“When life gives your a TIGER, make it a FRAME”
Alice in Wonderland - The Chuha-Pani Female.
One of India’s more beautiful forests who’s landscape cannot be compared to any other - Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarkand !!
Famously knows as the ‘Land of Roars & Trumpets’.... Where every nature lover and Wildlifer has heard stories in abundance about this magical forest. A few years ago finding a Tiger in Jim Corbett was challenging but over the years tracking one has only got easier.
Nasir Hussain - My driver friend who I rate as one of India’s finest Tiger Tracker with a strong head on his shoulders & his instincts very rarely going wrong in a place where tracking Big Cats isn’t a cakewalk, it’s easy and equally fun when your wavelengths matches and your driver goes all out when he knows what his guests want - Monopoly solo sightings !!
Nasir & me usually discuss our strategy the previous evening by making a “Plan-A & Plan-B” for every Game Drive & that morning was no different... While all the Jeeps headed towards the grassland area where the Grasslandwali Tigress is currently nursing her cubs, But as per our Plan-A we headed straight in search of Paarwali who is also nursing cubs in her territory by crossing the bridge which is the other side of the Ramganga River.
It’s always fantastic when you enter the forest first because you can start tracking your Tigress by following its pugmarks which she would have left the previous evening & night. We followed our Plan-A that morning and we struck gold - Paarwali in a stalking position and we see she’s stalking a sambar deer between the thickets... almost after 30mins of cautiously stalking, It ended into a failed attempt... The sambar got altered by the presence of the Tigress and ran away, the show ended and Paarwali decided to give us an exclusive morning Ramp-walk only until the other jeeps who came back from grassland area without any success and Nasir said - Sir... Apna kaam hogaya, I replied - Yesss, We don’t want Paarwali with the jeeps in the background & we leave her territory & head to Grassland walis area now as all the jeeps have come to paarwali !!
After our Plan -A of coming to Paarwali first worked successfully, We had that naughty smile in our eyes because it worked just the way we thought and now it was time to make Plan-B happen by heading to Grassland area.
As we silently left Paarwali & her territory, we started driving towards grassland and the only way to reach is by crossing the main road which passes through one of the most beautiful canopy’s of Jim Corbett, We knew ours was the only Jeep in this side of the forest, so we had ample time in our hands to take risks until we went to the grassland area.
We were driving towards grassland crossing the beautiful main road canopy & I told - “
Nasir Bhai... Iss canopy mein Tiger Dikha do yaar (Show me a tiger under this canopy) and within the next few seconds he stopped the Jeep..
I asked him what happen?? -
And he said “Sir - Barking deer bola” ( I heard a barking deers call and he exactly knew if the tiger is walking towards the main road where would it cross...
Nasir quickly switched off the engine of the Jeep and in less than a minute, The Tigress emerged from the tickets and crossed the main road, making my dream Corbett shot come true.
I could have made this image with my 500mm lens to show the tiger closer n bigger but I chose to pick up my smaller lens which is 70-200 for the sole reason that I wanted to frame this tiger in this very habitat at 200mm... The game got over in few minutes after which Nasir look into my eyes with a smile, laughs & he says...
“Sir, Plan-C toh apun ne kal raat ko banaya hi nahi tha” 😊