You come across title-lines, written on stones, while moving around, inside the Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, India. These lines have deep lessons of History actually. The ban on tiger hunting in India was imposed only in 1970, after the population of tigers got reduced from approx. 40000 (out of 100000 in whole world) in 1901 to just 1827 in 1970. There were scores of massacres of tigers and other wild animals by the then elites to make that figure. Lord Linlithgo, then Viceroy ofIndia, in an hunting expedition killed 120 tigers in a single game spread over few weeks around Indo-Nepal Border in 1938-39. Usually this was done by sitting atop elephants and by using men and elephants to corner tigers in the Jungle. The pictures of posing hunters keeping their one foot mercilessly atop a dead tiger were a prized asset then. This 1926 picture shown below after a hunt organised by Raja Of Alwar, Rajasthan for his British guests, shows the magnitude and scale of madness of the times, to some extent.
There were even specially designed carriages including a Rolls Royce for this purpose in those times.
The project Tiger in India was launched on 1st April 1973 subsequent to advent of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It seems, if this had been postponed for few years more, I would not have seen the beauty of a tiger in wild ever.
I got to see this nature’s top-in-the-food chain beauty, last week and was truly mesmerized (I had seen the tigers earlier too at Corbett and Kanha, but those were fleeting moments). You have to see that, to feel the might and beauty of a tiger moving in a grassland in a Jungle. The way it moves, pauses, rests and then again rises to move around is so thrilling and captivating that you will be speechless and spellbound. its like a musical symphony, every note and every move in perfect synchronisation. The tiger on a prowl, decides every move at his own pace and pleasure. No hurry and no worries for the ‘King Of Jungle’. I too heard this ‘Symphony of a Wild Tiger’s movement’. I therefore, feel lucky to have shot a tiger myself at the Jim Corbett Park, through a camera only. I wish, Lord Linlithgow and his cohorts had read those lines too!