taxi services are available from airport to Rajaji National Park and it costs about Rs 600. Delhi is the nearest international airport which is 223 km away. Delhi is well connected to all major cities in India and many cities abroad.

By road: Rajaji National park is well connected to many cities in the region by buses. Private and public buses offer services from Rajaji National Park to Haridwar (43 km), Rishikesh (14 km), Dehradun (21 km) and also to Delhi (223 km).

By rail: Nearest railway station is Haridwar, which is just 43 km away from Rajaji National park. Dehradun is the major rail junction nearby, situated at a distance of 21 km from Rajaji National Park. This station is connected to all cities in India. Taxi services are available from Dehradun to Rajaji National Park, costing about Rs 500.

Image & Information copyright by uttarakhandtourism.gov.in

Bharatpur

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The history of Bharatpur dates back to 5th century BC, when the Matsya kingdom flourished here. The Matsyas were allies of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. Legends say that the origin of the name Bharatpur is traced to Bharat, younger brother of Lord Ram. Laxman, the other brother, was given the most prestigious position as that of the family deity of the ruling family of Bharatpur. His name also appears in the state seals and coat-of-arms.

In the early 18th century, Maharaja Suraj Mal captured the fort of Bharatpur by vanquishing Khemkaran, the rival chieftain and laid the foundation for Bharatpur. The valiant Maharaja was very keen to expand the cities and is credited with building the numerous forts and palaces that dot the kingdom, including the Pleasure Palace Complex at Deeg.

Bharatpur is also home to one of the world’s best-known bird watching destinations, Keoladeo Ghana National Park (KNP). 250 years ago, the then ruler built embankments that allowed flooding of this land, turning it into a marsh. Named after the dense jungle that surrounded an old Shiva Temple, this 29 square kilometre man-made wetland is renowned for migratory birds – ducks, geese, waders, raptors, flycatchers and more. In winter, avid birders and ornithologists flock to the park to observe and study the feathered beauties. With more than 370 recorded species, KNP used to also host the Siberian crane. It is a World Heritage Site.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Bharatpur

Bharatpur Palace and Museum

244 Located within the premises of the Bharatpur Palace is Kamra Khas, a museum that contains a vast number of antiques, over 581 stone sculptures, 861 local art and craft wares and ancient scriptures that depict the art and culture typical of Bharatpur. The palace itself was built in stages by various Maharajas and is a fine fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The various apartments in the palace have a variety of richly patterned floor tiles decorated with exquisite designs.

Ganga Mandir

245 The Ganga Mandir, which resides in the heart of the city of Bharatpur is one of the most beautiful temples in Rajasthan. In it lies the magnificent deity of Ganga Maharaj made of pristine white marble. Maharaja Balwant Singh started constructing this temple in the mid-19th century. However, he had a very unique request that required all the affluent inhabitants of the city to donate one month’s pay to help towards the temple’s creation.

Laxman Mandir

This temple is dedicated to Laxman, brother of Lord Rama, and is famous for its typical Rajasthani style of architecture and beautiful pink stonework. Visitors will enjoy the intricate carvings of flowers and birds on doorways, ceilings, pillars, walls and arches.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

247 Every year, thousands of migratory waterfowl birds such as green sandpiper and cranes visit the park during winter. It was created in mid 18th century as a small reservoir located 5 kilometres to the southeast of Bharatpur. The construction of the Ajan Bund (dam) and the subsequent flooding of this natural depression led to one of the world’s most fascinating and spectacular bird reserves. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is considered to be one of the richest bird areas in the world today.

Lohagarh Fort

248 True to its name, Lohagarh Fort has withstood many attacks by the British, but was ultimately captured by Arthur Wellesley. Where Lohagarh Fort differs from others is that it is not flamboyant, but radiates an aura of rugged strength. The fort is surrounded by a moat which used to be filled with water to keep enemies out. Interesting monuments inside the fort are Kothi Khas, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kishori Mahal. Raja Suraj Mal built Jawahar Bhurj and Fateh Bhurj to commemorate victories over the Mughals and the British.

Deeg

250 Deeg is a beautiful garden town situated north of Bharatpur. It has many embellished palaces that add to the beauty of the place. Known for its forts, palaces, gardens and fountains, the highlight of Deeg is an impressive fort surrounded by moats and gateways. It was built by Raja Suraj Mal and stands over a slightly elevated point. Although the interiors are almost in ruins, the watch tower containing a gun still maintains watch over the city.

Band Baretha

251 Band Baretha is an old wildlife reserve of the rulers of Bharatpur, currently under the administration of the Forest Department. The construction of the dam on Kakund River was started by Maharaj Jaswant Singh in 1866 AD and completed by Maharaj Ram Singh in 1897 AD. The palace inside the reserve was built by Maharaj Kishan Singh and is the private property of the Bharatpur royal family. Band Baretha is a bird watcher’s paradise because of over 200 species of birds, including the elusive Black Bittern.

Kaman

252 The locals also know Kaman as Kamaban. This old town is located at the north of Bharatpur and is a part of the Brij area where Lord Krishna spent his early years. It is a place of pilgrimage and is annually visited by a large number of Vaishnavs in the month of Bhadhva as a part of the Banyatara. The ruins of a temple / mosque consisting of 84 pillars named Chaurasi Khamba are the main attraction.

