All eyes were trying to spot the National Animal of India - The Tiger, when one of them whispered a beautiful pair of Elephants! The eyes moved in the direction where this beautiful pair of Elephants were dancing looked like..............
Bandipur has always been one of my favourite Wildlife destination, and yes I spotted my first Tiger here. It is a Forest full of wildlife diversity and people love coming here, especially those who are wildlife and photography enthusiasts.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in Mysore, & Chamarajanagar districts of Karnataka. Kabini and Bandipur are separated by the Kabini river, which plays an important part of thriving the wildlife in the forests of Bandipur, Kabini and Wayanad. Bandipur has been a place where the tiger sighting has been regular and not to forget the Prince or the Alpha male tiger, which will definitely meet you the next time you go. Leopard and Bisons are also quite regularly sighted along with birds like Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Hoopoe, Shikra and many more.
This is about the encounter I had with the most mesmerizing mammal - Elephants. Elephants are the largest mammals living on land and are divided into Asian Elephants & African Elephants. They can be found in Africa, & South East Asia. Asian Elephants can be divided into Sumatran, Indian, Srilankan, & Borneo.
Elephants are herbivores and they normally prefer to stay near water and tend to move away or avoid to cross paths with the predators like Tiger, Lions, Leopards or Wild Dogs. This is because, the new born calves are more vulnerable than the adults. So even if any body nears their calves, they either charge or move away from that area. Elephants socialise in groups and in such a way that new groups can get mixed into the other group and thus they adjust themselves. Everyone helps each other and they are lead by Matriarch . The males separate once they reach puberty and then they go with other males. The group first makes calf safe and then they deal with danger, such is their culture and they do not stand any nuisance. It is said that they can run 1 km while chasing someone.
I and Elephants have a history, for my first visit to Bandipur and the first animal we encountered was of a family of Elephants which had a baby just one week old. We were just admiring the cutie when some flash caused irritation to them and the Matriarch just made the calf and mother safe and charged, unfortunately our jeep did not start, luckily ti was just a mock charge! Phew! it was very close. That was my first wild encounter of Elephants and such an adventurous welcome to Bandipur I received back in 2012.
This time we saw a huge tusker just on the way to Bandipur's forest gates, unfortunately the images were not good, but as we moved in on the evening safari, So our eyes were itching to spot Tiger, when the naturalist whispered Elephants! Our eyes moved to the direction where he spotted a mother and calf dancing as it look like ............... Or She was trying to tell them that "we need to welcome them as they are admirers and not the killers, they are our defenders and not the destroyers. Welcome them baby, C'mon do not be shy!, " We need to save them, they are on verge of extinction, I would like to tell you all, please do your bit in saving these beautiful creatures.
Please see the image here :
Next we moved little further after trying to get the calf to welcome us, and we saw another lovely herd of Elephants again, now it was a huge group with adults and calves all together taking sand bath and trying to cool them from teh scorching heat. These mammals will not do anything, if you do not harass them and people take them in wrong sense and then they perform atrocities on them and thus these beautiful mammals are on verge of extinction.
Please check the image here:
The next day evening safari, we were trying to search the mother and calf pair, when we spotted calf's father as well with them and they were standing to welcome us like the last day, this time they were more cautious, but it was Kodak moment, relish the image here................
Bandipur has lot of resorts and forest guest house as well. The best option would be Jungle Lodges & Resorts , they have their own jeeps and canter to take around the wildlife enthusiast to the forest and the Forest departmetn has the facility of canter to take around the wildlife enthusiasts around the forest. The duration is the difference, the duration or timings are morning from 6:30 to 9:30 hrs and evenings 16:00 to 18:30 hrs and JLR's jeeps and canter take you around for the full 3 hrs in morning and 2.5 hrs in evening, while Forests department's canter will take you around only for 1 hour round and will bring you back. If you wish to take the Forest department's vehicle, book the ride in advance to avoid last minute hassles. The Forest department's website is tariff plan and safari plan by the Forest department.