There are a number of wildlife destinations in India, and if you love to wander around the national park or wildlife sanctuaries for the one chance at seeing a Tiger, you must visit Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Sariska is in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, which is about 108 KM from the pink city - Jaipur and about 200 KM from the capital - Delhi. This was a wildlife reserve until 1978, when it was given the name of a Tiger Reserve under 'Project Tiger' - a tiger conservation programme, owing to which, it became the first reserve to relocate tigers successfully.
Now everyone has a preference in traveling, mine is to explore history, wildlife and local cuisine. So, to fulfill the wildlife part of it, I took a trip to Sariska from Jaipur, don't follow Google Maps, it will show you the route which must not be taken in any case. Speak with the locals, they know the best route to the reserve.
It gets really crowded on weekends, so if you are enthusiasm allows you, take a trip on a weekday and in summers, as in the season, the number of water bodies decrease which can help in tracking tigers.
Upon reaching there, got a ticket for a Gypsy and had to wait for 3 hours for the ride to start, that time was as difficult as it was boring. After a long wait, started the ride, our guide was very helpful and was aware of every spot of the reserve, got lucky there. But eventually, all our excitement subsided as we did not spot the tiger.
Upon returning, with our heads down, we heard deer call out to their companions, our guide alerted us then for a possible tiger sighting. We started searching, suddenly, our bodies were full of energy, after an hour of searching the area, we found nothing.
Again, to stress upon the importance of a curious guide, he asked the driver to turn back as he spotted a few other signs as well, and took us to a pond and boy was it a sight to behold, we could see two tigers sitting and relaxing in the pond, and the search for an elusive animal ended.
We got close to the tigers, within the proximity of a few meters as all of us started clicking. We were scared in the moment, because the size of the tigers was enough to infuse a sense of fear among our hearts.
After a few minutes of silence and thanking our destiny, one of the tigers roared as it came out of the pond,and believe me if you will, the girl which was right in front of me dropped her phone by that roar, it was that scary, to the extent that I cannot possibly put into words.
We left after our hearts stopped pounding with excitement and fear, only to see another tiger right before the exit. It completed our day and even our guide could not believe what we had witnessed, for it was the first time that he saw three tigers at such close distance.
It was a perfect day, or rather was made perfect by the sightings. If you too are a wildlife fan, do drop a visit to Sariska, it might not turn out to be glorious, but it will surely keep you on the edge of your seats till the very end.