Ranthambore

It was the month of May in 2011, my friend Inam got to know from one of his friends that Ranthambore tiger reserve was organizing its annual animal census in the nation park and was looking for volunteers. Initially we thought that it would be just like a jeep safari in Jim Corbett National Park and would be fun to count the wild animals for a national level census. We got in touch with the IFS officer at Ranthambore and expressed our willingness to be a part of the program. We got the confirmation from Ranthambore forest office to be a part of the census and soon after that we booked five train tickets to Sawai Madhopur junction.
All five of us (Inam, Iliyas, Rohit, Vishal and me) had reached the station before time. The train started from Nizamuddin railway station at 11:00 PM. I had requested Inam bhai to bring food from home so that we can have dinner during the journey itself. Inam bhai bought home made non veg and tawa roties for all of us. The mutton was awesome and I ate much more than I normally do. After food it was nap time as it was eight hours journey from Nizamuddin to Sawai Madhopur.

We reached Sawai Madhopur at around 7 in the morning and had our breakfast just outside the station. From the station we hired an auto to reach the forest office where we were scheduled to meet the forest officers. On reaching the office we met a couple of officers who told us that the actual census was to take 24 hours and would begin at 11: AM the next day and would continue till 11: AM the day after. The excitement kept building. The officers told us that the forest officials were constructing 300 machans in the core areas of park and we would have to spend 24 hours on the machans. WOW!!!

Inam relaxing outside the forest office



Rohit thinkiing what would happen tomorrow

Iliyas and Vishal waitng for Jeep Safari


Since there was nothing else to do that day , we decided to take a normal jeep safari of the park to get a feel of what was in store for us for the next day. During 3 hours jeep safari we got to see lots of cheetals, sambhar, crocodiles, langoors but there was no tiger sighting which disappointed us a little bit as we were told that Ranthambore has a healthy population of tigers and the sightings were common.

Vishal trying to protect himself from heat


Aproaching the tiger reserve

A Sambhar Deer

A Langoor staring at us

Crocks at a water hole

A Tree Snake

A bird trying to be in shade

Anyways, we came back to the hotel room for the night. Iliyas got a call from his friend in Delhi that he was urgently required back. Iliyas was very disappointed but he had no choice but to hire a taxi in urgency and he headed back to Delhi the same night. It was Inam, Rohit, Vishal and me who were left behind.

The next day we woke up early as the forest officials had asked all the volunteers to gather at the office at 8:00 AM. When we reached the office we were surprised to see so many people. There were more than 200 volunteers gathered there. Every one was waiting for the forest officers to brief us in detail as to what actually we had to do. The briefing started at 9:30 AM and this is what was told to us:
“This was a serious government program and not a picnic. No two people were allowed to be together. Every individual would have to spend 24 hours on the tree top machans made by the forest officials. Every individual would be accompanied by a forest guard and was not allowed to get down from tree during those 24 hours. Lunch and dinner would be provided by the forest officials who would patrol the machans twice during those 24 hours.”

We were allowed to carry water bottles, biscuits and chips but were informed that we could not leave a single bit of trash in the park and would have to bring all the trash back and dispose it at the designated place. Smoking or drinking was strictly prohibited inside the park. The forest vehicles would take us to the machans that we were suppose to spend the 24 hours and they would come back the next day to pick us up. There would be a forest guard with every volunteer on every machan. No one was allowed to make loud noise/shout or to play music on cell phones. There would be no cell phone signals in the park and there would be no mode of communication during those 24 hours except for when the officials would come to supply food and water.
Every volunteer was given a chart that had names of the animal species that were found in the park. It had detailed fields that were to be filled by us like; name of the animal species, whether is was a male, female or a juvenile. How many animals were sighted? What was the time when those animals were seen and many other data was to be collected. We were told that most of the machans were made near the water holes and that would increase the chances of sighting more and more animals during night as well as day. After the briefing we were asked to go through the lists that were put on the notice boards to look for our names, the name of the forest guard who would be our buddy for next 24 hours and the name of the spot where the machan was set up.