Dholpur Palace

The Dholpur Palace, renowned across the country for its locally quarried sandstone, originally belonged to the Rajputana kingdom. This famous red stone was widely used in construction of spectacular forts and palaces as a mark of protection around the widely spread dominion. The palace’s classic exteriors and rich heritage is alluring to the onlookers and invites them for a journey of its vibrant history.

How to Reach Here

By air: The closest airport is Agra and is about 56 kms away.

By road: A network of buses links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State.

By rail: Bharatpur is on the Delhi-Mumbai broad gauge line. It is well-connected to Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Agra.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

The Gir National Park

Lion(parRickBayok)

In Gir you touch the history of India before humanity itself. Before monuments, temples, mosques and palaces. Or rather, a history as humanity was emerging, when humans coexisted with lions, before the former had overrun the continent (and the world) and pushed the latter to the brink of extinction.

Many come to Gir because, outside of Africa, it is the only place with wild lions. But to truly experience Gir and the lions, you must explore their natural habitat, with everything from tiny wild birds, not easily seen, but heard singing in the forest canopy, to crocodiles floating in the marsh waters.

Driving around, you are uncommonly aware you are in someone else’s territory. You stay in your vehicle because you are in the home of lions, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles; you remember that humans do not rule the world, and however “advanced” we think we are, most of us would not survive very long on our own in a place like Gir.

That is not to say that all humans are out of place. The local Maldhari community has lived here for generations and coexists magnificently with the wilderness. They sustain themselves by grazing their livestock and harvesting what they need from the forest. The sizeable portion of their herds lost to lions and other predators is considered prasad, offered in exchange for living in another’s homeland.

How many of us are aware, let alone as concientious as the Maldharis about the impact of our lifestyle on other species? How can we be, if we so distance ourselves from the habitats that are ravaged to feed our material appetites? When you visit Gir, try to see the Maldharis not with nostalgia for a picturesque past, but as crucial teachers for a better present and future. You don’t have to be a shepherd living with wild lions to learn from their way of life. Ask yourself why we have reached the point where National Parks like Gir are necessary; what happened to these lions who used to inhabit everywhere from Greece to Bangladesh. If you begin to understand the deeper implications of these questions, you will return home, whether home is a hut in the countryside, or a high-rise apartment, whether in Mumbai or Berlin, charged with new inspiration for evolution in your own life.

Gir is a place that deserves time and involvement. Your chances of spotting wildlife in a few hours is small, especially in the middle of the day; to truly experience the wonders of the Gir forest, and hopefully see a wide variety of its diverse wildlife, three or four days is recommended, particularly with a knowledgeable guide. This will vastly improve the depth of your visit.

While Gir is most famous for its lions, the park is one of the most diverse places in Gujarat, both in flora and fauna.

Flora

Gir_National_park_Jungle Most of the area is rugged hills, with high ridges and densely forested valleys, wide grassland plateaus, and isolated hilltops. Around half of the forested area of the park is teak forest, with other trees such as khair, dhavdo, timru, amla, and many others. The other half is non-teak forest, with samai, simal, khakhro and asundro jambu, umro, amli, vad and kalam; mostly broadleaf and evergreen trees. The river Hiran is the only one to flow year-round; the rest are seasonal. There are also areas of the park with open scrub and savannah-type grassland.

Deer and Antelope

Gir_National_park_Crown_deer_candid_shot This variety of vegetation provides for a huge array of animals. The most-sighted animal in the park, the chital, or Indian spotted deer, inhabits the dry and mixed deciduous forest, with a population of over 32,000. The more reclusive sambar, the largest of the Indian deer species, weighing 300-500 kg, lives in the wetter western part of the park. Both the sambar and the chausingha, the world’s only 4-horned antelope (chau= four, singha= horns), are very dependent on water, and rarely found far from a water source. Another one-of-a-kind is the chinkara, the only gazelle in the world with horns in both males and females. The fastest of the Indian antelopes, the blackbuck, also lives in Gir, but has a relatively small population here compared to Velavadar National Park (near Bhavnagar), as it prefers open grasslands to forests.

Wild Cats

The_Feisty_Lion_Cub_01 Along with the famous lions, who number around 350, the park is also home to four other wild cats. There are around 300 leopards, though they are nocturnal and thus harder to spot. Of the three smaller wildcats, the jungle cat is the most widespread, and lives in deciduous scrub and riverine areas. The mysterious desert cat is almost never seen. The rusty spotted cat, previously thought to only live in the Dangs of southeast Gujarat, has only recently been found in Gir.

Other animals and reptiles

The top and middle canopies of the dry, mixed and riverine decidous forests are home to troops of hanuman langur monkeys. The striped hyena is usually seen scavenging alone in the grasslands and scrub forest, far more solitary than the African hyena. Wild boars rooting into the ground for tuber provide aeration of the soil. If you look closer, you may see smaller mammals like pangolins, pale hedgehogs, Indian hares, or grey musk shrews. The ratel or honey badger is renowned for its snake-killing exploits, earning it the “most fearless animal” title in the Guinness Book of World Records. Another snake-killer in Gir is the ruddy mongoose; the snakes they contend with include the common krait, russell’s viper, and the saw-scaled viper. The Kamaleshwar reservoir now houses the largest population of marsh crocodiles in the country. Other reptiles include the soft-shelled turtle, star tortoise, Indian rock python and monitor lizard (which grows to over 1.5 m long; don’t look for the lizards that live in your yard.)

