After the chaos of the cities and the overwhelming enormity and grandeur of the palaces, forts and museums on her India safari, Jessica set out for some wildlife viewing in Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India that was once the former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, but today is mostly famous for its diurnal tigers.
It was a welcome change to leave the cities behind and head to the bush! My hope was, of course, that I would have a chance to see a tiger and it didn’t take long! I was surprised at how camouflaged he was, barely visible through the grass and bushes. He was fairly inactive, just lying in the grass then slowly walking away. No chases or kills, but a sighting nonetheless! We also saw crocodile, wild boar and a species of deer I had never seen before.
The birds are also incredible and we visited a bird sanctuary outside of the park on the way to Agra. I had a chance to try my skill driving a rickshaw here. It wasn’t much harder than riding my bike in Colorado, but with the addition of pulling a (relatively) heavy load.
My wildlife viewing was not just limited to the national park. Camels are everywhere, even in the cities, as are elephants. Indian elephants are an important cultural icon in India. It is extremely valuable and revered. According to India mythology, the gods and the demons churned the oceans in search of the elixir of life that would make them immortal. As they did so, the “nine jewels” surfaced, one of which was the elephant. Thus the elephant is considered precious to be protected like a jewel.
The Indian elephant is slightly smaller than its relative the African elephant. And, I was surprised at how hairy they are! Something I found out when I had a chance to get up close and feed one!
If you want to visit this fascinating country, now is a great time to start planning a trip for fall, which is a perfect time to travel on an India Safari – the monsoons are over and the extreme heat has subsided. We will customize a trip to meet your specific travel desires, whether it’s exploring the amazing markets, visiting the grand palaces, meandering through villages or searching for tigers on elephant-back. Our private guides can travel with you throughout your trip, providing excellent insight into the culture and history of all the sights along the way.
Contact us at 800-405-9463. We would love to help you explore India’s boundless treasures!