Saturday, 22 October 2016

Wildlife in the 1980s

If Palamau Tiger Reserve was the focus of my travels to wildlife sanctuaries in the 1970s, it was more of Kanha, Bandhavgarh and, after 1986, Corbett national parks in the 1980s. It may sound strange but at times I was the only tourist at Bandhavgarh and Corbett in those days. One could easily reach Bandhavgarh by rail via Umeria or Katni and then by a dusty bus journey to Tala. Again, strange as it may seem, the Forest Rest House was the only accommodation available at Tala. in 1980-82 - the numerous lodges and resorts were still far away in the future. It was the same in Corbett National Park in 1986-87 and a budget traveller could get to Dhikala by a bus leaving Ramnagar at 3.30 pm every day. And Kalaji's canteen at Dhikala was there to look after the inner man.

In those days, digital cameras were not even thought of, and one had to make do with film cameras and lenses up to about 200 mm, with film speeds of up to  400 ASA. Still it helped to keep the interest alive. The above picture is of a large tigress photographed near Kisli in Kanha.

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