Birds

Gir_National_park_Bird Gir is also home to more kinds of birds than any other park in Gujarat, yet somehow is not known for its birdlife. While it may not have the half-million flamingoes found in Kutch during breeding season, Gir is home to over 300 species of birds, many of which can be seen year-round, from the Malabar whistling thrush to the Paradise flycatcher, from the crested serpent eagle to the king vulture, from pelicans to painted storks. The noted ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali said that if there were no lions here, Gir would be well-known as one of the best bird sanctuaries in western India.

The Asiatic Lion

AsiaticLionMale Until the early 19th century, Asiatic lions roamed an immense area of South and Southwest Asia, as far east as Greece and as far west as modern Bangladesh. As humanity has lived in this region for millennia, people coexisted with lions for thousands of years, but in the last few centuries, the growth of the human population has come at the cost of the lions’ habitat. Like the Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Cheetah, lions saw a dramatic decline in population as their preferred habitat of grasslands and semi-forested areas became overrun with humans. Beyond just habitat reduction, though, once guns arrived and became widespread, from 1800-1860, nearly all the lions remaining outside Gujarat were hunted and killed. The last Asiatic lions in India outside of Gir forest were killed in 1886 at Rewah, and the last wild lion sighted the world outside Gir was in Iran in 1941.

In 1901, Lord Curzon was offered to be taken lion hunting while visiting Junagadh. Noting that these were the only lions left in Asia, he declined, and reportedly suggested to the Nawab of Junagadh that it would be better to conserve the lion population than to hunt it. The Nawab began what was probably the first institutional wildlife conservation effort in India and one of the earliest in the world (though various human societies have been operating in ways that conserve wildlife throughout the ages), banning all lion hunting entirely. From a population reported to be as low as 20 in 1913 (considered exaggerated by some wildlife experts, noting that the first official census in the 1930s found over 200 lions), the lions have rebounded to now number 359 in the most recent census of 2005. This is due almost entirely to the Nawab’s conservation efforts, and the Indian Government’s post-independence ban on lion killing in 1955.

Though the lions have maintained a small healthy population, their habitat continues to shrink, and they remain a critically endangered species. The Gir forest area, which covered over 3000 square km in 1880, was reduced to just over 2500 square km by the mid-20th century, and only 1400 square km today. Of that, a mere 258 square km make up the National Park itself. While the population has grown due to successful conservation programs in the park, the park is too small for the number of lions it now houses, and lions are straying outside to seek further living space, often not surviving well in the other areas.

Locally called sher or sinh, the Asiatic lion is over two and a half meters long, weighs 115 to 200 kg, and can run short distances at 65 km/h to chase down the sambar, chital, nilgai, and chinkara that are its preferred prey. However, when not hungry, it will never attack an animal; after a lion makes a kill, it will gorge itself on up to 75 kg of meat, and then not worry about eating for a few days, so it is not unusual to see a well-fed lion lounging calmly beside a herd of grazing deer. The lions prefer open scrub and deciduous forest areas, and are very bold, not shy around humans. So even if they seem tame or timid, do not approach them, they are still very powerful wild animals.

Humans and Gir

53164849 Humans’ relationship with Gir is long and mixed. The very existence of a sanctuary is testament to the dire need of a protected area, given the rapid expanse of civilization that has completely taken over everywhere else around (see above section on the lion.) After India’s independence in 1947, the rapid push for food independence led much wild grassland to be converted to agriculture. This had major effects on the wildlife of Saurashtra, but also on the human population; as large-scale farming spread across the region, those peoples who traditionally herded livestock in wild grasslands were pushed further and further into much more limited regions. Faced with this situation, the Maldhari community migrated into the Gir forest despite obvious dangers and a total lack of infrastructure, in order to maintain their way of life. When the park was declared, they were allowed to remain and continue their traditional practices; in fact, Gir forest is now virtually the only area where the Maldharis still live as they wish.

As herders, they shepherd their cattle and buffalo around the park, which opponents (including the Forest Department) claim overgrazes the area and makes it harder for the wild deer, antelope, and other species to graze as well. However, recent studies have shown that between 25 and 50% of the Gir lions’ diet is made up of Maldhari livestock, meaning that the presence of the Maldharis is vital to the survival of the lions. In fact, the Maldharis apparently consider livestock lost to predators as payment for living in their territory. Furthermore, as vegetarians, the Maldharis are never poachers.

Compare this attitude with that of farmers near the park, who have killed many lions who they say “encroached on their land,” not realizing that they have in fact encroached on the lions’ land, and the lions of course cannot know where people have drawn the park boundary line. The humans who do know this, however, often graze cattle illegally inside the park adding further pressure on the ecosystem from the 97 villages within 5 km of the park. For these reasons and many others, the Gir forest and the critically endangered lions are under increasing threat from human activity.

