Page 16 of DavidandSara Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India » Maharashtra February 23rd 2014

When we go to the Reni Pani jungle lodge Amith – the naturalist who was to look after us – asked us what we wanted to see. We knew tiger and leopard sightings were very rare, so we said we wanted to see a sloth bear. We set off at 5.45am in unexpectedly and unwelcome cold. 8 centigrade is fine in London when you’re dressed for it but less good when all you have is a shirt and a fleece sweater. The park is beautiful, and we were happy to drive round seeing the more common animals such as gaur and deer. We had just stopped for our picnic breakfast when there was a noise that produced much excitement amongst the guide, naturalist and driver. Alarm calls from the langurs scared by a predator. Did we ... read more
Sloth bear
Leopard in Satpura

Asia » India » Maharashtra February 22nd 2014

It was a gruelling 9 hour drive from Satpura to the next game park Tadoba, with just three 5 minute comfort breaks and a brief stop for the driver to have a cup of tea. You have to be tough to travel with the Thomases! The journey was made longer by the fact that there were virtually no signs to show the way to the lodge, so our poor driver was constantly phoning them to ask for instructions, and checking with people en route. Svasara Lodge is owned by a big fat man who always scowls at everyone, but it is managed by a very nice Indian couple who speak posh English and are always very jovial. 530am alarm call, 600am coffee and biscuits, 610am departure to the nearby park gate. Bureaucratic procedures followed, extortion of ... read more
The chase
After the kill

Asia » India » Maharashtra February 13th 2014

The caves at Ellora truly take your breath away. There are 35 of them (mercifully you don’t get to visit them all!) hewn out of a basalt cliff. There are Jain, Hindu and Buddhist temples and monasteries, each with different art forms, carved between 600 A.D and 1100 A.D. The most impressive of all is the Kailasha temple. It’s a series of temple buildings created to form the shape of a giant chariot. The whole thing is carved from stone out of the cliff – so they had to cut down four stories or more from the top of the cliff, leaving a big lump in the middle, then gradually carve out the various buildings, ending up with the ornate carvings on the walls. It covers an area twice the size of the Parthenon! And despite ... read more
Kailasha temple, Ellora
Kailasha temple 2, Ellora

Asia » India » Maharashtra February 12th 2014

After an overnight flight from London, we spent a long boring afternoon in Mumbai airport waiting to catch our one hour hop to Aurangabad. Arriving at the Taj hotel the car was checked for bombs with the mirror on the stick and our bags were X rayed before we were let through the ram proof barrier. Always slightly disconcerting but this is the 21stcentury in a country that has known its share of terrorism. The “modern” Aurangabad was founded in 1610 by Malik Amber, an Ethiopian slave who rose to become the prime minister of the local Nizam. Aurangzeb, the sixth and last of the Great Mughal Emperors, made the city his capital in 1653 as he pursued his relentless campaigns in the Deccan till his death here in 1707. Today was relatively undemanding, a city ... read more
Sara with her military escort
Buddhist cave in Aurangabad

Asia » India » Maharashtra February 12th 2014

This trip takes us from Aurangabad to the east of Mumbai, north east to the town of Burhanpur and then east to the wildlife reserves of Satpura and Tadoba, and south to Hyderabad. We then head west and south through the cities of the Deccani sultanates, visit the remains of the medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar and some of the great temple complexes of Karnataka (Aihole, Pattadakal, Belur and Halebid before ending our trip at Mysore, from where we visit Sriringapatam, where in 1799 the British defeated Tipu Sultan, a significant step in the establishment of British rule in southern India.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England February 3rd 2014

It's just a week before we set off for a whole 30 days in India. Passports - check. Visas - check. Malaria meds - check. 3 bags full of other medicines - check! Hotels and transport all booked and paid for, so let's hope booking direct with an Indian travel agency works out well. Excitement level growing.............. read more

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