Sunday, 17 May 2015

Reaching Tadoba the Tiger Land

Tadoba The Land of the Tiger- Getting there

Team Tadoba  consisting of five crazy grannies/grandpas was up early and we set course from Secunderabad at 5.15 in the morning. Notice that the street lights are still on while my 85-year old mother-in-law waves us good bye.
Who says at 60-plus, you are not charged up for an eight-hour drive? Pictures:

Neeta with her travel pillow and Rekha appear well settled for the drive!

SH-1, four-lane State Highway from Hyderabad to Mancherial is super. Via Siddipet, Karimnagar and Ramagundam, it is a driver’s dream. Pictures enroute:

Highways in India are a delight with heterogeneous traffic! Like this overloaded van.
 Do you see a balancing act by the travellers at 80 kmph?

There are still a few level crossings. Old age is second childhood-- was proven once again, when Neeta decided to count the number of wagons in a passing goods train! Did it remind you of your childhood?
SH-1 is a toll road with 4 toll booths between Hyderabad and Mancherial. Toll for cars ranges between Rs 45 to 52 for a single entry. For serving and retired defence personnel, the toll is waived off on production of I card. However, few booths charge the retired personnel also. A mystery unsolved!
As you approach Ramagundam, home of NTPC Thermal Power Station, its imposing chimneys can be seen from miles. Be it by road or train, you can't miss Ramagundam power plant.
We also observed social forestry along the route like this eucalyptus plantation.
We were doing well, till Google (we were using on-line navigation on a smart phone) took us on a diversion before Mancherial via Mandamari, the coal belt of Singareni Collieries. Ostensibly to reduce driving time, this short cut turned out to be a rough ride. This patch of road did not exist! Only a bumpy track used by the coal dumpers gave us a real see-saw ride. We could see many landfills created by the sand displaced in open cast mines. See the picture below.
We were not the only ones who had been taken for a 'ride' by Google. We met another family, Bhasins from AWHO Ved Vihar Secunderabad, who too had lost an hour driving through the 'coal maze'! We decided to avoid this 'short cut' on our return leg.

We got a taste of real India when we noticed semi-pukka huts with a dish antenna. A picture of changing priorities and rising aspirations!

After 325 kms, we entered Maharashtra and via Rajura and Chandrapur, headed for Tadoba.  

At last the Tadoba outer gate was in sight!

We had been on the road for 8 hours and the grannies/grandpas needed to recover from the fatigue. We had booked accommodation at Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Resort at Moharli. The resort is well maintained. Pictures.

Our suite at the resort. Notice the lake at the rear.
Neeta shooting from 'the room with a view'!
Goats and sheep grazing near the lake.
 As the sun goes down, the resort transforms itself. See for yourself.

 The food at the resort is awesome. Just like home made chapattis चपाती, dal दाल, curry, fresh curds, papad पापड़ —everything is available. A ‘thali’ थाली, assorted vegetarian meal, costs just Rs 80/-. Incredible in today’s world! Run by a Marathi lady, it was the best part of MTDC stay. Of course, the rooms, cleanliness, linen, lake view, children’s play area—are all very well maintained. Children on the swing-- see the blurred image taken without flash at night.

For those looking for details, a deluxe suite for two at MTDC Resort at Tadoba costs Rs 3100/ per day including all taxes and complimentary breakfast. There are cheaper air conditioned rooms also. 33 rooms in all. The best part is that room air-conditioning has a power back up when the main power fails.

Sun set skyline was a treat to the eye.

Enough about the resort.  
Where are the Tigers in this so called 'Land of the Tiger'? Hold your breath and strain your eyes. Do you see a silhouette?
Yes, that's him. The King of the Jungle. Mighty and majestic as also elusive.

Thanks for browsing.

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 17th May 2015