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  1. This is about June 2016 travel to Tadoba Tiger reserve from Hyderabad. In Jan-2016 I had traveled Chopta and Munsiyari in Uttarakand with another three new travelers met first time at Delhi. One of them Mr. Pandey is from Nagpur and he asked me to come down to Nagpur for visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and booked safari a couple of months before for 12th June 2016 . Till then I had no experience of any forest safary and I was excited to see many wild animals. Mean time our travel friends planned for Ladakh tour in the last week of June, 2016 (25-06-2016). It was one of the dream destination and I know it will be difficult and expensive if I go alone and said OK and booked flight/train to Delhi and back. Then started thinking it will be hectic for two tours in two weeks. But Pandey who is also coming for Ladakh trip did not agree and made me to visit Tadoba. Day 1 On 11th June we started at 5.00 Hrs in my car from Hyderabad. My wife and son were with me. We are two drivers and had a back seat to sleep if needed. We reached Nirmal by 8.00 Hrs entered town leaving NH44 and had breakfast at Hotel Mayuri. Breakfast was good but when we had lunch next year, it was very bad. We joined NH44 through old NH7 road. Reached Nagpur by 13.00 Hrs and Pandey's home by 13.30. Roads up to Adilabad were excellent. Four lane work and Underpass works at Hingenghat (about 30 Kms) not completed and have to change lanes and pass through the villages. Road at places in this section also not good. After that till Nagpur roads are good. One more travelmate Mr. Jagtap from Betul (MP) who is mine safety officer in Western Coal Fields (WCF) and a native of Nagpur was supposed to join us with his family in his car. But due to some fire accident in a coal mine he could not join us. Our plan was to reach WCF guest house at Murpar which is about 15 Kms away from Navegaon Gate of Tadoba Reserve and stay overnight and reach the gate early in the morning. We started from Nagpur at about 17.00 Hrs and reached Murpar by 19.45 Hrs. While entering Chandrapur district at Umred check-post, local police stopped our car for checking and found one whiskey bottle in our luggage which was kept by Pandey. The police told me that alcohol is banned in chandrapur district and we can not carry. I said I am from Hyderabad and I do not the local rules and never imagined that a particular district will have a ban. He looked at Pandey in the car and asked he is from Maharashtra and how come he do not know. I said he does not know about it and i brought it my self. Some how he took away the bottle and allowed us to proceed further. So those who are travelling to Tadoba please do not carry alcohol. By the time we reached Chimur which is a little bigger town close to Navegaon Gate, it started drizzling and when we took right turn at Khadsangi for Murpar, heavy downpour started and visibility was hardly 20 mtrs in head lights. Left turn at Khadsangi will lead to Navegaon gate. Mr. Jagtap booked the guest house at WCF mine area, Murpar. We found one Telugu cook in the guest house and when we told him about Umred check post incident, he said we are too lucky to be let off, otherwise they arrest and harras for carrying alcohol. When we asked about dinner he said other than non veg, he will prepare any thing. Non Veg has to be brought from Chimur some 12 Kms away and it is not possible at that time and that too in heavy rain. We ordered roti, dal and sabji with omlets. Mean time me and pandey went to Khadsangi in the rain and enquired about safari vehicles. we were told that there is no need to book in advance and Gypsy cars will be available at the gate as per the serial and as many as permitted for the day/session. We had dinner and had good sleep. Day 2 We got up early and reached Navegaon gate before 5.30 Hrs. We found only one car before us at the gate. We went to gate office and booked a safari car and engaged a Guide. Safari car is for Rs. 600 and Guide Rs.350 (That's what I remember). Sky is clear and we found water of previous night's rain on the roads pot holes. We entered the forest by 5.45. Our guide said it is always advantage of more sightings if your car is first and it proved correct. Myself with wife and kids of Pandey The first site before entering the core area Second sighting a glimpse of bear Then a Jackal There were lot of birds and I could not shoot them as I do not have a proper lens. The same bear came out of the forest and crossed our path. We were told that Tiger will come here but after waiting enough time he did not turned up. There are many deers and Neelgai Obviously not happy with our presence Canter from Moharli gate Now many jeeps arrived and waiting at a water hole for the arrival of the Big Cat. But it did not show up and the our morning session ended. Little disappointed and our guide was telling us that people make more than six safaris and go back without seeing a Tiger. We had a booking for afternoon safari also. With a little hope we returned to our guest house. On the way back from morning safari Padey with our Driver and Guide. Will continue with after noon Safari..
