Tadoba – An enticing jungle

Episode: Drive towards tadoba & Jungle book experience in imax

A yearly trip to Tadoba was planned by Prashanth and team without further delay I gave my acceptance. The plan was to drive in 2 cars, we started on 21st March 2016 at 3.00am.

Priya (Goldie’s Wife) was generous enough to prepare breakfast for all of us Puliyogre and Curd rice with lot of sweets and mixtures made our early morning drive pleasant. We continued towards Hyderabad, after long debate it was decided to visit Shah Ghouse restaurant for biryani and mango falooda.

An evening plan was to watch The Jungle Book in Imax theater. It was my first experience in Imax I thoroughly enjoyed. Now we are off to TADOBA….

Goldie cruised towards Tadoba. We reached check post at 4.30 am. I was so much excited to be in the wilderness for next few days.


Episode: Encounter of Wagdoh male

In all my past visits to Tadoba, I had never spotted massive dominant male Tiger Wagdoh which ruled Telia lake of the Moharli range for a while.

Without further delay, we rushed towards buffer zone gate by 6.00am we were lucky enough to park our jeep in a promising position, silence had taken over after an hour of wait, the leaves crumbled under his claws…the birds flew for life… the growl shook the ground… a huge figure was behind the bush… there came the Big daddy of Tadoba. Phew, I had never seen such a massive tiger in my life, his stare made everyone dumbstruck. Slowly he moved towards the water hole and settled down to quench his thirst. Thanks to the sun, the big fellow spent the next full hour cooling off in the water.


The tiresome journey was superseded by the sighting. The next 2 hours was spent in lodging. A heavy meal gave us enough energy for the evening safari.

Our evening safari was again in the buffer zone, but this time it was in anticipation to sight charming “Sonam” and her cubs (though I hate calling tigers with names, I am following the crowd J). The scorching heat and previous day’s travel made us fatigue. The hot breeze and bumpy roads made my eyelids shut effortlessly with great difficulty I was awake J. We came across a jeep which was halted near the waterhole, after enquiring we came to know that one of the subadult tiger crossed the road and vanished inside the jungle.

Even after 2 hours wait we could not see any wildlife, then decided to exit the gate as all of us were very tired. While having dinner Nirav called up and told a kill has been made by tiger. With lot of hope for next morning we snugged under the blanket.

Episode: Tigers feasting on Sambar kill

Next morning by 4.00am we were ready near the gate the news about sambhar kill had spread like a wild fire. All the Jeeps headed towards the same place everyone was eager to see some action. Unfortunately, our jeep was behind the crowd after putting lot of effort we managed to see sambar half eaten. I could recollect a narration by Kenneth Anderson on how a Tiger devours its kill.

The quietness was killed by acceleration of jeeps hurriedly they moved out of the place, I was very curious to know what was happening my mind was already questioning me did they see the tiger?? Are there any cubs?? Is it a male Tiger ?? the answer was…None. They all moved towards Pandarpowni waterhole in search of Maya & cubs. Our fellow group also took the decision to follow the crowd.

The guide wanted to know if we should do the same by following the crowd? my answer was no, we decided to wait for some more time, being the only jeep in the vicinity we took an opportunity to park our vehicle in the most favorable position for photography. Finally, the moment set in my heart beat thumped, I felt a sudden adrenaline rush and I am sure my heart skipped a beat, there came a Tiger after Tiger after Tiger !!! J what a way to thank our patience.

The next one hour with this family was invaluable…. it started enjoying the meal and we enjoyed the priceless gift in front of us watching them shear the meat into parts… cubs playing… a friendly snarl. Few minutes later range officer arrived the jeep sound disturbed the happy meal time mother tiger lifted its head and growled. I must say it was a life time experience seeing the blooded canines…

Even after 2 hours wait we could not see any wildlife, then decided to exit the gate as all of us were very tired. While having dinner Nirav called up and told the tiger has made a sambar deer kill. With lot of hope we snugged under the blanket.


The evening safari ended up in sighting gaurs and few birds like Black Shoulder Kite, sambar deer’s, Indian Scoops Owl and Lesser Fish Eagle.


