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Spotting tigers in North India – Christine Russell


Rickshaw Rambler, Christine spent a month travelling around North India, taking in the bustling cities of Delhi and Jaipur and the wildlife of Ranthambore and Kujaharo. Here she talks about the unexpected surprises she encountered whilst wildlife spotting…
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Looking out for ‘tiger chocolate’ in Ranthambore

A month in Northern India is a month of surprises. You read the guide books, plan the itinerary and think you know what to expect. Well, you do but only up to a point.

We weren’t disappointed that we didn’t see tigers at Ranthambore. They’re wild animals and we hadn’t really expected to. But neither had we expected to have so much fun rattling around in a canter looking for them. And the spotted deer – or “tiger chocolate” as our guide called them were so pretty.

India deer

Pushkar camel fair

We had, of course, expected to see camels at the Pushkar camel fair but were amazed at just how many there were and that we could wander amongst them, watching the herders examining and trading their stock. It was like being part of a scene set hundreds of years ago. No idea why this one was so oddly decorated.

Kumbalghar fort

The fort at Kumbalghar was another wow factor we hadn’t anticipated. It’s mostly seen as a brief stop en route between Udaipur and Jodhpur but it’s worth a day at least, if only for the chance to wander about among the far-flung ancient temples without another person in sight.

Orchha was another big surprise. It’s described as a restful riverside haven, which it is, but it’s so much more than that. The whole area is dotted with ancient ruins you can explore for hours without any hassle.

Fort India

Tigers in Panna National Park

And then there was Khajuraho. We went for the architecture, which is stunning unaware of the nearby Panna National Park. Well ‘nearby’ was actually an hour long uncomfortable jeep ride over an unmade road but… the park when you get there is beautiful and tranquil and five minutes in we saw tigers.

Another unexpected moment in a trip full of them.