Namdapha National park proposed in 1947, was declared a wildlife sanctuary and subsequently National park to join the Project tiger network. This tiger reserve is the only jungle in world to have four feline speices coexisting; tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard. This place situated in dense vegetation of Aurnachal hills have over four hundred varieties of orchids. This rain forest is situated on banks of river Noa-Dihing and is located 150 kms from blue hills of Patkai mountain ranges near Miao. This place is one of the places you must visit in North East India.
Namdapha Tiger Reserve is delight for Nature and Trekking lovers. This torpical Wet Evergreen forest in the Changland District of Arunachal have altitudes varing from 200m to 4500m above sea level. It is home ot some of the endangred species like Slow Lorris and Hoolock Gibbons; the only ape species of India. Other animals which could be sighted include elephants, black bears, deers, Leaf deer, black barking deer,Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, Indian Bison, White winged wood duck, Great Indian Hornbill. Namdapha tiger reserve is actually sandwiched between Myanmar on east and south, while Himalayan foot hills on west. About 57 tigers have been reported in this virgin jungle.
Best season to visit Namdapha Tiger reserve would be after monsoon, October to April.
To visit most places in North East India, permissions are required. To visit Namdapha National park permission could be sought from Arunachal bhavan in New Delhi. Indian tourists need obtain inner line permits, while foreginer visiting Arunachal Pradesh need to get Restricted Area Permit from Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi 15 days prior to visit. Other conditions for Foreign tourists include minimum group of four persons. Permit is extendable by 10 days. Documents need to be brought include Xerox copy of Passport and Visa and passport size photgraph.
Places to visit near Namdapha Tiger reserve are
Deban is forest camp located on banks of river Noa-Dihing and provides trails for trekking and hiking. Firmbase is popular cmaping site located 25 kms from Deban. Forest department provide equipments and guide for camping here. Hornbill located about 9km from Deban is home to flocks of hornbills. Haldibari camping site is about 5 kms from Deban and can be reached by boat. Overnight stay can be made at this place. Bulbulia is excellent camping site with several natural springs. Camera Point camping site provides excellent view of Namdapha forest. Motijheel spot with grazing pastures is good place to spot herbivorous and birds. Gandhigram located on southeast periphery of forest is the remotest and last village in India on borders of China and Myanmar. This places is home of Lisu tribe and is located about 120 kms from Deban. It has to be reached by a week long trek through dense jungles.
How to reach Namdapha National Park:
view from motijeel photo by Rahul NatuGuwahati is the nearest internationa airport to reach here. However, one may have to come via Delhi for arrange restricted area permits. Mohanbari, Dibrugarh is the nearest domestic airport located about 160 kms from Miao. Tinsukia Railway Station in Assam which is the nearest long distance railway station is located about 141 km from Deban. Miao in the Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh is entry point for Namdapha. State buses regularly ply from Dibrugarh and Tinsukia to Miao. From Miao, one may hire a vehicle and reach Deban located about 26 kms along the forest roads intersected by several streams and rivers.
The Field Director, Project Tiger, Namdapha Tiger Reserve
Miao – 792 122, Changlang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India, Phone/Fax: +91-3807-222249
Nal Sarovar bird Santuary is situated about 64 kms from the busy and crowded city of Ahmedabad. It is home to various migratory birds or ‘featheredbiped’ beings as Salim Ali used to call them. Nal Sarovar is situated in a very arid region, and this contrast attracts various birds in the region. The lake is spread over 115 square kilometers and ferry boats are available here which take you across the lake. Mainly inhabited by migratory birds in winter and spring, it is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India.
From a host of regular visitors like kingfishers, egrets, darters, storks, pelicans and flamingos, this place is a safe haven for both bird lovers and over 250 species of birds that visit here every year. The waders or the water birds even nest here at times and if you are lucky you may see nesting sites of purple moorhen, egrets, ducks and teals. Greater flamingoes migrate here from Kutch every year and one can find tall standing birds like painted and blacknecked storks, pelicans (both rosy and white), purple herons and spoonbills watching over the place, like custodians to a declining breed.
