Photographer's Note

Sariska, a national park, once one of India's tiger haven, is now left with just sign boards. Even today, as you enter the park you will notice somewhat sad signs hailing the area as a Tiger Reserve. No one has seen a tiger since 2003. Unfortunate for a country whose national pride, the tiger, is fast disappearing from the wild.

The good news is, you wonít be disappointed with your trip to Sariska. Even a monkey in the wild is exciting. The undulating shades of yellow, brown and green is a treat to the eye. There are thousands of peacocks, lots of deer, sambar and nilgais to spot.

Sariska is about a hour before Jaipur from Delhi. Turn left on NH8 just before Shahpura and drive for about 45km on State roads. There are only two options for stay, the Sariska Palace or RTDCís Tiger Den. We stayed at the Tiger Den which is a 5 minute walk from the park. We reached the hotel around 12:00 pm and spent the day driving around. We did a quick trip to Silserh lake, Alwar and Tal Vriksh. These are not places that hold their own, but when you are in Sariska and you have some time to kill, they make for a pleasant ride through the Aravali mountains.

The safari on Sunday morning made up for our lack of interest of the neighborhood. No matter how many parks we visit, we never tire. There is something so alluring about the wild. We didnít spot any leopards but we saw a lot of animals and birds at close quarters. At one of the gates, the villagers gave us some roti(bread) to feed the birds. Treepies, babblers, magpies were quick to eat off our hands. There is also an ancient Hanuman temple called Pandu Pole hidden well inside the forest. It is worth driving up just for the drive and the langurs.

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Additional Photos by Jyothi Karthik Raja (yardbird) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 48] (133)
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