Category Archives: Wildlife

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A Capital City – Then and Now

“The view of Jaipur city from the hill behind it is ravishing…The city, while it is new, is assuredly the most beautiful among the ancient cities of India, because in the latter everything is old, the streets are unequal and narrow. This, on the contrary, has the splendour of the modern with equal wide and long streets. The principal road, which begins at the Sanganer Gate, and goes on to the South Gate, is so broad that six or seven carriages can drive abreast without difficulty and without having to touch each other or turn aside…”

Jose Tieffenthaler in Description Geographique…De I’lnde, Bernouli, i. 314-317.

 

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Are Hot Summers the Coolest Time to Visit Ranthambhore?

Temperatures in Ranthambhore typically reach forty-five degrees Celsius in May. A particularly unfriendly summer temperature occasionally crosses the fifty-degree Celsius mark and becomes a natural limiting factor for over-growth. Waterholes become scarce and trees like the Dhok, drop off their leaves to ration their moisture levels. Rock surfaces – scattered throughout the park – emit a furnace like waft each time a breeze sweeps their surface and you can feel the heat stroke you, as you drive past them. Animals and birds appear panting and their movements become soporific as they spend time in the shade of evergreens or the oasis that are formed around perennial waterholes; clusters of Jamun, Ficus and wild mango trees, all daytime shelters for creatures of the forest. The wonderful thing is, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve has several ‘belts’ of such oasis’, tucked away in its folds. No matter how high the temperatures soar, these are the spots you should drive to, and here’s why.

 

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The titchy cat of JAWAI

The Rusty-spotted cat Prionailurus rubiginosus is one rare cat which we occasionally encounter at JAWAI. Also called the ‘humming bird’ of the cat world, not just for its small size — at just over a foot, it’s about half the size of the domestic cat — but also because it is extremely agile and active. They have been described as abundant in some parts of India, and have been observed close to and within villages.

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Birds, Birders and Twitchers: Part I

“Flight has immense meaning for us humans because we can’t do it. Instead we live in a dream of flight, and flight envy is part of the human condition. That’s why birds, more than any other group of living things, draw us into the world beyond humanity.”

Simon Barnes in ‘The Meaning of Birds’

 

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The Leopards of Maha Shivratri

“To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim”. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

The JAWAI region in known for its religion, spirituality and temples. Each village has numerous temples and most of the hills have spiritual caves and shrines. A lot of these temples are devoted to Lord Shiva. In fact, one of the main god’s worshipped in the area is Lord Shiva.

 

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A Walk Through the Seasons at Sher Bagh

Rajasthan was gifted with a very wet monsoon season last year: Ranthambhore’s verdant nature had returned and the wildlife rediscovered their Arcadia. In October, as you meandered through the jungle, you were able to witness the park’s rebirth, the dhok trees flourishing in their senility, the grass long, thick and lush and the network of water channels flowing full. This allows wildlife to disperse throughout the park and the numerous watering holes scattered around the area were full for cheetal, or sambar deer to quench their thirst and leafy groves for nilgai antelope to browse and feast upon.

 

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Jaisalmer ki Holi

The festival of Holi symbolises a celebration of the victory of good over evil, heralding the arrival of spring and the end of winter, in vast parts of India.  For many it is a day for social gatherings to splash each other with colours, of laughter, forgiveness and to reset and renew ruptured relationships.

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The Rabari Army

Granite hills, mustard fields and the lake in between surrounds this large expanse of land, in Jawai. An occasional splash of red adds a dash of colour and vibrancy to this land. The word Rabari is derived from ‘Rehaan’, meaning – a person who shows the path.

 

According to legend Lord Mahadeva, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, created the first camel for the amusement of his lover, Parvati. In order to look after the camel, he created a caretaker and called him a ‘Rabari’.

 

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A Tale of Two Mothers (With Apologies to P.G. Wodehouse!)

If PG Wodehouse were to have heard the alarm calls of the cheetal stag which nearly punctured my ear-drums last Monday morning, he would have described it as “a sort of yelp rather like a wolf that sees its peasant getting away…” The stricken-anxiety palely obvious in the yelp of the said deer was instead signalling the approach of a tigress, who looked like a Goddess of Death clearly running late for work, on a manic Monday morning.  Read More A Tale of Two Mothers (With Apologies to P.G. Wodehouse!) »

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The other cats of JAWAI!

Since the opening of JAWAI,  the leopards have played an importantly role in our wilderness experience. The team has successfully been tracking these big cats over the seasons  amounting to over 400 separate sightings over the short time we have been in the area.

 

While there is something quite mesmerizing about seeing a leopard in the wild, there are other smaller cats, the ones that people don’t talk about as much  which are just as exiting and special to see…

 

The most common small cat we see around JAWAI is the Jungle Cat. We often get lucky in the early evenings observing them hunting for rodents, geckos and small ground birds.  It is huge fun watching them pounce and stalk.  Back at camp we even have our own resident male Jungle Cat who confidently strolls around poking his head in out and keeping an eye on our guests at the campfire! Read More The other cats of JAWAI! »