This post is on our travel during last December when winters are there in north of India. Me and my two colleagues Sandeep, Vinod and my brother in law Ankit decided for an outing and we wanted to have an experience of adventure and thrill one gets during a safari in a tiger reserve.
I had already did lot of google on how to reach, where to stay, what to eat, famous things in Alwar etc. With all this information in place i planned a 1 night and 2 days trip to Sariska via Alwar.
Possible modes of transport were as follows:
1) Rail (shatabdi to Alwar- convenient and takes approx 3 hours from Delhi to reach Alwar, from Alwar 60 kms by road to Sariska on Alwar – Jaipur Highway. One can hire taxi or there are regular RSRTC buses plying on this route.
2) By Car ( Road route) – Very convenient and as i am putting up i=at Dwarka hitting NH8 is very easy for me just 6 kms from my residence.
We covered 90 km in 1 hour on this highway and as soon as we reached outskirts of Alwar stopped at a restaurant for break fast as there are no joints on SH from Bhiwadi to Alwar.
Finishing with assorted paranthas, tea and bread omlette, Ankit took the driving and after confirming route, we were on the highway to Sariska from Alwar. This is a single road but quite managable in terms of speed and traffic. We reached sariska after an hour at around 12 pm. It took long because of traffic jams at NH8 and then have to ask for direction at Dharuhera and Alwar.
There are 2 hotels at this place one of RTDC (Tiger Den) and the other is Sariska palace (quite expensive but royal). We took a family room of 4 single beds at a price of Rs 4500 inclusive of Dinner and breakfast at Tiger Den. Hotel was good, big rooms but at this place (Sariska there are no shops/ restaurants in case you even want to have a cup of tea, you have to either have it at hotel or go back 10 kms.
Now we have to check for our safari trip of tiger reserve. There are open Gypsy available for the same(you can prebook on the website if you want, please google to find it out). There are 2 trips morning and afternoon for jungle safari.
The complete cost for a Gypsy comes out to be around 2200. You can also take your vehicle inside the tiger reserve by paying some nominal fees but private vehicles are allowed only on the main roads you cannot drive inside the jungle.
We booked our trips at forest reserve office just outside tiger den hotel for morning safari starting at 6 am for next day. Now we had half a day left at liesure so after checking in, we decided to go back towards Siliserh lake which is back on the route to Alwar approx 40 kms from Sariska. We reached there at 4 pm. Its a nice old palace converted into a resort with a huge lake in front.
This place is surrounded by natural beauty,peace and away from city hustle bustle. As this was a weekend, lot of local public was also there. We ordered for tea and mix pakora for the evening and had wonderful snacks at terrace overlooking lake.
Advice , in case you are going with family and want to spend a night, opt for a room at top floor as on the lower floors there is lot of movement of local public, but then after about 6-7 pm, this place is wonderful, cool breeze during summers, open terrace, food is inclusive in the room rent and they serve nice food as i had stayed there during a seperate trip to this place.
Coming back to post, we left at around 6 pm to Sariska, reached at around 7 pm , collected water bottles , cold drinks, some snacks for evening party. We all were ready in our room by 8 pm had drinks, enjoyed the evening together, it was very cold that time. After that had buffet dinner, good veg and non veg varieties served with sweets, we called it a day after lovely dinner.
Next day we all got up at 5 am, got ready with lot of woolens as it was very cold at this point of time and we have to travel in open Gypsy. One more thing you will get a compulsary guide with vehicle whose fees is included while hiring vehicle.
Excitment started as soon as we reached the gates of safari, after some formalities we entered into tiger reserve. After few minutes guide showed us tiger paws in the soil and asked driver to follow the foot prints but the foot prints vansihed in jungle.
We started moving on the main road with a hope of seeing tiger in a natural habitat. As we moved on we saw lot of other junglee animals like pig, deer, sambhar, monkeys etc.
Suddenly there was a sound and our guide asked us to keep quite ‘complete silence’ and he was trying to figure out various voices of birds animals for tracing tiger, then we saw some other gypsies running inside jungle as if the tiger was spotted. Our Gypsy also started moving behind them. We reached a lake, stopped there for some time but again no tiger.
All vehicles started to back up and reached the main road going towards pandupole (a place inside jungle). It was very cold and winds were further worsening the same. We then saw the sunrise in the jungle, great view and after some little relief from cold because of the sun.
Till now we could not spot a tiger and reached Pandupole , here you can get down from the vehicle to stretch and freshn up for return journey. Vehicle started back and we all in the hope of seeing atiger reached the entry gate.
We all were little disappointed on not able to spot a tiger but being in a jungle, looking at animals and hoping to spot a tiger (roaming freely at this place) was an adventure in itself, we all enjoyed the 3 hours of Gypsy ride in jungle.
Reaching hotel and freshning up, we straight away headed for a long awaited hot cup of tea, we had our breakfast which was average and then at around 10 am we checked out of the hotel. Started our journey back to Delhi, on the way visited jaisamand lake as well (nothing great here).
Way back at Alwar we went to local market to buy famous things of this place i.e. milkcake (worth buying), leather mojri’s, Laakh bangles for my wife and of course mava and onion Kachoris.
Finishing shopping we started our journey towards Delhi but on the unfortunately took a long route waisted our approx 1 hour time and we took around 4-5 hours to reach our place at Dwarka.
Overall great trip on a weekend with jungle experience, rajasthani food, culture to explore…
Bad luck, you couldn’t spot the big cat…actually, one has to be extremely lucky to spot a tiger…few years back, Sariska came to news because it became a Tiger Reserve without any tigers; finally few tigers were relocated from Ranthombore…just hope they don’t fall pray to the poachers.
Nice post …. Sariska is not known for Tiger sighting. There are Hardly 3-4 Adult + 2 Cub , which very very hard to spot in big jungle like Sariska.
Ranthambore is the best place for tiger sighting. It is rare to find tiger in Sariska. few times back 5 tigers were relocated from Ranthambore but still it’s very difficult to find them.
In october I had gone there but only monkey, neelgai & sambhar were there. If u had time you should have to go Bhangarh as it’s famous haunted place of world.
Anyways……… It’s a nice post. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Very well described …….
I have been to Jim Corbett 3-4 times but never spotted tiger , enjoyed the beauty of the Jungle.
Enjoyed your travel blog, Mukesh. As Mahesh has rightly pointed out, it does not matter if you have not been able to see a tiger. The experience by itself is hugely enjoyable and if one gets to see some wildlife, it is a huge bonus.
Welcome aboard Mukesh. Short and sweet log.
Did you guys do this in December 2011 ?. There is now a new road form Daruhera, super 4 lane hi speed toll road and that cuts the time like anything. This seems like a new road and we were on it in early January 2013. From Delhi, it should now be a comfortable day trip which was not the case earlier.
Sariska lost all the Tigers and after a great public pressure and almost on the verge of losing out on the status of being under ‘Project Tiger’, 2 tigers were relocated from Ranthambore. I guess out of 2, one went back on its own. Now probably there are more tigers there, including cubs. Wishing you a sight on your next trip. :-)
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