#JungleStory- Spine Chilling Adventure At Tadoba

Photo: Hemant Chhatre
Photo: Hemant Chhatre

While the rest of the world rushes off to the hottest pubs wearing haute couture, we decided to rough it instead. Donning cargos and hiking boots we set off as backpackers. With a healthy dose of bug spray in our arsenal we geared up for our jungle adventure.

Tadoba- Here We Come!

A swift train journey took us to Nagpur. Our hotel in Tadoba had arranged for a car to drive us to the park which lay a few hours away from the station. While we sojourned at Tadoba Tiger King Resort, there are scores of jungle resorts like Saras Resort, Tiger Village Resort and even campsites that are fit for a king.

A tad pricey, safaris are offered by most resorts as well as the National Park. It is worth it should spotting a big cat make your day. The shared safari took us on a jungle tour and as the guide chattered away, we had our first sighting of the day.

Our forest lodge was located close to the Kolara Gate at The Tadoba National Park. Travel weary, we opted for a stroll around the resort come twilight choosing to turn in early for our thrilling dawn safari. After a quick 6 a.m. breakfast we were whisked off on a jungle safari.

A leopard was on the prowl. Staring into his stone cold eyes even through powerful binoculars was enough to send a shiver down our spines.

Luckily enough our second spotting was soon after. A beautiful owl nestled in a nearby tree trunk. Just as the photographers in our troupe clicked away, the safari took us to Tadoba Lake. A site perfect for bird watching, we spotted plenty alas recognized few of the chirpy winged critters.

Our day at the lake was topped off with a stellar barbeque at the resort.
After chomping down on luscious kebabs and gulping more than our fair share of ale, we called it a night.

Our second morning in Tadoba promised the most sightings as we headed through Moharli Gate to places tigers frequented. The wild cats did not disappoint. We caught sight of a regal Bengal tiger slouching off against the backdrop of bamboo trees.

Soon irked by the shutterbugs the animal gave a feral snarl that picture-hungry photographers snapped up right away. Our last sighting of the day was of a young male leopard crouched in the middle of a trail. His curious eyes bid us goodbye as we made our way to the resort via Zari (Kolsa) Gate.

Heading homeward next morning, we were thoroughly exhilarated by our weekend rendezvous with the big cats. Celebrating the new year underneath the stars listening to the call of the wild turned out to be more than perfect.

While we missed the festivities in town, replacing harsh music with the sound of crickets and strobe lights with the glow of a stray firefly was indeed a bargain well stuck.


#Photography: Hemant Chhatre for Pune365

Aditi Balsaver

Aditi Balsaver

A rapacious reader and animal lover, Aditi is a traveler on weekends and a writer at night..
Aditi Balsaver