It was the coldest week of the year when I, along with a couple of friends, visited Kanha National park for a short 3 day trip. It was the first opportunity for my friends to get a chance to see the majestic tiger in the wild, and winter is the best time for a sighting. My suggestion to all, one has to experience winter in the Indian wilderness at least once in their lifetime.
The misty, frosted meadows of Kanha National Park seem like a sight straight from a painter's dream. At first light, we set out in our open Gypsy SUV onto the dusty jungle road of Kanha. The cold winter air made sure that the eyes were no longer sleepy, the mind no longer dreamy. Armed with cameras and a sense of adventure, we entered the gates of Kanha National Park after a short drive. Five minutes into Kanha, our guide told us that he just heard a Chital deer raise an alarm call, probably because it had sensed a tiger's presence.
The adrenaline rush that entailed is something none of us can ever forget. The driver turned the engine off and decided to stalk the stalker. The alarm call had come from about 100 feet to our right and, chances were, the tiger was even closer. We waited there for about 10 minutes but nothing happened. The alarm call had since died off and the Kanha jungle felt eerily silent. Just when we were about to give up, we heard a rustling sound from behind us, and out came a big beautiful tigress.
We were completely awestruck by its beauty and grace. Majesty oozed from the way the tigress walked. One could easily tell that she knew she was the queen of this jungle. She gave us a brief look, ignored us as if we were part of the landscape, and walked away into the wilderness. It was a brief glimpse, but boy was it surreal. We were to see 3 more tigers during our stay, but the pure joy and delight of this sighting would always be the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I think of Kanha National Park!