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Enigmatic India

This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trip to Pench Tiger Reserve(April 2008)

We decided to visit the Pench Tiger Reserve between April 4-7. As usual our planning was late and we did not get the train tickets to Nagpur. Determined we were, we decided to drive down almost 580 Kms.

Started early morning at 5:45 a.m. from Hyderabad and took the Medchal road i.e NH7 driving through Toopran, Nizambad, Nirmal, Adilabad, Pankhwardad, HinganGhat, Wardha road, Nagpur, Deolapar, Khwasa gate and then Turia. The NHAI is in the process of widening the road and our speed was on an average 60KMPH. The road condition overall was good and the drive comfortable.

What intrigued me most were the deserted Reliance Petrol pumps, as Mukesh Ambani chose to shut down 1400 of the 1800 outlets across India. A reliance petrol fan, I was left with no choice rather than use petrol from other outlets.(we will talk more about this in another blog)

We checked into Kipling's court at Pench(a resort operated by MP tourism) and the facilities are definitely good. On Saturday and Sunday we had four rounds of the Park. The journey began on Saturday morning, and the Friday evening drizzle had its wonders - the animals were literally out in flocks - thousands of deer, around 80+ wild boar, two herds of Indian bison, sambhar, Neel Gai, couple of Jackals and a wide variety of birds.

We spotted around 65 varities of birds, some common and some new to us like the Eurasian Thickknee, Eurasian Wryeneck, Citrine Wagtail, Chestnut Sparrowlark, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White Eyed buzzard, Honey buzzard, Yellow wattled Lapwing, Chestnut shouldered Petronia, Yellow Footed green pigeon, Blacked headed Oriole, Flameback woodpecker, brown headed pygmy woodpecker etc.(the link to the photos is here)

Though there was Tiger show on both days, we decided against it. In a Tiger Show, domesticated elephants track the tiger and surround it. Then tourists are made to pay and watch the tiger from the Elephant back. We felt it was not an appropriate mechanism to spot an tiger as we had witnessed the same at Kanha National Park.

To our disappointment we could not spot the Leopard which a few tourists managed to do so. Our guide Shubhash mentioned that he had not seen a tiger for the last 90 days apart from the Tiger show. So, in our last round our guide Rajaram assured us that he will be able to show us a leopard atleast and we can very close to spotting one. In the Piyarthedi range, he managed to track the alarm call of langurs and Shambhar, So we waited for an hour alongwith around 10 other gypsies trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive tiger or leopard...but our saga continued without us being able to see a tiger in the open. A better bet would be Rathambore, where one can see Machli(the tigeress) and her cubs quite easily.

Overall a very satisfying and enriching trip after a long time. Thanks to the MP Tourism team of Mr. Yadav Incharge of Kiplings court, staff of Bhave, Ranji Sen and to Ashok Soni our Gypsy driver whose knowledge of the jungle was good.

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