OK! This was the first time we got to know that all four of us would not be together for next 24 hours. It was a little scary thought but equally exiting and adventures. Every one rushed towards the notice boards to look for their names. After going through four lists and about 150 names, I finally found my name. The name of the forest guard who would be with me was Mr. Murari Lal and the name of the water hole was Gullar Kui. I kept searching and asking people for Murari Lal Ji for about half an hour but could not find him. One of the forest official told me that I should board the vehicle that was suppose to take me to the spot and Murari La Ji would join me later.

I boarded the roofless bus that was painted in camouflage and was carrying about 50 people including the forest guards. It took about 20 minutes for the vehicle to reach Gullar Kui. The vehicle stopped and one of the forest guards pointed towards a tree and told me that is where the machan was. To my unpleasant surprise, the machan was not very high on the tree and it looked no bigger than a crows nest!!! It was at the height of about 20 feet above the ground on a fig tree. Two forest employees helped me along with my rug sack in climbing the tree and told me that Murari Lal Ji would join me “very shortly”. The vehicle left and I started to figure out how to adjust myself in that nest.

There was no shade on the spot where my machan was, and just imagine the direct sun on an extremely hot summer day in Rajasthan. The temperature I believe would have been more than 50 degrees for sure. Fortunately there was wind blowing in the jungle, not that it was cold breeze but at least it prevented form excessive sweating. My machan was a construction disaster and there were sharp pointy twigs pointing from the bottom. There was hardly any space for me and my bag. I was wondering what would happen when Murari Lal ji would join me.
I attached my rug sack to one of the branch in such a way that it would make a little more room in the nest and would act as a cushion for my back. I was all alone in the middle of the jungle that was full of tigers and more than an hour had gone by but still there was no sign of Murari Lal Ji.

Grazing


Helping me in climbing the machan


Gullar Kui as seen from my machan

Raj Bagh


A Tiger near a water hole


A short while later I saw a group of Sambhar deer approaching the water hole. There were about 15 in that herd. They were approaching the water hole very cautiously. During the time between 12 and 2 PM a numbers of herds of cheetal, sambhar and langoor came to the water hole. I kept updating my counting sheet that was provided by the forest officials. At around 3 PM I heard sambhar call as they do when a predator is in the vicinity. I was all exited as I thought a tiger might be approaching the water hole. At the same time I was getting worried as four hours had passed by and Murari Lal Ji was still missing. There were weird thoughts running in mind as to what would happen if he didn’t come at all. It seemed that the time was passing by very slowly. Each moment seemed to much longer then the previous one. There were so many different sounds coming from all around me.

Anyways, time passed by but there was no tiger. At around 4 PM I heard a roaring sound and my body grained by the thought of what was making that sound. Because of the trees around me, visibility was limited to a distance. The sound kept getting louder and it seemed to be coming closer towards me. Well it was water supply tanker that the forest officials were using to supply water to the people who were on the various machans. A man in his mid 40s wearing a khaki uniform got down from the truck with a small bag and a water bottle in his hand. The water tanker left the man behind and moved on. The gentle man approached the tree and shouted “Saaaaab mera naam Murari Lal hai”. Oh my god!!! I wanted to hear those words so desperately. I was so relieved.

Just before he started to climb the tree, I asked him that I had been drinking a lot of water and need to go for a natures call and asked him to remain there as I did not have the guts to be on the ground alone. Well a short while later we both climbed back on to the machan with the help of a very thin rope that the machan builders had tied to the three to climb up to the machan. Murari Lal Ji examined the machan and cursed the people who build it. He said he could do a much better job but it was too late now. He broke a few branches and made minor adjustments to the machan.

There was no activity happening and my buddy was interested in knowing about me so we got into the conversation mode. I asked him why this place was called Gullar Kui. He told me that Gullar is the local name of a fig and there were a lot of fig trees at that spot. Kui is the local name for a pond or a well. So that place was called Gullar Kui. He also told me that there were all possibilities for us to sight a tiger as we were in the territory of male tiger.

