May 22, 2015

Ranthambore Chronicles: Zone-3 is all about mystic ruins, water bodies and the wild.

Ranthambore National Park Zone-3, our first safari destination. Breathtaking topography coupled with stoic stone structures & ruins of the Ranthambore Fort; the shortest way to define this mystic zone.

RANTHAMBORE CHRONICLES: THE MAGICAL ZONE-3
I was mesmerized by the beauty of this park. Winding roads nestled between tall hills (the tallest of this picturesque park are en-route Zones 1 to 3) that gives you the view of steep cliff and gorges and arid desert greens interspersed by relatively small meadows and water bodies.

WINDING ROADS NESTLED BETWEEN TALL HILLS

The distinct Gaumukh Talao (cow faced pond) is a place where one can spend hours. Part of the royal heritage, this used to be one of the patrol towers during the Maharaja's rule. Quiet a classic architecture from the Indian heritage portfolio. 

GAUMUKH TALAO




Entry into Zone-3 is bang opposite the popular Ganesh Temple. Full of local devotees and tons of langoors flocking this area, one would hardly think it is in the core of the park. 

LANGOOR QUENCHING ITS THIRST AT THE GANESH TEMPLE ON A SCORCHING SUMMER MORNING



Post the exchange of papers at the Forest Officials den begins the adventure. Just like the earlier few time, this time again we were greeted by another stoic 'dwaar' (stone gate). We were informed by our guide that this gate happens to be a favorite hangout for T28, aka Star Male and many times found sprawled in front of the gate. After all it indeed is his announcing his territory.
WELCOME TO ZONE-3, YET ANOTHER GATE


Covered in thick foliage the road mitigates through twists and turns and in no time we are amidst the open clear view of the 1st talao (pond) called Malik Talao. A large part of the water front is layered with yellow grassland cover, a perfect hide-out for the tigers, followed by a velvet green land patch interspersed with brown land and shining water crests, all inhabited with numerous wild- crocodiles, chitals, deer, sambhar, neel gaye, serpent neck cranes, cormorants, egrets, herons and so many more...

COOL WATER FRONT OF THE MANY WATERING HOLES AT ZONE-3

SUNBATHING FLOOR OF THE COLD BLOODED REPTILES



The next in line of the water fronts is the famous Rajbaugh Talao which is one of the largest water bodies in this zone and has the most stunning view of the Rajbaugh ruins lining its shores. It is just the place I had envisioned when we planned our Ranthambore trip. Secretly wished that I could see the Royal Bengal Tiger show her majestic presence through one of those historic jharoka's of the ruin...'sigh!!!'....

THE PREFECT BLUE TO TAKE A DIP!

RAJBAUGH RUINS


PERFECT JHAROKHA TO SPOT A TIGER!

And of-course, one just cant miss the Padam Talao. Gets its name from the flower lotus aka 'padama', this pond has the shocking pink Jogi Mahal nestled at its edge. In season, the pond is laced with the blooms and I am told that it is a sight to behold. Jogi Mahal is the forest rest house used by many VIP's to date and is from this place that Queen Elizabeth concluded her hunting expedition many years back.

PADAM TALAO


Frankly, each water front has its own uniqueness and as a first timer in this park, I was totally lost in deep discovery of stunning play of nature and man. Given a choice, I could spend many more visits in this zone and as I close this post, I yearn to go back again. In my mind, Zone 3 wins hands down!

More on Talao, Krishna & her 3 cubs in the next few posts. You can read them on the following links:


Xoxo,
S2S


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