Sariska Tiger Reserve is just a hop and a skip away from NCR which makes it an ideal weekend getaway! If you don’t like to drive (like me) Shatabdi Express Train is a good option. You need to get down at Alwar and then take a bus going to Jaipur. Sariska is on the way. It is 40 km away from Alwar. I was wondering if I would get a taxi just by turning up at the Alwar Railway Station but no one came to me asking if I wanted to hire a taxi. I took a cycle rickshaw to the bus stand. The bus stand is dingy but what to do? Chhavi didn’t like the bus but we had no other option. It was a short journey and the bus fare for the two of us was less than 50 rupees! I am told the taxi charges are 2000 rupees. Now that doesn’t make sense to me.
I had already booked a room at the Tiger Den, RTDC. This was the first jungle trip for Chhavi. I initially thought we would not go on a safari the day we arrived but as the kid showed no sign of tiredness, we ran away to the jungle after an early dinner.
At the start of our safari our guide showed us a village inside the tiger reserve. There are a few villages still remaining inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve. It is the same for many other forests that I have visited in India. I wonder how it would feel to live in close proximity of wild animals on a daily basis! The government is relocating the villages in many national parks as they are flash points for human-animal conflict.
When you see deer do you think tiger food? Not the most romantic way of thinking about these beautiful creatures I guess. But many a guides do describe them like that. When I pointed them out to Chhavi telling her they are called Spotted deer, she firmly declared they are dot deer and not spotted deer.
There are a lot of monkeys around the hotel as well as the ticketing window. If you have any eatables in your hand they can come near you to snatch it away. Here was one, having a gala time with some tomato sauce.
And here is another one making monkey faces because mom is pointing the camera at her. I wonder what pleasure she derives in giving me a hard time if I want to click her picture!
There is a temple right inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve, the Pandupol Temple. On Tuesdays and Thursdays private vehicles (not sure if they allow only Rajasthan registered cars or any cars) are allowed to visit the temples. I even saw a BMW on those bumpy roads. There are a lot of langoors near the temple. You can buy eatables and tea at the shops near the temple.
These two langoors were sitting high up on a tree near the temple, behaving as if they had the responsibility to keep an eye on everyone below. Meanwhile their friends and family members were busy climbing cars and trying to snatch away eatables.
And here is another one who believes in climbing up high. While we were waiting at a spot for a possible tiger appearance she climbed on the bars of the gypsy! Her hair as well as mine got the special Sariska dust pack in adundance!
And while we were waiting for the tiger, there appeared a jungle cat! I had never seen a jungle cat before. I am told they are quite elusive. A young lad in our jeep spotted it first. I was quite excited to see one finally. About those elusive tigers, they never made an appearance. People who visit national parks in India are rarely interested in anything else., which I feel is a pity. There is so much to a jungle than the tiger. I agree it is the prime attraction but they are nobody’s pets, they can’t be produced at will.
For Chhavi and I, this was a good trip. We loved the forest and all the magic that it contains. When we came home Seshadri asked Chhavi, “so did you see the tiger?” To which she told, “no it never came out.” And then went on rattling about all the fun she had. I am sure given the proximity to Gurgaon we are going back to Sariska.