The place we inhabit as much as the present is the memory of it, and it is in the nature of memory to beget the making of more.
You don’t walk in the Himalaya as much as you straddle an edge between extreme elation and potential despair. And you can’t take your foot off the edge, because the edge is all there is.
Then it was time to go to the riverside, and bird from the bridge, where a female kalij pheasant was perched interestingly. Then, on the honeyguide path, I managed to snap up a streaked laughingthrush. Witnessing a dip in activity, we decided to drive back towards Ukhimath, and found a Himalayan bulbul perched beautifully.
This marvel of the rhododendron bloom and all sorts of pretty birds on the spectacular flowers, was the speciality of Chopta in the spring (March and April), and if the initial signs were anything to go by, my timing of the trip was being entirely vindicated.
As we made our way up to our camp for the night in the ailing Ertiga, a nasty surprise awaited us at the end of a long day.
In the March of 2020 I had this brilliant idea of a self-drive trip to Chopta, Uttarakhand, for bird photography, in an unknown car. This is part one of how it went – or failed to go.
We understood that the tiger had earlier that morning been seen next to the carcass, and was presently resting in the lantana undergrowth. It was only when I saw a video captured by a lucky witness to the incident (below) that I realised, stunned, what had happened.
As Bandhavgarh reopens to tourists for a brand-new season, I offer a quick refresher of some of my favourite terms from its unique phraseology.
I find food for thought at Bheetri’s sighting and Sourabha finds elusive tranquility at Shesh Shaiya.
Sourabha’s first male tiger and first leopard, Kamta’s brilliance and a revival in the belief of beginner’s luck. All this in safari five.
As clouds gathered, what was looming wasn’t rain, but the revival of memories from another era.
We had left the Dotty cubs at Sukhi Talab in the first safari. Would we find them again that evening?
In the first of a series of updates from my latest Bandhavgarh trip with Sourabha, here’s the story of how Sourabha, who had never seen tigers before, saw eight!
In the second part of the Remembering Tigers series, a tiger who has the word ‘CAT’ on his forehead and loves to walk in public.