Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Jamnagar was on my list since last few years. Last year I wanted to go but after Gir it was too tiring so decided to postponed the visit.
Amish Bhais Photographs on flamingos forced me to visit the area immediately.
Birds photography does not have that much commercial value as of mammalls.
Before starting for Jamagar I was looking for Flamingo photos on different stock agency websites to find out the gap. I find that lots of easy photographs are missing. People just wants to have a long lens and close ups of the subject but they forget about the habitat and the surrounding areas.
In the present era of human population explosion, which is worst than any atomic explosion, all these creatures are having tough time for their survival. I will love to photograph birds with human presence around.
I started at 0615 from Tala by a taxi and after getting out in the parking dragging my luggage to booking window i bought my ticket to Jabalpur at 0749. All the time I was trying to control that driver even than he hit a bullock. Funny thing was that he stopped immediately got off the car to check car body. 100% It was his fault and even than he was abusing that poor villager. He was driving in full speed of 60 km above between a lorry parked on one side and bullock cart park on other side of the road. What I could do? I was sitting there like a helpless goat in a lorry. It took us only 90 minutes to complete the journey of more than 90 kms after stopping on two barriers where he has to sign the register and on one barrier he has to pay the toll tax and take the receipt. I calculate these activities must have taken 5 minutes. so 85 minutes to finish the journey.
That driver is Black listed from our list, never again to hire the car with him as driver.
Dont find good atmosphere in third A/C. Companion on other seat is a family with two children. Grand mother asking her daughter to feed the kids regularly resulting elder one of about 7 yrs of age vomiting. Somehow A/C in 3 A/C work better than 2 a/c. This makes people sleep more. but still I will say that majority of people travel in a/c compartment do not have a/c in their houses and they dont feel comfortable. They they feel catch cold. Thanks god this time attendent was good and he ignored all their requests of making the compartment little warmer.
Its difficult to keep the compartment clean. People are not use to of sitting in a clean area. They through rubbish under the seat and later complaints about cockroaches and mice.
Train reached Rajkot on time. Railway announcement system was informing about a passenger train for Jamnagar arriving at 1320 at Rajkot station and reaching Jamnagar by 1900 hrs. A GRP man suggested me to go by bus. Automan suggested to go on highway junction to get a faster bus than trying one from bus stand. He was right. He dropped me at junction and in-fact straight near a bus. So within 2 hours I reached Jamnagar and by 1600 hrs I checked-in in my hotel.
Vatsal never replied my phone but Amish bhai promised to meet me at 1700 hrs.
He was prompt. We saw few places and chose the place for the morning.
Food is a problem here. Restaurants are dirty. A person Fussy like me, will not eat in these restaurants. I am very happy eating on Road side Dhabas where food is cooked right infrnt of your eyes. Punit Hotel promised me good food so I thought to go for Masala Dosa. At the places where I am not sure about the food quality I often check food minutely. I ate plain Dosa part and opened the Masala part. There I found not one but two cockroaches cooked with potato. I did what I could do but thats not the solution of my hunger. I went down and bought few fruits. Safest thing to eat. Cook it boil it peel it or leave it.
Jamnagar could be photographers paradise and could be a very good tourist destination if local authorities could get rid of stray dogs and people showing their bare bottoms near the bird spots. One place near the Railway Yard so good for Flamingos but one can not take use his camera only because of Free View of Bare Bottoms of Women sitting in a row on the other side. This pool is hardly 100 ft wide so there are good chances of creating trouble for yourself. local community of Birdwatchers and photographers should take some initiatives to meet local authorities to develop these spots for birdwatchers. This will help in conservation and will provide a good chance for new generation to take bird watching as hobby.
I was warned not to take my camera out, just see the area. After seeing 7-8 bare bottoms in a row we even didn't stop to see the birds. So the second morning is Gone. Afternoons so far did not produce any results but I will try to make a good use of this opportunity today.
Afternoon was again not very productive because we choose to go to Local lake.
Saw a Darter with a thread struck to her beak means she cant open it and unable to fish. will she die of hunger or someone will help her?? deptt doesn't seems to be that active for this kind of things.