Tourism itself is a growing threat to Gir. Clearly, the genuine visitor is beneficial, but tens of thousands of people visit the park every year simply as an afterthought to their trip to Somnath or Junagadh, stopping in for a few hours to snap a photograph of the lions in captivity. These visitors create a huge demand for infrastructure but do little of benefit to the park or the lions, not even staying long enough to really experience it or learn much at all. The presence of several temples inside the park also puts strain on the ecosystem, as visitors to them also demand accommodation and infrastructure that often conflicts with the park’s conservation goals, leading to great controversy and political tension between park management and temple management.

While all of these threats may have distinct immediate origins, they are in fact all the result of having reached a point where wild natural environments are confined to extremely limited areas, and human civilization, industry and economy has overtaken everything else. The problem is not, in fact, that the lion population has grown “too big for the park,” but that the park is far too small for the lions. As a visitor, let this be an opportunity to spark your imagination on the question of shifting the priorities of humanity towards re-integrating ourselves with the rest of life.

For shorter visits, the Gir Interpretation Zone, at Devalia, 12 km west of Sasan Gir, has some lions in captivity, but this is not the same as visiting them in the wild. After all, to see a lion in captivity you can visit a local zoo; come to Gir to see them in the wild. Entry fees for the Interpretation Centre (different from the park itself) are, for Indians Rs. 75/- Mon.-Fri, Rs.95/- Sat.-Sun, Rs. 115/- on Holidays and for foreigners US$20, payable only in rupees.

Use official guides.

  • Do not rouse, feed, or disturb wildlife
  • No smoking whatsoever (cigarette butts cause many forest fires.)
  • No flash or intrusive photography
  • Picking plants or insects prohibited; do not remove anything from the park
  • No walking or hiking allowed in the park, for safety; always travel in vehicles, preferably with a guide.
  • No quick or sudden movements to scare off wildlife.
  • No pets.
  • No littering. Trash is only to be disposed of in proper receptacles.
  • No picnicking or camping, use only designated areas.
  • No hunting devices or other weapons.
  • Carry lots of water.
  • Carry field guides to learn about your surroundings.

A permit for entering the park can be obtained at the Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre, Open from 07.00 am to 11.00 am and 03.00 pm to 05.30 pm

For more information, contact the Forest Dept. at Sasan Gir 02877 285541.

The online booking web site is : http://www.girlion.in/

How to get there

By road: A permit for entering the park is obtained at the Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre, Visit Gujarat Forest Department Website for timing. A 35-40 km driving route through the park is maintained for visitors. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless traveling with an official and experienced guide, you must not leave your vehicle at any time, for your own safety as well as the well-being of the park and its inhabitants.) Entry fees, per vehicle with up to 6 occupants, are, for Indians- Rs. 400/- Mon.-Fri., Rs. 500/- Sat.-Sun., and Rs. 600/- for holidays. Entry for foreigners US$40 (must be paid in rupees.) For more information, contact the Forest Dept. at Sasan Gir, Tel: 02877 285541. Gir National Park is 60 km from Junagadh, the most common base for making a visit, and 360 km from Ahmedabad. The main centre is at Sasan Gir, and has a forest guest house maintained by the park, just opposite the railway station.

By rail:One can travel by rail to Junagadh from Ahmedabad or Rajkot and then take a 65 km road trip on bus or taxi to Sasan Gir.

Image copyright by upload.wikimedia.org 

Majuli – A River Island

Majuli, the largest riverine island in the world, nestles in the lap of the mightly Brahmaputra. This is where the 15th century saint and fountain head of Assamese culture, Sankardeva, first established a Satra or neo-Vaishnavite monastery, born of insightful discourses with his spiritual successor, Madhabdeva.

Majulia Nature Majuli
Today, Majuli is the principal seat of Vaishnavite faith, culture and practice. The treasures of Majuli are undoubtedly it’s Satras. The first satra, set up by Sankardeva and Madhabdeva together, was Manikanchan Sanjog, now no longer extant. Subsequently, Majuli became the centre of 65 such satras. Of these, there are only 22 satras in Majuli today. Due to the annual floods and constant land erosion, Majuli today is only a fraction of it’s original size of 1256 sq. km. recorded by the Imperial Gazetteer in 1901. This has forced many of the sattras to shift base to Assam’s mainland.

Dakhinpat Satra Kamalabari Satra

Among those the main existing satras are Dakhinpat Satra, Garamurh Satra, Auniati Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Benegenaati Satra and Samaguri Satra. These Satras are the treasure houses of the songs and dances initiated by Shri. Sankardeva like “Borgeet” Matiakhara, Jumora dance, Chali dance, Motua dance, Nande Bringee, Sutradhar, Ozapali, Apsara dance, Satria Krishna dance, Dasavater dance etc.

Satellite View A walk through the villages of Majuli is highly recommended to savour the warmth of the people and their simple way of life. Most of them practice agriculture, fishing and weaving. Boat making, dairy farming, pottery and handloom are other important activities. The weaving is particularly exquisite, making use of a whole range of colours in cotton and silk, found only in Assam.

Majuli also has an exciting bio diversity. If the visit is timed right, one can spot many rare and endangered avifauna species here, such as the greater adjutant stork, pelican and the whistling teal.