He said that this had happened for the first time in Ranthambore’s history that a male tiger was raising two cubs as their mother died a few months ago due to injuries in a territorial fight with another male tiger. Male tigers normally kill the cubs of other tigers when they are wondering or trying to capture the territory of other tigers. They also kill the cubs so that the female tigress would get ready for mating much sooner and so they could have their own cubs in the pride. Murari Lal ji was a very kind and a simple man of very less words.

At around 8 PM another forest vehicle came to our spot with food. Murari Lal Ji got down from the tree and came back with three packets of food which each had 10 small size poories, seetafal ki subzi and mixed achaar. The food was tasty but the quantity was too much for me. Murari Lal Ji helped in finishing my packet of poories and saved the third one for breakfast.
The water bottle that he had bought was amazing. It is called a “Chaakal” and was made of a heavy denim sort of a fabric. It kept the water cool even is such hot temperature. After dinner we kept our conversation on and he told me about his village and his family member. At around 11: PM I we heard a sound of heavy breaths approaching towards the water hole. WOW!!! it was a black sloth bear. Since it was a full moon night the visibility was clear. The sound of his breath was so heavy and loud that we could hear it from quite a distance. The bear approached the water hole, drank water and disappeared in the woods. Murari Lal ji told me that sloth bear sighting were most rear in the park as the bears are very shy in nature and are rarely seen.
I can’t explain the feelings that I had in those few minutes. It was amazing to see a wild bear in its natural habitat from top of a tree at night with no humans around for miles. The time was passing by very slowly. At around 2 at night Murari Lal ji insisted that I took a short nap and he would stay on guard during that time and then we could take turns. However sleep was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to see a Tiger. Since Murari Lal ji spoke very less we were out of topics very soon. He closed his eyes and rested his back on the tree trunk behind him. I took out the rope that I was carrying with me and tied myself to another branch tightly so that in case I dose off; I would not fell 20 feet down from tree.

Anyways the time passed by and there was no Tiger and no sleep. The night had started turning into morning at around 5: AM. We still had 6 hours to spend on the machan and I was hopeful that we would see a Tiger. At around 9: AM we heard the same breathing sound that we had heard last night and it was approaching the water hole. This time I new it would be a sloth bear. Indeed it was a sloth bear. This time I saw it in clear visibility and can’t explain the feeling that I had. The bear drank water and disappeared in the forest again. Just about 30 minutes later a jeep came to our spot. Murari Lal Ji had spent the entire night with his uniform shirt off due to summer heat but as soon as he saw the jeep the first thing he did was to quickly put his uniform back on. It was the chief forest officer’s jeep. He was on a patrol and was inspecting if every thing was fine on the machans.
Murari Lal Ji got down from the tree and ran up to the jeep. He had a few words with the officer and then the jeep left. Instead of climbing back on to the tree he started to inspect the ground for foot prints of the bears that we saw this morning and last night. He called me asked if I wanted to get down from tree and have closer look too. I immediately agreed as my knee joints and all other parts of the body were paining because of spending so much time at one small place where there was not much space to change positions.

While I was getting down from the tree I was holding the rope that was tied to the tree to help climb and descend. While I was half way down; suddenly the rope broke and I fell at least 6 feet from above the ground. I felt acute pain in my left arm. I knew something had gone wrong. Anyways, Murari Lal ji showed me foot prints of the sloth bear. We stretched our bodies and legs and my buddy told me that we will have to climb back on to the machan and dismantle it before we leave. He said that there were chances of poachers using these types of machans to observe movements of the animals that they hunt for.
I tried to climb back on to the machan but could not do so as my left arm was paining very badly. He climbed back on to the machan and handed over our bags to me on the ground. He dismantled the machan and came down. We started to wait for someone to pick us up. At around 11:15 AM a jeep came to pick us up. The jeep dropped us at a place where I would meet my friends. They all came back at different times on different vehicles. As soon as we met each other we hugged as if we had been away from each other for ages.

Every one was so eager and exited to tell their story on how they spent the night. To my surprise Inam bhai was wearing a sling on to his left arm. He said he felt it was broken. He told me his story and I told him mine. We both had broken left arms. An open bus picked us all up and took us back to the forest office where we were supposed to submit our counting sheets. After doing that we came back to the same hotel and ask for a room for some hours as our train was scheduled to leave at 2 at night.

