T-17 & T-39 : The Queens of Ranthambhore

I am not sure how to start with, Should I write I am feeling lucky or I am lucky. Because if someone visit to Ranthambhore for just a day, take a single safari and saw the tiger, not one but two for good 15 minutes walking like a king on red carpet, then isn’t it too much to believe. But it happened to me.

Scene 1: April 30th 2011, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, 9:55 PM.

The Dehradun Express got late by 1 hour, not a big deal as per Indian standard. I didn’t have reservation in AC coach so while coping with heat and chaos of sleeper coach, it was not in my wildest thought that what going to happen with me in next few hours.

Since this train reaches Sawai Madhopur at 5:20 AM, so I can’t afford to sleep leisurely and miss the destination.

Around 6:30 I reached Sawai Madhopur. Took a room at Hotel Pareek close to station, got ready after little rest and discussed my travel plan with hotel staff. The main agenda was to visit Ranthambhore fort in first half and then Jypsi Safari that I have already booked online through http://www.rajasthanwildlife.com/

From station Jeep runs at equal intervals to Ranthambhore fort. I just need to adjust myself with 5 people in front plus driver and 12 in backside, 5 each on seats and two on gate. The 15 km ride costs just 15 Rs and since I didn’t want to hire private taxis, so it was the only option I left with.

Scene 2: May 1st 2011, Ranthambhore Fort, 10:00 AM.

In one word, fort is massive, spread in 7 kilometers.

As usual read the history from here.

I’ll just tell you how it has got its name. Ran means battlefield. Tham means a walled fort. Bhanvar means pond or lake. So a walled fort with battlefield on one side and pond around its edge named Ranthambhore.

This is the statue of one who betrays raja Hamir.

Raja Hamir’s courtroom.

There is a pond behind me where queens used to take bath.

Here I asked the guide whom I paid just 100 bucks after negotiation, that whether Tiger can come here or not, he replied very innocently, nahi sahib tiger itni height par nahi aata hai, 2-4 leopard jaroor honge. I guess he was determined to take the revenge for his 50 Rs that I bargained with him.

Behind me is the fort of Raja Hamir. Due to construction work it was closed.

6000 years old, Lord Ganesh Temple.

Jogi Mahal

Entry point of National Park, as viewed from Ranthambhore fort.

Finally after 3 hour of brisk walking I was somehow satisfied that I have covered most of the part of Fort. Then again I took the jeep ride till booking office where I need to collect the boarding pass for entry. My guide name was Nafis Ahmad, who holds good reputation in area. Usually there are 6 people in a Jypsi but that day a couple from Venezuela reserved the three seats and other two were boys from Punjab.

TIP: Consider you lucky to share a Jypsi with foreign nationals. Because they tip generously to guide and in return guide do their best to show tiger to them. Otherwise book a Jypsi for your own, and tip a good amount to guide. Also Tiger show is 1% skill and 99% chance, so don’t blame anyone if you proved unlucky.

Scene 3: May 1st 2011, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Zone-2, 3:30 PM.

We came to know that since morning a Tigress T-17 is sleeping just at the entry point. And to our luck she was still there.

Naturally excited we moved further.

A peacock came instantly to share our happiness.

Then came another tip, there was a movement of a male Tiger T-19, and a female T-39 was spotted. Now how they are named and recognized? Usually Radio colors are put on few tigers and then surveillance cameras are used to install randomly to capture the movement.

There starts our tiger hunt. There were few spots with water where tiger movement could be probable. So we started visiting there. It was like chasing mirage.

Any ways there are something else in forest besides Tiger. Like these Male and Female Antelope.

A very good example of animal behavior.

Sambhar aaj tak sirf dosa ke saath dekha tha. Today he/she posed happily for us.

See this one (Kingfisher). Till date I have just drink it, now got the chance to see in real?

Finally the magic happens.

Here’s a 2 minute video

Thousands of year old tree.

This one is the second oldest Banyan tree in India; first one is in Kolkata Zoo.

