Traveling for pleasure is a hobby pursued by many today. It is something that opens/adds a new dimension of viewing things. However, be rest assured that it is not the only way to broaden perspective!
Through my travels, I have secretly been marking out those places I want to visit again. The top one on that list has always been tiger safaris! Something about these wild cats keeps drawing me to them. Tiger in my thoughts, we planned our visit to Sariska National park in less than 48 hours. We managed to get a booking at The Sterling Resort – a boutique resort with good food and facilities!
Sariska is a fairly recent national park. About a decade ago , there were no tigers left in Sariska. But, thanks to Project Tiger, Sariska’s tiger numbers have been on the rise. A few tigers have been moved from Ranthambore National Park in an attempt to repopulate Sariska.Due to this initiative ,undeterred support from the forest department and continuous tracking by the locals and forest guards, there are about 18 tigers in the reserve .
The forest is vast and the chances of spotting tigers become proportionally slimmer. However, mind full of expectations , cameras charged to 100% and spirits high we set off for our safari in pursuit of Sher Khan!
The forest is a deciduous one and dense to the core. The first animal we spotted was the majestic Sambar deer- the most favourite food of the tiger!
Confident and well fed, he stepped out to take a good look at the 2 legged visitors! Traveling deeper into the forest, we came to a clearing which had a beautiful water body. Relaxing on its banks was a happy Sambar deer family – definitely the photo of the day!
Sariska also holds the unique distinction of being home to the largest number of peacocks in Asia.
They are also the favorite meal of leopards. Sariska is also home to close to about 50 leopards!
So we had seen the prey base of all the wild cats, but were still waiting to spot the predators!
On our second safari we sensed a tiny glimmer of hope as we spotted a fresh pug mark trail!
The forest guards and the locals tried their best to help up catch a glimpse of this majestic beast but without much luck! This is wildlife… the forest is their home… they will come out when they want… Respect that and sooner or later Sher Khan will come out of his hiding!
With this thought we started our drive back to Gurgaon but not without another close tryst with a family of Sambar deer. We pulled our car to the side and lowered the window a bit and the curious deer came rushing, put his nose in and sniffed us. The youngest traveler among us was thrilled to bits to say the least!
This sniffy snout image in our memory we reached home satisfied!