< < Go Back
image description

Season Round up V Bandhavgarh

2020 will always be remembered for the year it was and for the year Nature started to reclaim and restore the damage. Nature truly had a chance to heal.
From a wildlife perspective, it was an abridged year with no tourism activity from End March onwards following the lockdown, with a brief opening for a few days in June. Nevertheless, as always let me revisit the predictions made during the season round-up last year (2019-20)
Predictions (2019-20)
  1. Expect new litters from Spotty, Dhabhadhol, Mahaman, Bhitri or Kajri.
  2. The Battle for Damnar will Hot up between Chakradhara Male and Bhamera Jr.
  3. The season will be very low in the first few months and expect things to be largely around Magdhi.
  4. A lot of Males – lot of aspirant males – expect new tension across the park.
  5. The new chakradhara female may show up more as she gets used to tourists.
  6. Summer might have its highs, but it may be normal and not exceptional.
  7. Overall, I expect this to be a moderate season not the least comparable to the highs of 2018-19
Outcome :
  • We did see new litters 4/5 females from Spotty, Mahaman,Dabhadol and a litter of 2 cubs which got killed (most likely Bhitri). However not much known about Kajri.
  • The Battle for Damnar did heat up in the season, we did see 7D start to move towards Sehra,
  • The season was a little low, and Magdhi had most of the sighting with Dotty & Solo families.
  • Started to see new males emerge, Rancha male, Bheem Jr.
  • We did not have a summer, but it was subdued nevertheless.
  • Overall, the season was moderate and not comparable to the highs of 2018-19.
  • The Chakradhara female did not show up / or perhaps did in Summer and we would never know.
Let's look how the park fared as the season opened, we started to year with one of oldest and famous tigress Sukhi Patiha ( Mother to Spotty, Dotty, Dabhadol etc.) lost (poached or away into the buffer), this was a sore moment for many of us who have grown to see and admire her. She will continue to light up the sukhi patiha talab and rekindle memories as we visit the place.Hopefully, her daughters will continue to make Bandhavgarh proud.

On expected lines Magdhi was the star zone, with activity at its peak, Dotty and cubs put on a great show with 2 brothers always together and one other around but slowly starting to establish new ground. The mother was establishing new territory and looking to have her 2nd litter with the dominant male Mahaman. These 3 males are large and one of them will end up dominating territory in Bandhavgarh. For now, they will wander away into the buffer to remerge stronger.

Solo and family were a delight, I said this before, saying this again “they are the cutest cubs in the park, very photogenic and royal”. They are naughty, playful and now slowly starting to get tourist-friendly unlike her mom. Solo ofcource had a tough job to keen away the intruding males and often found her self in grave situations , one of which was the altercation with Bhamera Jr. This could have been deadly for the family, but for the timely interventions of the forest department.

Elsewhere in Magdhi, we saw Dhabhadol continue to challenge Dotty for territory and a new female emerged – a female from a litter of Sukhi Patiha and she started to establish territory. Another female from one from her earlier litters started to show up on fringes new Murdhawa establishing the mother’s territory. All in all, we are seeing new females emerge in Magdhi.

Tala was quiet with the expected litter from Spotty around Jan, she did finally show up on the last day of the park, while 2 cubs were seen, the camera traps identified 3 and the mahouts claimed they saw 4 cubs. A mystery to be resolved as the park opens. Bhamera Jr. continued to be expanding territory in Tala, surprisingly we saw Bheem walk up on to Rajbhera Dam in an attempt to challenge the region. This thankfully never got repeated else would never help this area to thrive.

Rest of Tala was quiet with secret activity happening in Chakradhara female and her family, 6-7 tigers have been seen in the area but very little know of this family as most routes are closed and the terrain making it difficult to spot this family. It also makes it difficult with the tigress being very elusive and shy.
A lot was expected from Bhitri and Kajri but these two tigresses are yet to settle down with a lot of disturbances from each other and the males who often move between the territories. The Males Rancha & Banbehi male often crisscross the area post-Mangu vacated the region.

Another season where the once famous Rajbhera and Chakradhara remain quiet.

Khitauli was restricted with the Mahaman family around Kumi khachkar – again not open for tourists however promised a great summer, but for the lockdown. Tara was not seen with her cubs and remains to be seen if she has kept them in the buffer or lost them in the rains.
As I look back into 2019-20 season – it’s the season which was curtailed by the lockdown and allowed nature to heal. For us purists, we lost out on the drama called Bandhavgarh.
Looking forward in 2020 – 21 season here are my Top 5 predictions.
  1. The season will start slow – sluggish before it starts to open up in Feb. Solo cubs will light up Magadhi while rest of the park catches up.
  2. I do see restrictive movement from Spotty and she will be wary to show up early with her litter both on account of history, mental state and the males. Expect her to show up regularly from Feb – June 2021.
  3. I do expect new litters from Dotty, Kajri / Bhitri and some surprises from Dhabadol.
  4. I do expect a new Male to show up – R1 or R2 or R3 – a surprise for sure !!
  5. Magadhi will run the 1st half and Khitauli and Tala 2nd half of the season.
Overall this is a season “In Transition”, we should see a lot of new in the next 2 years as the park rebuilds itself.


< < Go Back
Call Whatsapp