Alwar and Sariska Tiger Reserve

Yes, this is a real live tiger!

Yes, this is a real live tiger!

 

We leave Sawarda and are back on the road again by 8:45 and soon pass the village and back to the main highway where we retrace our way to the fringes of Jaipur before heading off to our next destination, Alwar. After a couple of hours we stop at a midway town, Shahpur, which is a truck stopping point. Trucks of all kinds are everywhere along both sides of the road. After morning tea we are on the move again. The landscape changes from flat to quite hilly and we make our way through villages along a valley for a few more hours. Lunch is yet to happen! Eventually we reach our stopping place the Alwar Bugh resort, a sensational place. All the rooms surround a central courtyard. We are all allocated rooms on the first floor up. Ours is room 115, a huge corner room with the biggest king size bed we’ve ever seen. Then it is down to the dining room where we meet up with another Peregrine group for snacky lunch of sandwiches, chips and Indian paratha bread. After that we grab our gear for the main event of the day. We are going back down the road about half an hour to the Sariska Tiger Reserve. On arrival we split up into small groups to be driven in open air jeeps. We travel with Gerry and Janet in the seat behind us. We check in at the gate and then head down the road. Very soon we are stopping to see a mongoose and several deer. After a while we stop to listen for sounds of wildlife. Nothing is identified. However, the naturalist in charge of our group soon gets a phone call, a tiger has been spotted! So off we go back, taking a turn to the right down a narrower track. Our driver is a madman, but good! A short distance along we meet up with two rangers who have a tracking antenna and for a quick bribe they give more detailed instructions to the tiger’s location. Off we go again, bumping along. As we take a bend we come upon a number of other jeeps. Obviously now every jeep knows. We edge in closer. There he is, basking in a shallow creek. Karen checks him out on the binoculars while I zoom in on the camera, trying to take photos that aren’t too out of focus. We manoeuvre around to allow other vehicles in. Unfortunately the tiger is disturbed and moves. We turnaround and start to leave the area. There just to our left is another tiger, or is it the same one. We start to turn on our cameras but the driver quickly backs up a bit, apparently we are too close. We have forgotten there is actually a danger in being this close to a wild beast. We start to exit this track, only to be stopped by the boss ranger. Our crew is fined 500 rupees for leaving their designated zone. For the next few hours we drive around the reserve along different tracks, spotting various other birds, lizards and deer. The afternoon is culminated with an amazing sunset. As darkness arrives we head back to our resort. We shower and change for dinner. When we come down to the area just outside the dining room we are treated to yet another performance by local musicians, dancers and jugglers. One of them uses bike wheels as part of his balancing act. By the end of it Karen and I are part of the dance routine. It is great fun, even if a bit embarrassing. Dinner is buffet style with chicken masala tikka, several veggie dishes, rice, breads and even salad items. We sit and chat. This is our last night together as this large group. We split tomorrow with eight heading back to Delhi and seven of us continuing on with our guide Shailendra. By the time all the speeches are over we head up to our enormous bed dreaming of tigers!

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One thought on “Alwar and Sariska Tiger Reserve

  1. Wow! That was pretty close!
    One needs to be really lucky to spot a Tiger this close. I once saw a Tiger for almost 30 mins at a watering hole in Bandhavgarh National Park. The animal was phenomenal. It was an unbelievable experience!

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