Friday, 5 April 2013

Ranthambor 2 The Journey

__________________ Ranthambor Part-1: The Journey ______________________

After the Prelude, which you must have read, we now travel from Secunderabad in South Central India to Ranthambor Tiger Reserve in Eastern Rajasthan.

1.       Secunderabad Sawaimadhopur Journey
Our holiday special train left Secunderabad 15 minutes late at 2215 hrs. In fact we didn’t mind it getting delayed so that we do not have to alight at Sawaimadhopur at an unearthly hour of 3.30 am! We had had dinner before leaving home. Stocked up drinking water and settled down. To our pleasant surprise, the other two passengers in our AC1 coupe were to board enroute. This meant we could fold up the other two beds and thus have more head space. Of course Harsh utilised it for yoga next morning.
Since we were heading north, the morning sun welcomed us with its glow right above our head. See the picture. (D1-004-Sunrise through train window)

Harsh as usual got on to his mediation before capturing some morning shots. (D1-008-Harsh yoga)

The countryside in Maharashtra with its black and red soil had mix of crops. Cotton, wheat, jowar appeared prime crops. Wheat crop was in different stages of cultivation/harvesting. (D1-021, 014, 017, 019  Cotton and wheat fields).

Neat and symmetric rows of fields are a photographer’s delight. (D1-012 and 024-Rows of plants)

School girls at play. Probably they needed space in the neighbourhood! (D1 018)

Natural rain water harvesting (D1-023)

The train passed through some stations we had never been before like Shiva Shivanipur D1-026 and Murtizapur, Narkheda and Dharakhoh (027)

Akola: we crossed the main line on Mumbai- Nagpur route next morning. Four Pooris and aloo bhaji are still sold at ten bucks! Incredible India!! At Akola, the electric locomotive was replaced by a diesel engine and the direction reversed!

Even in a small town like Akola, more multi-storied buildings could be spotted. A trend which is not eco-friendly because west facing walls of these buildings dissipate more heat after sunset. Adds to excessive heat and humidity—a problem which is faced in cities like Delhi now!

Narkheda: Where fresh oranges are still sold at Rs10/- for a pack of six ! Unbelievable. It may look green, but they are sweet. Enroute we saw plenty of orange plantations.

Amla: At 3 pm it was pretty hot outside. Hardly any passengers seen on the platform! (010, 011)

Changing face of rural India—TV dish antenna atop small huts as well! (008)

Rural wisdom—see the haystacks on tin roofs to keep the huts cool in summer! (006)

After Betul we climbed the hilly tracks. Flame of the forest (Tesu) in full bloom. This tree sheds all its leaves before it flowers. Like the cadets’ haircut before the passing out parade! It is used as a natural dye for playing Holi - the festival of colours. Tomorrow is Holi. (021)

Hill tracks offer enchanting views for photography. (026, 024, 022, 015)

Tunnels in Vindhyachal ranges

Vindhyachal hill range is characterized by rounded hill tops and gentle slopes. Whereas the Aravali range has jagged cliffs. The Ranthambor National Park lies at the confluence of these two hill ranges.

Finally we reached Sawai Madhopur after 29 hours of comfortable train ride. Incredible India was impressive as always! 
Ankur Resort was our home for next two days.

In the next part, we take you to the Tiger land! And we were lucky after 25 years!! Yes, we came here 25 years ago and went back without a Tiger sighting!
This time, browse the Part-2 of Ranthambor travelogue.

Do share your experiences.

Ghumakkad Harsh

__________________________ End of Part-1 Ranthambor ____________________________