Our adventure in Ranthambore national park continues. This afternoon – after watching “Lightning” in action – seems to be the most memorable one for us.
We leave Manik talao (lake) even as many are still glued to “Lightning”. It was a right decision. Hansraj tells Tikaram to go straight to Rajbagh talao. The news had spread about sighting of another tiger on its banks. We did not want to miss the chance of seeing another big cat in all its glory! Tikaram drive fast and we reach the bank of the lake. We could see few Gypsies already parked on the bank and waiting for the sight of the tiger. We too wait for sometime. That is when the intelligence of Hansraj work. He asks Tikaram to start the Gypsy and drive out of the crowd. We leave the crowd and drive a kilometre ahead and wait. Ours is the first vehicle to be positioned at a vantage point. Hansraj and Anurag – Tigerwalah – are firm that the big cat will eventually emerge out of the grass and walk along the bank and enter the road.
The fun of visiting a tiger reserve is the excitement you get in waiting to see a tiger. More so if you are in a park like Ranthambore national park! Though we had the scene of our lifetime few minutes back with lightning, we keep our fingers crossed and wait.
Lo and behold! Hansraj calls out “Arrowhead”!
We all turn towards the tall grass where we could see Arrowhead majestically walk towards us. She starts walking on the road and we follow her in our Gypsy. This is really fascinating. Being the first vehicle, we are straight behind the cat as she walk in front nonchalant! This goes on for few minutes and suddenly she vanish into the grass again.
Hansraj asks Tikaram to drive the gypsy ahead and park it. We are the first again! We are now on the bank of the talao. We are joined by few other Gypsies. A lone Sambar deer is grazing happily. It is late afternoon and sun is shining bright. Sky is clear blue. We wait. Hansraj and Anurag are very excited. So are we. He is expecting Arrowhead to walk along the bank and jump to kill the lone sambhar deer. Excitement mounts. Will we see another drama here?
All of a sudden, the sambhar deer jumps and scoot away! “Look”, shouts Hansraj pointing in the direction towards the grass. We could see “Arrowhead” emerging out of the grass and walking majestically on the bank. She has missed her prey. She doesn’t seems to be in a mood to hunt! She walks along and come closer to our gypsy. She is bigger than Lightning. She comes very close and we are now worried. What if she jumps at us?
We again miss out on the drama in wilderness. But we didn’t miss the excitement of following the tiger and seeing it from a distance of five feet! We have been lucky so far this afternoon. Our luck is to hold good for another tiger as Hansraj ask Tikaram to take us to other side of the talao. Another sighting and much more ……before we wind up for the day……..
Click here for first two parts of the series
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