Monday, January 23, 2012

Leopard Story - Bandhavgarh

We had just dropped our luggage in front of the room when we heard this! "It is a leopard!" I turned around towards my friends and said, "Don't Bother".

It took me some time to realize that the person who said that was none other then the manager of White Tiger Resort  at Bandhavgarh!

I knew he was wildlife savvy so I called my friends and said, "Hey lets look". 

By this time a large assemblage of occupants had taken place in front of the lawns facing the Charanganga River and the Tala Gate. I approached the manager and he whispered that right opposite on the banks of the river was a leopard. "But the commotion" he looked at me a bit disappointed. 

Many of the occupants were carrying torches throwing light on the banks. "Please turn off your torches and maintain silence for some time," I was barely audible. Awe struck by possibility of seeing a big cat the command was obeyed instantly.          

Some time ticked by and then I said, "Throw Light but without the sound," and there right on the banks was a full grown leopard. Perturbed by the light and squeals of delight from one and all, the big cat tried to climb unto a tree nearby. It climbed half a way then startled by  the commotion came down and started to amble towards the gate. In few minutes it had vanished into the wilderness. Right in Front of us!!!! And we could see all of it in torch light!!!!!

Wow! My friends looked towards me in disbelief. This was their first trip to forest ever and look what they get to see. "Look what you get to see," I said, they had a question on their countenance. But don't you see this wonder often. "Explanation tomorrow friends. Its time to make merry and sleep," I said barely containing my excitement. 

We thanked the manager of the Bandhavgarh hotel accommodation for his sharp eyesight. Dinner over I realized that this was a most fortuitous event in my life, albeit I had seen the big cat earlier. In the two days we stayed at Bandhavgarh we sighted Sita with her four cubs. Little Charger was right up to his antics and frightened the wits out of the visitors.            

By the way I would love to hear this, "Its a leopard" again and again throughout my lifetime. 
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