Monday, November 05, 2012

Tracking the Elusive Tiger

When I was a child , our father used to read Kipling's Jungle Book stories to us. Today those stories came to life for me again as we went out into the Ranthambore National Park forest in search of Shere Khan, the mighty Bengal tiger, whose path we crossed several times this morning without seeing him (or her). We saw his paw prints and fresh scat, but the tiger was invisible. This afternoon we went to search some more, along a different route. This time we sort of saw a tiger. He was there, at a distance. We saw his ears, and then he stood up and he was huge. He was too far away for most of us to photograph but a couple of people with better cameras got a recognizable shot of him. So I guess I can say I've sort of seen a tiger in the wild. There are reported to be about 80 of them living in this particular reserve.

We did run into Rikki Tikki Tavi, the mongoose, playing by a lake, as well as troops of big Langur monkeys, huge crocodiles, spotted deer, and Nilghai, the blue bull antelopes as big as ponies. The bird life was vividly spectacular, with rose-beaked parakeets, ibis, hoopoes, cranes, snake birds, heron, kingfishers, and many others I can't name, but all exotic to us.

The other thing that came alive for me this morning was Indian miniature painting: all those delicate scenes set at lakesides or beside lovely trees. I recognized the brown and grey magpies, the lovely spotted deer, and the flocks of wild peacocks, all of which appear frequently in those paintings. We were there this morning seeing the real thing - all that was missing was the human figures in their robes and turbans and saris, because no one is allowed to live in the Ranthambore National Park any longer. It belongs to the animals protected there. And we visitors cannot leave the vehicle under any circumstances. We went bumping overland in our 4 wheel drive safari wagon for many delightful hours today, or, as Michele quipped this morning, "Safari So Good!". Krish demonstrated how to protect our necks of attacked be a tiger. Thankfully we didn't have to use this handy tip today!

Now we are back at the Palace and waiting for another scrumptious dinner. For a better look at this place, here is their web site:
It is obscenely luxurious, but that is not a complaint!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:MDR 111,,India

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

Love seeing these images of India, Kim. Such an amazing journey. I'm so enjoying this adventure vicariously!