Bandhavgarh a Land of Legacy


For us wildlife explorers, normalcy has always been in the shrouds of jungles and forests. As people who have wandered across continents alighting and framing diverse fauna, our last bastion had to be the Indian Royal Bengal Tiger. It was the fort unconquered in our checklist which comprised of Dragon Lizards in Borneo, The Green Amazonian Snakes and The Untamed Beers of Antarctica. For now though, tigers were on our radar. Bandhavgarh, a small but diverse National Park in India, was chosen for this extravaganza.

               A Bandhavgarh jungle safari has been on tops, for wildlife enthusiasts the world over; the biggest reason for the same being the maximum density of Royal Bengal Tigers in a concentrated area. In May when the grass becomes perkier and it becomes hot to the tune of 44 Degrees, tigers come out in a pack to the nearest water holes and it becomes a rewarding experience for photographers as entire packs are clicked licking away the cool waters. Also, biodiversity in the form of leopards, neelgais (wild cows), blackbucks, panthers, barking deer and bisons make it a holistic experience for wildlife pros. 

               So here we were. Delhi Airport had become swankier from the last time I visited it. A local ground staff tells me that this was because of the Commonwealth Games which were hosted in the city in 2010. We were waiting for our connecting flight to Jabalpur which is the nearest biggie from Bandhavgarh. Sharad, our delightful manager and tour guide for this trip was waiting with all eagerness for us in Jabalpur from where we would be taking a road journey for Bandhavgarh which is about 200 Kms from Jabalpur. 

               5 hours later from that flight, we were in the Tala side of the forest. Bandhavgarh comprises of 4 major zones in the park; Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli and Panpatta. Tala incidentally has the highest tiger population of the 4 and is a vantage point for tiger sighting. Tala's majesty was going to be clear to us in a short while from now. 

               Out of nowhere, there was a hustle from behind the leaves and the langurs screeched their high pitched alarm calls. Ranjeet, our driver, signaled us to purse our lips together and wait for the moment. In a flash, from behind the leaves appeared a tigress in pursuit of a sambhar and in not more than 10 seconds, got her down. The cubs came out from hiding too and started gulping down the prey. Our Bandhavgarh tour was a roaring success in the first 10 minutes itself.

Bandhavgarh a Land of Legacy