Tiger spotting in Rajasthan’s famous national park is a long but worthy wait …

Home to the proud but dwindling tiger, spotting the creature in Ranthambore can test your patience but it’s worth the wait…

An impenetrable forest, the biting cold and a prowling tiger…. many romantic fantasies have begun this way.

Spending two days in vain, on our last leg, as we drove past the jungle’s fort and its famous lake, our guide explained that ‘Machli,’ a tigress famous for being more social and giving sightings lived in these parts. But it began to sound like hollow marketing to our ears.

Our jeep was now making its way up a narrow path with dense trees on either side, our last excursion in Ranthambore almost complete. With thoughts already skipping ahead to the packing, I stared vacantly at passing tree trunks when our driver ceremoniously announced: “There sir, is your tiger”… and in that moment everything stood still!

The regal tiger headed straight towards our jeep from the opposite direction, owner of the forest, like the lord of the universe. Our driver hushed our gasps, swiftly reversed the jeep and backed up between the trees so as to make way for the master. He walked past us unperturbed, oblivious to our presence.

We tried to follow him but he swiftly disappeared, all too familiar with his home, and none of the other jeeps spotted him that day. We felt like the chosen ones. Like nature had whispered to us to never question her magic. “For I have created beings far more powerful than you,” she seemed to say!

It was a humbling moment to say the least. And a thrilling one as I proudly returned to tell all who would listen – yes, I have seen a tiger!

Best time to visit: Fall & Winter – Mid October till March Spring & Summer – April & May – Best time to explore the Wild Life


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