Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sariska National Park

Sariska was the second stop on our mini-trip to Rajasthan last week. It has been billed for years as a "Tiger Preserve." But as most of the current travel guides note, all of the tigers were apparently poached in 2005. The good news is, the Indian government and an NGO have been working to restore the population. As of last week, 2 females and 1 male tiger have been relocated from other areas to Sariska.
We stayed in a place called the Sariska Palace - it had beautiful brochures and a very beautiful website. Sadly, it is not what it seems . Bad food, overpriced rooms with bad service. The Palace itself could be politely described as "faded glory." I got sick from the food the night before our Safari. Not a good way to prep for a bouncey 3 hour jeep ride in the woods.
The Jeep Safari is the reason to come to Sariska. Jeeps (Maruti "Gypsy") are rented right at the park entrance which opens as early as 6:30 am. The fees are reasonable and our jeep driver was very good and spoke some English. Our driver, Chauhan came with us so we had no need for the extra guide the park offers (for an additional fee).
Tiger sightings are very rare, but there is plenty of wildlife to be seen. We all enjoyed spotting the Langurs which are plentiful and very entertaining. Lesa and I really love the Kingfishers. You can easily see both the common and larger varieties here. Crocodiles, Peacocks, Samber (very large deer the size of an elk!) spotted deer and even the occasional stray water Buffalo. Both Audrey and Evan are good animal spotters!

The weather is cool in the morning so it was a good time to view animals - as in any park like this, the wildlife is active in early morning and dusk.
Sariska is little out of the way, but we had a pretty ride through small villages and farms and got a chance to see the many abandoned forts (or "haveli") that dot the landscape throughout Rajasthan.


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vishnu joshi said...

Nice post about national park in india.