The weather was extremely hot and even the AC at its full capacity was not enough to cool down the room. We had lunch and after that every one crashed on to the beds as no one had slept for more then 24 hours. All three of my friends were fortunate to see Tigers during those 24 hours except for me but I was boasting about the sighting of the sloth bear twice. Every one had an amazing story to tell.

One funny instance that Rohit told us was when they were coming back in the morning; the same jeep had to pick up a girl volunteer and the lady guard who was accompanying her from one of the machans. When they approached the machan; there was female leopard sitting right under the tree on which the girls were. The jeep waited for half an hour but the leopard did not move. No one is allowed to disturb the animals in the park. The girls were so very scared as they knew leopards can climb trees. They were holding on to each other tightly. The jeep driver shouted towards the girls that he could not wait any more and he would inform some other jeep driver to pick them up after some time when the leopard had left. Rohit’s Jeep left and don’t know what happened to the girls or how long they had to stay there on the tree.

After coming back to Delhi when we returned back to the office; Inam bhai and me could not stop laughing at each other at the first sight as we both had plaster on our left arms. The duo with broken arms became a hot topic for a few days in the office. Almost a year has passed by but still the memories of that night are so fresh and I believe would always remain fresh in my mind.

Duo with broken arms

64 Comments

  • sarvesh n vashistha says:

    BHATTSAAB , AAPKI POST KYA DARANE KE LIYE LIKHI HEI.
    SNAKE, TIGER AND BROKEN ARMS- NA BABA NA.

  • deepak says:

    Very nicely written…

  • Bhattsaab ,

    This was bang on target of ultimate ghumakkari.

    AWESOME is the word to describe it , I feel.

    Also one of the best descriptions in ghumakkar. The way you described was mindblowing. 24 hours on tree top is too much……….I don’t know how would one feel while in night in that jungle especially with snakes also………………….

    Anyways a ultimate post………………..

    Is Vishal writing after my encouragement in your previous post ?????????

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you for your kind words Vishal. Yes, this one was one of the most interesting and unforgettable trips that i undertook.

    I have not spoken to Vishal for a few weeks so don’t know what he is up to. He has a fractured leg and is at home relaxing from last two months. I sure he remembers your advise.

    Thanks again,
    Harish

  • Deepak says:

    This is what I call a mast zabardast post !!! Adventure on a machan in Ranthambore, wow, perhaps we should keep a lookout when does Ranthambore or any other Park looks for volunteers ….

  • ???? ?? , ??????? ????? , ??? ? ??? ???? ?? ??? ???? , ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ??……………….???? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ???? ???????? …………????? ????????? ?? ???? ??? ………..??? ?? ?? ????? ??????? ???? ?????

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you, Manu Ji…Aap sahi keh rahe hain jungle ka raja kisi ko dikh jaye to wo uska ahobhagye hi hai…

  • Virag Sharma says:

    April-May is right to go there , will sure the tiger at least T17 in zone 3.
    Like the pic of Snake on tree :)

  • Monty says:

    shuruwat me to mamla thik-thak tha. Haath tudva liye aakhir me.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Wow. Bhattsaab, it was an amazing experience to just read about your forest adventure. We felt that we were on that cramped and uncomfortable machan with you and Murari Lal. Your description of the encounters with the sloth bears was very vivid. The pictures of the animals were awesome too. You did not mention whether volunteers were allowed to carry cameras with them. Felt sorry for lady volunteer who was left to fend for herself with a leopard at the base of her tree.

    Did not know that Ranthambor uses volunteers for its annual animal census exercise. However, I was very unprofessional of them not to brief the volunteers well in advance of what was in store for them. I wonder if there were any drop-outs. The ;east they could have done was put up some sort of information in their website and advise volunteers to read the instructions carefully. I wonder if the volunteers were asked to sign a document saying that they were aware of the risks and that the forest officials are absolved of any responsibility if something went wrong.