Our only talk at dinner time was about the sighting we had regrettably our friends missed the show, they consoled themselves by seeing the pics.

 Episode: date with tigers @ Kolara zone

The passion kept us moving we were all set for morning safari J. Most of the crowd and our fellow mates wanted to visit the sambar kill, but we decided to wander around kolara gate. I recollected my memories of sighting Tigress and the Tiger within span of 30 mins (read here) in the same game road.

A jeep had halted heeding strong alarm calls, as we approached they left the place and we stayed back. Being watchful we scanned each nook of the forest.

I caught a moment in the bush it took me few seconds to realize it was the tiger, within no time I whispered “Tiger!! Tiger!!” everyone looked at my direction, but none could spot until it came out of the bush.

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We had nice time watching her game of in and out for almost an hour. Our presence didn’t bother her the crowd started coming in to see the charming female.


Everyone were busy clicking the photos, I accidentally turned to my left for no reason ahhh another tiger standing in the bush. I couldn’t believe my eyes I again whispered “Tiger!! Tiger!!” my friends thought I am referring to the same one, until I completely moved to my left and started clicking the photo. There came a huge male tiger from the bush J what a luck J no words to express. The male tiger crossed the road and vanished into the jungle.

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We returned from the safari with big smile on our faces, the other group had to satisfy themselves by watching our pics.

Episode: Action in Buffer zone

It was our final day left with 2 safaris; early morning schedule was to visit buffer zone where a tigress and 3 cubs made its territory. Guide drove us straight to a waterhole the weather was gloomy an hour of wait with patience dint fetch any sightings apart from roller, lesser fish eagle.

Then we decided to hit the game road to try our luck while roaming the forest Nirav got a call from his dad saying they had spotted the cubs in the other water bed within 10 mins we reached the waterhole and got to see the glimpse of the cubs playing in the water, the mother was resting in the thicket which was very difficult for us to spot.


Episode: Maya & cubs Pandurpowni meadows

The evening and final safari started with guaranteed sightings of Maya and cubs in Pandurpowni meadows.

By the time we reached the meadows the place was crowded with jeeps the cubs were already in the water playing happily, with so many people we dint get chance to sight the complete family however I was really happy about the overall sightings at TATR the count went up to 14 individual tigers …. 🙂

We signed off from Tadoba and started our journey towards Bangalore.


Tadoba –the abode of the wild…..

When a man wants to murder a tiger, it’s called sport; when the
tiger wants to murder him it’s called ferocity.
– George Bernard Shaw

Tadoba is always special to me, when it comes to sightings it has never disappointed me. Waking up to the chills of early morning, to watch tigers ramble, to hear the breathtaking roar, to catch a glimpse of dholes which are on prowl, Tadoba always has its small packages of surprises in store for me. Be a part of my wildlife odyssey to Tadoba to experience the magic.

This time it was a new clique who joined me for TATR – Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

[Amit, Sindhu, Gowri, Amruth, Deepthi and Ashank
We reached Chandrapur by train on 28th Jan 2013 by 4.00Pm. My friend Shalik Jogwe had arranged transportation to Moharli MTDC. By evening 6.30Pm we checked in to our rooms and relaxed for the day.
The next morning was our first safari, we woke up by 4.30Am in the biting cold and packed our camera bags and waited for Ganesh our jeep driver to pick us up to Moharli gate. Ours was the first vehicle to reach the gate; Nilakant, our guide joined us at 5.45Am and we started the most thrilling game safari. 

Nilakant took us to Jamoon jhora via Telia Lake, since we could not find any fresh pug marks near Telia Lake we continued on the trail. 2 vehicles were already present at Jamoon jhora waterhole waiting for the glimpse of the tiger. According to sources, tiger movement had been seen in the same vicinity for the past couple of days. Our jeep was parked at suitable location which helped in clear sighting of the beast. Several other wildlife enthusiasts visited the waterhole but dint care to wait. Our guide was persistent about us staying put where ever we were. After a complete 3 hour wait, just out of nowhere, not even the sound of the leaves rustle, the tiger appeared through the meadows. The excited murmur of everyone as they spotted the tiger was indeed a great moment. And there it was, walking majestically towards the waterhole, unperturbed by the sound and commotion, to enjoy its morning exercise. We could hear only the sound of clicks and all of us where awakened in seeing the beauty drinking water, it was one of the sub adult tiger of Wagdho’s family.

