When Pug Marks Guide You: Tiger Tours in Kanha

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					                          When Pug Marks Guide You: Tiger Tours in Kanha

I am a wanderer. A wanderer who has now made airports his home and waiting rooms his bedroom. Of
all these years I have spent in my wanderlust escapades stretching across continents (I have been to all
now; the last being an Antarctica getaway sponsored by BNP Paribas), the best ones have been where
my trips were random, haphazard and without a vector pointing me where to head to. I guess that is
because life shapes up the same way and when something is in coherence with our own lives it
resonates further with us.

I had just lazed out of the mess my bed has been (because I am never there to take care of it) and was
flipping through the day’s edition of The Wall Street Journal when I saw this curiousity-enducing
headline in the World pages of the paper

“Apex Courts in India quash ban on Wildlife Tourism; Seeks Increased Foreign Tourist Arrivals”

My curiosity enhanced exponentially. The printers started blaring and soon I was reading up on the flora
and fauna India has to offer. Much research later I was taken aback by my aloofness from the fact that
India is home to the biggest tiger population in the country. Yes, I had never seen a tiger in the wild,
except for fleeting documentaries and films on NATGEO and Discovery. Here was my calling. I am jetting
off to India and seeing some gold and brown stripes.

I got in touch with Sharad, a warm and amiable guy, who conducts many a Kanha tour in India. Kanha is
home to more than 100+ tigers in the wild and considering India has close to 1700 (the number seems a
pittance but that’s the sad truth; tigers are now considered an endangered species) and Sharad had the
excitement of a child willing to show off his toy to anyone who enters his bedroom; Kanha has been his
bedroom since early 80s. He even has a magnificent lodge in the heart of Kanha. It goes by the name of
Chitvan and it has been ranking #1 on Trip Advisor for close to 5 years now, and not without reason.
More on Chitvan in the next post.

So here I was in Kanha, moving around in the safari jeep, Sharad had provided for. Tigers were prancing
around, deer were at their alert best, peacocks mingling around with peahens (their mating season was
on). It was the best trip of my life; the best detoxification I ever had.