Tiger at Ranthambore National Park © Parth Jha

Feet With Wings : Parth Jha (Photography Enthusiast and Amateur Rail Fan)

Photography is a powerful medium, which incorporates a lot of technicalities and great deal of patience. There are few who have the rare talent of wielding their huge camera lenses and other paraphernalia to capture the essence of their subject. Today we bring travel inspiration in the form of a gifted lad who is a photography enthusiast, nature photographer and amateur rail fan.

Meet Parth Jha who likes to be referred as a wildlife enthusiast, a nature photographer and an amateur rail fan. He is currently a student of Chartered Accountancy, but loves spending time exploring the jungles in India. He claims to find an immense feeling of self satisfaction in capturing nature and wildlife via his camera lens.

Spotted Owlets © Parth Jha
Spotted Owlets © Parth Jha

Having spent 7 long years in the field of wildlife photography, which he found amazing, he hopes the coming years to be even more so. Lately he seems to have developed a keen interest in aerial imaging and photographing the railway connecting the hinterlands of India. The next few months, he also plans to capture aerial photos of ancient monuments all across India.

Aerial photograph of Taj-ul Masajid in Bhopal © Parth Jha
Aerial photograph of Taj-ul Masajid in Bhopal © Parth Jha

Regarding his life-long travel goals, Parth says “I can only say that I want to visit all the places I can before my brain and body restricts me to a bed.

Why Travel?

I travel to explore and learn, don’t we all? The world is astonishingly diverse, in terrain, culture, landscapes and what not. Each new destination is like unlocking a new level on your favorite computer game. I believe one can learn a great deal by travelling. Each trip will connect you to new people, their culture and ways of life. I have fancied exploring the wilderness all my childhood. To see all those beautiful animals on Discovery Channel in real life was and is a dream. There is so much to explore!

Tiger at Ranthambore National Park © Parth Jha
Tiger at Ranthambore National Park © Parth Jha

Favorite Place

This is a very tricky question. I have essentially loved every place I have visited. I haven’t had any bad travelling experiences yet but I am sure it will happen one time or the other.

Satpura Railway Network © Parth Jha
Satpura Railway Network © Parth Jha

I particularly liked my experience travelling to and documenting the Satpura Narrow Gauge Network near Jabalpur. We visited in September 2015 and it was fascinating. Only a train lover would understand the joy of seeing a narrow gauge passenger dancing on the track, carrying people from one village to another, with carrying people at least double the capacity, with passengers both inside and above the train. It is like time travel. The slow and relaxed life in the villages is something which most of us will never experience. 

Satpura Railway Network © Parth Jha
Satpura Railway Network © Parth Jha

The major reason why I loved this trip was because I knew I would never be able to do the same trip again. In fact no one would be able to make the trip. The narrow gauge network has been discontinued and all my experiences of the visit are archived in my photos. The existence of that railway network is part of history now.

Bucket List

My bucket list is long and weird. I want to visit Ladakh, not for biking but for the snow leopard. I want to visit Kangra Valley in Punjab, not for snow capped the mountains but for the narrow gauge train running through them. I want to visit the Western Ghats, not for a relaxing holiday but for an elusive species of kingfisher.

Most Interesting Trip

I would like to share my trip to Satpura National Park here (not to be confused with the Satpura Railway mentioned above). This was easily the most unexpected experience I had.

Tiger at Satpura National Park © Parth Jha
Tiger at Satpura National Park © Parth Jha

So, I have had a very bad luck with wildlife sightings for someone claiming to be doing this for 7 years. I have spent months at a time with no sighting at all when everyone else seemed to have tigers and leopards coming to them for autographs. So naturally I did not have very high hopes for any sightings at Satpura. The park is not the most popular in India, rightly so because of the shy animals and thick forest. My impromptu trip started from Bhopal and we drove for 4 hours to Madhai (near Hoshangabad). We stayed for 36 hours and did 3 safaris and I cannot begin to tell how awesome they were!

The forest is stunning. We saw a leopard within the first hour of our first safari and two sloth bears after the sun had almost set. During the remaining safaris, we were blessed with an exclusive sighting of a huge male tiger in golden sunlight.

Satpura National Park is a traveler’s secret. Go there before the other tourists mess it up.

Words of Wisdom from a Part-Time Traveler

“Life is utter waste if you spend all of it at your job.”

“Stop convincing yourself that the corner office has the best view.”

“Plan your official leaves in advance.”

“Travelling doesn’t always mean flying to Europe. India has many untouched places to explore.”

“Making weekend trips is fairly easy with the right company.”

 

Inspired yet? Check out links to more of Parth’s works here:

Parth Jha

www.fb.com/thebestwildlifeimages

www.fb.com/airfanvisuals

www.500px.com/parthjha

Do leave comments below if Parth’s story and photographs inspired!



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