 After few minutes its sibling also gave company, we were totally carried away in sighting 2 tigers at one shot and for me it was first time in my life to behold the scene.

It was time to retreat after marvelous sightings of big cats.

After a good lunch at Saras resort recapitulating the photographs captured in the morning safari and talking about the experience we passed our time waiting for second safari to begin. Ganesh our driver parked the jeep first to enter the game road.
We met eminent wildlife photographers
3. Mr. Malikarjun
5. Adhi Nagaraj Gowda
They all were very humble, down to earth, with immense knowledge about photography and wildlife conservation; we were amazed to see their collection of photographs. It is amazing and I need not certify as everyone knows about them. These masters gave us tips on photography; they shared their wildlife experiences and many more. The company for future safaris was truly red hot…
The second safari started at 2.30Pm, Nilakant guided Ganesh to drive straight to Jamun jhora waterhole. As expected all the vehicles drove in the same direction. The reason being very obvious….TIGERS HAS BEEN SIGHTED AT    THE WATERHOLE….
Ganesh approached the waterhole slowly and parked the vehicle aptly. And behold… 2 tigers were already there resting on the boulder under the shade. It was only a matter of time when a third tiger came into the picture and joined the others.

The muteness absorbed the surrounding for a while we could only hear shutter clicks; it was filled with fun and thrill to watch playful tigers. We spent good quality time for more than 3 hours in the evening. It was an awesome experience in the wild recapping about the extraordinary encounters.

With exaltation we started our morning safari hoping to sight the tigers again. We directly drove to Jamun Jhora. Even after 2 hours wait no action took place, it was time to leave and head to other game routes.

The morning safari yielded no sightings of wildlife other than few birding like White eye buzzard, Shikra, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Jungle Myna, Black shouldered Kite, Oriental Magpie Robin and few more to say.
After lunch we all gathered for second safari we passed our time by discussing about morning wildlife sightings and understood none of them got a chance to sight a tiger at Jamun Johra waterhole.
We entered the game route with greater expectations; this time we did not wait near Jamun Jhora instead we took Telia route and also visited Pandarpouni waterhole. However we were not blessed with tiger sightings that evening, it was time to leave the park and Neelkant suggested hitting the Kolsa main road and traversing Kolsa range might yield us in some sighting.

We moved on examining each nook of the forest for any action to take place. As we drove on the main road I saw a small animal crossing the road, it took me a few seconds to realize that it was the leopard. I was taken by surprise and nudged my driver to slow down but he could not understand and stopped the vehicle suddenly. The leopard got a hint of our presence and fled to the nearby scrubs. A glimpse of the stealth predator made us feel really happy and it also proved Neelkant has good knowledge about tracking and the Tadoba forest range.

After having dinner we relaxed for sometime playing UNO cards for an hour or so.

The next morning was our final day at tadoba, we had 2 safaris to toss our luck. It was windy and nail biting cold had engulfed the range. With hot sip of coffee we started our wildlife odyssey, as a routine check we drove straight to Jamun Jhora without any luck we moved towards Telia waterhole even there we could not trace any pugmarks. On the way to Pandarapouni waterhole we spotted 2 wild dogs which were relaxing on the roadside, it looked like their stomach was filled with  lavish meal, and as proof we saw spotted deer’s leg in its mouth it showed the clear indication of a kill.


