The Son of Saal and Daughter of Ramganga !!
Corbett Tiger reserve, from the stories of Jim Corbett, nestled on the holy land of Uttarakhand. Certainly one of the most beautiful and pristine forests of India. Its been more than a decade i am visiting this land again and again, still every time i go as a same child and Mother nature treats me the same special way.
As i mentioned in my earlier blogs from corbett, I and corbett share a bond that Corbett has made true, all my unspoken dreams and wishes.
I always say that Corbett as a forest is much more than just animals and birds. Blue transparent waters of Ramganga overlooking a tall mountain range of Tarai, large expanses of riverbed with white stones and sand, Vast expanses Golden and green grasslands of Dhikala, Dense hilly forest of Kamarpatta, Mota Saal, Calm and cold dense of Thandi Sadak, Thick mist flowing through the grasslands in Winters, Corridor formed by tall Saal trees and many many more.
Photographing the most beautiful and graceful Cat in this most uniquely beautiful landscapes is nothing but the treat.Its been more than 10 years, i am visiting Dhikala, passing through the beautiful Saal Corridor to reach Dhikala Forest rest house. I always used to stop in this patch and shall look to this beautiful Corridor of huge tall Saal Trees forming a arch on the top. Sun rays filtering through the dense making a the pattern of stripes of light and shadows on the path in summers and Sun rays cutting through the mist in Winters.
It was one summer, We were waiting at the watchtower on the Sambar road trying to figure out the location of the Tigress, and …
Heard something … Deers calling frantically and continuously … we waited for a moment to hear it carefully judge the the direction ..
Immediately ran and boarded the Gypsy. Alarm calls were coming from the meadows right outside the gate of Dhikala Forest Rest house. As we reached the meadows, saw the stripes waking behind the cover of grass on the edge of the meadows. It was a huge Male Tiger. It went inside, we immediately anticipated and now we were waiting on the boundry of Grassland and Saal Corridor.
Stage was set …
There was carpet of golden saal leaves on the ground, Sunrays were filtering through the dense tall Saal trees. I looked at the whole scene and it felt like dream like .. if then was the time to came true, Guide said “sir, put your big lens for closeup, this is a magnificent male if it comes out… I Smiled 🙂 ”
I knew what i was doing with the small lens on my camera .. Sometimes one of the magnificent Cat to walk on the face of earth needs a big entrance and here it was …
A huge Male Tiger….. “The Son of Saal” Came out … Walked on the carpet of leaves under the arch of saal trees in that Saal Corridor.
And as now for so many times … Corbett granted one more unspoken wish of mine..It seems this was not enough,
I was with my family, my wife Shurti and Son Siddhant for our yearly holiday trip in the wild. I was showing him the nature and he was fascinated to observe every small thing be it a bird, spider or as big as elephant. It was a morning, when we were the 1st ones to start from the gate of Dhikala and hit Sambhar road. As we were driving on the Sambhar road scanning the river side and searching for pugmarks. suddenly Sambar Deer calls … They were from the other side of the river. We started scanning the other side of the river with binoculars ..
When i removed binocular from my eyes, Surprise 🙂
Tiger was standing right in front on the same side of the river as us.
“Tiger Tiger” !! … I whispered ..
It was a beautiful Tigress called “Paarwali”. She came right in front of our vehicle and marked territory on the few trees. Out of no Where came one barking deer through the thickets, completely unaware of the tiger around. Immediately, She started stalking … carefully going forward towards barking deer hiding in the Lantana Bushes. and she launched herself taking big leaps, chasing the deer, but barking deer was so fast it ran away like a bullet … in the process it did not even give alarm call … funny it was .. !!
I couldn’t believe my eyes what i saw … But now Paarwali made her intentions very clear .. She started running by the river bank as she spotted big herd of spotted deers which had just crossed the river. We decide not to move the vehicle. Though she went very far but we could see here clearly what she was doing… She climbed the slope where deers were there and suddenly, chaos among the deers …All deers sprang up towards the waters of Ramganga, and there She was … She was galloping and taking big leaps in the water. She easily beat the deers with her fast maneuvering so much so that, there were few deers who were actually running behind her ..
Big and loud splash in the Water and then one big splash as she put on her breaks right in the middle of Ramganga.Rest of the herd of deers ran away giving alarm calls. When i saw carefully there it was, …A successful hunt… She was holding a deer from its throat right in the middle of the Ramganga. After a lil rest in the water she stood up with deer in its mouth.
It was like a “Daughter of Ramganga” standing gracefully and proudly in the blue waters.
A Tiger Kill …. That too in Corbett … That too in the middle of the waters of Ramganga … !
Too much to believe .. i guess … but it had just happened and I witnessed it with my family !!
Felt Absolutely blessed 🙂