  2. As civilization got us out of the jungle, it’s funny – how we keep running back to the jungle floor often to experience the best in life. The package of adventure, thrill, safari and simplicity together have a very different taste. The balance between wildlife and green nature have unparallel beauty to offer for those who enjoy such life. Just when summer was reaching its height, I hit the hot iron to get the best out of it. Without a second thought, I knot Tadoba for one night and brought my untouched experience to an end – burst the balloon of Safari, adventure, thrill, wild life, everything you can imagine in the jungle to enjoy them for next twenty-four hours. Tadoba has main four gates for the safari experience. There are many guest house and resorts that will suit your taste and budget. However, it is recommended you do research online before selecting a location for stay. The government guest houses are also neat and decent. We picked Svasara Jungle resort at Korala Gate which is just a stone throw away from the resort. The road trip from Hyderabad to Korala ghat just 8 hours’ drive ( 450 KMs) . The National Highway 44 is not only smooth and brilliant, it has amazing scenic beauty. As you drive as early as the sunrise, you will get smitten by the scenic beauty for most of the stretch of the drive. I would recommend after Adilabad , take a turn through Maregaon ( SH 6 ) which is equally beautiful and have smooth road till you enter Maharastra. The track from MH border to Tadoba Korala Gata is unfortunately under construction and need your patience . It not only slows down your speed, it can literally eat up your fun and energy for one hour! However remember all comes his way he who waits! Just cross this hell and you are right at the gate of Svasara Resort. The resort is very decent and has close to 20 cottages. Best thing is all of them are same , so you don’t need to worry on look and feel. They do have a great social area for meeting all the residents of the resort. This brings a lot of dialogue and sharing of experience among the residents after or just before the safari. Both Ranjit and Nandita are the managers of the resort and they are extremely down to earth, customer focused ,interactive. They spend considerable time talking to everyone and build up a rapport. The place is neat, well maintained with modern facilities and antic show pieces. They arrange fresh face towels, lemon juice , tea and water every time they welcome you at the resort. The preparation for lunch, dinner, breakfast are also great!. They do load your jeep with plenty of munching and eating options along with bottles of water, juice, tea and coffee. Our First safari was at 3.00 PM. It was an experience to remember, document, repeat and share with all for sure. At the entry gate your ID card is checked for verification if the booking details match with the ID document. I didn’t go and present myself at the office. The driver from my resort took care of it. If you want you can wear forest dress which one ideally should do during these safaris and go ahead and explore the forest. The safari runs you through either buffer zone or core area. The first safari was at buffer zone but we still had an opportunity to see animals in this area. The heat in summer is so so high, it brings almost all the animals type to the pond or lake to drink water. We were lucky enough to spot whole bunch of bears scrubbing against the bark of the trees and howling loud enough to cold your blood. Had most close look of wild boar, fox, wild dogs, peacock, monkeys, squirrel, birds of different sizes and colors and of course bison and different variety of deer’s. However, the beauty lies when the action heroine walks in with her cubs and roars ! The thrill was – aww struckking! Only flash, camera and light glitter for the entire time she is around. The lady walks in, drinks water and goes away as if she sees no one around. We have Tiger Maya, Tiger Junabai and Hero Matkasur. The luck of each one of us was shining just before the sunset and the time we were to step out of the forest floor, we had this opportunity to see the mother and the cubs for 2 minutes or so. Rest of the evening went in swimming, having conversations with other residents of the resort and exploring the property and early dinner. The weather was just cool and translated to heavy rainfall later in the evening with thunder and strong winds. Though we were little disappointed wondering if we can see animals next day but who knows what is in store for you. Next day early morning we were ready for Sarafi at the core zone of Korla gate. It was dark and quite breezy from the last night heavy shower and lightning. At the entrance of the gate, your driver collects your ID card for authenticating entry in the core zone. The core area is almost 16 to 18 kms inside the forest from the entrance and has awesome view. The curvy roads with thick forest on both sides, the smell of soil and the waiting surprise of spotting a tiger or any animal is way too exciting for the travelers. Though 90% of the times its your luck to spot the tiger, the credibility lies on our guide too. