Sep 08, 2019

A Summer in the Jungle

Why you must travel to the Indian Forests – Pictorial Guide

- Varun Mani -

India is a hot country, effervescent and concentrated, bursting at the seams, yet just about in equilibrium on the whole.

Yet, there remains a semblance of tranquility in the countryside, and around the Indian National Parks.

Yet still, why would one want to travel to a wildlife sanctuary in the hot summer in India where temperatures hover around 42 °C or 108 °F ?

The answer is:

     The Tiger.



In the deciduous forests of Central & South India, most trees lose their leaves, the bushes dry and grasses shrink, leaving for us a void wherein we can see the inhabitants of the jungle who, unbosomed from their camouflage, adapt on a daily basis in their struggle of life and death.

The water holes dry up into muddy wallows, the various river channels recede and the now damp river beds provide some nourishment in the form of fresh shoots and resultant strategic sites for an ambush.

Some larger water bodies contain water throughout the year, else forest rangers ensure that watering holes are filled up for the benefit of the Big Cats and other wildlife.


Why the summer is a good time to see the Tiger in India:


  1. Tigers are massive animals, and having evolved from a colder place, feel the need to submerge their bodies almost completely in water where available – often doing so for hours together in order to cool off sufficiently.


  2. They may do so after a large meal, or to cool their bodies off after a night’s work of attempting a hunt or patrolling their areas. Female tigers bring their cubs to the waterhole to quench their thirst as well as, in their naivety, expel a lot of energy as they learn about their instincts while “playing” with each other.


  3. The waterholes also attract herbivorous animals rarely seen in the open such as the Sambar Deer, Barking Deer, Gaur, the Langur, Rhesus macaque and of course, herds of Spotted Deer as they come out to for a drink. Many-a-hunt has taken place just by the Tiger or Leopard waiting for the right moment in complete feline stillness.

Hence, it is true that the summer brings the tiger out of its dark and dense environs and into plain sight.

However, it is generally not the season to find a magical Indian forest where, set against a more greenish-blue hazy background of winter, the contrasting colour and beauty of the tiger can truly be felt.

We leave you with some photographs of the Indian Jungle in Summer clicked by us on our travels across National Parks of India:



The summer brings out the Sambar, Swamp Deer & Spotted Deer to the drying water channels for water and last of the fresh shoots.
The extremely well camouflaged Indian Thick Knee is exposed yet is an expert at camouflage in the grasslands.
The usually shy bird, the White-rumped Shama, is a summer special in the Indian jungles with its variety of songs illuminating the lower canopy.
A Tiger takes its kill towards a water body where it can, in relative comfort, enjoy the fruits of its labour on a hot summers morning at Kanha Tiger Reserve
A young though bold sub-adult cub takes a step into the limelight in the dry deciduous Teak forests of Pench Tiger Reserve.
A gorgeous male tiger immerses its body in a shallow pool of water at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, 03 hours from Jaipur.
 A Wild Boar cheekily grabs some alone time in a man-made water hole created by the forest officials. The coast would have been clear of tigers.
Tigers wait discretely by water bodies, where the stillness of the air of the summer camouflages it from the senses of the oncoming deer.

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