My friend Ravinder (who was with me in Sattal) is been to Jim Corbett at least 15 times in last 5 years, but he never got lucky to get a glimpse. Now this time he is going to Ranthambhore on 5th May 2011. Now a million dollar question is whether my exclusivity well maintained or destroyed. What I wish you can understand?.

Some Facts:

Hazrat Nijamuddin (9:55 PM) to Sawai Madhopur (5:20 AM) sleeper fair: 167 Rs
Hotel Pareek Charges: 350 for double room with cooler and television.
Online booking cost: 131 Rs (per person for petrol Jypsi)
At the time of collecting boarding pass: 370 Rs (per person for petrol Jypsi)
Sawai Madhopur(7:10 AM) to Hazrat Nijamuddin(12:20 PM), Jan-shatabadi Exp: 122Rs.


  • maheh semwal says:

    You are lucky man!!!!!!!!!!!!. I have been to Jim Corbett three time but never spot any tiger, no regret because very much enjoyed the nature.

    How far is Ranthambhore from Sawai Madhopur Railway Station.

    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks Mahesh Ji. You are very generous. Ranthambhore National Park entrance is some 15-20 km or 45 minute jeep journey (as in my case) from Railway station. There is nothing much to do in Sawai Madhopur except a stopover to National Park. And you are right about seeing nature, because even if I wouldn’t seen the tiger, still the nature was so pleasant and I was very happy with that. You can see the tiger video on my blog, http://avidnomad.blogspot.com.
      I couldn’t paste it here because I didn’t know the process of sharing video.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Very Exciting post. Well captured and written by you, it was a combination of history, nature and wildlife. As usual Superhit post.


  • Chandra81 says:

    I loved your humor …the Sambhar and Kingfisher metaphors were hilarious. Nice post and man you are lucky indeed. I have been to three national parks but haven’t yet spotted this royal predator ever. BTW on the information front your post is really comprehensive. I am planning to go to Ranthambore during monsoons and your post has helped my resolve and given me hope :-) I’ll keep my fingers cross. and I pray beseech thee! pass on some of your luck to me :D Oh, you blessed blessed man! :-)
    Keep sharing
    @Mahesh I believe if Google is correct then it’s 12 kms from Railway Station to the National Park

  • Chandra81 says:

    Please don’t mind but I’ll advise you to change your camera setting so that dates are not imprinted on the photographs. In my personal opinion, that will greatly enhance the appeal of your photographs.

    • amitk227 says:

      Thanks for pointing me. I’ll do that. Last month I went to Narkanda, based on false leave in my office, and still I clicked photographs with date imprinted. I really need to get rid of this.

  • nayan says:

    amit…a small correction…the oldest tree is in kolkata botanical garden not in zoo…..
    good going man….you seem to cover the whole India within this summer only….lolz.

    • amitk227 says:

      Hi Nayan, you are right. It is in botanical garden. The guide had told me this and I forgot it.
      Thanks for correction. And after summer I will really try to cover some new destinations.

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Amit Kumar bole to ‘Lucky Kumar’.
    Great pics, Great narration….Great destination.
    I also saw the video on your blog, which is missing here.

  • Nandan says:

    Luck favors the brave. :-). I had the good fortune of sighting the big cat at Ranthambore as well but not as much as you. Keep traveling and sharing your stories.

    Pls upload your video at YouTube and send me the embedd link.

    @ Nikhil – usually all the parks are closed during monsoon. Pls check now about Ranthambore before firming your plans.

  • amitk227 says:

    This is the Embed link of 1 Minute Video.

  • Nandan says:

    Have posted the bigger video.

  • Spell Checker says:

    Animal pix appear kind of dim; rest are good.

    If you are referring the Great Banyan Tree, its in Indian Botanic Garden, Kolkata, not in the zoo. This tree is the worlds largest but only about 250 years old. Its always good to get the facts right.

  • preetigarg says:

    Really amazing.. Tiger on red carpet… thanks for the sharing this wonderful video and images..

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