Many rare birds including the green pigeon, European migratory ruff & reeve, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican and green pigeon are said to have been in and around the lake in the past. Other migratory birds that one can see here are gulls, terns, godwits, ducks and goose, shanks, swifts and swallows. Birds of prey like the ospreys, eagles, sparrow hawks and falcons hover here in search of prey. The bushes across the lake gives refuge to mammals like hares, porcupine and even foxes are spotted here. Those with long bills like whimbrels, curlews, spoonbill (derives its name from its spoon-shaped beak), sandpipers, snipes and kingfishers, cormorants and the darter or snake-bird probe into the details earth in search of food.
The best time to visit the place is after October when the water levels have receded to two to five feet in the area and it serves ideal for the aves to visit the place. There have been cases of bird poaching in the area in the past.
The migrating Padhars who populate the islands of the lake are also a fast declining tribe. This Bharwad shepherd community are excellent folk singers, dancers and artisans and also make their living here by offering food to visitors and ferrying them around the lake. They are mainly into animal husbandry and visit this lake when the water levels are lower especially during the winter season.
How to reach
By Air: Ahmedabad is the nearest International Airport., Connected to UK, USA and all metro cities in the country.
By train: Ahmedabad is also connected by direct train services from Mumbai, Delhi, Banaglore, Goa and Chennai.
By road: It likes on the national Highway 8, which connects Mumbai with Delhi.
Feeling very lazy to write a post. Shared some photos. Some basic info
Simlipal National Park, 120 kms from Jamshedpur / 320 km from Bhubaneshwar (Orissa), is a 2,750 sq km sanctuary and a Project Tiger Reserve. Situated in the Mayurbhanj district, the park’s hills, waterfalls and dense foliage hide almost 95 tigers and a number of other species of typically Indian wildlife: elephants, deer, leopards, gaur bison, sloth bears, reptiles, langurs, crocodiles and more than 200 species of bird life.
We were group of 6, with some foreign exchange students from France, Germany and Sweden. This trip had been long in our list, as it is just 120 kms from our college – XLRI. Thanks to some information from DFO and timely holidays. Simlipal Sanctuary is closed during monsoon and opens only in November. Luckily of us, we were one of the first visitors to enter the park, as the park had opened only on 3rd. Rest houses are available at various locations within the park, however one has to carry all necessary food items to cook. Cook is available at the rest house.
We stayed at Gurguria rest house on first night and Nawhna rest house on other. Not much sightings, but definitely ample presence of wildlife felt.
lazy me, would write more about Simlipal WS later.
Report by Nikhil Sethi
This report is an account of Wildlife Club, IIT Bombay’s Winter Symbiosis 2001 held at Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh from 23rd December to 29thDecember 2001. The team from IITB participated in Tiger Census conducted by the park officials during this period as volunteers.
Basic Information About Bandhavgarh National Park
Situated in the Central highlands in the Deccan Peninsula of India is this luxuriant ecosystem which boasts the highest density of tigers in the world. The tropical moist deciduous forests, dominated by Sal and bamboo, support a rich variety of flora and fauna, including carnivores like tigers, leopards, wild dogs, wolves and jackals which are in turn dependant on a well represented prey base consisting of chital, sambhar, barking deer, nilgai, chinkara, wild pig, chowsingha, langur and rhesus macaque. Over 250 species of birds, including a good population of Malabar Pied Hornbill, Peafowls, partridges, red jungle fowl, sarus crane, lesser adjutant stork, Crested Serpent and Hawk Eagles, Shaheen falcon, Bonnelli’s eagle etc. make it a birdwatchers delight. Not to mention the over 70 species of butterflies found here. Also of historic importance, there is a legend that, the fort around which this forest is spread, was bequeathed by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana, thus giving rise to its name “Bandhavgarh” meaning “brother’s fort”
How To Reach Bandhavgarh National Park
Entrance to the park is from Tala, a small village on the Umaria-Rewa state highway. *Private transport buses to reach Tala are available from **Umaria(32 km.), **Amarpatan(80 km.), **Shahdol(102 km.) and **Rewa(105 km.)
