RNP 3 - Part 1
Safari Number Three, Zone Two in the Ranthambore National Park – Part One
At six thirty this morning we were about to head through the fort gateway and out into the early morning sunshine, the high fort wall above us. Peacocks strutted their stuff along the top and we saw quite a few in flight, a fairly odd sight. We were happy as larks as we had the back seat to ourselves, an Indian couple and their broody teenaged daughter in the middle seat and a smashing guide and driver up front.
Ranthambore Fort lies within the National Park and was the former hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur until 1947 (India’s Independence). A widely held belief states that the fort was built in the reign of Sapaldaksha, in 944 CE. Another theory states that the fort was built during the reign of Jayant, in 1110 CE. Whatever the date, it is an impressive fort having been a focal point of the historical developments of Rajasthan. The fort was held by the Chauhans until the 13th century, when the Delhi Sultanate captured it. In 2013 Ranthambore Fort (along with four other forts in the area) were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
Away from some fort ruins and leaving the wall behind, our jeep safari really felt as if it had begun. Along the track in a wooded area we saw our first deer of the day.
“So you think I’m sexy”.......... Errrr NO ..........”Oh”. Proud peacock, unimpressed peahen.
Spot the spotted deer, so camouflaged until he gingerly pottered across the track.
A rose ringed parakeet and still cannot resist these little scamps.
We stopped at a forestry building for the couple in the front to use the toilet, this gave our guide time to chat to one of the workers who told him where one of the female tigers had been last night.
Our pit stop became somewhat extended...........but we were happy on our perches watching rufous treepies scruffing about.
An Indian babbler hopped on the jeep, searched the floor and under the seats, his mate came too. Finding nothing but went for another circuit – so wished we had a morsel for them...... They have a wonderful habit of getting under leaves on the forest floor and tossing them so all you can see is a line of leaves being strewn as they hop.
Off we went once more into a shady area next to a dry riverbed, there we saw a Thora (named after a lapwing had stayed with us for a day in NZ) she was resting but squawked quite a bit about her lot. Out in the sunshine we saw a hare, motionless for the second it took to click the picture and off at speed.
A small, nervous partridge and a family of spotted deer.
Brothers testing their strength with a practice spar.
The winner (this time) seemed to smile with glee. The vanquished a little embarrassed.
We made a brief stop at a waterhole (for a tiger) but we were happy with a peahen and spotted deer.