Majuli produces about a hundred different varieties of rice without a drop of pesticides or artificial fertilisers. Among the fascinating arrays gorwn is Komal Saul, a unique kind of rice that becomes edible after just 15 minutes of soaking in warm water. It is usually eaten as a breakfast cereal. Bao Dhan grows under water and is harvested after ten months while Bora Saul is a sticky brown rice, used to make pitha, the traditional Assamese rice cake

Getting There

Majuli is 20 kms fom Jorhat town. Buses ply regularly from Jorhat town to Neamati Steamer Ghat, the main ferryboarding point for Majuli. The entire journey takes about three hours, involving a half hour bus ride to Neamati Ghat, which has a few tourist information booths, lodging facilities and food stalls catering to transiting ferry-goers, and ferry ride to the southern tip of Majuli island. Though Jorhat remains the principal entry point, Majuli can be approached through Lakhimpur on the north and Dibrugarh on the east.

Bandhavgarh Then & Now

tiger-wildlife-bandhavgarh I saw my first male tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park in the seventies. The place was called Kill Khunta, since a bait was usually tied there to attract tigers. The baiting practice was thankfully stopped but the tigers do not go hungry at all. In that dusky twilight I could see one of the nature’s marvelous creation. The awe and admiration has never ceased since.

Back from from the brink of disaster, the little paradise was not throbbing with tigers as conservation practice had just been put in place. The aftermath of reckless hunting had come to a stop and recovery was on the way. Though isolated and fragmented, the reserve retained its glorious ancient past and amazing Sal forests.

There where few visitors, and the accommodation was limited to the Maharani’s Kothi for the privileged and the Forest/PWD R.H – rest house.

Eventually MPTDC stepped in and established the White Tiger Lodge. Then more tourists started to arrive with propaganda so created. The tourism infrastructure had been put in place with number of elephants for rides. The jungle roads were being maintained. This was the hunting reserve of erstwhile Maharajas of Rewa. It was the largest Kingdom in India during post independence period.

The discovery of white tiger in the adjacent forests had already opened the flood gates of popularity. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve is situated in the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the finest places to see the tiger in the wild. The preserve is one of the most picturesque destination – little tiger haven tucked away in the deep recess of India’s wild heartland. Under the project tiger the area covered is about 1100 sq.km including neighboring Pan Patha Wildlife Sanctuary. The core now constitutes 600 plus sq.km as against 145 or so earlier.

On our earlier visits we could count around 60 plus heads of gaur or Indian Bison. Gradually we saw the numbers dwindle till the end came somewhere in nineties. This was a major blow to the habitat, the loss of a coarse grazer was irreparable. Rinderpest & FPL was the scourge carried by maddening numbers of live stock in the periphery. Though some gaur have been relocated from Kanha recently, we have to wait for success.

It was obvious from the sightings that the prey base was increasing. The sightings also confirmed that big cats in the park were on the increase. In few years the reserve was a conservation success – it still is.

Another noticeable fact was the increasing number of tourist as well as the hotel resorts. The park became number one tourist draw thanks to high density of tigers. The core area of the park is the finest habitat of the cats. Due to the slush and grass in swampy marshy areas hunting was easy.

The village relocation had taken place from within the core and some were due which eventually did not happen – Kalwa & Magdi. The edaphic grasslands left by the tribal communities inside were overtaken by the prey base. This was like bounty from heaven since the grass was much wanted fodder for the deer and the bison.

Ruins

The remains of ancient civilizations added luster to the splendorous jungle resort. The ancient man made caves still exist with petroglyph and Brahmi script on the walls. The forests experienced many warring civilizations throughout, as history unfolded. The dynasties left their marks on the ruins which are now ruled thankfully by the big cats. The place since evolution belonged to the wild denizens later intruded by humans.

The ancient ruins add esoteric touch to the wildlife haven. Sesh Shaiyya on the way to Bandhavgarh Hillock is right out of the fairy tale. Its pristine surroundings and springs are in reality best described as fairy tale settings. The reclining statue of Lord Vishnu besides the pond makes it a place of religious importance for the locals.

On the way up are the number zoomorphic statues of Lord Visnu some towering. Matsya AvatarVarah Avatar and so on. The Laxman Temple sits atop the hill facing the beautiful grasslands valleys and neighboring mountains. Picturesque indeed! The Bandhavgarh Hill is steep and about 800m MSL. the hillock are ideal breeding ground for Long Billed Vulture.

Bandhavgarh Fort at the top lies in ruins arch, man made reservoir, statues and temple remains are littered all over. The remains boast of exquisite and colorful sculptural practice & art of ancient India. They are an archeological find dating back two thousand years in the recess of this old country.

The plateau is extensive and give one an eerie feeling a spread of ruined civilization, tall grasslands and a haunting specter of open spaces, mystical and esoteric as of the pristine wild country. The alarm cry or the tiger roar can be unnerving as I have experienced often.

Priest & Tiger

The Old Brahmin Pujari was a legendary figure. He walked about 11 km to the Laxman Temple, under care of his family, since the Maharajas ordained. He must have been the most familiar figure for the tigers that walked aside him. He once told me that his meetings with tigers were often and it was you go your way and I go my way affair, strictly. He died a natural death and I believe his son has taken over.

Hills Glens & Rivers

Mahaman, Chur Bohera, Raj Bohera, Bathan are well preserved grasslands. There rivers criss cross Johilla, Charanganga and Umrar. Must visit for tiger sightings and landscape are Badi Gufa, Ghoda Damen, 10 No.GUFA and Andheri Jhiriya. The terrain is torturous and at places very steep. The safari is exciting over steep climbs, across grasslands and river beds the cliff tower over you all the time.

