Monday 23 October 2017

Jhoomar Baori-A Hotel Inside The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

The Jhoomar Baori is 5 Hours Drive From Our Airbnb Apartment-Reunite in Delhi-The Ideal New Delhi Accomodation

Built Initially As A Castle The Jhoomar Baori Later Became The Hunting Lodge Of The Rulers Of  Jaipur. Today Jhoomar Baori is a Heritage Hotel Operated By Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation.
You cannot sleep any closer to the Tigers of Ranthambore.The Hotel,Jhoomar Baori, is in the middle of the forest providing the real thrill of staying in a forest full of tigers,some of them known to be man eaters. After reaching around 1 PM we were relaxing in the winter sun on the terrace when we heard a strange loud sound-of some animal. The General Manager of the Hotel came up running and looked around . Again the same sound. He told us it was the call of  a tiger real close to the hotel. December being the mating season for Indian Tigers the tiger/tigress was calling to attract a mate. Although we were a bit alarmed by this kind of proximity to the tiger but the experience at that time was exhilarating. Apprehensively we asked the GM whether it was safe to stay in the place he reassured us  by throwing a counter question"what have you come here all the way from Delhi for? Enjoy the fun". 
The Wild Tiger Is An Extremely Ferocious And Dangerous Animal And Tourists Are Strictly Not Allowed To Get Off The Vehicles AT ANY COST.In One Instance In Corbett Tiger Reserve A Foreign Tourist Got Off The Vehicle To Video graph The Tiger 50 M Away .The Tiger's Speed Is Unimaginable. In Milliseconds The Tiger Had caught His Arm And Started Dragging Him Away. The Brave Tracker Kicked The Tigers Ass Hard While Pulling The Tail.Unused to Getting Ass Kicked The Tiger Ran Away.The Tourist Is Still Not Able to Use His Arm Properly Even After 10 Years.

In the evening the GM shared his two captivating experiences of being chased by a tiger twice on his motor bike while once coming to work and second time while  going home after work. He had a knack for story telling and he kept us enthralled with his vivid description of him and a tiger first sighting  each other.This was accompanied with detailed  the reactions of both the GM and the tiger upon seeing each other. Then came the flight and the chase replete with mimicked  growling sounds and ended happily with the GM reaching the safety of his house and the second time reaching the reception of the Hotel. In the entire story the size of the tiger kept growing until he became as big as a camel. But yes tigers do weigh about 400KGs sometimes and also may be there was more than a pinch of salt. 
During the night all kinds of sounds could be heard as if the entire forest had come to life and sleep did come but after a couple of stiff ones.
The Temperature Was about 2 Deg C. But the Open Vehicle Moving At 60KM/hr Creates A Wind Chill Effect That freezes The Bones Despite All The Woollen Clothing.Maybe We Are Not Used To It.

Next morning at 5 am our Safari came driven by an expert tracker Mr. Sagid. During the drive the freezing air  in the open Gypsy chilled  the body to the bones and by the time we were entering the deep forest the sun was also rising. 

The Jungle Safari is Done In An Open Maruti Gypsy Painted dark green So That It Merges With The Jungle and Does Not Alarm Animals. If Alarmed They Will Run Away And Then What To Photograph.. These are Petrol driven So The Pollution Is Less And Also The Noise Pollution Is Less. All The Animals Have Been Seeing These Vehicles Since Their Birth And Accept These As Part Of The Scenery.But getting Down is a STRICT NO. The Driver And Tracker will Lose Their Jobs And Permits If A Single Tourist Sets Even One Foot On The Ground.

Mr Sagid drove fast to a point in the middle of the forest, stopped and switched of the engine . He requested for pin drop silence.Now we could also hear the alarm calls of various animals some close some far. Mr Sagid was trying to ascertain which calls were for a tiger, which were closest, and which direction the particular tiger was moving . Sagid made up his mind based on the Jungle sounds. "HOLD FAST"-ordered suddenly in English.The Gypsy moved at break neck speed perilously bouncing over rocks and stones and suddenly he pointed-TIGER.

  The Tiger in the forest is totally different from the ones we see in the Zoo or Circus. The Tiger which has to kill its prey himself for eating is about two times the size of the ones we see in the zoo. It was not as tall  as a camel but the overall size was definitely bigger. He appeared to be walking languorously but the speed was not less than 12 Kms per hour .

The tiger was spraying his urine on the trees and standing up to scratch them too; basically staking out his territory to let other tigers know that they better clear orf!

 Without a bother in the world he walked towards a Canter safari which was moving in reverse. That is the normal procedure to be followed by all vehicles should a tiger approach them directly.All along the deer on the ground and the monkeys in the trees  who were watching him continuously were giving off alarm calls in their individual style.

 As you can see in the pictures and the video the Jungle of Ranthambore is not very dense unlike other Tiger reserves like Corbett or Kanha and therefore chances of spotting the tiger are much higher. In dense jungle the tiger keeps watching you but we cannot spot him. Soon the tiger probably got sick of the Camera Flash Bulbs from the Canter in front, popping in his face, turned right and made off into the jungle. It was the most exhilarating and captivating 90 seconds for the occupants of the Gypsies and the Canters who were struck by the Tigers vibrant skin gleaming in the rays of rising sun. 

In the excitement I forgot to pull up the camera and therefore missed out a few more pictures and videos, but that is called " The heat of the moment"

So Mission Accomplished. The Spectators, The Vehicle Drivers and The trackers were ecstatic at the their success. We have spent several days scouring the various jungles of India in the past ,but all we got to see was the pug marks, scratches on the trees and Tiger shit. Some times the tiger shit was warm indicating we were just a few minutes late. I asked the trackers how could they know for sure it was the tiger's. They said the tiger eats the skin of his prey and the hair can be seen in his excreta. we roamed around in the forest for another 2 hours seeing various animals, all prey of the majestic tigers.

The Nilgai is one of the largest deer in India.

The Sambar deer is the favourite food of the Full Grown Male Tiger and they said he does not kill any other animal for 10 days if he is lucky enough to get hold of a full grown Sambar.

We reached back to The Jhoomar Baori and rested for some time. Then the celebration started in the evening on the Terrace of the Jhoomar Baori. 

Nobody was scared of the Jungle or its night sounds any more. We had kept our Rendezvous with the Most Terrifying, Fierce, Majestic and Awe Inspiring Lord of The Jungle-The Tiger .

Next morning we woke up amongst the beautiful birds which came to share our morning tea and biscuits with us 
 After a Hearty Complimentary Breakfast in the Coffee shop we drove back to Delhi with excellent memories of the Jhoomar Baori.

The Jhoomar Baori is 5 Hours Drive From Our Airbnb Apartment-Reunite in Delhi-The Ideal New Delhi Accommodation

The Jhoomar Baori is 3 Hours Drive From Our Airbnb Apartment-Reunite in Delhi-The Ideal New Delhi Accommodation

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