    I am also surprised that there were no paramedics on hand to take care of any injuries and that there was no communication whatsoever with the field office. What if assistance was needed in an emergency? Just pray to God Almighty?

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you for the appreciation Narayan Ji…your words are always very encouraging.
      Well “officially” cameras are not allowed during those 24 hours. All of the pictures in post have been taken by iphones at different locations by Vishal, Inam, Rohit and myself.

      I am sure there must have been drop outs specially female volunteers as they did not know in advance what was in store for them.

      Yes all volunteers were briefed about the risks and every one had to sign the risk document. They also mentioned that paramedics would also be on patrol during those 24 hours and would be there to help if need be. The machans were build within 2 to 3 km away from each other and the forest guards could walk up to each others machans if need be. They also know the spots where the cell phones catch signals…

      I am glad you liked the post.

      Thanks again

  • Vishal says:

    Harish Bhai you are amazing.

    loved your way of narrating the experience. I have already started thinking of writing my experinces here.

    Planing to start with my Delhi-Leh Experience.

    Let me see how soon can I nail it. After reading your side of story of Ranthambore I think I can add a small piece to story and explain how we delt the situation at my post.

  • Stone says:

    Amazing experience, no. number of safaris can equate to the amazing experience you guys had.

    Hats off to all brave Volunteers and all unsung Murari Lals of such parks.

    Hope your and Inam bhai’s arm healed quickly.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you, Stone. I am glad you liked the post. The plaster on Inam bhai and my arm was for 6 weeks… All is well now…

  • Anandarup Nandi says:

    Bhattsaab and Inam,

    Great to see you guys on Ghumakkar!

    To the rest of Gumakkar, Harish, Inam and I work in the same office and are good friends with each other. I have great admiration for the free will and dare-devilry these guys possess.

    It’s only just that the Ranthambore account got published on Gumakkar. It was a one of its kind adventure and deserved to be shared.

    Bhattsaab and Inam, we’ll go on a similar trip together some day and we’ll surely be very well prepared then.

    Cheers!!!!

  • Hi,
    This was a good article and specially tree snake’s picture. I was also visited this park. Here is a link of my friends blog where we posted pictures of T5 and T 17. Check it and reboot your meemories. http://ranthambore-national-park-india.blogspot.in

  • Vipin says:

    Oh my god, what an adventure, Bhattsaab!!! Such a brilliant narration, i can for sure say that the experience must have been multifold. I was actually imagining myself being on the machaan while the story was progressing. Who can think of sleeping when you get such an opportunity??? Hat’s off to you guys……

    The photos are also amazing. I have been to the beautiful trails of Ranthambore, but this experience was something different and too adventurous and i would love to be part of such an adventure. I would be grateful if you can share some information regarding the selection procedure for this census project…….my email id is vipingaur.2008@gmail.com, thanks in advance…and keep venturing out……

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you, Vipin. I am glad you liked the post and the photographs. I will send you an email and let you know the details…Keep an eye out for it…

  • Anupam Mazumdar says:

    Simply beautiful and awesome post

  • Manish Kumar says:

    Great wildlife adventure… well narrated ..?????? ??? ?? ??..

  • Nandan Jha says:

    I could finally find time to read this now. The title of the story is not giving anything away :) Bhatt Ji.

    First time I am reading a direct account of someone’s participation in ‘Animal Census’. Your description about the your experience while on Machan was told in a matter-of-fact way. This hints at your simplicity and humilty since I would imagine that it would have been a terrific experience.

    That bird with the caption, ‘A bird trying to be in a shade’, is more popularly called ‘Tiger Bird’ there. It is said that this bird takes the food out of Tiger’s teeth after he had a hearty meal. If you spread your palm out with some namkeen/grains then it would happily sit on it and eat. Pretty brave.

    Salute Bhatt Ji.

    @ Anand – We have been trying to reach you for your ‘Featured Author’ goody for a long time. Glad to see you here after a long time. Look fwd to read some of your stuff soon.

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you so much Nandan Ji… Your words are so encoraging that i get tempted to write more and more about my experiences. I am so glad that you liked the post.

