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Queen Machli Visits Old Home


Legendary Tigress Machli

Machli at Atal Sagar

Queen Machli does not need any introduction whatsoever, after all, she is a living legend herself and is immensely responsible for not only the survival and growth of the tiger population in Ranthambore and Sariska but also for making Ranthambore a world-famous wildlife destination.

Machli has been living in the non-tourism area on the periphery of the park since 2013 when her own grandchildren from the first litter of T19 started frequently visiting her erstwhile home in Lakkada Valley. Aged 17-plus years having lost all 4 canines and one eye due to cataract this iconic tiger’s well-being is always a matter of discussion for her fans/followers and well-wishers.

Recently around 9th April, there were reports of her sighting around the Jogi Mahal area on the banks of Padam Lake by forest staff followed by sighting to some visitors in zone 4. As I reached Ranthambore on the 9th of April evening for my 5-day schedule with a client I received the news of her sighting which surely was good news. It was Queen Machli after all who had blessed me with her sighting after a wait of three years wanting to see a tiger in the wild. While we kept looking for signs of her presence/movement she continued to maintain a low profile with occasional signs confirming her presence in that area. As we exited the park post morning safari on 13th April, we got news of her sighting on fort road. This was her third sighting of this season in tourist area. We reached the spot where she was sighted, presence of Queen Machli’s bodyguards (forest team) confirmed her presence who wanted to ensure that she had a hassle-free day as she decided to enjoy afternoon siesta in tall grasses.


                The Legend: Queen Machli

As we returned to the same spot after the evening safari lineup of vehicles on the road confirmed the obvious, the queen was awake and she was ready to oblige her fans as ever. Saw her sitting in a patch of open grass, but do not need a second look to confirm whether it was her or some other tiger frequenting that area. After a while, she decided to get up, and walk to the nearest water point to quench her thirst, giving more photo opportunities to shutterbugs who were thrilled to see this living legend in person. After a session of almost 15 minutes, she returned back to the safety of tall grasses nearby. This was not her first visit to the lake area post moving out from here, in Jan 2013 she visited lakes and had in fact spent almost a fortnight reliving moments from the glorious past. It was then speculated that she is revisiting the area as she is at fag end of her life and here, she is again after 3 years and 3 months. Well, no point debating the same point again, here’s wishing her a healthy life and a graceful exit whenever the time arrives.



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