It is of no surprise, that when I meet people and talk about my experiences, the incidents that include wild animal encounter, creates the best of buzz. Of all animals, tigers the most, captivate the hearts of my listeners, as I share with them my moments with the majestic big cats.
It is also very eminent , that when I talk about the tigers , my eyes glow , and a different energy vibe through my words and sentences. A lot of times , those who heard me explaining them about tigers told me " You really love your Cats, Deep! " My listeners can always feel how much I adore and worship the wild cats that forever changed my love for nature and jungles.
It is their I realized how much sins , we commit by visiting zoos and such captivity where the animals are but only the skeleton of their real image. Before you read my blog, it is earnest request, avoid visiting zoos and tourist tiger sites , such as tiger temple. I know you probably feel divine about your picture with the animal, half dozed off with drug, but it only adds to your ill karma.
Only if you see them in the wild, you will know why this felines in their natural form, and you will be able to learn about them, to love them truly.
Hands down, tigers are the coolest creature, to have walked the earth and here is why I Love Tigers So Much !
My first beholding of this beautiful cat was in Kanha national park back in 2012, when I went there to visit and stayed about a month working as a language interpreter for a resort. It is in this time, that I learnt about the beast that is adorned and feared at the same time by people. Opposite to general belief , the tiger doesn't kill unless it is hungry.
It has been seen quiet a numerous times that in playful mood they appear very casually in front of it's prey. Obviously, the prey, like grey faced langurs and spotted deers ( Chital ) , are cautious and go in a frenzy spotting their embodiment of death. Yet the tiger casually just walks by taking all the fun of being most sought after being in the vicinity.
To understand how much attention it gets, one must visit the wild forest , where other than the animals , we humans clog in our jeeps to catch a sight of the majestic cat. Every person goes into a devotion like state waiting for the tiger to appear. Photographers of most , reach levels of orgasms when the sighting happens.
Ask anyone who visits a national park , and you will see , how less I am actually bragging about the reality!
This exclusive importance comes from it's majestic way of living and the image of sheer power that it dictates. A tiger is Biggest of all cat species! Yes, I know you think it's the Lions, but go check again and you will know! I don't blame your ignorance , since maybe you haven't had the luck to sight a wild tiger yet.
With such a huge body , it is super athletic. Try imagine being a cat and catching a monkey for food! You know what I am talking about when I say it embodies power and flexibility! Also add to the fact they are solitary predators which means there are thousands of odds acting against it , when it goes for a hunt. Which is why it's success rate of a kill, is one out of ten. I tell you it isn't easy being a tiger, yet it does damn well to live and not just survive.
The hunt of a tiger is something incredible owing to the patience and persistent it performs. It takes around an average of two hours, to stalk the prey and make a kill. In the hunt , the tiger moves slowly towards the target.
The tiger is a master of disguise , which is why , if it sits a twenty metres from you calm and quiet , you wouldn't even know. With such it lays down and one step at a time moves closer. It's stripes which are brilliant in colour actually helps it to disguise itself in the grasses that it crawls through. You see , unlike primates , other animals do not have colour vision, and for that the tiger has a benefit, as most animals never see it coming.
A very wrong notion is that tigers hunt with it's speed. It is not the case. The tiger depends on it's hind legs with it's powerful muscles to lunge and jump on it's prey. In average a tiger can jump twenty yards !!!! If a tiger ever participates in long jump, it will clearly win and break records!!!
The tigers are also the cat that loves water very much. They are fantastic swimmers and generally prefers to chill in ponds during hot summer days. If you ever visit a jungle during the hot humid months , go straight to the water bodies, you will find the cool cat taking a beauty bath always.
The tigers are ferocious lovers. It has been recorded that a tiger in search of a mate have crossed hundreds of miles in average to be with their partners. With their extra smell and cunning minds they can be found directing through unknown landscapes be it hills, rivers or mountains. Many a tiger has been recorded for using the railway track as a road to move.
With more and more it's natural habitat getting lost to human civilization, it is forced to walk hundreds of miles sometimes even for a search of a right and appropriate places. It is indeed sad, that we are probably among the last generation to be able to see the tiger in wild. Unless though , we really do something about it. Which I don't think our selfish species is capable of though sadly.
There are so many things about the tiger that holds the heart and I can't simply write it all here. It is eminent that this majestic cat captured the top spot as the favorite animal in the world, beating even dogs in the public voting. I can't agree more with the opinion, as if you have seen a wild tiger in the jungle, not only will you be a devotee , but your entire life , you might be spending a good load of money trying to find the big cat in the wild.
