The Farm at SUJÁN The Serai nestles in a corner of the camp, bordering soft hillocks and mellow bui scrubland. The poultry (all local desi species) dashing about in the daytime, from the adjacent coops and the occasional mooing of indigenous Tharparkar cows from their rattan-covered sheds, leaves you in no doubt of the location of this patchwork of green hues, in the middle of what is the Thar desert ecosystem. The lettuce abuts the tomatoes who blithely bend over home-grown spring onions and garlic in the golden light of a sun that can belong only to Jaisalmer.
Author: Starla Estrada
I embarked on my first India trip with a focus befitting my Africa travel roots: wildlife and wilderness, tribal culture, and music. By the end of my trip, I’d added a number of remarkable experiences to my adventures-of-a-lifetime list:
Generally, vultures get a bad rep and perhaps we have Disney to blame for always portraying vultures as the baddies in all our childhood favourites of Jungle Book, Robin Hood and Snow White to name a few.
Into the New Year and Ranthambhore seems to have come alive with promises foretold. Dispersing tigers, ungulates in their dazzling winter morphs and a host of birds – migratory and resident – all go to demonstrate that the forest is flourishing. At Sher Bagh, successive guests, some expert photographers among them, have had an incredible run at capturing this moving feast over the last couple of weeks. In the coming weeks, our guest blogs will feature more of their work, in their own words but for now, we bring you a snippet, a mere taster, of why Ranthambhore truly is the beating heart of India’s wildscape.
Seeing a leopard is and will always be a momentous occasion for anybody who experiences JAWAI. Seeing two adult leopards together is such a rare occurrence that we all are left, sitting in the jeep, with an expression of total bewilderment. You can then imagine all our faces when on one granite outcrop we had witnessed three adult leopards together.
Some of the rock formations that you see when you take a drive around Jawai are astounding and it’s hard to believe that only through weathering and erosion have these rocks come to be the shape they are now. No rock, no boulder, no hill is similar. Through millions of years of wear both above and below ground this granite rock seems to have been sculptured by someone with the same skill and imagination as Constantin Brancusi. Jawai has a dramatic landscape and these intrusive igneous rocks are the centerpieces that contribute to these regular breath-taking moments. Therefore, as you catch your breath, here are five of some of the best from Mother Nature’s collection:
“The day lies so still
Long grasses of a summer passed
don’t nod to acknowledge the season
Winter’s rest before autumn’s fall complete
An air replete with hue’s and calls as keen birds feast
And starlings gather atop the ash black leaves that chatter
To motion bare branches still.”
Miles Richardson, A Blackbird’s Year
Even in major cities (like Mumbai) you hear tales of leopards roaming the streets in search for a quick bite. India, with its vast population, has many animal-human contact, occasionally with an unpleasant outcome. There are areas though that boast a positive and peaceful relationship. Jawai stands as an epitome for mature understanding between man and animal.
For centuries, Ranthambhore and it’s fortress have been a space for historic contest. Two conflicts that stand out were Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi’s siege of the fort which began in 1299 and ended in 1301 and the Mughal emperor Akbar’s conquest of the fort in 1568.