We were not fortunate enough to sight the biggest male tiger [Wagdoh male] which crossed the road once we left the pit stop.
While returning we spotted a male guar beside the road which was calmly grazing and Rufus Tree pie which was busy cleaning the flies which are usually near eye lashes. Our morning safari came to an end without any sightings of big cats.
In the noon after lunch we spent some time photographing few birds near MTDC Lake, we could spot few migratory ducks, common hawk cuckoo aka brain fever bird, Black headed Ibis, Asian open billed storks, Painted storks, spotted owlet, Pied Starlings and few more.
We gathered near Mohrli gate for the safari at 2.15Pm, scorching heat was making us feel tiresome. Our plan was to go over kolsa range without waiting at any other waterholes. As we entered the track the pugmarks were visible in the path but we could not pick up after 200 mtrs. Nevertheless we moved on with hopes, two farmers came running in the field, we stopped our jeep to know why they came running and found a tiger is sleeping near by Nullah [water body]. An hour of wait near the nullah did not yield any sighting other than a loud roar.
During this time a rare mammal, four horned antelope also called as Chousinga crossed our way, it stopped for a minute and evaded from our sight.
Our trip came to an end without any sighting of cats that evening. It was a memorable trip to tadoba.
The harmony between wildlife and nature can truly be experienced just by being in midst of it. The call of the wild and the sound of the wind is all it takes for a person to fall in love with nature. Well… just by being in love isn’t enough… is it??? Taking care matters.
Conserve wildlife…conserve forest!!!
Mode of transportation we took:
Departure from Bangalore
         – Bangalore to kachiguda express – 6.15pm
         – train number 12786
Departure from hyderabad by kachiguda to chandrapur
        – secundarabadh jn to chandrapur -10.00am
         -train number 12791
Departure from chandrapur
        -dakshin express : chandrapur to secundarbadh
        – train number 12722
Departure from kachiguda
       -kachiguda yehvanthpur express

– train number 17603

Tadoba tales…

20th Dec 2011

Amidst our busy schedule we had managed to extract 5 days in December to visit TATR. Travel reservations were done 90 days in advance. We were just waiting for the arrival of the big day.. dec 20. The wait was over, next day at 9.00Am all of us me [Amit, Sindhu, Kathik, Veena, Ganesh, Pavan] team was geared up to TATR aka [Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve] at Chandrapur, Maharashtra.

This is my second trip to TATR after a long gap of 2 years. Me and sindhu reached railway station on 20th Dec 2011 at 8.30 am, just in time to know that our trains were delayed by 4 hours due to heavy fog in Itarsi and other northern parts of India. With low spirits I started calling fellow team mates to postpone their arrival.

Though Pavan, Karthik and veena landed up at 9.00Am. Mr. Ganesh my cousin grabbed the opportunity to treat his taste buds at the ever crowded Vidyarthi Bhavan to have mouth watering masala dosas…

I won’t take much of your time in narrating how we passed the time from 8.30Am to 12.00Pm. We went to Ayyappa temple next to railway station and had coffee after every half an hour.

After the long, boring wait the train finally pulled into the platform at 12.00 noon. Happily we boarded the train and settle down. An hour later we broke for mouth smacking variety of food packed from home.

Everything was smooth and nice until we were bored… the question on all our faces was what to do?? …. Pavan had the solution for this, he carried playing cards called UNO with him though he was also new to this game, he made an attempt to get KT about the game… believe it or not for next 5 days UNO became addiction to us…

We called our day by having dinner in the train.

21st Dec 2011 – Evening Safari

The train reached Chandrapur at 8.00Am. Shalik our good old friend who is a govt. school teacher and a wildlife enthusiast and photographer had arranged our pick-up from Chandrapur to Tadoba. We missed our first safari due to late arrival to TATR. Checked-in to resort Saras which is located just out skirt of moharli, relaxed for some time.

A jeep was dedicated to us for the next 2 days. At 2.00Pm the forest gates were opened for safari, we all were thrilled to be on the game road. Neelkanth was our guide for next 5 safaris. I will take few lines to introduce Neelkanth; He is one guide with very good knowledge on wildlife and tracking of tigers and other mammals. He was a dedicated guide for NGC filming “Secrets of wild India” which will be on air in mid 2012 at TATR.

The safari yielded in sighting of birds like Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Jungle Owlet, Plum headed parakeets, Drongos, Bush chats, Bea eaters, Munia, Yellow footed green pigeons and with few mammal sightings of sambar deer, spotted deers, Nilgai. We called our day with nice dinner at Saras resort.

