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Tiger Trails of India

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Tiger Trails of India 
Crowned as a ‘Large Hearted Gentleman’ by Jim Corbett, the tiger surely is a symbol of strength, power and grace. Dressed by nature in a thick yellow coat with dark stripes, its roar is enough to break the silence of the jungle. Tiger spotting amidst the jungles is aspine chilling experience full of adventure coupled with moments of ecstasy.
Tiger spotting

The ever-elusive big cat was endangered since past few years and its numbers began to dwindle at an alarming pace, due to the unchecked hunting since the times of royal sport of hunting. This man vs. beast activity found favor with the greedy humans out to prove their mettle, armed with powerful weapons against which the majestic tiger stood little chance. Royals and later British generals found a deep sense of pride killing one of nature’s most gorgeous beasts, stuffing the dead animal carcasses to adorn their homes. The beautiful coat of the tiger had been used as floor coverings and to make seats for the powerful men. Also many villagers wanted to hunt the tiger in order to protect their cattle and themselves as dwindling forest cover often led to these wild beasts venture into human habitats, in search of prey.

In 1980’s the Government of India launched “Project Tiger” across the country in a bid to save the dying species. Their natural habitats were declared as protected wildlife sanctuaries, forests where hunting was declared illegal. Forest officials began to count the tiger population across these sanctuaries. They were horrified that their efforts were proving futile due to the illegal poaching rampant across all the banned forest reserves. It is only of late that numbers seem to show a reverse trend and the number of tigers seem to be finally heading north, although very slowly. As of the latest census, the tigers numbered 1706 in 2010, and then at 2226 in 2014, an estimated 30.5% increase in India, reason enough to cheer, although we still have a long way to go before declaring victory of preservation over greed.
Awareness programs and conservation efforts have led to promotion of tiger saving campaigns. One such drive is to promote the spotting of tigers via permitted, yet controlled safaris in the tiger reserves in India.
Making a trip to one of these forests is a life time experience and now many domestic and foreign visitors, including school children, are finding the safari an unforgettable and enjoyable experience.
Vehicle Safari
Unlike the zoo, wherein an animal is caged and humans roam freely, the safari restricts the movement of humans while the animals wander freely!

If you are taking a trip on a vehicle for the ultimate safari experience, you would be made to sit in special safari vehicles and driven on well-defined tracks to the innermost deep parts of the forest. The vehicle is usually a jeep or a canter and is specially designed to take care of your safety.It is wonderful to explore the rich flora and fauna of the jungle as the vehicle makes its way through the dense forest. It pays to bepatient and avoid making noise, as your guide will tell you. Animals love peace; do not provoke them. If you are lucky, you would be able to trail the paws of the tiger as he wanders in search of his prey.While taking close-up pictures, do not get tempted to jump off the vehicle it can be very dangerous and is often illegal. The best will not attack if it does not feel threatened or disturbed by your presence. The perfect harmony is what can help you make the most of your trip.

Elephant Back Safari

Elephants are accepted well by tigers and they have a mutual understanding of not disturbing each other. An experienced ‘mahout’ and a well-trained elephant can take you through the densest of the forests to meet the most elusive tigers. See the territorial markings of the tiger in the form of scratch marks on tree barks, bushes and rocks! The trail is as exciting as the real spotting. Watch your mahout follow the call of the wild; animals often let out a warning cry if one they spot a tiger in the vicinity. This is a perfect indication for your mahout to try and spot the majestic animal for your benefit.

Boat Safari

In places where water bodies constitute a large part of forest reserve, boat safaris are organized to get a view of the hidden tiger and other animals.

