Destinations - India Wild Life

Ranthambore Rendezvous 2 – “Lightning” strikes, almost!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Ranthambore is an awesome “Jungle Experience”. We wrote about its “Wilderness Royale” in the first part. We continue where we left…..

Yes, the wait was getting more anxious. The two spotted deer were grazing on the bank oblivious to the presence of the tiger. We wanted them to walk fast and come closer to the place where tiger was. But, animals don’t bother for our whims and fancies. Not at least in wild!

The deer continued having fun. Poorna was glued to the binoculars and watching the tiger’s movements. The big cat was still. Hiding behind a tree. The wait was becoming tedious though we were enjoying the myriad of wild life which was on display in the lake. It was unbelievable. We hadn’t seen something like that before except possibly in Kabini. The surprising part was the wild boar. There was a sounder of wild boars enjoying the water. Where did they come from?

The action on the bank was slow. The deer continued grazing at the same place. If we were getting frustrated, imagine the plight of the tiger which needs the prey to come within striking distance. The first deer started moving slowly towards the tiger followed by the other. There was lot of excitement in the air. There were seven to eight gypsies on our bank. We could see same numbers on the other side of the lake closer to the tiger. All of us were keeping our fingers crossed and biting our nails. Anurag from Tigerwalah has fixed his lens and Poorna glued to his Binoculars. The deer moves slowly and is now much closer to the tiger. Within its striking distance!

Oh my god! We are now waiting for the kill. A strike by the tiger. A kill in the wild. Once in a lifetime chance.

Suddenly the deer senses the tiger, screams and run away. Poorna watching through the binoculars shout “tiger is coming”. The drama unfolds in Malik talao. It is like a magic. The animals are alerted and they jump out of the water. They run helter-skelter. The splash of water with silhouettes of these animals usher in the spectacle. The tiger has realised that it has missed its prey by a whisker. It walks down to the bank from his hiding spot. “Lightning” shouts Hansraj pointing towards the tiger.

“Lightning” is dejected and walks fast along the bank. She is coming towards us. We are excited. Will she really come closer or vanish into the forest. There is no chance of taking our gypsy closer. She walks royally, looks around. All the animals have run away. She is disappointed and screams. She stops and looks around. Continue to walk towards us. We could not believe our eyes. It comes so close that we get scared. We are just ten feet away from “lightening”. She continues to walk to the other bank. The drivers start the gypsies and follow him. She is not bothered about us and continue to walk towards a tree. Stops there and sits under it. Least bothered about seven gypsies around! We click pictures to our fullest satisfaction.

Let us now see the action in pictures. As they say, a picture is worth thousand words!

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Everything was calm before the storm! Deer in Malik Talao.

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This is where the tiger is. Hiding behind a tree. Notice the vehicles close to it on the other side of the lake.

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Scenes of a lifetime! Animals running helter-skelter when they heard the scream of deer.

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These deer which were away from the scene and in the middle of lake are alert too. Notice their ears….

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The big cat comes out of hiding! Can you make out? Walks towards the water…….

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Dejected, walks along the bank…..

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Manoeuvring under a tree…..

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She walks towards us. We just couldn’t believe our eyes….

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…..as she comes closer and closer….

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We can see her clearly. Lightning is now closer to us. May be 20 feet!!

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Stops to take some breath!!

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then yawns?

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Then looks at us. “Am i posing correct?”

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Look as to how close the vehicles are. We were facing Lightning as close as 6 feet!!

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She starts moving. We follow behind in our Gypsies.

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Starts moving into the sun and towards the bank. Will she continue his walk?

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She needs some rest too. Sitting under a tree or waiting for a kill?

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.…and she gave another pose!

We had seen the tiger in wilderness only once in Kanha National Park. Seeing it now in Ranthambore was an exhilarating experience.

We are not satiated. But Hansraj who has an ear to the ground asks Tikaram to start and move towards Rajbagh talao where he had heard from other naturalists of having seen a tiger moving around in that area.

We take off to watch another drama in wilderness. To Rajbagh Talao. This time with another tiger! It was an unbelievable experience too! You have to wait till next post for that……..

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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