      I did not know about the tiger bird. Thanks for letting me know. I will try feeding the bird this time.

      I am leaving on 5th May again for the same exercise this year. I hope i get to see the king of the jungle this time.

      Thanks so much again Nandan Ji…I feel my post is complete after i see your comments…

  • Abhishek Agarwal says:

    You gained an awesome experience dude….., your way of giving description is very good and I love your posts on ghumakkar.

    Hats off to you all.

    Keep it up…. and also keep enthralling us.

  • heera singh says:

    i cant express the joy of your feeling, its really great.. i also want to participate ..can you say when and how can i repeat your experience.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Please let me know you email address or phone number..I will be more than happy to give you the details…..

  • Giriraj Shekhawat says:

    Harish ………. Rajasthan never fails to amaze me with the natural spectacles it had nested within itself. Ranthambore is one such place depicting nature , wildlife , peace and solitude always triggers the environmentalist within myself ………..

    Pictures were good ………… Pictures of the majestic fort is missing. It is a true architectural marvel having traces of Mauryan influence , Bargujar , Turk and finally the Rajputs of Mewar. ……… The fort has a Ganesh Temple above ….. It is a tradition in Rajasthan to send the first marriage invite to Ganesh residing in Ranthambhore either in person or through mail. This has been followed since ages …..

    It was a nice post ……….. Congratulations for showing your promising talent of great story telling

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Giriraj. I am happy that you liked the post.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Wah bhatt ji……Great & Adventure post…Every thing is impressive….| Picture are too good…|

    Thanks

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you, Ritesh Ji… You will soon get to read Inam bhai’s side of the story…I am sure you will enjoy that post as well…

    Thanks again,

  • Anandarup Nandi says:

    @Nandan
    I am always here bro. Just that there was nothing to write about. A ggody from Ghumakkar will be nice.

    My e-mail ID-

    anandarup.nandi@gmail.com

  • SilentSoul says:

    Bhatt ji, the post was outstanding. Description is good and photos are memorable, specially the photos of animals and birds

    The photo of Raj Bagh was best !

    Gr8 work

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you, SilentSoul. I am glad you liked the post and the pictures.

    Thanks again,

  • Inam says:

    @SilentSoul…The photo you are referring to as Raj Bagh is actually Jogi Mahal…It is beautiful

  • Debajit Bose says:

    Harish .. I am going for the same programe today. Saturday will be our personal safari and Sunday will be the volunteering. We have 1 day full (Saturday) for Safari. We can carry our camera along with us in machhan is that right? Any tips?

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Mr. Bose… That is good news. I am am also leaving for Ranthambore today. My train is at 9:50 PM from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. I also have the same program as yours. Send me an email at my email address bhattsaab@gmail.com with your phone number and we can discuss further…

  • Preeti says:

    Really interesting article. Should consider this next time. But one really disappointing thing is they allowed safari booking on the day of the counting when the forest is closed. We booked on April 3 and were allowed to book safari for 6th May but now I find out that on 6th May, the park is closed! They are saying the money will be refunded but we would not have considered going this weekend if we knew that we could not go for 2 safaris as I had planned. Hmph!

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you, Preeti Ji…I am glad you like the post. Sorry you had to cancel the the trip this weekend…It sure was very unprofessional of them to take bookings for safari on 6th as they new it well in advance that the census was to take place on 6th. I am participating this year as well and am leaving today for Ranthambore… Thanks again for liking the post.

  • What a experience Harish. I have roamed in wild in Gypsi but not on a Machan for 24 hours ! Great !!!
    You have captured the moments so nicely that it feels that we are also with you on the Machan.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you, Deependra. I am glad you liked the post.

  • aparna says:

    WOW!! WOW! WOW! what a thrill…and the leopard and the girl incident is funny yet scary too..Next time you know of such a trip..will you let me know..I mean what else can someone ask for..An entire night in as forest..Superb.. I loved every bit of this post..Thank you so much for sharing this..

    these days..I hear a lot that in Ranthambore, the safaris are not well kept and organised..recently one of my friends went and did sight a female tigress.. beautiful she was..but he said that ppl made huge noise and were indiscipline..was it the same when u went for the safari..I think now the tiger population at Ranthambore has reached 50…?