22nd Dec 2011 “D-Day” – Morning Safari

The safari started at 6.30 Am and it was chilling outside. Few minutes drive we spotted White Eye Honey Buzzard which flew and perched on top of the tree. The light was very dim and could not photograph it. Neelkant wanted to visit “Koshe kana” range. Other jeeps that entered along with us took different routes like telia, katezari, kolsa ranges.

The game road was silent and exciting; all of us were keen on observing any movement of animals or birds which took flight. Neelkant observed the fresh pug marks on the track, he told us that a female tigress has walked on the track, we almost tracked the pug marks for more than a km.

Suddenly Karthik shouted “TIGER!! TIGER” seeing on left hand side. The first glimpse of tigress was a treat for all of us. the tigress went into nearby thickets on spotting us. Neelkant advised us to maintain pin-drop silence as it would come out of the bush after some time. It was hardly 5 mins of silence and patience, TIGER came out of the bush and started walking towards us on the jeep track. Luckily no other vehicles were lined up to see the beauty of koshe kana range. Clicked!! Clicked!! Clicked that is all we did. We watched the TIGER for more than 15 mins on the track walking towards us, and we were retracing our route to give enough space for the tigress.  it was our day and you can say a perfect date with tigress…

First glimpse of tigress rushing inside the bush…

Stopped our jeep for 15 mins in anticipating whether tigress would return back, but it dint turn up. The body & soul was filled with joy never expected a tiger would walk towards us with in such close proximity.
We moved on further, and again Neelkant observed the new pug marks on the same track after 2km of sighting the tigress, this time it was a male tiger. Hearing this from Neelkant it was unmatchable bliss to see a male tiger.
Neelkant shouted “TIGER!! TIGER” simultaneously pavan too joined the voice, he saw huge creature sitting beside the jeep track from binoculars. It took 10 secs to spot where the tiger was sitting. AHH right there…
 First glimpse of a KING…
I could not believe my eyes, as I am seeing 2 tigers back to back in less than 30 mins of time on the same jeep track. It got up majestically and went inside the bush, this time too Neelkant suggested us to be silent and we moved back our jeep 300 mtrs away.

Pheww!! TIGER came outside the bush and stared at us for more than a min. It was huge male tiger; I never dreamt in my life I would sight such a huge male tiger. The luck poured on us; it emerged on the track and started walking towards us. May be I can’t narrate more on how we felt; one should feel it.

Thrice it went into bush after coming nearer to our jeep and again we took back the jeep away for 100-200 mtrs and within 5 mins tiger would peep out and come to track. This happened three times and I don’t think we should expect anything more. TATR trip was fruitful kudos to Neelkant and cheers to team.

Finally 3 other jeeps came behind us and this time TIGER went into bush and dint turn up after a long wait of 1 hour. We moved forward with contented smile on each of us.
 22nd Dec 2011 “D-Day” – Evening Safari
The morning energizer – TIGER sighting was fresh in our mind evening safari commenced at 2.30Pm, it was scorching outside, meanwhile Neelkant decided to move towards “Kate Zari” zone as there was a tigress with 4 cubs and if we were lucky we could sight the cubs too. Slowly we moved on the road observing both sides… hmmm no signs or movement of animals or birds, we reached Kate Zari range at 3.30Pm also we found the pug marks on the track, again everyone of our expectation of sighting TIGER was in full swing. But every day is not a Sunday… we spotted chitals and sambar deers in abundant.

Neelkant spotted “Lesser Adjutant Stork” which is a migratory bird and vulnerable according to IUCN.

The eco system is balanced perfectly with mixture of chitals, langurs, lapwings and storks and many more animals in one single waterhole and grasslands.

The much waited tigress and its cubs dint turn up after waiting for long hours. We returned to moharli as it was time to leave.
 After dinner at saras we all sat playing UNO cards for 2 hours and went for a nap.
23rd Dec 2011 – Morning Safari

It was chilly morning drive inside the game root, Neelkant insisted to drive along koshe kana range once again, but we did not find any pug marks on the jeep track nor could we track the tiger in any form.

