This is the first travel after joining the group and happened on the suggestion of the group in Whatsapp.
I saved a lot of leaves for traveling to the USA this October/November. But due to some reasons, that tour did not materialised and some 13 leaves were left to be utilised in December. First I had availed 3 days leaves from 12th Dec.
First day I had attended a marriage engagement at Hyderabad and two more days plus Saturday & Sunday were with me. I wanted to go out only for 2 days and as per the suggestions of the group decided to visit Sagar on 13th & 14th.
I made a booking in Tourism Hotel Vijay Vihar at Vijayapuri in the morning before starting. Me and my wife started at 10.10 Hrs from Hyderabad and reached Sagar by 13.00 Hrs with a stop at OOR exit on Sagar road to meet a family friend for 15 Min. and had a late breakfast at a way side hotel. (another 30 Min).
Had buffet lunch in tourism hotel and out in car by 14.00 Hrs.
My friend in Sagar project arranged for a visit to the dam and inside dam (inspection galleries). Generally visitors are not permitted to go on to earth dam and main dam for security reasons. Mean time local person called me asked us to reach the dam by 15.00 hrs as the staff have gone for lunch.
Then we made a round in the hill colony where I had stayed for couple of years in the childhood. With great difficulty I could able to find out the quarters where we had stayed. All the Sagar quarters are now seems to be occupied by locals unauthorised including some top politicians.
Quarter where I stayed in childhood
We made a round up to the road bridge on Krishna river in front of the dam and came back to Earth Dam. Took permission from special police and entered on to it by 15.00 Hrs. We were asked not stop the car in between and not to click any photos. So we obeyed.
Views of either side over the road bridge.
When we reached main dam, the security staff received my car number and opened the gate and allowed us over the dam. After speaking to Irrigation AE, we stopped at first tower (Lift).
Then we were guided in to the lift and taken to first inspection gallery at 140 Feet Down from top. There is an exit towards spillways side and a ramp which will lead us to first spill way on left bank. We did not carried the camera, but we took some snaps with mobiles.
Three more inspection galleries are available below the one we visited. Lift for the same was having some problem and we did not go down further.
These galleries are used to check the health of the dam. at every 10 Mtrs tel tale vents area available and the water leakage from these will indicate the internal leakages and the health of the dam. These galleries also used for repairing any leakages (How I do not know). We were told that every day morning staff will inspect all the four galleries each is of a length of a 1000 mtrs.
After spending some time inside, we came on to the dam. due to heavy clouds and fog, we could not see the water in dam properly. With great difficulty we could able click some photos.
After thanking the irrigation official we went to Ethipothala falls. We were not expecting any water in the falls but there were some.
On the way back to hotel we had clicked sunset over the Sagar Dam. We could not get it exactly over the gates area.
We came back to hotel before it was too dark and spent the time sitting in the balcony with Sagar backwater view. (Though the water is not visible due to fog)
End of day One.
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 plan 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 and 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 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 see, 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.
Here are the pictures.
PS: I have written Neelghai female. but that's a male Sambar deer.
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th