Male tiger at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
Male tiger at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

I can not forget my first visit from 28th to 30th May 2005 to this wildlife sanctuary in the State of Maharashtra as no tiger till date could match the size of tiger which I encounterd at Nagzira. Secondly there was no electric connection and one had to use only the kerosene lantern for the night.

Although the area of the designated sanctuary was only 150 sq km but it is an ideal habitat for tigers, leopard ,wild dog ,Indian gaur ,spotted deer, sambar ,nilgai, barking deer, sloth bear etc. It also houses more than 150 species of birds.
In the very first afternoon safari we found a very heavy male cooling himself in the manmade water hole at the Haldu point. In the evening it crossed our path before it melted into the forest. just before we reached our guest house we came across a tigress on the main route. On seeing our vehicle she melted into the bushes. Two tigers in an unknown park.

Pug mark of male tiger at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

The night was unthinkable as the minimum temperature was about 34 degree Celsius and there was no wind. The water in the plastic bucket too was hot as during the day the temperature was about 48 degree Celsius. One could not think of going out as the hut was just on the bank of the lake and during the night most of the predators namely tiger, leopard and sloth bear remain active. Being in the core area we were getting regular calls of various animals during night. I could hardly sleep for 2 hours at the most.

Next day morning again we saw the same tiger in the water hole by the time we reached the spot from the forest rest house. After having his darshan we went and explored other area in the park.

Male tiger at Haldu point at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

Again in the afternoon safari we first saw a pack of 4 wild dogs and subsequently the male tiger in the water hole. However it moved early to his night destination as the rain clouds had barged into the atmosphere.

Next day morning there was no possibility of seeing a tiger as per guides opinion but we thought of trying our luck as majority of tourist had already left on Sunday evening. We were all alone .We were surprised to see the tiger at the water hole.
After sometime it came out and started walking towards our vehicle. It came. It stopped. It posed for a minute as if asking us to shoot through the camera. Then it settled down just barely 4 meters from us. It was a huge male tiger. In fact I had a feeling of touching it being so close but yet so far.

Treepie and a Lanngur monkey at the water hole at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
Male tiger at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary

We found him to be uncomfortable on account of constipation as he was trying to touch all his body parts. Then he walked away from us and relieved him self . Then he walked away feeling hungry. We too left as I was to reach office at Raipur..
Later on I realized that I witnessed the biggest Tiger of the region in the Haldu region of Nagzira wildlife sanctuary. He was the father of Jay , well known and one of the biggest tiger of India at Umred Karhandla wildlife Sanctuary ,which migrated from Nagzira and at present missing from the radar of forest officials .

Enjoy the various poses of him. They were initially taken on the film but later converted to digital for the benefit of the viewers. I am sure you will love them even after 12 years.

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.