Jan 7, 2013

Call of the Wild- Bandhavgarh National Park



Bandhavgarh National Park, popular for the tiger tourism in India, was a must see for me even after I had visited Kanha and Pench in the same month. Reaching the place using public transport took little too long. From Jabalpur I took a bus to Katni, then to Umaria and then to Tala. It was too very hectic in the old noisy buses which were filled with humans. Believe me there wasn't even an inch of free space. I felt world is so big when I disembarked at Tala gate :) Took a room for two nights in forest rest-house paying Rs. 3000 and extra for food. My plan was to go for safari and next day to the fort. It is a clean accommodation with no TV right at the national park gate at Tala.

The food was okay in the rest house. I spent the night thinking about next morning's jungle safari. I had to look for a shared ride quickly. And I got it! With an Australian couple just for Rs. 1000. Like other national parks Bandhavgarh is bustling with wildlife. Antelopes and other herbivores are in abundance. Birds too are all around. But, the vehicles move around so very fast that you won't be able to see these little creatures which was little disappointing.

We first saw pugmarks, and then all the gypsies (Indian made 4X4 open vehicles) followed the marks until they vanished into the forest. Then some fast driving around and waiting here and there where other gypsies were waiting. At last ... in one place ... under thick foliage ... this mother tigress (first picture) was playing with its grown-up boy-cub. The moment we reached the kid moved away leaving the super-alert Mommy behind. 

In my personal opinion, elephant rides are the best. Eco-friendly and provides much more wilderness experience. I have mentioned this in earlier posts, next time when I visit any national park I will go for an elephant ride. But, then domesticating an elephant also makes me sad. Every creature on this Earth should be free and happy. 


Below is the scene ... gypsies lined up for morning jungle safari. There were few more behind mine. All these vehicles were running around to show tiger to the tourists. Recently, tiger tourism was banned in India which was then lifted favoring tourists. When I asked my driver to drive a bit slow he asked me an obvious question ... Madam, aapko sher dekhna hai ya nanhin? (Do you want to see a tiger or not?) ... 


In my opinion, Bandhavgarh is too very commercialized. Everybody, including me, will see a tiger but, I was unhappy to see too many gypsies moving around noisily with more than tolerable speed- in my opinion. There is another option for more wilderness experience. To see the fort and temples inside the park. Though I tried very hard to convince domestic as well as international tourists- I could not get any shared rides. I skipped it for the next visit.

I had long way ahead ... Tala to Umaria by bus ... Umaria to Katni by train ... then another train to Maihar, my next next destination, a shaktipeetha
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Click HERE to read more articles about National Parks of India. Click HERE to read complete Backpacking India series.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

30 comments:

  1. Same happened at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Because of the weird sound these jeeps' engine makes, the tigers and other animals will be aware and would be hidden. yes..they're commercialized.

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    1. Glad to see you back Anuradha :) I hope the awareness spreads and commercialization reduces.

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  2. It is all commercialized. Sad to see such wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Anyways I love reading your Madhya Pradesh chronicles!

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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    1. Ha ha! Thanks Niranjan! Yeah, Madhya Pradesh is a wonderful place!

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  3. There is just nothing like a tiger. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  4. Oh, the tiger is so beautiful and what a terrific capture, Kusum!! Great shots for the day! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks Sylvia. You have a great day too!

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  5. It must be so difficult to get the correct balance between tourism and conservation as they need each other to survive. Your photo of the tiger is excellent.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, you are right! Every tourist knows that the tourism is affecting tiger habitat, but then they have come long way and want to sight a tiger!

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  6. Great sightings and well recorded too.

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  7. What a magnificent tiger shot! But so many people in the jeeps!

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    1. Thank you Lady Fi :) Yeah, many in jeeps and thats all about Tiger Tourism in India :)

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  8. Kusum, it is such a pleasure to read these posts and travel with you all over

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  9. Thanks for your nice comment on my Skywatch post. Your blog is to me a very interesting document for the traveller with great pictures. Thank you.

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    1. Welcome to my Blog Elisabeth. Your pic was nice :) Thanks for your kind words about my blog!

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  10. The shot is magnificent! My father once saw a tiger with its cubs in orrisa. Then it was not a big deal spotting a tiger. And yes I agree, with so many gypsies waiting to leave, very soon, they would be traffic jam there too!

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    1. Thanks Jenny! There was traffic jam and fight between the drivers at the gate. The rogue driver was then warned by tourists and other drivers!

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  11. Lovely tiger sighting. Great narration.I agree that these sanctuaries are getting crowded & noisy and the environment not very tiger friendly. And oh my god - so many gypsies.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Ramakrishnan! Yes, so many gypsies!

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  12. Cool sighting of the tiger, it is a great experience. Too bad about the traffic jam!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! Number of vehicles could be tolerated but, the way they drive in the forest was of little concern!

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  13. Oh it must be exciting, but i guess a tourist will lessen the appreciation of the intended scenes if those things you describe will always be that way. I am sure it is more disappointing to real foreigners. At least in your case, you are half foreigner, haha! That tiger doesn't look scary at all in that pose!

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    1. When you are in a vehicle even kodiak bear is not scary :):) Travelers like me are half foreigners everywhere!!

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  14. We think a lot alike Kusum.. I too would rather ride an elephant, but they are so smart and I feel sad that they can't be free...Thank you for taking me on your trip and thank you most heartily for all the supportive comments and good wishes on my blog..it has made my journey easier...Michelle

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Yeah, elephants are smart :)

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  15. Yes! Bandhavgarh National Park is known as for tiger safari and has a great experience of wildlife.
    thanks for sharing.

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  16. Hi Kusum,

    This was absolutely fascinating to see and read.

    Having been here in Bandhavgarh for the better part of my life, I love it when enthusiastic travelers like you share their experiences of Bandhavgarh travel and take on the mantle of promoting these volcanoes of wildlife education amongst your readers.

    I would be glad to see you the next time around in these parks. We have a set of small, boutique jungle lodges in Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Ranthambore. I would be glad to offer special discounts to our readers here :)

    Regards,

    Sharad.

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