Nilgiri Tahr

Nilgiri Tahr
Nature Beckons you....Listen to her whispers.....

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Jim Corbett!.......Mysterious Land of Variety!

A Tiger at Dhikala Zone!

 Jim Corbett is very familiar to many Indians and the name takes them back many years to a man who killed many Man-Eating Tigers and later stood for the preservation of them.Jim Corbett also reminds you of the National Park which is so famous that getting accommodation there is bit tricky!

A Black Stork

After so many attempts to book a night stay at Dhikala (One famous Zone in the Corbett Tiger Reserve) we were finally successful in getting accommodation in the Forest Guest House for one Day.Another 2 days were booked in Bijrani Zone and more of that experience later in the blog.

So we started our journey from Trivandrum and reached New Delhi.Stayed there for one day and boarded a train to Ramnagar the next day.Reached Ramnagar in the night and our exciting journey into the wilderness of Corbett Tiger Reserve started early next morning.

Eventhough we had reserved night stay at Dhikala we chose to ride the Canter Trip to Dhikala in the morning.We boarded the Canter just before 6 AM and our journey to Dhikala Zone started in right earnest.

Tiger in Grassland!

A Wild Boar Darting Across

The first animal to greet us in Corbett Tiger Reserve was a Black Stork.It was standing alone in a river bed on way to Dhikala.But before that a few spotted deers and a Grey Langur said hello to us!

Then after a few minutes ride we saw the famous Ram Ganga River for the first time!It was heartening to see the crystal clear waters of the Ram Ganga flow quietly and majestically across the plains of Corbett Tiger Reserve.

We were riding smoothly towards Dhikala zone and nothing was seemingly happening around us,Suddenly a wild Boar darted across our vehicle and disappeared into the thick jungle nearby.

Yellow Throated Marten!

There are plenty of Deer species in Corbett Tiger Reserve and we saw a Barking Deer at a distance.Barking Deers make a dog like bark when alarmed and hence the name.They are very skittish and don't stay back on sensing presence of humans.

Face to Face with a Tiger!

A Barking Deerr giving a secret look!

Then it was the turn of a Sambar Deer to greet us and it was hidden amongst the thickets.We could see just a glimpse of the animal.Then suddenly we realised that it was not alone and was accompanied by a baby Sambar Deer.The baby looked very cute and it was very curious about us!

Then we saw an Elephant with a man on board!Obviously it was not a wild Elephant and it was used to patrol the Reserve.After sometime we reached Dhikala Forest Guest House and had a refreshing tea and some sandwiches.

The most happening place in Corbett Tiger Reserve is Dhikala and it was time for us to take a tour around the Forest Guest House.Unfortunately we did not see any Tigers but there were other denizens of the forest welcoming us!

Red Headed Vulture

Spotted Deers were many and then a Black Winged Kite greeted us.It was perched on a single trump of tree and looked curious.

Patrolling Elephant

Then we proceeded to Sambar Road which was near the Ram Ganga River.We saw a Crocodile basking in the sun and a few water birds.Watching the Ram Ganga flow in the serene surroundings of Corbett Tiger Reserve was very soothing for the senses!

Then it was time for us to return to Ramnagar.Our night stay was to start from that afternoon and we prepared ourselves to once again reach Dhikala Forest Guest House.The safari jeep picked us from Ramnagar and we proceeded to Dhikala in the afternoon.

We checked into Dhinkla Forest Guest House and started our evening drive.A Crested Serpent Eagle was the first one to greet us in the evening.Then we again went to Sambar road and the Crocodile was still there with some water birds for company.

Then we saw other safari jeeps stacked together at a distance and we also joined them.There was a Tiger deep in the grasslands.

A Sambar Deer

We waited for a few minutes and suddenly a few Golden Jackals appeared on the scene.They were running helter shelter and gave us good opportunity to photograph them.