Further on we reached Telia range; this was the waterhole where I sighted tiger for the first time in TATR in 2009. Rest others were shocked to see the grasslands and serene beauty of TATR.

We stopped at telia for 10 mins and then drove towards pandra pavani, already 2 vehicles were lined up near waterhole they saw 2 tigers crossing the pandra pavani few mins back this was our first miss call of the day. Team dint move any further anticipating any movements. Time was slipping by we had to reach mohrali gate by 10.30.
Returning from safari we shared our experiences having poha[Avalaki] as breakfast at saras resort. We had shifted our stay from saras to MTDC.
Time was 1.00Pm when we settle down at MTDC and started playing UNO till our jeep arrived.
 23rd Dec 2011 – Evening Safari

The evening safari started at 2.00Pm. The plan included a slow drive towards telia, visit jamon jhura, wait till 4.30Pm and then again move on to telia.

We sighted sambars, chitals, brown shrike, mag-pie robin, ashy swallow, lapwings, rose-ringed parakeets, white eye honey buzzard, and jungle wabblers.


24th Dec 2011 – Morning Safari

Our last day at TATR, we had 2 more safaris and opportunity to sight wildlife. Morning cold had made us numb but it was the last chance to experience the amazing forest drive in the chilled weather. As planned, we decided to visit Vasanth Bandara range, drove along koshe kana.

Compared to other ranges, vasanth bandara is very calm with lush greenery. It has lot of birds to watch and photograph. On the move we just missed a drama which unfolded in front of us, it all happened in seconds and we were not able to capture the drama.

Time elapsed slowed as we drove through the jungle hoping for any movement. A sudden rustle of leaves drew our attention and we stopped the jeep. We witnessed the escape of a monitor lizard from the claws of death. A brown fish owl was denied of its prey.

The safari ended up in sighting sambars, lesser adjutant stork, chitals, and brown fish owl.
 24th Dec 2011 – Evening Safari – Missed Call drive.

It was our final safari; I would say it was a miss call evening, where we missed seeing 2 tigers and 1 leopard. Firstly we went to pandra pavani the time was 3.pm and RRU [Rapid Response Unit] patrolling team spotted a tiger on the same trail that we had just passed. This was our first missed call.

Further we moved on the track suddenly 2 wild dogs came into sight, it is the only animal which I have not missed in all my wildlife odysseys till date.

Forest itself is a treasure of surprises, we were following the wild dogs on the jeep track for more than 20 mins, and suddenly we encountered huge sambar deer on the jeep track. Prey and predator on the same frame, can’t believe it. Sambar became very alert and stamped the foot hard to ground when 2 wild dogs approached it. It was on high alert. It stared 2 wild dogs in fear, but wild dogs moved on silently.

First time in my experience I have encountered prey and predator in single frame. It was mesmerizing scene to all of us. Time was 4.30Pm when we planned to visit telia in the evening, on the jeep track while returning a group of chitals were on high alert starring in a particular direction. I insisted to stop the vehicle for some time and observe, but Neelkant told it might be a false alarm and we moved without stopping. When we approached the road we spotted a Jungle cat.

 Stopped for sometime and clicked few photos, it was a record shot to me. Then came the jeep which was behind us and showed us the photo of tiger which crossed when the deers where on high alert. Oh man this was our second missed call.

Had only few minutes in our pocket and Neelkant planned for jamun jhura, while travelling suddenly Neelkant stopped the jeep and told driver to take back. That is when we saw a sloth bear rushing inside the bush. It proved once again Neelkant is master tracker.

Time was 5.10Pm when we approached jamun jhura waterhole, driving along the waterhole we heard the alarm calls of langurs and chitals. Neelkant suggested to stop the jeep and wait for some time, quickly a vehicle in front of us moved and even we too moved slowly, we could only witness something moving very fast in front of us. Not realizing what it was we continued to look in the direction of the alarm calls. Guide who was sitting in the jeep in front of us told it was leopard. We noticed a langur lying dead on the ground; a fresh kill was made by the leopard. A third and final missed call of the evening.

To our fate train was delayed by 7 hours from the time of departure!!!

