Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tigers galore at Tadoba National Park, Chandrapur, Maharashtra

Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra, India
Tadoba Natonal Park in Maharashtra is at a distance of 130 km from Nagpur. There are several trains connecting major cities to Nagpur  and the flight connections are pretty good too. We flew till Nagpur and for the onward journey to Tadoba Moharli gate, we hired a car. It took a little over 3 hours to reach Tadoba from Nagpur, the road was pretty good.

Since all our safaris (except two, one from the buffer zone and the other one was from the Kuswanda gate) were from the Moharli gate, we decided to stay close to Moharli. The other entry gates are Kolara, Nave Gaon, Pangdi, and Zari Gate.

We had booked our accommodation at the MTDC near the Moharli gate in Tadoba. I quite liked the accommodation. Reasonable with A/C and mini fridge, a verandah overlooking a water body and jungle, room service, a well equipped restaurant....I think that is a lot to ask for in a jungle!

We picked up the hottest time of the year to visit Tadoba...the temperatures were between 42-46 degree Celsius. We were out for 8 hours every day in the open jeep safaris...mornings were fine but afternoons were indescribably hot....the morning safaris were far more productive than the afternoon ones...however, a sighting is purely by chance and luck…one can hardly predict anything and that is why these safaris are so exciting!

The heat and Sun were hardly a deterrent though; the hotels and safaris were all booked so we were not the only crazy ones visiting Tadoba at this time of the year!

And Tadoba did not disappoint.............

Not only did we see a lot of tigers (in total 11), we sighted a leopard and a sloth bear as well!
Here is my first post on Tadoba and I am starting off with the Tigers of course...

Wagdoh Male Tiger
Wagdoh Male Tiger

Male Tiger (I think he is called Matkasur)
Male Tiger, Bajrang

Maya (in the picture below) is looking at a prospective hunt, we noticed a Bison nearby, and sure enough she attacked it. The sad part is the Bison did not even resist...I was told that he was too old and would not have been able to move fast enough:(

Female Tiger, Maya
Maya with her three cubs

The cubs playing
Female tiger Maya and her cubs

The the other female tiger, Sonam and her three cubs, in the pictures below, were quite a distance away. We saw them, but not at the same proximity as the other tigers.

My next post is on my first leopard sighting at Tadoba; what an exciting experience!

Female tiger with cub
Tiger cub

Monday, April 25, 2016

Birds from Great Nicobar, some of these birds are endemic to Nicobar

Nicobar Hawk Owl (Isolata)
Continuing with my earlier post on the Rare Fauna of Great Nicobar, Nicobar has eight endemic birds which are found nowhere but in the islands of Nicobar. They are -

Nicobar Megapode, Nicobar Bulbul, Nicobar Imperial Pigeon, Nicobar Scops Owl, Nicobar Serpent Eagle, Nicobar Parakeet, Nicobar Jungle Flycatcher, and Nicobar Sparrowhawk.

Besides these birds, there are quite a few of the Andaman species as well as birds from the Indian mainland that are found in Great Nicobar.

These bird pictures have been taken by Soma Jha during her recent visit to Great Nicobar.

Nicobar Long Tailed Parakeet
Nicobar Serpent Eagle

Nicobar Parakeet
 Nicobar Imperial Pigeon 


Nicobar Hooded Pitta
Nicobar Pied Imperial Pigeon

Slaty-Legged Rail, Nicobar

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Rare Fauna of Great Nicobar

Due to its inaccessibility, Great Nicobar is not an oft visited destination. Besides government officials, researchers and scholars can get permission to visit it and must restrict themselves to the Campbell Bay area and the two roads, one that goes from east to west and the other goes along the eastern coast towards south to Indira point which is the southernmost point of India.

Reaching Andaman is easy because there are several flight connections to Port Blair, however for Nicobar Islands one has to take a helicopter service (Pawan Hans Helicopter service) or board a ship from Port Blair. The first option is the best since it gets you there faster but will cost you a lot more, and the 2nd option takes a very long time (30 hours) but it is a comfortable journey because the entire ship is air conditioned.

The Long-tailed or Crab-eating macaques are an interesting primate species found only in the Nicobar Islands. The endangered Nicobar treeshrew, which is around 15 cm with a tail longer that its body, is endemic to the island. And so is the Nicobar Common Birdwing. The Malayan Skink is one of the several lizard species found here.

I am posting pictures taken by Soma Jha during her recent visit to Great Nicobar.

I will post pictures of birds from Great Nicobar in my next post.

Long-tailed or crab-eating macaque, Nicobar
Nicobar treeshrew

Nicobar common birdwing


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Vaikuntha Perumal temple; short clippings of the temple’s interiors and a unique musical instrument

I am sharing two very short videos from the Vaikuntha Perumal temple in Kanchipuram, India. The videos are courtesy Soma Jha.

The first one is a very brief video just to give you a general idea about the interiors of the temple and the 2 nd one is a clipping of quite a unique musical instrument in the temple. It combines together the sounds of drums and bells quite well.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

An interesting video of the Lion-tailed Macaque;the endangered primate found in India

In continuation to my post on the Lion-tailed Macaque, the endangered primate that is found only in India, here is an interesting video of the Lion tailed Macaque taken by Soma Jha.

This lion-tailed Macaque has gotten hold of a bottle and thinks he has got something really-really precious. The way he inspects it, tries to eat it, and makes sense out of it is quite interesting to watch. It reminds me of the film…Gods must be Crazy.