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the same guide next morning and found tagged with someone who is jack of all trades but definitely master of nothing. He started giving too much details about the forest which was quite engaging but in leading his experience he took us way to too beautiful spots where no one was driving to spot a tiger. Result? We were the only fools to fool around the forest and see other timid animals all across and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the jungle and missed tiger and tigress atleast twice . We parked in lakes, we parked at the edge of a small upside hill, we parked in open farming like space but we failed to spot a tiger. However, whenever we were crossing some spots where other jeeps were parked for spotting a tiger, we spotted the thrill and excitement of the other visitors – because their guide was not our guide and they filmed, clicked, shot photographs of great Maya & Matkasur , every time they were seen and spotted. As the clock ticked each time, time was flying away for us to be back on road and return to Hyderabad. Though we knew we wanted to stay more and have another safari, another experience, another taste, another click, but still went ahead towards our car and started for Hyderabad midday…. Only two excitements were carrying with us – the on going discussion of the vision of the tigress, her cubs and of course the beauty of the road lies ahead of us again on NH 44 on our way back home. Some pictures from other sources. @friends and @resort
  3. A day to be remembered forever, 2016 is the year that I have joined in this beautiful group since then Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve was always on my bucket list. many attempts planned since then and nearly after two years, I got the chance to go. I don't want to stress more on the routes and other details as there are enough threads regarding the same. rather I would like to share my favourite photos that I have shot in my three days stay and safari at Pangdi and Madnapur gate. never the less I will share with you people some necessary information like stay, safari details, gates, and some knowledge of wildlife that I have gained. Started at 6:00 in the morning from Kompally and reached by 3:00 in the afternoon. remember that no one can help you with the routes. it's always better to contact someone at the resort and ask them to guide you in person. except for Jio, no other sim card is going to work. I stayed at Mahua Tola Resorts, I can say that it is the best in the place. a bit on the higher side, yet friendly staff, manager and good food. we were the only family the three days and never we felt insecure. Manager Shukla is a very nice person, he will come with us to the Safari and make it a very memorable and enjoyable one. Coming to the safari, it's always good to ask the resort people to book. because at the gate I have seen few facing some problems. if it's the resort people, its hassle free. this is personal opinion though. As people say, it's not so easy to spot a tiger. a tiger spotting depends on our luck. a tiger mainly sits just beside or few meters away from us inside the forest, yet not visible most of the time. it's just because of the bamboo trees. Tadoba is full of bamboo trees and that makes it very difficult to spot one even if it near us. you will be tempted by the pugmarks, but not always you'll see a tiger. I was really lucky to spot Tigress Junabai with her cubs on my last day safari with the resort manager Shukla at Madhapur gate. Ultimate sightings I can say. It is my father who spotted her while she was resting under a tree shade few meters away from us covered with bamboo trees. I'm not a pro, yet telling my experience with the camera focusing modes and how I got a perfect focus mode settings by experimenting and with the knowledge I have on focus modes which I have learnt studying few books, articles and discussing it in our WhatsApp group. The device, Sony Alpha A6000 with 55-210mm zoom lens. manual mode, shutter speed around 1/500 and above, ISO range 4000 (thanks to my cameras high ISO range ie, 25600), Aperture F:6.3 Focus Mode: Auto, Focus Area: Wide, Metering Mode: Multi This was the mode that I have shot at first only to get the defocused face of a tiger. Thought "this is over, I'm not going to get any more beautiful photos". thought of the focusing modes and settings I have learnt before and adjusted it again to try my luck. Focus Mode: Auto, Focus Area: Centre, Metering Mode: Spot And then I got some amazing pictures. Used Auto Focus Continues while the subject was moving and I can say that this is the camera for super fast autofocus. never missed a detail while shooting with this in AF-C mode. You can check out the langur monkey and male spotted deer jumping. shot in AF-C mode with shutter sped around 1/1000 or above. couldn't get a zoomed one because of the lens.
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