Exploring Parsapani – The uncharted part of Satpura Tiger Reserve
“In what distant deeps or skies, burnt the fire of thine eyes” – remembering Blake at the Satpura Tiger Reserve.
Our annual family wildlife trip saw us paying a visit to Satpura Tiger Reserve(STR) in June 2017.
The weather was unbearably hot, especially during the afternoon. We reached Satpura on a Wednesday and learnt that the park was closed as in M.P all National parks are closed on this very day. We thus availed of a good sound sleep before our first safari to commence next morning.
Mostly tourist or wildlife enthusiast opt for Madai zone for better wildlife viewing but over last one year or so tiger population in Madai had shrunk considerably owing to depletion of chital and sambar population. As a result, most tigers inhabit the Churna range and the buffer portion of STR. However, Madai is still one of the best places for leopard and sloth bear sighting.
Before booking safaris I had some conversation with a local naturalist, he literally persuaded me to opt for Parsapani (buffer part of STR) as it not only had better tiger sighting but was equally good for other wildlife. After we reached our lodge, we were informed by some forest guides that a tigress had made a fresh kill in the buffer area so there was every chance to see that tigress.
Next morning we started our journey to Parsapani. Though it was in the middle of summer still the weather was really cool on account of a passing shower the night before. The landscape was simply astonishing, with the tall sal trees reaching out to the sky with their branches spreading in gay abandon. Suddenly I saw something black atop a hillock moving alongside us. After observing it for few seconds I got to know that it was a pair of sloth bear. “What a great start to our morning drive!” Seeing a mother along with her cub was simply amazing. We were able to get some good pictures and proceeded further to the place where the tigress had made the kill the night before. We waited there for an hour or so but still couldn’t find any sign of that tigress. Time was passing by and I was getting impatient. However, our driver took a different route to track the tigress. The road was a bit undulating and had a stiff climb still we had nothing to complain as every one of us was anxious to get the glimpse of the queen.
Suddenly I asked my driver to stop as I found something in the bush. It was the tigress which we were looking for, basking in sun hardly 15-20 feet away. What an incredible feeling that was! The tigress was the reigning queen of Parsapani. She was an absolute beauty and add to her charm is her strong built and contentious look. We were also elated to see her two sub-adult cubs thereafter. It was simply an outstanding day for each one of us and I still fall short of adjectives to explain that marvellous moment.
Parsapani hasn’t been explored much but is actually a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast. Parsapani’s USP lies in its rich biodiversity and exoticness and it will remain one of those places that I would like to revisit in near about future.
Cover Pic: Morning drive at Parsapani
Read also: Driving through fascinating Mudumalai
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