Multiple Depressions in Bay of Bengal / Indian Ocean caused the rain gods to open up the sky on Chennai and Chennaites experienced heavy downpour and flooding in most low lying areas to the extent the social media trolling about introduction of Ola Boat services. To escape the depressing moods at Chennai and at home too decided to pile on to two friends of mine who were driving down from Chennai to Kabini to rejuvenate myself.
The time we started from Chennai there was no rains but then within a hour of the commencement heavy rains started lashing and this lasted for couple of hours thereby delaying our journey time.
For the first time in 22 years we saw flowing water in Palar river. The roads till Kancheepuram was bad but then after that a smooth ride indeed and i have to thank my friend who drove the entire route without flinching or discomfort though i offered to drive some part of the way.
Kabini is definitely is definitely a magical place and even my wife acknowledges it as the moment i plan a trip to Kabini my face is aglow with happiness and all the troubles in the world seems as though its nothing but manageable. This is one reason as to why i keep travelling to Kabini every now and then so that i retain my sanity. :)
We had planned to spend quite some time at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary but then the heavy rains the previous days did play spoil sport and we left for Kabini with just about an hour at the bird sanctuary where we were able to capture images of Tickle blue and fantailed fly catchers in addition to the pelicans.
At Kabini we were keeping our fingers crossed and were praying that it does not rain as the sky were overcast and lighting was dull. It did not rain and we are off for the first safari with high hopes of having sighting of the big cats ie tigers and leopard. On entering the forest were surprised that it was too quite except for chirping of bird and insects..... no alarm calls at all which normally happens when there are movements of predators in the forest. It was the same during the next three safaris and it was as though the big cats have migrated or gone into hibernation. With a hour left for completion of our last safari as we were moving around various trails in the forest suddenly our naturalist whispers Leopard on tree branch...it was a fantastic sighting by him for most of would have surely missed this guy even when our eyes were peeled on to the tree line as it was camouflaged in such a way that we would have thought it is a tree branch.
We did have the usual sightings of the Elephants, mongooses, Malabar pied hornbills and other birds in addition to the leopard. Pug marks and carcass smell kept on the edge of our seats hoping that we would sight the tiger but alas we did not sight any tigers this time.
So finally a elusive leopard sighted... this goes to prove the saying that Kabini never disappoints. Returned back to Chennai totally refreshed and charged to face the coming days of challenges in life.