Since my first trip to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) during summer of 2010 it become my favourite tiger park in India. Though Ranthambhore NP holds especial place in my heart as I had my first tiger sighting here and frequently visited between 2004-2008 . But since I am placed at Bangalore travelling to TATR is much easier & off lately tiger sighting in TATR is among best in Central India.
|Telai lake Tigress-Lakshmi, Very efficient hunger & caring mother||A huge Male- Waghdow , Dominating male of Telia area.|
Since summer of 2012 I was following Tiger family of Telia lake area. Female tigress with four few month old cubs and dominating male (Waghdo) cooling off in water pool is the sighting to cherish for life time. During last two years I made frequent trip to TATR to watch these pretty playful cubs to grow in to four Beautiful Tigresses.
Telia cub during summer of 2012
|Few month old Telia cubs||Tiger cub near waterhole.|
TATR is also place to observe other carnivorous easily. Sighting of wild dog & sloth bear is quite common. Though Leopard sighting is not very common it mainly because of this secretive behaviour, but it often bump into you when we least expect him.
|Tiger in tall grass||Tiger Stalking prey|
During one afternoon safari lady luck was sitting in our vehicle, we had sighting of all 4 VIPs of park. As we Started from Mohrarli Gate, first was saw sloth Bear as we entered park. Then we got famous Tiger family of circuit & its siblings along the main road. Once we got into Tadoba range a pack of wild dog waiting on road side and as we driving back to Mohrali Gate, it was almost 6.15pm , vehicle passed us told there is leopard near road side water hole, we thought of checking out so we turned back and saw it,though light was too low to make any decent photograph (Guide at Tadoba call Tiger, wild dog, Leopard & Bear as VIP).
I still remember during one morning safari with Anindya, Sreya & Joydeep, watching pack of wild dog hunting spotted deer for almost three hours. Large number of carnivorous is possible because of good number of prey base in TATR, during safari sighting of spotted deer, Samber & Langue very common. Surprisingly a very shy Barking deer, Chowsingha & tree shrew also can be spotted.
|Cubs grown up to beautiful tigress||Playful game are becoming show of dominance|
Bird life is also amazing in TATR, Especially Khatizari area had abundance of bird life, but unfortunately this is area is banned for tourist from 2012 winter. Still Telia Lake & Tadoba Lake is good place to observe OHB, CSE, nightjar with other birds. Even water body around MTDC guest house has good bird life, but unfortunately never able to spare time for this as morning & evening good photography time goes for safari.
Final family portrait: All four cubs reach to Adulthood, I believe this the last time, seeing mother with her four beautiful daughters in single frame.
Some useful information about TATR:
Travel: TATR is situated about 140km from Nagpur (nearest airport) and Chandrapur 35km nearest railway station.
Following option are best to travel from Bangalore:
- Fastest way of reach: Indigo flight from Bangalore at 6.10am- Nagpur at 8.30am. Hire a taxi and you will be on for afternoon safari. After morning safari take taxi to Nagpur, return indigo flight at 8.30pm- Bangalore 10.30pm
- Well planned and comfortable way: Rajadhani Express from Bangalore, buy ticket till Nagpur but get down at Ballarshah ( though Ballarshah is not scheduled stoppage but train stop for change of guard and division) . Same way return book ticket from Nagpur but bording at Ballarshah. Train reaches at 12.30pm. Ballarshah is about 40-45km from Mohrali Gate.
- Quick & unplanned way: Take night Volvo to Hyderabad; make sure your bus reach hyd well on time to catch AP express which leaves Hyd at 6.30am. You will be at Chandrapur at 12.50pm and on for afternoon safari. Return, after morning safari take AP expresses to Hyd which leaves Chandrapur at 12.30pm and reach hyd at 8.00pm. Then night Volvo to Bangalore.
I had tried all the above option depends upon, but I feel if you can plan your trip 2 month in advance then option 2 is most comfortable & Economical.
Safari Vehicle: Though you are allowed to take any Maharashtra registered vehicle into park. But better we book a gypsy well in advance as there are 20 vehicle limits for each of three range (Tadoba, Kolsa, Mohrali). Now safari vehicle get booked 28days in Advance at chandrapur FD, you have to provide valid ID card of one member & name of other members at time of booking. I take help of my friend and gypsy owner Mr Manish Varma (Mob No: 08055920303) for booking gypsy, also can contact mr Samir shekh (9325770530). They managed to get vehicle booked whenever I requested and that to from Mohrali Gate, which become little difficult during pick season. Average Cost is around Rs3500 per vehicle. I believe by next year online booking will start.
Accommodation: I prefer MTDC resort at Mohrali Gate, I feel its value for money place. Though few might not like the service but then I am not a tourist on holiday, I am happy if get good basic food and bed to sleep. Recently forest Dept Had made new 4 A/C huts near MTDC, which are excellent. Best thing about these property is there location, located at edge of forest and three side surrounded by water body. Hearing alarm call in night is very common; I still remember once after dinner we were walking around the resort and a sloth bear come up to main gate and we observed it for some time in torch light. You can book both above properties online at: www.maharashtratourism.gov.in
Though there are few high end resorts also but to be frank I never tried them so can’t talk about them. But for those who need better service and are travelling with kids, I feel Royal Tadoba Resort very close to Mohrali gate is very good.
Tips: Though park remain open from 15th Oct -30th June. But best time to see tiger is from Feb-June. If you are photographer then Avoid time from 2rd week of April to May end, as because of holiday to much people visit the park. June third & forth week is also very good time as few showers bring park back to life and you can get some good photographs.
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