Saturday, September 5, 2015

Visiting friends in Pune,Maharashtra. India

As usual we are in and out of bloggerland....lazy at times, busy at times...travelling at times but finally we are here with our blog after a very long time!
This was our first visit to Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, India for a short one week trip visiting close friends. Getting away from the terribly HOT(49 degree Celsius) and humid weather was a big relief!!
On our way we were greeted by pleasant weather where the monsoon clouds romanced the mountains amidst the greens, a welcome change from the desert heat.
Our drive from Mumbai to Pune was about three and a half hours. Once we were at our friends place we just lazed around for the rest of the day - catching up after years...
The next day we planned a trip to Tamhini Ghat, located on the crest of the Western Ghat mountain ranges.Tamhini Ghat is noted for its surroundings comprising scenic waterfalls, lakes and dense woods specially during the monsoon season. 
Our friend had already hired a car and so we were off around 11 a.m really excited and the weather was sunny and warmed our spirits!!
As the GPS indicated, we had arrived at the Tamhini Ghat where we stopped and this is what we saw...
Took a few more shots only to realize that this was not the Tamhini Ghat we were looking for. On checking with local people we found the actual ghat was around 90 odd Kms from this location. Technology had failed us for some reason. So off we went searching for the real Tamhini...
Enroute we were glad to witness the fog...the heavy downpour of rains and excited kids wanting to get wet in the rain...something we miss in Dubai.
Some shots captured on the way...

A train traverses through the mountain range, quite oblivious of its pristine surroundings...
It was already dusk by the time we took this last pic and had a long way to drive back. So even if we never really got to Tamhini Ghat we thoroughly enjoyed our trip with the beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, rains, local food. A real balm for our parched souls...and above all in company of close friends. Kids made up their own jingle every time it poured. It was really about the journey not the destination.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Birds and butterflies of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Our last day in Bera,Rajasthan,India and with no sightings of leopards we were happy to at least get a few shots of these birds :)
Red rumped swallows.

Indian Robin - male.
Indian Robin - male.

These two were arguing :)
After breakfast we bid our friends goodbye and set out for Udaipur for our night stay as we had an early morning flight to catch. After almost a five hour drive we checked into our hotel and after a cup of coffee went for a walk and saw these beauties.
This little squirrel was really cute.

Red-wattled Lapwing.

Brahminy Starling.

White Wagtail.

Not sure about this one's ID.

Baya Weaver.
While in Bera we had the opportunity to interact with Yuwaraj Gurjar ( also part of the DCP team)a very well known  and passionate nature lover and internationally acclaimed Wildlife Photographer and who is in love with butterflies. He has even created an android app called "I Love Butterflies" which helps one identify and learn more about these winged beauties. Diya and Hiya have fondly named him "Butterfly Uncle" and their interest in butterflies have grown along with mine...Here are a few shots in Bera.

Common Gull.

Common Gull.
Grass Jewel- India's tiniest butterfly with partial wings open.

Common Grass Yellow - mating pair.

Common Gull.


Plain Tiger.

Small Salmon Arab.

Plain Tiger.
Common Grass Yellow.
Our stay in Udaipur ends here but fond memories linger...
As the year ends wish you all a Blessed Christmas and a fantastic year ahead!


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Leopards at Bera, Rajasthan, India.


Hello Blogger friends!!!
Sorry for the long absence from bloggerland as too many things have happened in the past year and half but hopefully we will be more regular now.
We have since relocated to Dubai(UAE) few months back. Desperate for a break, we managed to team up with Dr. Caesar Sengupta's Photography (DCP) team, a bunch of wildlife photograpers for a Leapord Bera Expedition in India. It turned out to be an awesome experience!!
Bera is a small village situated in the Aravali region of Rajasthan in India. Here leopards (Panthera pardus) roam freely.
Jawai Dam located close by, is one of the largest man made dams of Western Rajasthan, built by the Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. It is also a Marsh Crocodile Sanctuary. In spite of the hostile terrain and extreme climates, Bera is an abode for various ungulates, including the “Neel Gai” or Blue Bull.
After a change of flight and a drive of few hours we reached Leopard Liar Resort, Bera.
We freshened up and met the rest of the team. Post lunch we set out on our evening safari at 4:30 pm. We travelled about 22kms and reached the spot where the leopards are usually sighted, a hilly slope. We took up positions on top of a small hill facing the slope. The photographers were all excited and ready with their gears. We were to maintain pin drop silence as leopards are shy and alert animals. My job was to keep Diya and Hiya quiet and after a little while we saw one of the leopards emerge from its hide...

All cameras go click click click...and then appears another leopard...
Nothing can get better than have a few shots of them together in the wild...


Gradually the light faded and Diya with her point and shoot captures this lovely sunset...
The leopards disappear into the dark and we all set off back to the resort. After a lovely dinner under the open sky and twinkling stars we retire for the night exhausted but still talking of the leopards.

The kids are too tired so I decide to let them sleep and Arun is up for the morning safari leaving at 5:30 and I try to get back to sleep but my mind is to busy with thoughts of the leopards. We wait impatiently for the group to return but when they return they are very leopards...

War zone- when the Leopard acts too pricey and does not show up. The camera bodies get separated from the tele and get attached to wide angles to reflect the shooters' plight.
A camel herd passing by gives some respite to the thirsty photographers.
So after breakfast I get to capture a few pretty butterflies in the garden which I will share in the next post. Had our lunch and chit chat about our wildlife experiences so far. Time flies and we get ready for our evening safari, this time to a different location called Perwa, 25 km away from the resort. As we reach we are greeted by the leopard,  ambient light is however not conducive and the leopard too is far away but we just manage a few shots before it gets too dark to photograph...

We get back to the resort and have our dinner enjoying the chilly night  and put the kids to bed early, as we all wanted to make it for the last morning safari.
We are all ready by 5:30 a.m and set out for the safari but we were not lucky and did not sight any leopards...just a few morning shots and a few birds we will share later.

A local !

Since no leopards were sighted we finally decide to pose for a team pic.We returned back to the resort a little disappointed but happy to have spent sometime amidst nature and after breakfast we bid adieu to our friends.A lifetime experience and a satisfying one too.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Way back from Cherrapunjee to Shillong.

Everything good in life comes to an end, so did our trip to Cherrapunjee. I have started to believe what they taught me in school, best things in life are free, money can't buy any of them. We were fortunate to be one with nature. This trip will be etched in our memories forever.

A few captures on our way down from the hills.



Driveway into the clouds...
And miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep...

Sharing at Tina's *a piece of heaven*

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