A house in Turtuk puts an old destroyed jeep’s body to good use!
This little village that is the last settlement before the Line of Control and PAK, is a wonderful place to visit, curious kids run about everywhere, gazes keep following you from every window, the lanes are small, narrow, the architecture is ancient and peculiar, a part of Baltistan till 1971, this village has some pretty somber tales of being caught in the cross fire of two nations not exactly at peace with each other.
We also met a guy there who has a small museum of sorts with a complete date line chart of his ancestors, he claims he is a heir of the king of Baltistan and tells us the story of his ancestors quite fondly and proudly. Yagbo dynasty is what they call it, perhaps in my next post I will write more about that.
On a huge stretch of this vast sand dune this lone ranger searches for something to nibble in the peak of the harsh winter in December at Hunder Sand dunes in Nubra Valley, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India!
The two humped camel or Bactrian Camel (the right name) is one of the two species of camel, this one is far more rare and found in Central Asia, mostly domesticated. This species is one of the most integral part of the whole Silk Route travel, without him probably the west would have never met the east… well atleast not by land!!! :D :D :D
Okay after the Bandhavgarh break in between the Ladakh story lets get back to on of the highest altitude desert in the world. Inside the Nubra valley, where the rivers Shyok and Siachen meet each other, lie the sand dunes of Hunder. The two humped camels rule the roost in this area.
The landscape here is so vast, with sand dunes, rivers (frozen), trees, rocky mountains and snow peaks all feature in one frame!
Thats Nubra for you, one of the most fertile places in Ladakh, this picture though was taken in the first week of January in the peak winter and hence appears more barren!
On the outskirts of Pachmarhi was our humble resort Panchwati run by MPTDC, and facing the resort were such grassy patches of huge grounds with a few juniper trees providing a lovely setting for people to sit, paint, read, gaze or just lie about!
In the month of March I was amazed with the greenery around the place! Its said to be one of the best destination to visit during the monsoons or just after, tell you what it wasn’t bad at all in March!
As this hungry and angry male tiger was crossing the road, our driver and guide tried to intercept him, the growl was enough to bring both of them to their senses and they allowed him to quietly continue on his path!!!
He gave us some really scary growls before he went away, clearly he was not amused by the way the driver tried to go near him.
After the episode we asked our driver to keep a safe distance, in the exuberance of spotting a tiger and wanting to get a closer photograph many a times we cross the line and get too near to the beautiful animal, almost mesmerised. However, it must be always kept in mind that we must keep a safe distance. The tiger should be allowed his space in the jungle and we must click him from a distance without causing any irritation to him.
We learnt a lesson and also requested our driver to not again repeat this in the future.
Early morning safari’s are blissful! Not only do you get to be in the woods early in the morning and take in the fresh air, but the slowly penetrating sunlight gives you a thousand sights that will fill your memory for all those days when you have to go to work! The jungle is fully alive first up in the morning, the birds in full flight and at their chirpiest best!
The visitors in the park even more excited at the hope of spotting animals and among all a tiger!
Then, 5 minutes into the park you see this beautiful young female cub walking all alone on the road towards you and you wonder whom do you thank for your luck today!
Oh she was awesomely pretty walking down towards us! We kept reversing our jeep as she kept on walking towards us, she refused to acknowledge our presence, spraying on the trees and marking her territory.
This cub is not yet an owner of a territory and will soon mature into a full grown tigress and make her own territory, she has started doing a bit of it. We were blessed to watch her from up close! :)
As the jeep rolled on the safari track in the ever green Saal Forest in Bandhavgarh, the conversations kept on going to the superb tiger spotting in the morning. The evening safari was probably in the wrong part of the jungle and so the focus was on capturing the landscape, the sunset, the reflections in the waterhole or probably capture the Malabar Pied Hornbill.
But then, when you least expect something, trust destiny to turn up with it.
All of a sudden our driver gestured to our right and exclaimed!
“Woh dekho Tiger!”
That was the first sight of this lonely male tiger who seemed to be actually almost slithering over the grass. He walked nonchalantly, gliding through the tall blades of grass, no prey in sight and no destination perhaps decided.
29th March was one heck of a lucky day in our lives, we spotted two male tigers in a day! Both so close that we could almost smell them!!! Life has turned a full circle I tell you. :) :) :)
Its dawn in the jungle and its time to rush… the tiger trail is hot!
Slowly but surely the sun breaks through, providing some much needed warmth to all the beings in the jungle!
Snaking through the jungle on these slopes, curves we spent 3 days shooting the animals in the jungle, with our camera ofcourse ;) :D