Hats of to TATR!! For the surprises it offered.

More pics on : Wildlife Odyssey
Birds spotted at TATR:
1. Indian Roller
2. Lapwing
3. Purple sunbird
4. Brown fish owl
5. Oriental Honey Buzzard
6. Grey headed fish eagle
7. Oriental mag-pie robin
8. Grey wagtail
9. Jungle Peafowl
10. Rose-ringed parakeet
11. Plum headed parakeet
12. White throated king fisher
13. Common kingfisher
14. Pied king fisher
15. Indian Pond Heron
16. Little Cormorants
17. Open Billed Stork
18. Lesser Adjutan Stork
19. Hoope
20. Jungle Babblers
21. Lesser flameback woodpecker
22. Scaly Breasted Munia
23. Yellow footed green pigeon
24. White Ibis
25. Spotted Dove
26. Darter
27. Drongo
28. Racket tailed drongo
29. Rufous tree pie
30. House crow
31. Jungle crow
32. Jungle Mynah
33. Green Bee Eater
34. Brahminy kite
35. Crested serpant Eagle
36. Red vented Bulbul
37. Red whiskered Bulbul
38. Large Brown Shrike
39. Barn owl

 Mammals spotted at TATR: 
1. Common Langurs

2. Spoteed Deers
3. Sambar Deers
4. Jungle cat
5. Nilgai / Blue bul
6. Crocodile
7. Wilddogs
8. Ruddy Mangoose
9. Tiger
10. Sloth Bear
11. Barking Deer
12. Wild Boar
13. Black napped hare




Tadoba – The Real Land of Tigers

It was our first wildlife odyssey outside Karnataka, Me, Karthik and Raghu planned for Tadoba after seeing “Telia- Tiger hunting a sambar” show in aajtak I started gathering information about “Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve aka TATR”, I read few blogs and did basic home work to reach TATR and found genuine source who can help the wildlife enthusiasts at the best to visit TATR.
Shalik Jogwe, young chap working as a teacher by profession in govt. school. Passionate towards wildlife conservation and photography, I called up Shalik and informed our visit to TATR and sent our itinerary. Safaris, Accommodation were booked and were ready for TATR.
Due to many reasons we did not get our train tickets and planned to travel by road. The route was: Bangalore à Hyderabad à Chandrapur à Tadoba, which was horrifying journey but our never ending passion did not stop in reaching TATR.
Telanganna issue was hot on the day we started to Hyderabad, and we crossed our fingers to reach safely to TATR. Shalik coordinated with a person called Sri Vardhan who was also on a visit to TATR; luckily we joined him and drove safely to Chandrapur on the same day by 8.30Pm.
Tadoba National Park lies in the district of Chandrapur in the north-eastern part of Maharashtra. Tadoba is named after the local tribal god ‘Taru’, who was killed in an epic fight with a tiger.
We planned for 3 days stay and 6 safaris; we had no much expectation of big cats but it was a different forest altogether compared to south Indian jungles.
Our first safari started at 6.00AM and we hit the game road… for all 6 safaris our guide was Mr. Shravan and gypsy driver was Mr. Mubarak. Shravan asked us or you guys interested to see only TIGERS, only Birds, or both… The answer was only TIGERS.
Shravan took us directly to Telia waterhole strong alarm calls of chitals and sambar was herd we tuned our eyes and ears towards the waterhole, nothing turned on… with few drongo and samabar photos we ended our safari.