Forests

The abundance of SAL is evident but the park encompasses some of the finest bamboo slopes and mixed forests. The canopy is dense but withers as one moves along the periphery due to wood logging in the buffer.

Buffer

Once a large contiguous tract of forest the park is now isolated. Neighboring forests are Pan Patha, Gunghuti and the Sihora Forest ranges at some distance. the forests leading to Amarkantak and Achanakmar belt have been badly denuded hence there is no migration path for any species. All around the reserve forest are in a bad state and hence tiger habitat has been reduced. There are village surrounding the buffer and within with a large number of livestock. Except tourism alternative means of survival have not been explored.

Tiger Safari

Tourism in tiger reserves of Central India is monitored and well managed. I have seen tiger tourism grow from infancy and simultaneously the wildlife has increased as well. Tourism has benefited local communities which were until then dependent upon infertile lands. The need for accommodation has brought in many hotels. The established hotels of Bandhavgarh employ large number of youth. Most of these are from the local communities. Many get employment in the forest department as guides, chara cutters, guards and naturalists etc. Plus the park is a nature library many tourists come and go with greater understanding of nature, admiration for other life forms and desire to conserve or valuable heritage.

The Tiger

It has been one hell of a journey for the beleaguered animal. It has been ignominiously pushed back to small pockets along with associates. We have never ceased to destroy nature, we have overpowered other life forms and taken their land away. The majestic cat is silent and helpless observer as the axe continues to ravage his kingdoms all over the country.

Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National ParkKaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
Located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River in the far North East of India, Assam, Kaziranga National Park covers an area of approximately 430-sq-kms with its swamps and tall thickets of elephant grass making it the ideal habitat for the Indian One-Horned Rhino. Due to limitless poaching of this prehistoric survivor, the Kaziranga National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.

Major Wildlife Attractions of Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
Beside ofcourse the great one horned Indian Rhino, the other major wild attractions include a large population of Indian Elephants, Indian Bison, Swamp Deer or Barasingha, Hog Deer, Sloth Bears, Tigers, Leopard Cats, Jungle Cats, Otters, Hog Badgers, Capped Langurs, Hoolock Gibbons, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wild Buffalo, Pythons, Monitor Lizards, etc.

Kaziranga National Park is a birding paradise; the grasslands are a raptor country that can be seen on safari makes a remarkable experience. These include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black-Shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, etc. Huge numbers of migratory birds descend on the parks lakes and marshy areas during winters, including Greylag Geese, Bar-Headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Falcated Duck, Red-Crested Pochard and Northern Shoveller.

Other Attractions In Kaziranga

Elephant Safari : The vast open country makes Kaziranga National Park very accessible and wildlife viewing fairly pleasurable. Here one can leave in the early hours of the dawn for an elephant-back-ride. Authorized and trained Mahouts who guide visitors through the park train the Elephants. One could see wild Elephant herds roaming around or Indian Rhinos browse past visitors unconcernedly. Since Kaziranga wildlife Sanctuary is easily accessible, its provides a chance to see animals in the wild at such close quarters, thus making a trip to this National Park a very rewarding experience.

Sightseeing in Kaziranga : Tourists can stroll through the lush coffee and rubber plantations of the nearby Karbi Anglong. Or visit the Karbi villages, meet the Karbi people and observe their way of living. Yiu can also venture through the tea gardens that Assam is so famous for and watch how one gets one’s daily cup of tea. Film shows on wildlife can be arranged at the various tourist lodges in Kaziranga, on request.
Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary
Best Time to Visit Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga’s visiting season is from mid-November to early April months. During the monsoons, the Brahmaputra River bursts its banks, flooding the low-lying grasslands and causing animals to migrate from one area to another within the Kaziranga National Park.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

It goes silent at twilight, the cacophony of the background fades till pin drop silence, bereft of tourist and there is no menace in the jungle. But its just when you are trying to twirl you ears for some sound, the silence is intervened by flocks of elephants in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Indentured within the Western Ghats in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most outstanding wildlife parks in the world. Located at the center of park, this sanctuary possess a picture perfect lake, where the water surges forward, inundating the land. The day is full of commotion and golden streaks exude their colour in the night. But at once you can ind that beauty and nature go hand in hand at Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Besides the nature and beasts faces from world over are seen in the sanctuary. An amazing destination, Periyar is rightly termed as ‘Jewel of South’.

Main flora found in Periyar:

Periyar Wildlife SantuaryPeriyar Widllife Sanctuary boasts a quite rich and diverse flora. The flora in Periyar National Park chiefly comprises of Tropical Evergreen forests (30,500ha) and Semi-evergreen forests (27,500ha) around the reservoir, and Moist-deciduous forests and Woody grasslands in the central part of the park.

The major flora in the park include the Teak, Rosewood, Terminalia, Eucalyptus, Sandalwood, Jacaranda (a hardwood timber tree with purple flowers), Mango, Jamun, Tamarind, Banyan, Pipal, Plumeria, Gulmohar and Bamboo among many others. The thick vegetation of the Periyar wildlife sanctuary provides both excellent cover and nourishment in the form of succulent shoots and grasses.

