All posts by Yusuf Ansari

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The Flame Trees of a Ranthambhore Summer

This week we look at some images from around Ranthambhore National Park, as summer begins to engulf northern and central India. Though temperatures can rise very high the result is a photographer’s dream. The game concentrates around the remaining waterholes and tigers tuck themselves in for some cool into the caves of Ranthambhore’s formidable hillsides. The birds await their turn for easy pickings and sightings are made easier as the “bush goes down”. Read more about Ranthambhore’s summer sightings here.

 

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The SUJÁN Life, means Conservation First!

The Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Awards recognise extraordinary efforts and initiatives for the cause of wildlife conservation. This year, SUJÁN is proud to be among the winners of this prestigious and acclaimed award for the conservation initiatives and community development at SUJÁN JAWAI.

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And Here Comes Holi Again!

With hours to go before the bonfires of “Holika Dahan” (The Immolation of Holika), light up city squares and village chaupals across India, in celebration of Holi tomorrow, we bring you some snippets about this festival of colours at SUJÁN from years gone by.

 

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Ranthambhore: A Coming Tale of Turf Wars and Territory

Ranthambhore, which literally means, “the place of the pillars of war” may have had a contested history that we are all familiar with, but the battles still rage below the ramparts of the fort. Roaring cannons have gone silent and cavalry charges have ceased, but the present denizens of Ranthambhore – of a longer standing than the fort itself – are preparing for battle in the months to come. As summer approaches and the annual cycle of fewer waterholes ebbs towards a reality, an entirely new generation of tigers is on the move, looking for new territories and preparing to take on presently dominant adults. In this week’s blog we look at just some of the tigers and tiger families which are preparing to either leave the protection of their mothers or waiting for new challengers to appear in their domains.

 

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Eating Green in the Desert. The Serai, Jaisalmer, a Week in Pictures

The Farm at SUJÁN The Serai nestles in a corner of the camp, bordering soft hillocks and mellow bui scrubland. The poultry (all local desi species) dashing about in the daytime, from the adjacent coops and the occasional mooing of indigenous Tharparkar cows from their rattan-covered sheds, leaves you in no doubt of the location of this patchwork of green hues, in the middle of what is the Thar desert ecosystem. The lettuce abuts the tomatoes who blithely bend over home-grown spring onions and garlic in the golden light of a sun that can belong only to Jaisalmer.

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The Moving Feast of Ranthambhore: A week in Pictures

Into the New Year and Ranthambhore seems to have come alive with promises foretold. Dispersing tigers, ungulates in their dazzling winter morphs and a host of birds – migratory and resident – all go to demonstrate that the forest is flourishing. At Sher Bagh, successive guests, some expert photographers among them, have had an incredible run at capturing this moving feast over the last couple of weeks. In the coming weeks, our guest blogs will feature more of their work, in their own words but for now, we bring you a snippet, a mere taster, of why Ranthambhore truly is the beating heart of India’s wildscape.

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Ranthambhore in Winter: A Week in Pictures

The day lies so still
Long grasses of a summer passed
dont nod to acknowledge the season
Winters rest before autumns fall complete
An air replete with hues and calls as keen birds feast
And starlings gather atop the ash black leaves that chatter
To motion bare branches still.

Miles Richardson, A Blackbird’s Year

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Ranthambhore’s Territorial Males: Part I

For centuries, Ranthambhore and it’s fortress have been a space for historic contest. Two conflicts that stand out were Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi’s siege of the fort which began in 1299 and ended in 1301 and the Mughal emperor Akbar’s conquest of the fort in 1568.

 

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The Lights of Diwali at SUJÁN

Dipavali, or Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in the autumnal months, all over India – and especially northern and central India – with gusto. It signifies a triumph of light over darkness or a victory of good and righteousness over evil. The Sanskrit dīpāvali literally means a row or series of lights and references to its celebration can be traced to as far back as 1 BC, over 2000 years ago in the Upanishads. While the reasons for its celebration vary between the many regions of India, “all the stories associated with Deepavali, however, speak of the joy connected with the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil”, according to some anthropologists.

 

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JAIPUR AND RAJMAHAL: SHARING PASSAGES OF HISTORY

The ‘candy-floss’ pink walls of SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur can look back at the passage of time like few other buildings of Jaipur. With a history that first saw the light of day in 1729, when the site on which the palace now stands was created as a garden by a Maharaja for his queen, to the heyday of Pax Britannica in the 19th century when it served as the Residency of the British Political Agent to Rajputana, Rajmahal has absorbed a rich tide of history. As a home of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the palace accentuates the trappings of a handsome heritage. It embodies the tastes and reflects the lifestyle of a Maharaja in the 21st century; a dazzling combination of tradition and modernity set in polished stone and acres of wall-paper amidst sprawling, verdant grounds.

 

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