Tiger reserves in Rajasthan, not to be missed out (1)
If we talk about national parks or tiger reserves in Rajasthan. Around 431000 people visited Ranthambore national park from June 2018 till 2019 as per official records. In year 2017-2018 this number was 157085.
Seeing the records, the number of tourists are increasing every year. Same goes with the number of tigers in this park. In year 2010 the total number of tigers was 37. Which has increased to 71 in year 2019.
I have seen many people asking on google about “is sariska worth visiting” or “which zone is good to see tigers in Ranthambore”. So let me tell you about that according to my experience.
If you like a place surrounded with mountains and strikingly pleasing sceneries then go for Sariska. And if you prefer hardcore wildlife then Ranthambore is a better option.
26 December 2018
It’s been already 3 years since we were planning and still we could not manage to spot a real tiger.
In 2016 we went to Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary. It was our first trip for any sanctuary and we did not have any idea that all wildlife sanctuaries are closed during monsoon season.
Year 2017- Sariska tiger reserve, booking could not be done due to some reasons, which I will cover in some other story. The thing is that we had to return empty handed from there too.
So this time, we made up our minds. That either we will spot one in any of the national park. Or we won’t come back, till we see the one.
Because, even our families started making fun of us for this. My cousin’s father had actually started calling him “tiger”. Now what could be more embarrassing than this. Something had to be done for this.
We spent around 2 hours planning our itineraries. Included two tiger reserves in our plan so as to increase the probability of sighting a tiger. Same places as I have mentioned earlier.
So we selected two of the best Tiger reserves in Rajasthan.
Our plan was to first visit Sariska. Jeep safari in sariska and then leave for Ranthambore.
If we compare Sariska and Ranthambore in terms of the area and beauty of the forest. Then Sariska is far beautiful and bigger than Ranthambore. But that does not serve the purpose we were looking for.
Ranthambore has 71 tigers as per records in 2019. While Sariska has only 18 tigers. So probability of it is much more in Ranthambore than in Sariska.
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska tiger reserve is situated in Alwar district, nestled in the lap of Aravali hills. It is accessible via air, train or by road. This is one of the most beautiful tiger reserves of Rajasthan
The most attractive feature of the Sariska Tiger Reserve is its population of Royal Bengal Tigers. It is home to a large number of wild animals including Rhesus monkeys, langurs, hares, wild boars, the four horned antelope, chinkara, nilgai, sambhar, golden jackals, striped hyenas, caracal, jungle cats and leopards.
To be visited for
-The beautiful Aravali hills range, which provide picturesque view of the area.
-Sighting royal Bengal tiger, leopards and other wildlife species. – Beautiful temples and other historical places in and around the reserve.
– Bhangarh fort(famous for being haunted) is around 40kms from here.
How to reach here
By air: nearest airport is Jaipur Sanganer airport. From jaipur it is 110kms by road.
By Train: Nearest railway station is Alwar railway station, which is 40kms from Sariska.
By road: Sariska national park is well connected to other parts of the state by road.
So we left home at around 4 in the evening and reached Jaipur at 8’o clock in the evening. Our plan was to stay at some hotel nearby sariska tiger reserve only, so that in the morning safari can be booked for the next day.
2 more hours to sariska. We decided to have dinner once we reach there. So we reached Sariska at around 2200Hrs, had dinner at some roadside dhaba, booked a hotel.
The hotel room was decent. But the only problem was that there was only one room available for 5 people. If we were with families then it could have been a problem.
But the best thing about the boys trip is that it doesn’t matter and you don’t need any advance bookings for the hotel for that matter. Because plans can change at any movement.
Next day morning we got ready at 8’o clock in the morning and left for Sariska reserve booking window. Although the booking can be done by the online Safari booking procedure also.
The morning safari had already left at 6 in the morning, so we booked the afternoon Jeep safari which was scheduled at 14:00.
Jeep safaris are the best for exploring the vast expanse of the park as well as to explore the beauty of Aravali range. While Canter has it’s own benefits.
So at the scheduled time, our jeep arrived and we boarded the same for the upcoming adventure, to enter one of the best tiger reserves of Rajasthan. Jeeps take you through the main gate of tiger reserve and then they part ways as per their assigned zones. Sariska is divided into 3 zones. And we were assigned zone 2.
Any zone will do in Sariska, as it is more about enjoying the lush of forests, surrounded by Aravali hills and about sighting wild animals in their natural habitat
We were lucky to see Peafowl, striped hyenas, neelgay, deers, wild boars and a few more wild animals within first hour of the safari itself. Now all we were waiting for was a panther or a tiger sighting.
So what our driver did was that he stopped the jeep near a water reservoir and told us to be silent for a few minutes. As it was about time tiger comes to drink water in that reservoir. In the meanwhile the guide told us about the tower built in front of that reservoir, that in ancient times, when kings used to go for hunting. They used the tower to wait for the prey.
So we waited there for around one hour. And finally we heard the words we were waiting to hear from the driver for last one hour.
He said- “let’s go, I think the tiger is not coming today”. And we returned to the main gate.
And that’s how our trip ended for sariska. The same day we left for Ranthambore national park.
I will cover Ranthambore in next part.
Thanks for reading…