Next morning e again tried the same spot where we were watching courtship display. Some good pictures but by 0630 in the morning light becomes very strong.
Amish bhai could not join m in the afternoon so i decided to visit kheechadiya sanctuary. people did informed me that season is over but i thought to give it a try. It was not bad for few long shots otherwise peoples advice was right.
Last morning was a complete fiasco. the group we were photographing was missing from the spot. We visited others areas but Bare bottoms did not allowed us to use the camera.
Ultimately food problem was solved on third day when I found the Madras Hotel who serves reasonable south Indian food. Their north Indian and other dishes are useless to even try, full of oil.
I took the bus again and that was right decision to reach Rajkot in time.
My train ticket hanged to RAC. My mistake, I should have tried the ticket on Tatkal.
Anyway all in all trip was good, got few photos and knowledge for future.
Probably winter visit to Gujarat may produce some better results.

Another incident at the same spot. Andhiyaari Jhhiriya

Few years back means at the time when same Tigress Tulsi was raising her second litter a man was killed and few others were injured almost at the same spot for the same reason.
People who live away from jungle cry a lot against the forest department and against the Tigers but no one try to teach villagers the situation that they understand very well.
Few weeks before I went on an Elephant during a Tiger Show to look for B2 as others were also available but I prefer him but at that spot we saw villagers man and women with children shouting and telling Mahavat where the Tiger has Gone. This was B2 who is so scared of human on foot that he left the area immediately. These people were standing merely 200 ft away from the spot where he was lying in river bed. Off-course they were on the other side of the fence.
Every Tiger doesn't behave like B2, that could be the reason of this incident.
Surely it was not mother this time (A women and a man killed by tiger on 23rd Morninng). It must have been the cubs who are seen sitting outside of the fence more than inside in last few weeks.
They have found that cattle are easy prey and few herbivores left outside are easy to kill than trying to make a kill inside of the fence. There they hit the fence and inside they run away in the jungle. So outside of the park became there preferable spot in last few weeks. Now they are showing their independence. They all have left their mother but their father is still seen with them in greed of sharing the food.
Last time it happened when villagers ignored the constant rumbling growl of the Tigress and at last she charged on one of them to get away from that spot where she felt cornered / surrounded by villagers.
Villagers should have remembered the daily scene that these Tigers can be any where in thickets. Since last one month Tourists are seeing them regularly close to the fence and i even photographed them leaping over the fence and villagers know their presence in that area very well.
Then why this happened? Does the poverty force them to put their life in danger??
Do we see that kind of poverty in that area?
How come a person living right next to the park boundary is thriving so well and others cant follow his example?
I am dead against of all these handouts given to the villagers. These handouts dont heelp them but makes them more greedy and lazy.
They treat us like idiots who keep sympathy with them in the name of Tigers.
I am living in this village since last 20 years and still waiting for a local villager who is willing to work. They all look for Govt work / panchaayat work where they get money for hardly doing and hard work.
This kind of incidents will keep on happening till the villagers will not understand the situation. We cant expect a Tiger to stop going to his favourite places in summer.
Now the situation is same as it was before. We have to learn and remember how to avoid meeting them out of the park.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Somehow I am not able to write posts in time, feel sorry for that.
So next season Bandhavgarh will have a tigress with young cubs. She has a very poor territory as others do. At this stage she should not be seen going outside of the park when her present litter is less than a month old. At this stage cats do not leave their litter for long.
We saw Wakeeta near Banbehi, moving towards park boundary. Her teats are showing the presence of her new litter.
This is the first litter of this Tigress sired by Shashi, Bamera male. Her sister was also present in the area till few months back. Where is she now is the question? Has she moved out out towards Pataur?? Time will tell? She should also have the cubs by now?
Who knows where they survive?
We still dont know where Kalua is gone? or his brother?
Where these tigers breed outside of the park?
Many unanswered questions?
Anyway Wakeeta has future to survive here in Bandhavgarh for few more years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chainlink Fencing at Bandhavgarh

About 4-5 years back one of our friend photographed a Tiger sitting on road with a 4 inch long wire hanging out of his paw. I forwarded that photograph to concerned authorities and they simply denied it. Mahavats saw Lakshmi leaping over the fence and limping, this fact was never accepted and later even Mahavats changed their statements . It took me long time to be present at right spot at right time for this picture.
It looks easy but if you see the position of his forelegs and imagine when he will put his hind feet on the fence to balance himself for a friction of a second. Where he puts his hind feet and jumps is all a matter of chance. My picture shows fur flying all over around his hind feet while diving straight down on other side.
I still don't see those chain link supporters on FB now, are they there to see this? Will they please comment if this fence is useful for wildlife??
Park authorities has removed some of the fence from Dhobia Khol area. That tells us the whole story of it.