Tadoba has many watch towers and machan built to observe wildlife but not allowed to sit.
We came back to MTDC and took rest for few hours, as our evening safari was at 2.00Pm. Mubarak came at 1.45Pm to MTDC and picked us up, Shravan joined us near Tadoba gate and he directed to go to Telia waterhole again. He had an instinct that the TIGER will come out of the meadow because it’s her territory and she missed her morning turn. He guaranteed us to show the TIGER, but we had no expectation because high expectation results zero.
The time ticked 2.45Pm when we reached the waterhole; it was a bright sunny day and was very hot. Patience is the only reward in wildlife everyone was prying to see the large meadow with anticipation to sight big cat.
It was 5.00Pm when strong alarm calls started, Shravan said the predator is on move and all our eyes scanned each and every corner of meadow Mubarak started the vehicle and planned to take turn and park the vehicle whence another vehicle which was parked 300 mm from us gave wireless message to us saying “Gela” Gela” Gela”, first thing we did not understand the meaning of [Gela-TIGER] and enquired Shravan and he said TIGER is there… We were so anxious to spot the TIGER, for first time we were seeing a TIGER too close to us… I just clicked… clicked… clicked.
We were so cheerful to see the KING OF THE JUNGLE so close and Shravan just laughed looking at us the day came to an end. The whole night we discussed about its majesty looks and charming eyes, we called up our friends, parents and narrated the story about sighting a TIGER so close.
The second day morning safari begun, and today also we insisted to go near Telia waterhole but Shravan said no we shall go to an another waterhole which is called “Yenombodi”, Sri Vardhan and Shalik were already there waiting for alarm calls it was 7.00AM when we got wireless message from Shalik saying “Gale” we rushed towards the waterhole, the TIGER was sitting inside the bamboo thicket we felt so happy to see everyday a TIGER and remembered the hanging at the gate “Tadoba – Real Land of Tigers” we were not fortunate to photograph it as it was thick bamboo covered but we filled our naked eyes with mesmerizing scene happening in front of us. Our morning safari ended with few birding photographs.
The time was 9.00AM; Shravan said we shall go to Tadoba gate and have breakfast. We halted for an hour or so and had breakfast “Poua” which means Avalakki, and then photo session started… and finally exited the park.
We took quick nap till 1.30Pm and were ready waiting for Mubarak for evening safari. Shravan directed to go to “KateZari” place which was closed since 3 month and opened the same day because a TIGER had given birth to 3cubs… hearing this we were so happy and Shravan said if we go to KateZari we can sight 4 TIGERS if we are lucky we nodded our head with acceptance.
We parked our vehicle near a waterhole at 2.45PM and just observed silence. The safari path was full of fresh pug marks but unfortunately we were not lucky enough to sight the TIGER and its cubs. We ended our day with few paradise fly-catcher and racket tailed drongo’s.
Today was our final day at Tadoba; we had to bet our luck. As usual Shravan directed Mubarak to go near Telia waterhole which is a promising one. We reached Telia at 7.00AM and waited patiently, time ticked 8.30AM no sign of activity suddenly a huge sloth bear emerged from meadows but unfortunately it did not pose to our camera.
 Barking deer passed our vehicle without fear. It was 9.45Am and had 20 mins to exit the park with contentment of sambar and few birds we ended our morning safari.
The last chance to see the elusive cat came to nearer, last and evening safari started at 2.00PM and Shravan said we shall go to a place called “Janombodhi” bet our luck and come back to our first waterhole Telia by 5.00PM. We reached the place at 2.45PM the day was harsh… we waited near a waterhole, suddenly Raghu screamed wild dogs… and luckily 2 wild dogs came to waterhole, it gave us 20 mins of time to click…click and click…
The time was 4.20PM and Shravan reminded us if we want to bet our luck to see the TIGER we need to leave to Telia waterhole and rushed towards Telia water body. We reached Telia in anxiety and we were too late… TIGER had come into sight visitors had queued up to see the King of the Jungle…
The meadows were crowded with visitors and we dint get an opportunity to photograph the TIGER; we could only catch a glimpse of it.
With heavy hearts we adieu TATR… It was an amazing wildlife odyssey…
You can view more pictures @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/wildlifeodyssey with tag named TATR…
Wildlife Sightings:
Wild Dogs [pack of 2]
Wild Dogs [pack of 4]
Sloth Bear [1]
Crocodile [2]
Sambar [10]
Barking Deer [5]
White Eye Buzzard [1]
Alexander Parakeet [3]
Rose Ringed Parakeet [2]
Asian Paradise Fly Catcher [1]
Pond Heron [1]
Little Egrets [2]
Black Drongo [5]
Racket Tailed Drongo [2]
Green Bee Eaters [10]
Langurs [5]