No fort is lost, till the last soldier gives up…!
The story of Ranthambore National Park and what lies ahead.
Ranthambore Tiger reserve is a jungle of unique a kind. Popularised by media, beloved of foreign guests and Indian alike, thriving place for wild life midst the finest fort ruins. It is a place of natural heritage.
Located in Aravali mountain range 160 kms from city of Jaipur. Ranthambore is place where you get to see not only wildlife but also most scenic forts and palaces. It is perfect blend of history and jungle. It is a dry deciduous jungle with spreads of meadows across terrain. Ranthambore is name of fort built by Chaunhan dynasty sometime around 944AD and was the strong hold Rajput rulers territory and many other rulers later on. This fort is a witness to battles and massacre some of the worst in history. No surprise talk to senior local and they have lot of stories of ghosts and spirits to share.
Ranthambore has 10 tourism zones and 5 of these surround the fort. Zone 3 is most picturesque. It has backdrop of Ranthambore fort, jogi mahal sits on banks of padam lake and view hunting palace of Maharaja is mesmerising.
This place was also known for tigress called Machhli. She holds record for longest living striped cat. She died few years ago. She was camera friendly and never shyed away from tourists. Making her most popular tigress of park and bring Ranthambore on world map.
In year 2015, this place had erupted in media for a reason no one thought off. For tiger was blamed to have become a man eater. His name Ustaad. He supposedly made his 4th human kill and this person killed was forest guard. Sources have it that locals were so infuriated that they were ready to kill every tiger in park in retaliation. The forest department moved tiger out of park to a zoo far away. Controversy’s still continues. While many argue Ustaad wasn’t man eater at all others argue at different level if sending him to zoo was right or wrong. The jungle was divided in many views. Who was right who was wrong, we might never know.
I write this blog not to share my experience at Ranthambore, that I will write about later but to apprise you of some latest happenings here that bother me. According to reports, the park has reached its holding capacity for tigers. Tigers are apex predator and territorial by nature. With no place to go these soldiers of wild spirits are bound to come in conflict with human. Man animal conflict will rise. Unless corrective measures like relocating tigers, increasing forest coverage and scientific monitoring is not done, it will be difficult to measure up against the war with tigers. The most effective solution for now is creating awareness amongst locals living around borders of park to ensure sustainability of tigers. Educating them about importance of protecting tigers. For in protecting this wild spirits lies healthy sustenance of human kind unless we want Ustaad scenario again and again.
After all the only things this spirit do is to protect what it has too, just like soldier protecting his fortress!