Do you think that the celebrity status and fandom are the prerogative of humans only! Or only the actors and sports persons trends over the social media! No! It’s not. Away from the human settlements, there are the few Royal Bengal Tigers in the wilderness of the National Parks of India who have claimed their fair share of stardom and fandom. These beautiful yet dangerous predators of the wild are the kings and queens of the big, dense and frightful forests of India. Ranthambore National Park is among the few of the most popular Tiger reserves, which witness a massive flow of wildlife tourists to visit the forest for trailing and getting a glimpse of the Royal Bengal Tigers in their own Kingdom where the only law prevails is the ‘survival of the fittest’.
The Ranthambore National Park is known for providing the sure and best sighting of this endangered wild species. It is said that if you do the few of the safaris in the park in the different zones, you will most probably get the sighting of the Tiger. This blog brings you the few of the most popular tigers of Ranthambore National Park, which are the most favorite among the wildlife enthusiasts, professional wildlife photographers, documentary movie makers. Keep reading to know the legends of these superstars of the dense forest of Ranthambore.
Machli (T-16): A Unanimous Super Star and the Pride of Ranthambore
She was the numerouno of Ranthambore, the real superstar not only of Ranthambore but the world’s wildlife arena when she was alive and still her name echoed when someone talks about this endangered species and how the species got revived from the verge of extinction. She was the flag bearer of the tiger conservation planning in India. Almost half of the population of tigers in Ranthambore is the descendants of the tigress Machli and her descendants also reviving the tiger population in the Sariska National Park. She was the symbol of a warrior in the wild as she had fought all the odds to survive and nursed her cubs. She lived life ‘King Size’ till she breathed her last in the year of 2016 in the wilderness of Ranthambore. She was the most photographed and video recorded wild beast in the world. She has an amazing camera-friendly attitude which is uncommon among the dangerous predators of the wild.
Her survival instinct was so inspiring that many documentaries are being made to bring her charisma to the wildlife enthusiasts of the world. The graceful appearance of the tigress Machli every now and then had always delighted the safari tourists in Ranthambore. She was named Machli due to the fish like mark on the left side of her face, which became her unique identity in the park. In her prime of youth, she ruled the largest and the best area of the Ranthambore forest which has a decent number of lakes and other wildlife species and known as the ‘lady of the lakes’. She earned the wide fame when she fought a fierce battle with a 14-foot marsh crocodile to save her cubs from the danger. The legendary battle was continued for many hours till the tigress finally killed such a large crocodile. This battle was recorded by a fortunate tourist and released to the public which instantly made the tigress an apple of the eye to the wildlife enthusiasts.
She had four litters in her life and became the proud mother of 11 cubs among which are four males and seven females. Her two female cubs were relocated to the Sariska National Park to populate the park, and they successfully enhanced the tiger population of the park that had not even a single tiger before the relocation. The Machli was always been remembered for her contribution in enhancing the number of tigers and reviving the endangered species in India. Due to her amazing contribution, she was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Travel Operators For Tigers. She was and will always be the “Queen of Ranthambore”.
Ustad (T-24): The Ferocious Superstar of Ranthambore
The most ferocious tiger of Ranthambore, Ustad (T-24) is the most popular male tiger in the Indian wildlife arena and the most talk about tiger recently. A fearless beast in the wild, the mere sight of Ustad is enough to give a chilly sensation in your nerves. Ustad is the most photographed male tiger in India who always captivated wildlife tourists with its majestic sight and swagger when was in its natural habitat in Ranthambore forest. At present the ferocious beast has been held captive in the Sajjangarh Biological Park since 16th May 2015 due to being held responsible for killing four men, two locals and two forest guards, during 5 years of time span and considered as a man-eater tiger. However, whether Ustad a man-eater tiger or not is debatable, but his relocation from his natural home in Ranthambore to a zoo in Udaipur earned a lot of criticism from the wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world.
The majestic tiger is the cub of Jhumroo (T-20) and Gayatri (T-22) born in 2005 and graced the Ranthambore for 9 years with its presence and ruled the biggest territory of Ranthambore fiercely without any challenge except for few minor spats with Zaalim (T-25), his sibling. He was an amazing hunter and an exceptionally fearless as well as a beautiful tiger who ruled the Ranthambore for 9 years till it was relocated to a zoo in Udaipur. He was known for dragging his kill on the nearby highway and eating it there just in the middle of the road without any care of the surroundings and people. The tiger-loving fraternity is hopeful of returning of Ustad to his home in the Ranthambore National Park and they can once again see the swagger of this Royal Tiger during their safaris.
Sultan (T-72): a Fearless Emperor of the Ranthambore Forest
Tiger Sultan is the cub of the superstar of Ranthambore Ustad (T-24) and the beautiful tigress Noor (T-39) so the swagger, fearlessness and the Royal attitude bestowed upon him by birth. He was fearless since he was a few months old cubs and his audacity to stare safari jeeps without any fear earned him the name ‘Sultan’ which means emperor. T-72 was the only cub of the first litter of Noor which makes him special as it is a bit unusual to have only one cub in a litter of a tigress. When first spotted in the year 2012 with his mother, he was around 4 months old. Wildlife enthusiasts believed that he will be an extraordinary tiger as he is the cub of Ustad and Noor. Ustad is the best hunter and most ferocious tiger of Ranthambore whereas Noor (or Mala) is the most beautiful tigress and a very skilled hunter. Made his territory in Sultanpuri region, he is considered to be the next big sensation of Ranthambore. He is the prince of Ranthambore – a young, audacious and beautiful tiger who often chase away safari jeeps from its territory by charging at them and showing the fierceness that he got from his father Ustad.
Krishna (T-19): the Reigning Ruler of Ranthambore
Krishna is the most popular female tiger after the legendary tigress Machli. This cub of Machli is named after an Olympic winner sportswoman Krishna Poonia. Her being a cub of Machli makes her popular since her young age as being from the lineage of Machli is a matter of pride in itself. However, Krishna is a shy tiger and unlike her mother, she is not much of a camera friendly. Born in a litter of 3 female cubs during the monsoon season in 2006, Krishna is the sibling of T-17 and T-18. Krishna is also known as ‘Jhalra female’, a name given after the territory she often has been seen spending her time. After the relocation of her sibling T-18 in the Sariska National Park, Krishna took over the region of Nalghati, the territory of her sister. She had been monitored mating with star male (T-28) and a few months later she was spotted with the three cubs, two males and one female. At present, Krishna rules the largest part of the Ranthambore National Park and her sighting is one of the prime attractions in Ranthambore.
Noor (T-39): Hunting Maestro and the Mistress of Elegance
Also known as ‘Mala’ due to the necklace like stripes on her side flanks, T-39 or Noor has been delivered four litters till now and considered as one of the proud mothers in the history of Ranthambore National Park. She is the majestic mother of Sultan (T-72) which she has been given birth to her first litter after mating with the superstar of Ranthambore, Ustad (T-24). The beautiful tigress is an awesome hunter too, and her hunting skill now reflects in her son Sultan. Often referred as the Mistress of Elegance, the Noor has often been spotted cooling off in the water bodies in the summer season and taking the sunbath in the winter season in the ecotourism zones 2 and 6 of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.
The flourishing population of once-endangered species of the Royal Bengal Tiger in the beautiful, dense and serene forest of Ranthambore are the result of the hard human effort to save our forests and its wild inhabitants. The large green cover of Ranthambore forest and its wild flora and fauna not only save our environment but also offer us an opportunity to refresh and recharge our mind, body and soul during wildlife holiday away from the hasty, chaotic and tiring city lives.