Just like the previous day, I woke up at 4:30 am, prepared myself, and arrived at the forest gate by 5:45 am. The four of us boarded the safari vehicle and waited for the gate to open. I was thrilled about my successful tiger sighting from the day before and felt grateful for the experience. I thought that even if I didn’t see any more tigers on this or future safaris, I would still be content. But I was in for a surprise, as my thoughts were about to change.
As per the usual routine, we entered the Kisli zone, which was assigned to us for the safari. The forest was tranquil, with only the occasional sounds of birds. Despite searching in several locations, we were unable to find any tigers. Our driver and guide decided to pause and listen for alarm calls. We parked the vehicle in a central location, so we could quickly respond if we heard any alarm calls. After a prolonged period of silence, we were close to the end of our safari time. A herd of deer were grazing nearby, when suddenly they became alert and looked in the same direction. One of the deer sounded an alarm call, which I captured on video. The driver quickly assessed the tiger’s location and drove in that direction. On the next turn, we saw a massive tiger crossing the road, who then moved towards a nearby tree and scent marked it, which is a territorial marking behavior using urine. Our vehicle approached the tiger slowly, and I was able to take several photographs. This tiger had deep wounds on its nose, which were a result of a recent fight with another male tiger. Our guide informed us that this was a male tiger named “Junior Bajrang” or “Chota Bajrang”. After the sighting, the tiger disappeared behind the bushes, but the driver was aware of its next emergence and drove in that direction.
Suddenly, all the nearby vehicles converged towards a single spot. Upon arriving, we saw a sambar deer sounding an alarm call. We focused our attention in the same direction the sambar deer was looking and soon spotted “Junior Bajrang” moving through the grass, heading in our direction. The tiger approached us quite closely, with a distance estimated to be around 15-20 feet. This was an incredibly close encounter that I will never forget.
Our last safari at Kanha turned out to be the best among all five of the safaris I went on. Later in the day, we were to set off for Pench, another famous forest located in Madhya Pradesh. Pench is renowned for being the setting of the classic story, “The Jungle Book.” To celebrate our successful safari, we decided to have lunch under a large banyan tree at the Grace Villa Eco Resort. We were all elated after the morning’s events and I was eager to see what new experiences Pench would bring.
Hi, I’m Pranay. Welcome to my website. This is my space where I share my travel stories, my musical progress, photographs and some CG/VFX related stuff.