Season(Periyar National Park)

Monsoon: Southwest and Northeast monsoon with maximum rainfall in July and minimum in January.

Summer: April-May

Winter: December-January

Bandhavgarh National Park – National Park of Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park is spread at vindhya hills in Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh National Park consists of a core area of 105 sq km and a buffer area of approximately 400 sq km of topography varies between steep ridges, undulating, forest and open meadows. Bandhavgarh National Park is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India.

Bandhavgarh National Park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers. White Tigers, now a major attraction around the world’s zoos, were first discovered in Rewa, not far from here. The terrain is broken, with rocky hill ranges, running roughly east west, interspersed with grassy swamps and forested valleys. .

Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the finest national park in the India and has the distinction of harboring the highest concentration of tigers per unit area of forest. The Bandhavgarh National Park is spread over on area of 448 sq km with a cross area of 105 sq km. At the center of the park is the bandhavgarh hill, rising 811 meters above sea level and surrounding it are a sloping valleys, These valleys end in small, swampy meadows locally known as “bohera”.

Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968. Since then many steps have been taken to retain Bandhavgarh National Park as an unspoilt national habitat for a variety of wildlife peculiar to the area. These includes gaur (Indian bison), sloth bear, leopard, porcupine, wild boar, sambhar and spotted deer, among others and of course, the tiger.

Places to visit:

Archaeological Richness of Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh was the seat of ex-rulers of Rewa State and its history dates back to 3rd Century A.D.Mythologically, the fort on Bandhavgarh hill is said to have been built by Lord Rame for his brother Laxman ,during the Ramayana period. There are a number of man-made caves(35) in Bandhavgarh with inscriptions and carvings, which date back to 129-168 A.D. Statues of various incarnations of all and attracts every tourist. There statues date back to 10-11 century A.D;

 

Places to See in Bandhavgarh National Park

1. Sidhababa – The Holy Meadow : The marshy is the abode of Sidhababa.Merger of hills, grasslands & riparian zone creates an edge which results in good sighting of wild fauna, especially sambar & chital.

2. Chakradhara – The Sprawling Meadow : Surrounded by the hillocks, this marshy meadow is rich in both flora and fauna.

Availability of food, water & cover makes it an ideal place for the sighting of wild animals including tigers.

3. Gopalpur – A Place for Bird Watching : Approach with a slow drive may give you moments of memorable sighting of wild fauna.Look for the kingfishers, storks, lapwings & stilts.

4. Shesh Shaiya – Origin of River Charanganga : This statue of lord Vishnu reclining on the seven hooded scrpent is the classic example of the architechtural treasure of the past. The vicinity around is rich in fruit bearing trees. Look for the rare Malabar Pied Hornbill.

5. Bari Gufa – Ancient Monument of Past : This is the biggest man made cave of the reserve dating back to tenth century.Apart from its archaeological importance, this cave is the abode of a variety of bats.

6. Ketkiha – Pendanus Point : This wet patch of aromatic plant ” Pendanus ” ( Kewra ) in the shadow of lofty jammu and arjun trees is the real treasure of floristic wealth of the Reserve.

7. Bhitari Bah – Tranquility in Wilderness : Blissful drive along the meadow will induce thrills of jungle and feeling of lingering relaxation.Look for the important medicinal “buchh”( Achorus Calamus ).

8. Three Cave Point – The Archaeological Remains of past : These caves visible from ganesh hillock road are the mute testimony of rich historical past.These caves are now used by wild animals for shelter especially by sloth bear.

9. Sita Mandap – The Bandhaini Hillock View : This marshy meadow is the origin of river Dammer.Look for the storks, vultures and herds of chital, samber and wild pigs.View of Bandhaini Hillock is an additional attraction.

10. Ghora Demon – Nature’s Beauty : Woody climbers of butea superba and Bauhinia wahlii amidst the giant sal trees offer spectacular view for the tourist.

11. Rampur Pahari – The Fort View : This is the biggest meadow of the Reserve.Look for the breeding pair of saras crane in the month of june.It harbours the insectivorous plant drosera.

12. Damnar River – Place to Quench the Thirst : This water hole surrounded by bamboo clumps is an ideal place to watch variety of hervivores and carnivores.

13. Charger Point – has been built in memory of Charger.Charger the beloved Tiger of Bandhavgarh, dominated the Tourism Zone for decade.He died on 29th September, 2000 & rests here in peace.

 

14. Rajbahera – The Bandhaini Hillock View : This marshy meadow is the origin of river Damnar.Look for the storks, vultures and herds of chital, samber and wild pigs.View of Bandhaini Hillock is an additional attraction.

15. Climber’s Point – Nature’s Beauty : Woody climbers of butea superba and Bauhinia wahlii amidst the giant sal trees offer spectacular view for the tourist.

16. Sehra – The Fort View : This is the biggest meadow of the Reserve.Look for the breeding pair of saras crane in the month of june.It harbours the insectivorous plant drosera.View of Bandhavgarh Fort is breathtaking.

17. Mahaman Pond – Place to Quench the Thirst : This water hole surrounded by bamboo clumps is an ideal place to watch variety of hervivores and carnivores.

