The Forests of Madhya Pradesh in India – Part One

Tuesday, December 1, 2015posted by Bruce 6:32 PM

A Safari to Four National Parks and Tiger Reserves

‘Ghost of the Darkness’…a leopard crossing the main road in Bandhavgarh on Dewali Day, Nov. 11th, 2015.

The short flight of only three and half hours from Bangkok to New Delhi is just about right for me in this day and age of long distance traveling. I had organized another safari to India from November 8-28th in order to fill my galleries of wildlife photos from there. This was my forth trip to the sub-continent and was on my way to the State of Madhya Pradesh in the central region. Four different protected areas or tiger reserves as they are called there were chosen for this jaunt.

The first afternoon was spent in Delhi to stock up on some snacks like raisins, nuts and dark chocolate, and to work on getting my kit together for the up-coming trips into the forest. I took my Nikon D3s and a Nikon 200-400 VRII prime lens plus a D300s with a 70-200 VRII as my second along with several other short lenses and equipment which included a Nikon D3000 camera trap and external flashes and sensor. It was early to bed for the next morning’s 2-hour flight to Jabalpur further south. Then it was a 3-hour taxi ride east to my first location on a 20-day trip. The King’s Lodge in Bandhavgarh would be my home for the next four days.

Sub-adult male from a tiger named Shukhi Patiya coming out of hiding.

Bandhavgarh National Park and Tiger Reserve is quite famous have been covered by National Geographic years ago when Michael “Nick” Nichols photographed tigers in the park. He also used camera traps and got some amazing images of the big cats over a year that were published in the magazine. BBC has also done several documentaries on tigers here. It is well visited by foreign and local tourists wanting to see these amazing carnivores up-close. However, they are not that easy to spot anymore in the dense forest found here and lot’s of luck is needed too.

There are three zones (1-2-3) that are allocated when the on-line bookings are made. My first three days in Zone One with morning and afternoon safaris turned up empty handed. The festival of Dewali (Festival of Light) was going on and the park was closed on the 11th Nov so I opted for a safari in the ‘buffer zone’ but again flipped out. On our way back to the lodge however, a leopard jumped in front of the jeep and I managed one abstract shot of the fast cat crossing the road. Luck was about to change for the better.

A tigress named ‘Dottie’ on the road in the afternoon and she was my second tiger that day.

The next morning, I was slated to go into Zone Two. This was my last day and I began to have my doubts that I would get a tiger, as sightings were very low. That morning while touring in the jeep, we met an Indian family and I stated that things had not been too good. The lady in the other jeep said my luck was about to change as I was under a Banyan Tree (Strangler Fig). We carried on for about 100 meters or so and turned a corner and, came face to face with another set of jeeps waiting on something about 50 meters away. It was a sub-adult male tiger hiding in the bush along side the road. He then stepped out of the forest and slowly crossed the road. My camera did not stop until he re-entered on the opposite side. Now, that is some serious luck in such a short time.

I could not believe what I had just seen and then remembered the ‘banyan tree’ and what the lady had said: buy a coconut, joss sticks and pray at a little shrine by the side of the road named ‘Ti Mama’. After lunch, we went into the market and got both items but as the gate was about to open, rushed back to Zone Two. About a half-hour in, we bumped into a mature female tiger named ‘Dottie’ standing in the road.

Chital or spotted deer buck w

A chitlal or spotted deer buck: They are the main prey species for tiger in the park.

We were the only ones there and I did not stop shooting until she stepped into the forest on the other side. We went around the corner and we could just make her out as she laid down for a rest. Then the jeep hordes showed up and it turned into madness, as everyone wanted to see the tiger. The female finally got up and left, and that was that. Two tigers in one day! I would say my luck had changed and I felt really great at connecting with Mother Nature. We stopped by the little shrine on the way back to the lodge, and I thanked the spirits for some really great luck.

I would like to thank all my friends at the King’s Lodge, Pugdundee Safaris and the Forest Department in Bandhavgarh.

To be continued: Next is Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve..!

 



Comments are closed.

She accessed information regarding laparoscopic surgical procedures, and was attracted to the experience, expertise and qualifications of dr osama badran, a world-renowned laparoscopic surgeon specializing in women's gynecological surgeries in jordan. nhotservices.com.au/lap-112737/ P. viagra takes how long to work Some studies, of small numbers of women, have indicated that women who have had two liveborn children have one-half the risk of developing uterine fibroids compared to women who have had no children. 4department of acupuncture and moxibustion, chi-nese academy of traditional chinese medicine, beijing, chinacontact address: yan zhang, the department of acupuncture, beijing traditional chinese medicine hospital, capital med-ical university, no. djclaudio.net/jey-112822/ http://fwnearsouthside.com/uix-110689/ Please see our terms of use. 5 taking beauty care products: many women without the guidance of a doctor, or pills containing estrogen drugs, supplements and some beauty skin beauty supplies, deliberately or imperceptibly increased estrogen levels. http://meeting-training.com/csx-114644/ there may also be pain during intercourse, depending on the location of the fibroid. http://grcounselling.com.au/nxc-111975/ 4department of acupuncture and moxibustion, chi-nese academy of traditional chinese medicine, beijing, chinacontact address: yan zhang, the department of acupuncture, beijing traditional chinese medicine hospital, capital med-ical university, no. Pelvic pain pressure from tumor growth can result in dull, aching pelvic pain. http://vinader.com/emg-110277/ Valckx , i. http://artcopbd.com/nfi-112301/ 5 taking beauty care products: many women without the guidance of a doctor, or pills containing estrogen drugs, supplements and some beauty skin beauty supplies, deliberately or imperceptibly increased estrogen levels. A tube, called a catheter, will be put into your bladder to empty it. viagra does young men