Nearest railway stations are:
**Umaria(32 km.), **Jabalpur(164 km.), **Katni(92 km.), and **Satna(164 km.).
Nearest Airports are: **Jabalpur(164 km.), and
How Census Is Conducted
Method of Tiger Census: Tiger census is done using pugmark tracing technique. Pugmarks of no two tigers are same just as finger prints of no two humans are same. When ever a tiger pugmark is found a tracing of the mark is taken and at the time of census all these tracings are matched and we get an estimate of tiger populations by number of different pugmarks found.
As a convention the trace of left hind paw is taken. A number of other details – location of mark, date and time when trace was done, an estimate of when the pugmark was made, kind of soil, length of stride and step and any other special observations – are noted. here is an example scan of one such pugmark tracing that I took.
Method of Herbivore Census: The number of herbivores is much much larger so it is not feasible to do a very exact count of herbivores. Herbivore census is done by method of sampling. The method we used was called Line Transect method. In this method we start walking perpendicular to some jungle track. At a distance of every 50 meters there is a circle of 5 meter radius 15 meters from our line of walk alternately on the right and left sides of our walking line. In each of these circles we count the number of animal droppings from various animals. We also noted the type of soil, Amount and type of vegetation, vegetation cover etc. At every 200 meters we note the forest cover (a visual estimate of % cover).
To finally arrive at the estimate of the population a statistical method is used.
How Accurate is This Census
As far as tigers are concerned this method turns out to be quite accurate. As the number of tigers are quite few, all of the tigers are known to the guards and forest officers by sight and pugmarks only help to confirm that the tiger is still healthy. Pugmarks basically help them to find new cubs.
But the story with herbivore census is very different. The basic problem is that the sheer number of herbivores is too large. Also accurate data about amount of excreta generated by these animals is not available. During our interactions with park officials they also admitted that the herbivore census is prone to wide errors. It basically serves as a relative measure of the variation of population over years and not as absolute count of animals.
Day 0, Sunday, 23/12/01.
We went on a tourist tour of the Park. The first animals I say were lots of sambhars and cheetals. We also saw a lone Jackal after some time. Carnivores are very rare to see and it was very exciting to see the Jackal in the jungle, Especially for me as this was my first jungle trip. After about 2 hours of roaming in the jeep we got a message on the wireless that tigers have been sighted and immediately our driver made for that location.
It was a kind of anti-climax to see the tigers. There were about 10 jeeps lined up with tourists. And about 3-4 elephants. We went to see the tigers on elephant back and got quite close to them. They were just lazing about doing nothing much, while all around them elephants and tourists were making all this racket. It did not seem much different from zoo, other than that there coats were literally shining from health.
The tigers finally got irritated and started to walk off. To our horror the elephants and the jeeps started following them. The jeeps (including ours) seemed to intent on not letting the Tigers cross the road. It was really disgusting and I was quite happy when the tigers finally escaped.
The tigers were a pair of cubs 19 months old. To me they looked huge (you can see their picture in the photo gallery. I never imagined that the stripes of tiger could be such good camouflage. They completely disappeared in the bushes. My untrained eye couldn’t make them out even at the distance of 15 meters if the tiger was not moving.
Also saw a number of birds and pugmarks of a tiger dragging a kill. Tomorrow we go to the fort. It is also a known tiger haunt and off-limits to tourists. May be we will see a tiger in its natural surrounding.
Day 1, Monday, 24/12/01
It was a quite and uneventful trip to Bandhavgarh Fort. The fort lies in the core area of the park and is closed to tourists. I realized that it is practically impossible to see animals on foot. We only say a couple of spotted deer (cheetals) and that too from quite far off. But that was made up with all the beautiful birds that were there. It was fun and I am beginning to like bird watching.
The fort is very old and had a number of interesting ruins. Specially worth mentioning were the ten avatars (reincarnations) of Lord Vishnu. These were big stone statues of the mythical avatars that Lord Vishnu took. There are also a number (12 I think, Gaurang please confirm) of big man made lakes inside the fort. These lakes were huge and it was really amazing to know that they were made by man.
Day 2, Tuesday, 25/12/01
We leave at 6am in the morning for first day of line tracking. My group is going to the Panpatha circle. Panpatha is 268 sq. Km, and is divided into 4 ranges. There are about eight villages inside the sanctuary, each with population of about 500 to 700. Each range has 4 to 5 guards. This area is mostly open with some cheetal, sambhar, neelgai, and chinkara but the density is low. The cattle population in the villages is very large and the reason why the wild animal population is not very good.
