Monday, 4 June 2012

T for Tiger, T for Tadoba

Visiting Tiger Reserves is not only about sighting tigers. It is more about being in forests and experiencing those moments with the other living world of plants and animals. At Tadoba Tiger Reserve or at any other tiger reserves one will experience 2 different forests - one when a tiger is on his hunt and the other when he is not.  The first few pictures might be when tiger is not around.

But a bear could be one such animal to whom Tigers presence around does not make much difference. He is said to be one unpredictable animal whose moves can not be taken for granted. This particular bear was blocking our road for more than 20 minutes oblivious of our presence and when our driven made an attempt to attract his attention for a better photo-op, he made such a ferocious face at us, we had no option but to let him have his way.

Birds always bring a lot of colour and music to the forests. As per Jim Corbett in his Jungle Lore - first published in 1953, birds could be categorised in 6 types. In his words they are - birds that beautify the garden, birds filling garden with melody, those that regenerated the gardens, those birds that warned of the dangers, birds that maintain the balance in the forest and lastly the those performing the scavenging duty. Here are some from Tadoba :

One one of the free mornings I walked and crawled alone towards a pond which I had seen earlier to have a lot of bird-life. I had no much luck except for this pheasant-tailed Jacana but after half an hour's wait at the place, this snake made its way about 15 ft from where I was sitting - must be in search of eggs and young birds.

I would not like to stretch the reader's patience any more. We did crossTigers' path on more than one occassion but our pure joy of watching them was marred by excessive human activity which probably stopped them from making a family appearance.

But inspite of some irritating moments created by us humans, I would never be tired of watching the king of the jungle in their natural surroundings again and again and again. The first 2 pictures are of the male tiger cooling himself in a small water pond in Moharli area and we came to know later that his whole family - his mate and 4 cubs of about 6-7 months joined him soon after we left the spot.

Here is the mother whom we saw during our evening safari at the same Moharli pond:

This cub of about 8 months was seen during the afternoon safari to Tadezari route- coming to the water hole to quench his thirst after a bite at his prey hidden in the nearby bushes. Imagine the effect of his already broad-enough paws on his prey once he fully grows.

And then comes in the mother who must have been the main power behing the kill that was lying closeby:

At the end of our Tadoba tour, I also remembered that T was also for Tavanandi along with Tiger and  for Tadoba.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve is about 4 and half hours drive from Nagpur (via Chandrapur) and the roads except for the past one hour was quite good. This was in the first week of June and the temperatures were between 44 and 46 deg C but that did not come in any way of our enjoying these 2 days.