Bandhavgarh Fort : The oldest fort in India, considered to be more than 2500 years. One-hour trek upto the fort is worth the effort. The charm of this trek lies in discovering these monuments in the jungle, unspoiled and unexplored. Some of the statues lie off the main path and so it is best to take a guide. Apart from the avatars, well worth seeing are three small temples of around the 12th century. These temples are deserted but the fort is still used as a place of worship. Kabir Das, the celebrated 16th century saint, once lived and preached here. The natural ramparts of the fort give breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. Vultures wheel around the precipice which also attracts blue rock thrushes and crag martins.The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and permission is required to visit it. However permission is available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh is complete without making an effort to climb up the fort. The staff of the resort carries your lunch while you are busy negotiating the trek upto the fort. Supplement charged

 

Taavraksh – A Leopard Country

Sariska-Alwar road takes to this enchanting site where pilgrims bathe in hot SULPHUR SPRINGS. Langurs (apes) stroll about and the bell of the scattered temples tinkle all day long. lt was the place of penance of Mandav Rishi. Incidentally this point is around 20kms off Sariska Tiger Reserve. As is known that Tigers and leopards do not normally share territories, hence Leopards around Sariska have found a haven in Talvraksh. To view this handsome mammal be present with our expert escort at the right time at the right palce and you will be really unlucky if do not see atleast 1 Leopard during your stay at Talvraksh.

TAALVRAKSH – A LEOPARD COUNTRY
Lying in the juxtaposition between wilderness and civilisation is a quiet place called Taalvraksh. What makes it very different from other places is the frequency of the leopard visiting this place despite having large human presence.

Taalvraksh lies just 20 km from Sariska Tiger Sanctuary in the North Indian state of Rajasthan and if one is coming Alwar city towards Sariska on Alwar – Jaipur State Highway a right turn would lead to Taalvaskh. This place is a paradox of sorts.

The leopards are sighted on the road going through this place and this is despite the fact that it is quite a busy road. From Alwar this place is about 30km ( apprx). There is relatively no forest area on the entire journey and one tends to believe that the possibility of seeing wildlife is rather small but please wait, a small area of dense forest cover is there just around Taalvarksh and has healthy langur and reches monkey population and also being a village, there are a lot of dogs hanging around the place. Hence prey population wise it is a typical Leopard habitat. There is the only surrounding this part of the jungle where there is permanent water available. All the surrounding areas is hilly and there is no water around this place. During summer months when temperature cross 40 degree centigrade, the leopards sighting also increases.

Corbett National Park

corbett-national-park1 Welcome to Jim Corbett National Park, the first wildlife reserve of India, extending over an area of more than 500 sq km in the Himalayan foothills. Corbett national park was established in 1936, as the Hailey National Park. In 1955-56 it has changed to Ramganga National Park and finally Jim Corbett National Park in the honor of legendary hunter-turned- conservationist, best known for hunting man-eating tigers and leopards in the Kumaon and lower Garhwal in the 1920s.

Corbett National park is known for its varied wildlife, and as the site for the launching of Project Tiger. Corbett National Park was one of the nine tiger reserves created at the launch of the Project Tiger in 1973. The original area of the Corbett National Park was 323.75 sq. km. to which 197.07 sq. km. was added later. In 1991, an area of 797.72 sq km was added as buffer area of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. It area includes kalagarh forest division and Ramnagar forest division.

The Main animals found in the national park wildlife found in the Corbett National Park include the tiger, elephant, chital, sambar, nilgai, gharial, King Cobra, muntjac, wild boar, hedgehog, common musk shrew, flying fox, Indian Pangolin, and nearly 600 species of birds. Corbett National Park receives thousands of visitors every year. A variety of facilities are available to house tourists within and outside the park.

Other Attractions In Corbett
Ramnagar : Situated in the rich farm belt of Terai, on the southeastern fringes of the great forests, the busy market town of Ramnagar is the main administrative centre for Corbett National Park and Project Tiger. Ramnagar makes a fishing base camp. At Lohachaur, 15-kms north along the River Kosi, good anglers are in with a chance of landing the legendary Mahseer, a redoubtable battling River Carp. Permits to have a go must be sought from the Project Tiger office in Ramnagar; most resorts also arrange all inclusive fishing trips.

Wildlife Viewing : Chital, Sambar, and various other Deer species find refuge in the Savannah grasslands known as the Maidan, behind the campsite to the south, and Tigers are occasionally drawn in looking for prey. Two hour elephant rides, explore this sea of grass, rarely penetrating far into the deep jungles beyond; try to convince your Mahout or Elephant driver to venture in, as they can be quite magical. Come at dusk or dawn; in the heat of the day you probably won’t come across much more than deer among the tall grass. Tiger-sightings are few and far between, but you may be rewarded with fresh pug marks.

Jeep Safari in Corbett : Jeeps Safari, is the most convenient way to travel within Corbett national park, and can be rented for the park trips from Ramnagar, from the KMVN Tourist Lodge and other travel agencies . One bus each day goes to Dikhala from Ramnagar, stopping at the Forest Rest houses en route. Banking and other important tourist facilities are available at Ramnagar and Lucknow.
Note : Bring binoculars, remain quiet, and don’t wear bright colours or strong perfumes.

Best Time to Visit – Jim Corbett National Park
The best visiting season of Corbett is from November 15 to June 15. Corbett remains closed between June 16 and November 14, when the monsoons flood the river beds and cut the fragile road links.