For people who haven't seen the tiger in it's habitat might feel it stupid , that we pay so much to see glimpse of this royal cat for a minute or two or at most twenty. However, I can't justify ( at least in expressing) what it is like, to see them in wild. The only thing I can say is , how much money do you think justifies if you had a chance to see the God itself????
Hope you do see a tiger in the wild , as it is surely "once in a lifetime" experience to do before you die. And for those of us , who are already devotees of it, I hope you all get more sightings of it in your next safaris.
P.S - All pictures are mine , unless mentioned in the caption of the rightful owner. You can always consult me to plan a perfect wild tiger sighting trip! I give a money back grantee for tiger trips!
Tracking Leopards in Rajasthan
The sun scorched state of Rajasthan is famous for its deserts and rich culture. However , under the shadow of that popularity lies abundant wilderness and some elusive wildlife. It was this year , that finally I decided to pay a visit to this state and track one of the most elusive big cat of the wild.The leopards!
While leopard population is quiet good in India, yet due to its shy behavior , it is very less seen in the wild. If you're among big cats and wildlife lover like me, this blog will surely instigate a probable plan in mind.
To go leopard sighting was one of the most exciting thing I have done till date. The journey took me to the south of Rajasthan , in the region of Jawai dam.
Unlike the natural landscape of Rajasthan of desert and barren plains , Jawain boasts of greenary and vegetation quiet well around the area. The region is formed of ancient volcanic rocks , that forms the hills around the area. This hills are the homes to leopards, since it provides perfect lairs and caves to have a healthy lifestyle for the big cat.
The Jawai lake is a prominent spot to seek migratory birds and crocodiles , and it is here where our first safari to track a leopard started , early in the morning. The lake is beautiful enveloped between hills , and gives a beautiful outlook to the region.
In monsoon , the lake expands over hectares of area , submerging the grassland and swamp plains around it. Other times, this plains are used by local rural farmers to produce their crop.
Farming like most of India , is primary occupation , complimented by animal rearing in daily life. Herds of buffaloes , sheeps and goats can be seen tended to by the local people. This livestock not only aids the people living here , but also is one of the primary food base for the leopards that live in the hills around.
Surprisingly , the presence of leopards in the area have been for more than hundreds of years , and till now , no human has ever been reported dead , by its attack. This surprising co existence of leopards and humans in the Jawai region , is one of the most interesting cases of wildlife.
The hillocks put up perfect places for the leopards to ply their trade. Regardless of humans in vicinity , they are quiet comfortable here. Such is the behavior of the wild cat, that upon morning and evening , some certain places and known as favourite for the leopard population , where they come out to bask in the rising and falling sun.
This places are to be kept a watch , and the movement of leopards through carcass of kills, pug marks can be tracked. What helps in sighting is the knowledge of the huge area of Jawai which spans across many a miles, and only using gypsy jeeps , this region can be well patrolled for sighting leopards.
The gypsy are perfect for safari in this region. And not only does it serve to go around for leopard hunting but is an adventure in itself, The safari jeeps go up and down the hillocks , which is quiet a fearful experience, as without a experienced hand at helm, mishaps are eminent. This risk also makes the experience of tracking fun leopards fun. With binoculars and a steady eye , one has to go from hillock to hillock searching for the big cat. Slowly but surely , Jawai is gaining popularity with the wildlife lovers, as no region in the world can give such high probability to track a leopard in its natural habitat.
The tracking needs patience and love for wildlife, as long hours waiting can be eminent while on the drive.
The rewards for such hard work is the grace of the big cats lurking in the hills. They are well camouflaged with the brown boulder colors , and takes a little experience to get used to, in tracking them. The caves of the hills are their home, and while the leopards decide to reproduce , they change their positions to further places , which adds a toll in tracking them. They need a safe place to produce their litter which is why , they vanish from the eyes and from regular places that they generally ply around.
Other than live stocks , the Jawai region has a number of Nilgai , wild boars and other prey base for them to hunt.
While live stock is endangered and killed by leopards , the people of Jawai are aware enough not to kill them back. They are rightly compensated for the loss of the livestock by the authorities here. Due to the high population of leopards in the region, tourism is expanding , which brings good money to the region. What needs to be seen is how in coming years, commercialization is balanced with the preservation of wildlife here. Like the humans and leopards have co existed together here, it is of such prayer , that business and conservation finds its balance too.
To go on this exciting adventure of leopard tracking in Rajasthan , you can consult me for advice!
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"