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Hi Aparna,

      Thanks, I am glad you liked the post. This exercise takes place every year so i will defiantly let you know for next time.

      You are right about the safaris in Ranthambore. The number of visitors is so large that the authorities are not able to keep a control over the visitors and the anxious visitors or the first timers do show indiscipline. Yet i am happy that they take good care of the tiger population and it is indeed on the rise.

      Thanks again

  • shalabh says:

    Can anyone suggest good budget hotel to stay in Ranthambore. We will be reaching late in night around 12Pm or 1 AM. Not sure we can get hotel then. better book in advance.
    Will be starting on 22nd Dec from Delhi.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Harish,

    Vipin shared this link with me. This is one of the most exciting and amazing post I have read on Ghumakkar so far!

    What do you think are the chances that you will find the same girl still sitting on the machan with the lepoard guarding her over?

    And also, out of the 150 or so volunteers, what was the total number of casualties – I am trying very hard not to laugh!

    Amazing event. Vipin did ask me but I am too old for this kind of adventure. I am sure it will be even more fun this time around.

    Now that learning is built in you can pack a small bedroll, satellite TV dish, collapsible ladders what mountaineers use so that all limbs stay in one piece!

    Have fun!

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Ha ha ha you are funny Nirdesh Ji. Thank you for taking time to read and commenting on the post. The chances that I might find the same girls on that tree are none because the Leopard cannot stay hungry for a long time specially when there are two easy meals within you reach. I like your idea of taking a bedroll, satellite TV dish and the other stuff but I am afraid if I take all that stull it might make me feel at home on the machan and I might spend most of the time dossing off :-)

      Harish

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    Harish Ji,

    This is one of the best post I have ever read on wildlife. I am great lover of wild life and would like to plan a visit definitely in next year as in this year it’s not possible I think. Can you please confirm me the procedure/charges and all other. Yesterday on facebook page Ranthambore has published the news for the census 2012 and uploaded a form which to be sent by 20th.

    It would be great support to me if you guide me.

    Regards.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Hello Saurabh Ji,

    I am glad you like the post. A great ghumakkar like you is ought to be a lover of wildlife. There are no charges for participation. It is a voluntary program. you only have to bear your own travel and boarding and lodging and personal expenses. You are right, they recently have introduced a participation form that needs to be filled along with your ID and address proof. Today is the last day for submitting these documents so I guess it is indeed late for you. Be in touch and we will go together next year for sure.

    • Saurabh Gupta says:

      Thanks for replying Bhatt Saheb……

      Will definitely be in touch and will make plan next year. I was there in Ranthambore last year in front of tigress at least one hour but this experience is amazine.

      Thanks. Please also provide your personal mail id and u can drop a mail on saurabh151981@gmail.com

  • dhairya trivedi says:

    Mr. Bhatt, apart from Ranthambore do other national parks like Corbett, Tadoba etc also conduct census which one can be a part of?
    Could you kindly share some information about them on mail to dhairyat@hotmail.com.
    Much appreciated.

    Dhairya.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Hello Dhairya,

    All tiger reserves conduct census of their animals at least once a year. Rare species like Tiger itself and many others are mostly monitored on camera traps in almost all Tiger reserves. However Ranthambore Tiger reserve is the only park that “I know of” that invites volunteers from outside.

    Thanks for reading the post

    Harish Bhatt

  • dr swati phore says:

    awesome experience you must have had.. can you please tell me the procedure for applying as an volunteer for census in ranthambore.. like whom to contact and when to contact and all the other details.. thanxx

  • pamela100 says:

    Hii Harish, even I also planing to go Ranthambhore on December. Your post inspired me to visit & create an excitement to enjoy the experience. Thanks for sharing the journey.

  • Wow!! All of the photos are outstanding, but I am so impressed with the photographic capture of the elusive Tiger. I bet the forest is stunning with the Flame of the Forest all in bloom!

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