Monday, May 11, 2009

Spot the Tiger : Ranthambore

The first article on a national park... Quite a break after all the similar sounding European cities? Yes it was quite a break:) This trip was more than just a short vacation, was a kind of unofficial offsite too! Went there with collegues from my office, with family and kids. And what a weekend it turned out to be!

Ranthambore is located near Jaipur, near a town called Sawai Madhopur. Its a national park, famous for its tigers (which we did not get to spot though!). Took two safaris in the jungle, all we got to see were sambhars and owls and some nice looking birds. Think our guide was useless, plus we made too much noise! I also learnt that when going for a safari, should never wear bright colour clothes (I did not know this before!!).

The jungle at Ranthambore is bit sparse, and dry, unlike the dense jungles of Kanha and Bandhavgarh, which is supposed to be one of the best parks for spotting tigers. The best times to go to these parks are in the summers, when more and more of the animals comes out to avoid the heat. There are 4 different regions in the jungle, and C (if I remember correctly) has a big lake, where the chance of spotting are very high.

The Ranthambore fort is interesting too, quite a lot of history and unbeleivable stories linked to it. Its quite huge, with a good view of the jungle too.

The property that we stayed in, The Sawai Madhopur Lodge is a Taj property, which was earlier the Raja's hunting Lodge now converted to a hotel.
Its well maintained, with some sports to keep you busy while on the property. The food spread is out of this world though, the chaas made in front of you, and the paranthas. The management team is professional too, with a personalised service. We had a great evening, both the days we were there, with the local singers providing local entertainment. You ask them to sing a hindi song, they will modify it to the Rajasthani tune. We danced like anything to those, better than many clubs that we go to in Mumbai!
There are enough options in Ranthambore to stay, in all price ranges. And Rajasthani hospitality at its best everywhere I guess!

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