Nature walk
Safaris are not about tigers alone. You can take a walk in the company of an experienced naturalist to see the chirpy birds and animals co-existing in the lush greenery. Often these are limited to the outskirts of forests which tigers seldom frequent, so are quite safe.
Famous Tiger (and other wildlife) Trails
National parks in India are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. It is a quite common sight to see herds of deer, antelopes, and elephants roaming around along with other mammals, reptiles and birds in their natural habitat, roaming freely as nature has designed. You can stay in comfortable lodges and guesthouses in and around these the parks to enjoy daily safaris and walks.
Some famous tiger trails of India arranged in alphabetical order are mentioned here.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Situated near Jabalpur in Central India, it has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world. The forests of Bandhavgarh have been home to the white tigers of the yesteryears. Besides other options of stay, the place offers one of its kind tree houses. You can dine in rustic style perched atop a hundred year old Mahua tree! Be prepared to be served only vegetarian fare though, as the smell of meat can lire an unwanted visit by many wild beasts, including the tiger.
As a kid, if you have read or heard about the ‘Jungle book’ then you will be glad to know that the nearby Kanha and Pench National Parks inspired Rudyard Kipling to author the wonderful book.

There is a saying about the Park that goes: “In any other Park, You are lucky if you see a tiger. In Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you see only one tiger!”

Bandipur National Park

Located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the towering Western Ghatson the Mysore-Ooty highway in South India, it is easily accessible to the tourists. The breathtaking view of the surrounding Nilgiri peaks and a dense green cover make it quite a scenic forest. Kabini water reservoir separates this park from Nagarhole Park. The lush greenery and water sources at Nagarhole support the highest density of herbivores here in all of Asia. The jungles have a high concentration of big herbivores such as elephant, chital, sambar, gaur, wild pig, langur and macaque. The food chainin turn contributes to the large population of carnivores, including tiger, leopard and wild dog. Such is nature’s wonderful ecosystem!

Jim Corbett National Park

Situated atthe foothills of the Himalayas in the Nainital district of North India, it is India’s oldest and most prestigious national park. Sheltering a healthy population of tigers and rare species of animals like otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile, this national park is one of the most sought after destinations for wildlife buffs. The Ramganga River flowing through the thick jungle attracts loads of animals on its banks. Catch the sight of the tiger stealthily preying on the unsuspecting animals quenching their thirst.

Kaziranga National Park

Located in Assam in East India, it hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceros. It also boasts the highest density of tigers. The tall grasses provide an excellent camouflage for the tiger, so you need to be lucky enough and look carefully to spot the tiger. Your guide has been trained to do just that for you. However thepresence of tiger can be felt by way of many pug marks, remnants of its remarkable kills, territorial markings and an occasional resounding roar!

Ranthambore National Park

Situated near Jaipur amidst the Vindhya and the Aravalli Ranges in West India,it is considered as one of the best locations in India to see the tiger in its natural habitat. Tigers can be easily spotted during the day; preying or cuddling their young ones. The famous tiger queen ‘Machali’ liveslike a royal aristocrat in the park.There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months. The place is home to a large variety of animals, birds and reptiles. Ruins of erst while royal forts within the forest environs which are now occupied by real tigersdot the park. A treat for the modern visitors indeed!

Sundarbans National Park
Located in West Bengal, this park sprawls the world’s largest delta. Enveloped by thick mangrove forests, it is home to themost majestic and enormous Royal Bengal Tiger. You can climb the towers made in the park to witness the quaint movements of the animals and capture them in your camera. The only way to traverse the park is by boat due to the thick inlay of water streams and rivulets, and the thick undergrowth making jeep safaris impractical to maneuver.

So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip to the natural abode home of the great tiger that is India’s National Animal, along with a host of other animals and to experience the peaceful and rustic life of the jungle. Get ready to capture the mesmerizing moments and encounters with exotic wildlife in your camera as proof when you share envious stories of tiger spotting back home!

The tiger is our national pride and we must contribute in every possible way to help preserve these glorious beasts, unless we want our future generations to simply see tigers in books, like the dinosaurs. In this respect, a safari is a small way to contribute towards government funds that go into wildlife preservation and also instill a sense of respect of our national heritage in our hearts.
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Author: A Lifeime Trip ...Creating colorful memories

We, A Lifetime Trip is a team of young minds. A no-frill company, providing the best of travel consultancy services across the industry at most reasonable prices. We deal in both Domestic and International tours. We specialize in bringing you inline with the real India – traditions, rituals, beauty, heritage, festivals, adventures, wild life, carnivals and many more different facets of our country. We work for you in a way that when you are back home, you cherish each moment of the trip making it A LIFETIME TRIP. Also Visit us at www.alifetimetrip.com

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