This is a guest post by Vinod Goel who, as a civil servant, traveled to over 50 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across India. His first visit to Kanha National Park in Central India in April 2004 ignited a passion for wildlife and in 2013 he started writing. Through his articles and photographs, Vinod is trying to to make people aware of India’s rich wildlife heritage so it can be protected for the future generations.
In the beginning of 20th century there were 40,000 tigers in wild in India – by 1973 that number was reduced to 1,800. It reached to 3,640 in 2002 and then took a downward trend. In spite of the Project Tiger program launched in 1973 the tiger population was only 1,411 in 2006. As per the latest census in 2014 by Wildlife Institute of India, the tiger population has shown an upward trend of 2,226 tigers.
National parks, namely, Kanha and Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Corbett in Uttranchal and Tadoba Andhari in Maharashtra, provide excellent opportunities and facilities for observing tigers.
In 2007 Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh came into limelight as BBC was making a documentary Tiger: Spy In The Jungle, a story following tiger cubs hardly 15 days young. I too made a number of trips during 2007 and captured some memorable shots of siblings and also saw the family as a whole.
Ranthambore Tiger Reserve at Sawai Madhopur, in the State of Rajasthan, is famous for the tigress Machhali, the oldest tigress in the wild.
I have been visiting Tadoba not only for this tiger in particular but for its completeness. It is the only national park in the country where you may see the sloth bear during the day. I was blessed to observe 23 tigers, including cubs, through February and May 2015.
As of date there are 48 tiger reserves in India administered by National Tiger Conservation Authority under the Ministry of Forest and Environment.
My family members and I have been to over 50% of the tiger reserves in India, including the unexplored ones such as Indravati, Udanti-Sitanadi, Achanakmar, Valmiki and Bor.
No doubt that the soul of India lives in the jungles and it is our duty to preserve it for the future generations.
Let us sow seeds of appreciation for the remaining fauna on this planet and try our best to first conserve it and then make sincere efforts for its growth in tune with the development.
Thank you very much Vinod for sharing your photos and story with us. You can find much more of Vinod’s wildlife photography on his Facebook page.
Wonderful pictures! I never spotted tigers nor have I visited India. Definitely a great experience.