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A quick dash to Kabini

My much better half and I have always agreed on one part, that one day we will move back to India. This was not due to a misplaced sense of patriotism but due to the fact that both of us are emotionally attached to this country (and food, but mostly country.. I think). When an opportunity to come back and work in India came our way, we just took it. There were many “what if..”, “but how about..”, “shall we..” type moments but we decided to just make a move. Leaving a place we had called home for last 10 years, we came home.

Setting up a home in the “City of Wildlife Photographers” take a little patience. Specially when both of us are linguistically challenged in the local language (try telling a carpenter how to assemble an Ikea bed, with no knowledge of local language). Thankfully, we found a nice little place next to my office so that was one less thing to worry about. Soon we were semi-settled. We had a functional kitchen, a few suitcases and one empty house. Our shipment was in transit. So we decide to do what any sensible family would have done. We booked ourselves a couple of nights in JLR Kabini.

We started really early on a friday and in no time we were out of the city. After a quick stop at Decthalon for an umbrella and a few misc items we resumed our journey. We had a quick pit stop at Kamath’s for an early breakfast. While I had a great experience a few years ago, this time was a disappointment. May be it was a seasonal thing or may be the service has deteriorated, we did not enjoy the breakfast there. I am hoping it was just a busy day for them. To know for sure, I will have to plan another Kabini trip soon.

Right outside Kamath was a small stall, where someone was selling small statutes of Ganpati, made of clay. The price was a steal and we just ended up with a few of those. Couple of pit-stop involving Jackfruit and mangoes later, we reached JLR. We had a chance to stay in one of the rooms in past. This time around we were to stay in tents and kids were quite excited at that prospect. Those tents did not disappoint us. These were big, airy & clean tents with attached bathrooms & sit-out area. I plonked myself into one of the chairs in sit-out area and forgot all about shipment, plumber, kids etc. Kids started exploring the area around the property.

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Sometimes the journey is what matters..

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Clay Ganpati

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Both cubs keeping themselves busy..

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Jackfruit in Mysore

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Mango Mania

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JLR Tented Accommodation

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Anthill in front of tent

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Kids were somewhere there..

We followed a familiar schedule that most JLR properties follow. AM and PM safaris and meals in gol-ghar. Most of our free time was spent lazing around the lodge. Safaris were fun, although we did not sight as much wildlife as we were expecting. We did see some Gaurs, Barking deer, Tuskers, CSE, Mongoose etc. I was secretly hoping for Dhole sighting but that did not happen.

Roller

Roller

Gaurs

Gaurs

Serpent Eagle

Serpent Eagle

Changable Hawk Eagle

Changable Hawk Eagle

Giant Squirrel

Giant Squirrel

the performer

the performer

A quick passport size pic..

A quick passport size pic..

Peacock

Peacock

Barking deer

Barking deer

Roller

Roller

Gaur

Gaur

Tusker with one tusk

Tusker with one tusk

Tusker with one tusk

Tusker with one tusk

Giant dwarfed

Giant dwarfed

<rant>

One incident worth mentioning was during the solo boat safari that we took. Sharing the boat with us were a couple from Delhi who were apparently on a romantic trip to Kabini. Going in tradition with how we do things in North (yes, don’t be fooled by my name :D), the couple was chaperoned by a couple of guys who appeared to be hubby’s friend. Again, proving the typical stereotype of us northies, the guys would ignore all instructions to sit in their appointed seats, insist on navigating the boat, talk loudly about what is going on in their life (not much by the sound of it), make loud noises when we get close to birds etc. Obviously the bride was ignored to the point where she had to come and try in vain to pull her brand new hubby for some quality honeymoon time. He obviously was more interested in guys I think. At one point, one of these idiots was heard saying “Anna, kuch khatarnak dikhao..” to the boatman. I was hoping that Anna would take him to some isolated corner and show him something “khatarnak”.

These are the times when you realize how the stereotypes are born.. Anyhow, I suppose it takes all kind..

</rant>

Ah well, aside from the sighting of these wild asses, the trip was a perfect family gateway and we ended up meeting Giri after a long time. Hopefully next trip will be sans the LRK special. πŸ™‚

6 Comments

  1. sangeeta · September 30, 2015 Reply

    How much I love reading your posts! The images of course are brilliant as usual. And we had a similar situation in our boat ride as well, though I refrained from mentioning it for fear of someone actually turning up on my page one day! I had the last laugh though when the rains started and they spent the rest of the safari shivering and huddled together, standing in the middle of the boat πŸ™‚

    And now, you should make a trip to Hampi, or maybe you have already done that.

    • kartik · September 30, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Sangeeta,

      I think JLR needs to have a policy of dumping such idiots on the sandbars during the boat ride. I did read about your Kabini jaunt and was super jealous, you got to see Dholes. Hope to spot them on my next trip. Your blog did me a great favor though, pointed me towards Gams Delicacy. I loved the food there. I think I will be eating there often.

      Hampi is on the cards and we are leaving tonight. What are you planning for the long weekend?

      Cheers,
      Kartik

  2. sangeeta · October 1, 2015 Reply

    This long weekend I shall be the desk ninja! No holidays for me. Enjoy Hampi – it’s an absolutely amazing place for birding. I know I will be jealous of your pics πŸ™‚

    • kartik · October 14, 2015 Reply

      Ahhh.. being desk bound hurts, specially on long weekends. Pictures and report coming up shortly. πŸ™‚

  3. Raghunath Singh · October 12, 2015 Reply

    Well well, how did I miss this post…..just came back to your blog to read the Uttarakhand trip report again (have done it twice already) and saw this. Dholes aren’t too difficult to spot atleast in these forests, we can discuss few tips when we speak next. Enjoyed reading the post and the mention of LRK specials….they are always there in every trip. Waiting to see Hampi pics, hope you get lucky with the Sloths and Quails.

    • kartik · October 14, 2015 Reply

      True about the LRK specials. I would really appreciate all tips about spotting, can never have too many sightings.

      Hampi was kind to me and I found it to be excellent in terms of birding. Still have to get started on the trip report but hopefully will be able to get that done in next week.

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