It was an ordinary day and Aadi was on a jungle safari with his friends in Bandipur National Park. The wind was gentle. Mother Nature looked calm he was enjoying the music of jungle as the jeep was going deeper into the woods the beauty of wildlife was getting into his heart and all of a sudden from nowhere there she was – Gowri, the famous tigress of Bandipur. At that time, Aadi never thought that he would spend around 200 days with her!
Gowri stood before the jeep looking at them. She was calm but her eyes were intense. The sight was incredible. Aadi found the entire beauty of the jungle in her. Undoubtedly it was love at first sight.
The safari resumed as Gowri moved away but Aadi didn’t see any other sights. His mind was restless and heart was throbbing for her. His eyes were searching for her. He was in a world of dreams even after the safari concluded.
Due to some unavoidable business meetings he had to return from there that day. With a heavy heart, he came back to Bangalore and even while attending the business meetings he wished to see the tigress once more. In a week’s time, he finished all his works and rushed back to Bandipur to have a glimpse of that tigress who was one of the most respected females in his life.
To meet the tigress, again
On reaching the park he went on a jeep safari looking for her. Unfortunately, he could not find her that day. But still, he slept peacefully with the hope of seeing her the next day. He started the morning safari with a fresh note as the safari progressed he found her again.
He took out his camera and clicked as many photos as he could. That day his heart was filled with joy, and like that they met, again and again. Each meeting was driving him closer and closer to her and his love and respect towards her grew immensely stronger. During this period Aadi stayed there for almost 48 days as he felt a kind of connection. The trips and meetings were more frequent as his craving for her were building up as time flew.
The connection with Mother Nature
By his frequent visits to Bandipur he built up a strong relationship with the Forest officials and localities and he started helping them in conservational activities along with that he never gave up the opportunity of photographing Gowri and her Cubs.
In one such trip, Aadi was informed that Gowri was nowhere to be seen in the past 10 days. So after getting to know this, he went on safaris every day to find her in her usual spots or her territory. After few days Aadi had to return to Bangalore and Gowri wasn’t seen yet.
He left the safari zone with a heavy heart and all of a sudden he spotted her on the Main road. According to Aadi that was the most unexpected and most relieving meeting, he has ever had with her. He didn’t even want to photograph her that day. He just lived moment and cherished the presence of her in his life. His happiness had no boundaries as he sighted her after a long time.
In Aadi’s next visit he saw Gowri and her cubs from a very close range. And one her cubs who was named as Cross Tail is the most unique one. He is also the most notorious and furious among the four Cubs. He has once seen 4 kilometers away from his mother near a waterhole when he was only ten months old. According to Aadi, Cross Tail is an explorer and likes to roam around all by himself.
Impact of Gowri and Her Cubs
Gowri and her kids have made a tremendous impact on Aadi’s life. He says his relationship with nature started because of Gowri. Aadi started contributing his time to conservational activities and started spending the time to educate the people about the importance of Mother Nature. He used to spend weeks and months in Bandipur National park not only to see her but also for conservation purposes of the forest. It has been a decade since he got into wildlife and he is there for at least 200 days altogether.
Altogether he has spent more than 200 days with Gowri. In the last decade, apart from spotting, he has managed to photo document more than 50 tigers through out India. He has also finished his second bucket list of a continuous drive of 100 hours by documenting more than 250 species of fauna. To search and document magnificent tuskers of South India is on his next list.
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