A trip was due and so this time I chose to go to Ranthombhore and Jaipur. Rajasthan due to its old worldly charm has been a childhood favorite of mine, it’s sights, sound and smell appeal to me.
I had registered online for the tiger safari, which was ok and just short of disappointing. But I took console from the fact that this was my first trip and I know of friends who have been there 7 times and yet not sighted the tiger.
However as luck would have it, we were in for a surprise. Our hotel manager informed us that the park in front of the hotel, not a park but a walled jungle, also at times has the privilege of the presence of tiger and suggested that we should visit it. It is also house to a centuries old Shankar temple on the mountains. So along with 4 kids and 4 of us elders we decided to do the trip. And boy were we rewarded!!
Sambars, Chitals – barking deer, Neelgais rushed around on in the wilderness, peacocks – not one or two but in groups, and guess what – we finally saw a paw print of the tiger. It was the keen eye of a child who drew the attention to the same. We came across some unique behavioral characteristics – such as monkeys forming a circle and guarding their territory while their offsprings played within the circle protected from the wildest of all animals – us.
Soon it was getting dark, and suddenly we heard loud piercing shrills of a deer as if it was being attacked. And then we heard the roar of the tiger – which was close enough to give us goosebumps. We continued for another hour to try an track the sounds, but the darkness eventually frightened the children [us too J ] who pleaded to return back to the hotel.
Obviously, I and another pal made plans for early morning track the next day at the same place!! It was a thrilling experience.