T17- The Gorgeous Queen Of Ranthambore


When the legendary Machalli also known as Lady of the Lake was dethroned in September last year, It ended a magnificent era of 11 years of supremacy by this beautiful tigress. Ace cinematographer S.Nallmuttu made an award-winning documentary called “The tiger Queen ” on her where he has captured the  moving tale of rivalry a betrayal of the first family of tigers of Ranthambore National Park. This is India’s first full length wildlife film shot in a high-definition (HD) format. {  LINK  }

The new queen of the jungle T17 

All the photographs are copyrighted work of Aditya Dogra .

T17 the young majestic daughter of Machali first pushed her sisters out and then overthrew her aging mother in a heartless battle for supremacy to become the new queen. Machali left to salvage her former pride in isolation in another part of the park where she still lives. She was a heart throb of many wildlife enthusiast and tiger lovers . Which cat must have killed eight grownup crocodiles single-handedly. She was a legend of her times.

T17 is the youngest daughter of Machli , the other two were relocated to Sariska.

Usually a female tiger’s territory extends upto 5-10 kms & normally there are 2-3 such territories in  male tiger’s territory. The gorgeous T17’s  or Sundari’s ( as she is lovingly called in Rajbaug, her home base) territory is  spread over more than four tourist zones which includes all the three lakes Padam Talab, Rajbagh & Malik Talab & is regularly sighted in areas like Tamba Khan, Bhutkhurra, Kachida &Lakkad da to name a few.
She is one of the most sighted & most spectacular tigress of RNP & can be easily identified by radio collar belt in her neck. Camera friendly and fearless she  leisurely walks around the safari area. T17 is every photographers delight can be easily spotted. Graceful and regal she poses for photographs very often.

Bold and beautiful four-year old Sundari is a sight to behold. In a country where the tiger population is dwindling , it is really a joy to watch this healthy, vivacious female. I hope she becomes  the life spring of many future generations of tigers. She has a paramour code-named T28 and her courage to protect her partner  prevents any other tigers from 890 sq km area of RNP to venture into her domain.

Here are some photographs of the sensuous T17 taken recently by my son  Aditya during his corporate shoot assignment. A detailed write-up on the Ranthambore National Park will follow shortly.

Check the slide show for some more breathtaking photographs of  this real beauty .

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Also read my post on Bloggers For Tiger Save The Tiger Campaign 

Migratory Birds : Rare But Here:The Eagle Has Landed


Delhi winter brings all kinds of migratory birds to the capital. Although most of the ridge area has now vanished due to excessive construction still many of the rare species of birds come to breed here.

Next few days I will be on trail of some snakes and birds. As the capital gets ready to receive the winged visitors, the figures tell a sad story. The population of migratory birds spotted on Delhi’s skyline is dwindling.

‘‘With environmental corrosion being a natural offshoot of modernization, it has become a question of survival for birds. What we call development has robbed birds of their natural habitat,’’ explains ornithologist Rajat Bhargava.

Lodhi Gardens and the Delhi Ridge no longer get a sizable population of these rare exotic birds.

At Delhi zoo still gets pintails, shoveler, common teals, white storks, black-necked storks, white ibises, spot-billed ducks and little cormorants.

Most tragic is the fall of raptor population. The Eagles, vultures, owls, kites all have vanished from the Delhi skyline. Many of the remaining birds are forced to breed in the residential areas. I myself saw a few owls near my home. South and central Delhi are much greener than the rest of the capital and we do get to see some puzzled, sad, homeless birds trying to relocate themselves in this jungle of concrete.

Yet another lesser known reason that has impacted the population of Eurasian Eagle Owl (better known as Great Horned Owl) and the Barn Owl is their use in black magic and sorcery. Lot of injured owls were recovered according to a study in the months of jan to march especially during full moon nights.

Slowly the sparrows have returned to the capital but still there is a long way to go. The number is very less as compared to what it was some years ago.

It leaves one wondering how much more time do we have to save these precious creators.

The only place which seems like a safe haven for these winged delights is the the Jawaharlal Nehru University area which is spread over 13.8 sq km, and is home to 127 species, including migratory beauties like Black Redstart, BlueThroat, Red Throated Fly Catcher, Lesser White Throat and residential rarities like Yellow Wattled Lapwing, Alexandrine Parakeets, Plum Headed Parakeets, Sirkeer Malkoha, Common Hawk, Cuckoo and the Grey Indian Hornbill which are hardly seen in any other part of Delhi. The heavily forested areas of JNU like the Parthasarthy Rock, Open-air theatre, JNU stadium, the academic complex and the Check Dam is home for these birds but now more and more construction will have drastic effects on the bird population here too.

Urban green belts are essential for these birds for nesting and breeding. Delhi Ridge is under severe threat and is gradually getting destroyed. The home to approximately 200 species of birds , we need to take some quick measures to save Delhi’s Green cover.

This year has shown some increase in the visiting bird count. Some painted storks were spotted over Delhi, Mathura and adjoining areas. I normally see many species of migratory birds in my area of Vasant Kunj, Mehrauli etc.

The birds try to nest and breed in what ever place we humans have left for them.

The surprise visit was of an eagle pair today. I could not identify them beacuse of the distance but managed to capture some images. I would like my bird watcher friends to identify these hansome birds.

An eagle sighted near my home

I was attracted by the calls of these mighty birds and then I saw one fly past my home . It’s wing span was huge and it seemed like a Golden Eagle to me.

I also spotted a pair of Falcon and saw one dive for a pigeon right in front of my eyes. will try to take a picture sometime.

I just pray and hope the birds don’t lose their homes and visit the city often. It is high time th citizens of the capital woke up to protect and preserve our natural heritage.