Sariska Tiger Reserve – More Than Just Tigers!
Did you spot the Tiger ? This is the first question/reaction that I get when I tell someone that I went to Sariska Tiger Reserve. I wasn’t really amazed at the consistency of the same question but I felt that the reserve was more than just the Tigers. Had I not been to the place I would have asked the same question. But to answer all your questions we did spot the Tiger. I will come back to it later but for now let me take you through a photo journey of Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in Alwar district, Rajasthan. Being just 200 Kms away from Delhi this spot qualifies to be one of the most preferred weekend getaways from city’s hustle and bustle. We booked our safari’s beforehand with the help of a local friend and we decided to take the first and the earliest slot. We got up really early and reached way in time for the safari. Yes we all wanted that long sleep in the cozy blanket on a cold Sunday morning but we chose Tigers instead. The drive to Sariska Tiger Reserve was scenic and the morning chill in the air made it even more exciting.
We were on track in terms of time. The moment we saw our rustic safari jeep we hopped into it. Point to note here is it was very cold early in the morning and we all were shivering in the open jeep. The guide made us sign an indemnity bond which stated the obvious things. After that we entered the reserve and after a drive of mere 10-15 mins the driver stopped the jeep in the middle of barren nowhere so that we could see the sunrise.
After spending sometime at that spot we moved ahead and then started the spotting spree. We were alert because we didn’t want to miss on spotting any wildlife and also for the fact that the ride was very bumpy too. We spotted a lot of Peacocks and Deer. The guides are very experienced and they know the spots very well.
While we moved ahead we spotted Sambar Deer, Rabbits and Langurs. The guides have their own spots based on their experiences where they suspect the probability of spotting some wildlife is high. The moment we stopped at our next spot a lot of birds came inside our jeep and started fluffing around.
While we were busy clicking pictures of birds and shushing them away from our jeep there came another jeep which informed us about a Tiger’s moment in one of the areas, without even wasting a single minute we moved towards that area. There were many jeeps heading to that area, everyone was looking for the mighty Tigers.
We were asked to be quiet and still. There were many jeeps lined up just to witness that one look. Then came the moment of truth when we actually saw the Tiger moving slowly behind the bushes. I could see a giant body move slowly and I froze right there. It was for a split second and it vanished again in the dense jungle. We had a million dollar look on our faces at that moment. A little conversation with the guide –
Me: “Bhaiya agar Tiger hamari jeep mein aa gaya toh ?” Bhaiya what if the Tiger comes inside our jeep?
Guide: “Madam jo indemnity form bharwaya tha uska kuch use ho jayega” Mam the indemnity form that we filled at the outset will be of some use then.
We laughed at his wittiness, though he was right to bits. Spotting a Tiger in Sariska Tiger Reserve and that too the very first time is an accomplishment. The guide called us very lucky. He told us there are groups and wildlife enthusiasts who take multiple safaris in one day but still they get to see the Tiger. Yes we felt lucky too.
Once again the jeep was on the move and this time the guide took us to an open area with a lot of beautiful birds. While he explained about all of them we were doing our best to capture them in our lenses.
After spending some time there we started again. The safari generally lasts for 2-3 hours depending on your interest and enthusiasm. After all this we took a final ride in our bumpy jeep and made our way out of the reserve. I was relaxed and while I was putting my alertness to rest we spotted a Jackal. The safari started pretty well and it ended on a good note too.
This was my first ever open jeep safari. Getting up early in the morning was indeed worthwhile. Have you been to be a safari, if yes then which one ?