Drive to the Sahyadris
1 Jan 2017: Day 1 (Noida – Sariska, 235 km, 4 Hrs)
We commenced our journey on 1st Jan 2017 at 0730 Hrs and reached Sariska by noon. The drive was mostly uneventful except for a few patches of bad roads and traffic in the Alwar region.
During check-in at Tiger Den, a brave macaque managed to sneak into the reception area and snatched our “Ghar ka Khana” from Anjana, thus forcing us to have lunch at the canteen.
Anyways, after lunch, we walked down to the booking office to get our entry permits validated. We were glad we had booked the safaris online as there was a serpentine queue for current bookings.
We started our evening safari early so that we could cover as much area as possible. First, we directed the driver to take us to the Kankwadi area which is known for its fort. However, we were more interested in the waterhole right next to the fort. Some of the birds spotted here were: Water Pipit, Indian Skimmer, Little Egret, Kentish Plover, Temminck’s Stint, Knob-billed Duck and the White-browed Fantail. We also spotted a Small Indian Mongoose on the way to the waterhole.
From here, we persuaded the driver to take us to the Pandupol temple area. Noteworthy sightings were a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, a family of Spotted Owlets, Painted Spurfowl, Indian Peafowl and a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Other sightings during the evening were of a Jungle Cat, Crocodile and an Indian Hare.
Back in the hotel premises, we managed to spot a White-bellied Drongo, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker, Grey Bushchat and many Grey Francolins.
Tiger Den: This is a typical government run property with the only advantage being that it situated right next to the Sanctuary entry gate. We pre-booked a non-AC room at: http://rtdc.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/
The sanctuary is usually crowded during weekends/holidays owing to its proximity to the Delhi/NCR region. We pre-booked the safaris at http://fmdss.forest.rajasthan.gov.in/
Bird Guides: Sariska forest guides are more tiger centric and do not know much about birds. We just hired a Gypsy and requested the driver to drive slow and did all the bird spotting ourselves.
Please feel free to ask us any question about our time in the Sariska National Park. Also, stay tuned for details on the next leg of our road trip.