Friday, January 15, 2010

Tiger Tales - Bandipur - 12th to 14th Jan, 2010

and GOD said 'Happy Birthday Angad'

13th January, 2010
I was told to come to the safari booking counter at 6AM, reached on time. I guess it was way to early, as there wasn't a soul around, it was pitch dark and freezing. Around 6:45AM there was a little light, but unfortunately no tourists, because of which the guy at the counter informed me that the bus safari may be canceled. He told me that he'l try and request the driver of one of the lodge jeeps to take me along. Fortunately for me, the gypsy that arrived had two of India's well know wildlife photographers Giri Cavale & Jayanth Sharma. The driver agreed to take me along for a small fee. During the safari, the driver suddenly said 'sir chirthe', chirthe the local word for leopard. It was a huge male crossing the safari trail at quite some distance. As we neared it, it vanished into the bushes, my FIRST B'DAY GIFT!! :) Jayanth also informed me that it was his first leopard sighting in Bandipur. Sadly couldn't make any images. Just one showing the spots, which i wont be uploading!
In the evening i along with a new found friend(Archana) tried our luck with getting ourselves in the same gypsy, but this time there was a different driver who asked for a VERY high amount. Politely refusing this offer we decided to take the bus safari, which only cost Rs. 35/-. A few minutes into the safari, and we saw a tiger disappearing into the bushes. My first tiger sighting. SECOND B'DAY GIFT! :D We waited patiently at a nearby waterhole for about 10-15min(for which i must thank the driver & the other tourists, who unlike the regular tourists sat very quietly). Our patience paid off, the tiger appeared on the other side of the waterhole. Even though at a distance, the tiger posed well, giving us a very nice sighting of 15 mins. Managed to make a few images. I was glad that I had taken my friend Rajesh's Sigma 50-500mm and left behind my Sigma 135-400mm, the extra 100mm did make a lot of difference.
At night there was another surprising leopard sighting just behind the guest house area, close to the dining hall, where while sitting outside the dining area chatting with the cook, we saw a leopard charge at the spotted deer group that usually congregate around during evening/night time near the guest house are. The leopard missed the deer and quickly disappeared back into the forest.
I couldn't have had a more exiting birthday, my first leopard & tiger sighting on the same day!

A brief summary of my birthday:
Morning: Leopard
Evening: Tiger
Night: Leopard

All images shot handheld & auto focused with a Canon EOS 40D & Sigma 50-500mm in AV mode.

Tigress at waterhole - Bandipur

Tigress drinking water - Bandipur

Tigress yawning - Bandipur

All Images are Copyrighted Angad Achappa and may not be used in any form,website or print media without written permission of the Photographer. For any inquiry for the photographs please contact:


  1. Awesome catch.Well done. However, I think you images would look far more impressive in a larger size.

  2. You are lucky to not only sight them but also get good shots!
    A Very Happy Birthday to you!

  3. God... what lovely shots. You are one lucky guy. Actually Jayanth's luck rubbed off on you I think. He sees a tiger every time he comes to Bandipur.
    you can see some of my bandipur mudumalai wildlife / bird pictures at
    Best regards

  4. nice write up angad , viv

  5. What an awesome Birthday surprise. Belated Happy Returns Angad.

  6. congrats on your first sighting brother :)..good pics !

  7. @ Tom, Indrani, Bala, Vivek, Frank & Sameer: Thanks a lot!! :)

    @TOM: yes, i shall be working on larger images in a while.:)

    @BALA: Actually not only JAyanth, but even Giri's luck did, Giri's with the leopard & Jayanth's with the tiger!! :D

    @SAMEER: Awesome feel man!!

  8. Wow How lucky you are to see this, and how lucky you were she did not cross the river ;-)
    The second picture is stunning! Well done!

  9. Fantastic shots of the tiger. I get to see and photograph the Big Cats of Africa everyday but seeing a Tiger in the wild is still on my bucket list!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  10. Great shots and well worth 35RS? Nice birthday if you can get it.

  11. Hello
    I like tiger very much.Those are really wonderful photographs of tiger at bandipur.Actually I like these photographs as they have reflections of tiger in water.Thank you very much for showing such great shots..

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  12. Well done Angad.. keep at it!

  13. Tiger by the water is one of the photographs in my wishlist. Beautiful reflections...Thomas

  14. @CHRIS: Yup, lucky i was.. even i wished it had crossed the water body.
    @GERRY: Do let me know if you do come down to India.
    @PHIL: Hehe..yup totally worth Rs.35/-... :P
    @ROSE, BHAMINI & THOMAS: Thank you. :)

  15. I just came to your post and reading above thing it is very impressive me and it is very nice blog. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  16. Très belle photo !


Comment and critique appreciated!