The time was around 5.30 PM and our driver whispered Tiger!......Yes the Tiger has appeared on the scene and it was walking slowly towards us in the thick grass.It took its time to reach reasonably close to us and drank water from a small pond.It laid down there for some minutes and again started its walk.It walked right by the side of us and crossed the road and went to the other side.We could not see it crossing as the other vehicles blocked our view.

We couldn't see the Tiger after it crossed and it disappeared into the thick grass.It was time for us to move on and explore the other denizens of the forest.

A Monkey at Dhikala!

We roamed the Dhikla Zone and saw a beautiful sunset.Then it was time to settle for the day and look towards our safari early next morning.The dinner offered was good and the accommodation was good as well.All basic amenities are provided in the room.

We got up at 530 AM next day and after having a cup of hot tea started our morning safari.A beautiful sunrise greeted us and it was time to wait for the Tiger to emerge by the side of the road.Again our driver whispered Tiger.

We saw 3 Tigers emerging out of the grass and into the mud road at a distance.This part of mud road was a no drive zone for the safari jeeps.The Tigers were 3 cubs of around 2 years and were the litter of a Tigress which lives in the grasslands of Dhikala.

A Black Winged Kite

The 3 cubs walked away from us and were at a far distance for my 100-400 mm zoom lens.But it was fascinating to see the Tigers walk without giving any care for the large no of vehicles parked at a distance.After sometime they disappeared from view.

We went to the other side of the grassland and waited there and hoped for the Tigers to emerge there.But more excitement was in store for us when we were waiting for the Tigers!

2 Yellow Throated Martens appeared on a tree nearby and were moving recklessly.One of them came to the floor and gave some opportunity to photograph.Then both of them disappeard.

A Crocodile Basking at the Ram Ganga River

We moved on from there after half an hours wait,with the Tigers not showing themselves.We saw a Red Headed Vulture perched high up on a branch.These are labelled us Critically Endangered in th IUCN Red list.

We were on the move and saw a herd of Elephants in the thick grass.They were hardly visible and were well camouflaged despite their huge size.There was one young Tusker in the group.

3 some Awsome!

Then we mover over to another stretch of grass land and here comes a special denizen of the Dhikala Forest!The Hog Deer!......These are small Deers and found only in North and East India.They are very skittish and run off on smallest disturbance.We saw 2 Hog deers standing on the road and before we could reach near them they were gone!

A Crested Serpent Eagle

Then we saw a Hog Deer darting across the road.It was fascinating to see them run.While running they bend their hind part like a pig(Hog).Thats why they got there names.

After that we moved on and saw a different herd of Elephants.There was a cute little Baby Elephant amongst them.Then we proeeded again to Sambar Road and saw the same set of occupants there!For a change we saw a Pallas's Fish Eagle perched on a branch overlooking the Ram  Ganga River.

Then we saw a lone Sambar Deer amongst a herd of Spotted Deers.It was fun to watch the lone Sambar in a herd of a different species of Deer!

Then it was time for us to say Good Bye to Dhikala and head towards
 another Zone;Bijrani.

Elephants hiding in Grassland

We reached Bijrani by around 4pm and after checking in started our evening safari.Saw a Crested Serpent Eagle immediately and it was wonderful to observe the bird sitting alone.There were plenty of Spotted Deers and we saw Kalij Phesants and Red Jungle fowls running helter shelter on the forest floor.

Then we saw a lone Pea-cock drinking water on a man made pond.For the next 2 days we spend our time in Bijrani.The Tiger never appeared in front of us but there were exciting moments when we anticipated the presence of a Tiger.We heard a Barking Deer bark for the first time and were able to record the sound.

Bark of a Barking Deer

                                            The Bark of a Barking Deer!

We saw quite a no.of birds during our stay at Bijrani.The food was good and the staff was friendly.

A Great Hornbill

Then it was time for us to say Good Bye to Jim Corbett and go to other places nearby.

But both of us were sure on one thing;we will come back to Jim Corbett for sure!