Spotlight on India


Services International Ltd. says “cat-ty” sorts will be at home in India’s Ranthambore National Park.

Pramod Singla, director of the New Delhi-based company, says the park is best-known for its tiger-sighting opportunities, adding its “50-50” that those who go on one of his company’s guided Ranthambore tours will spot one of the large predators.

Guides knowledgeable about tiger behaviour lead visitors through the heavily forested region and the park has 12 routes, with park officials distributing visitors on different trails so no one route becomes overcrowded.

Ranthambore once was a hunting ground for maharajas and one former maharaja hunting lodge has been converted into a upscale tourist retreat by luxury Indian hotel company Oberoi. Taj, another upscale Indian chain, also has a toney tourist retreat in the park.

Singla said during a Thursday Toronto visit that those touring Ranthambore can spot a host of other animals, including deer, wild boars, birds and buffalo, with at-times aggressive buffalo often being viewed as a greater threat to people than wary tigers.

Another sanctuary for tigers Services International Ltd. sends visitors to is Corbett National Park, with Singla reporting that safaris that use Jeeps or elephants to carry tourists are available. Both methods of travel have advantages, with Jeeps able to cover more ground, but elephants providing a higher vantage point for spotting wildlife, he said.

Services International Ltd. can also send fans of large cats to Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a lion population. Singla said lions tend to be “easy to spot,” frequently resting.
India is the only country that has both wild lions and tigers.
Other exotic wildlife his company can showcase include one-horned rhinos in northeastern India’s Assam.

Meanwhile, Garima Shamsukha, Services International Ltd.’s Ontario-based manager of business development, noted jungle is only one side to India, with northern India’s lofty Ladakh, for instance, “very scenic and beautiful.” The mountainous region’s culture is frequently compared to Tibetan culture.

Pictured are (l-r) India Tourism’s Eugene Correa; Ram Kolipakam; Shamsukha; Mrs. Oraw; Mrs. Kumar Raina; Rajesh Kumar Raina, consulate general of India; and Anil Oraw, India Tourism.