The line tracking started at 7:00 am and was finished by 1:00 pm. Its tiring, very tiring. We didn’t have time to see many birds and were making too much noise to see any animals. Our guides were very friendly. They invited us for tea and gulab-jamuns. These parts have a custom of giving the guests a clove at the end of refreshments.
The only animal I managed to see was a neelgai. It was a bull and very beautiful with a shiny bluish coat, nothing like the ones I had seen in zoos which looked dull and sorry. We did manage to see a number of birds. Tomorrow we go to Khitauli.
Day 3, Wednesday, 26/12/01
Today we went to Khitauli. The team that had gone there yesterday had hit jackpot, seeing many animals including, Wild Boar, Neelgai, the usual deers and most important a pack of Wild Dogs feasting on a kill of Sambhar. Well we didn’t get to see all that, but the remains of the kill were still there. There is a nice little stream going through the forest. The water in the stream was clear and drinkable. The stream was very shallow and we spent a lot of time walking in it. The forest of Khitauli was one of the most beautiful and the guide friendliest. Khitauli is also not open to tourists and so he guards were specially pleased to show us around. Well a lazy day.
Day 4, Thursday, 27/12/01
Back to work. Today is the first day of Tiger Census. Today my party was assigned to Tala Range. This is the main tourist range and has the highest density of animals. Also the animals are quite used to people so we were expecting to see something before he end of the day.
And as expected sightings started soon enough. First we saw a pair of jackals (they could have been wolves but we cannot be sure). We also found four different pugmarks. One set was those of the two cubs (that we had seen on first day) walking with there mother. On returning we saw some Barking deer, apparently very rare. We were back early and spent rest of the day just lazing about. I had a bath for the first time, freezing water, I actually suffocated when I poured the first mug. God those Titanic flos must have suffered badly.
I am really amazed by the dedication of the forest officials. Considering the minimum pay, no facilities, and general hostility from politicians, villagers and even environmentalists, there dedication is commendable. The guards can’t even use jeeps etc. freely due to lack of equipment. One of the member of our group had a $80 GPS. He showed it to one of the beat guards. The man was very excited to see it and it was obvious that he found it very useful for his job. When he heard the price (more then a month’s salary for him), it was obvious he was disappointed. I wonder if it was wise brag about the GPS to him. Did we hurt his feelings?
Day 5, Friday, 28/12/01
Back to work again. We went to Khitauli to continue the tiger census. There are few tigers here and we didn’t find any pugmarks. Though we did see leopard pugmarks. Just trekked in the jungle and did lots of bird watching. The most interesting thing was the fault line. There was this gorge like thing about half a mile long. The locals told us that it was a fault line. It did look like earth had split up at that point. But may be it was just a gorge formed due to erosion.
Day 6, Saturday, 29/12/01
The alumni group went back yesterday. Today we students only were supposed to go for tiger census. No one had much enthusiasm for working so we conned the forest guard to just take us for a pleasant walk. Soon there was a announcement on the radio that tigers had been spotted. There were the same cubs that we had seen on our first day. We quickly made our way there. How appropriate that the start and the end of our adventure(:-) should be these same two cubs. This time there were no tourists and we watched the cubs from elephant back for quite some time. They were having there breakfast of wild boar. And that was the end of the jungle adventure.
Two of the members of our group Nari and Sujoy volunteered to make a webpage for the Bandhavgarh National Park and maintain it. The SDO Mr. Khan gave them a CD with all the park related data that they could use in there website. When I last heard the website was coming along nicely and will be, hopefully, up soon.
Day 7, Sunday, 30/12/01
Back to Mumbai. The first thing we did on reaching civilization was buying all the newspapers that we could find. Were astounded to find that India was almost at war with Pakistan. Well Welcome to the real world.
Bandars of the team:
Ankur Rudra (Bade Saab) [Troupe Leader — Secy, WC]
Chinmay B. (Shweta)
V. Narayan Raman (Nari)
Prem Ratan Baranwal