India is home to more than 75% of wild tigers in the world today. While that might swell your chest with pride, don’t overlook the fact that we have been excessively reckless with our resources & gifts over the centuries.
Back then when we were a country of many princely states where each king harboured the passion for hunting, tigers became a plaything for royalty & a prized possession for poachers & kings alike. As per some estimates, there were 50,000 to 80,000 tigers in India alone a century back while that number is less than 5000 worldwide today.
You can imagine what would have happened in between.
Yes, the same thing that’s the cause for everything that’s wrong with the world today – Humans!
Tiger is an endangered species even today but back in 1970, the Bengal Tiger was running a serious risk of extinction with only 268 big cats in India as per the first nation-wide tiger census conducted back then in 1972. Just to give you some perspective, that’s also the approximate number of tigers that Jim Corbett Park houses currently. The same Jim Corbett Park where you have to plan a minimum of 5-7 safaris to get one good sighting (exception: Dhikala zone).
Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi (who was the prime minister at that time) & Karan Singh (Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation then), India introduced ‘Project Tiger’ & declared ‘The Bengal Tiger’ as its national animal. Today, India has more than 50 Tiger Reserves nationwide & is home to more than 75% of wild tigers across the globe. You can beam with pride again. 🙂
When you think of ‘Tiger Reserves’, what comes to your mind? Jim Corbett, Ranthambore, Bandipur, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Sundarbans or Kaziranga, may be?
Well, now it’s time to add one more. Enter – Pilibhit Tiger Reserve – the new kid on the block that’s already becoming everyone’s favourite.
Pilibhit forest was declared a Tiger Reserve recently in 2014 with approximate 25 tigers, and in 4 years, the population of tigers doubled to 65. It’s a beautiful forest, an hour away from Bareilly (a place in Western UP, popular for being the centre for mutiny as well as the choice for losing your jhumkas ;)). It’s definitely a weekend destination for all Delhi NCR people. And if you have been to Jim Corbett one too many times, this is definitely the spot for your next short trip.
And the cherry on the cake is the frequent sightings of Tigers these days in Pilibhit. So, if you haven’t been able to sight one anywhere, this is the place may be.
For Tiger Reserve Virgins, have you ever sighted a tiger in the wild? Oh it’s magnificent. When you spot the tiger in the wild, you need not to be told why he is the king of the jungle. And you are extremely aware of the fact that you are just a guest. One wrong move, and you can be persecuted for trespassing. If you dare, look at its eyes – that’s what the word majestic means. The tiger is fearless, indifferent & the epitome of self-confidence. Of course, that’s what humans think. Tiger doesn’t even notice you. For the tiger, you don’t even exist. You are a useless thing that just exists but not adding any value like most YouTube Ads. The tiger doesn’t give a f*ck. And the best part is that he hasn’t even read the seminal book of Mark Manson. He just knows the art on its own.
Here’s a quick glimpse of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, if you need some motivation. Plan the visit for your next weekend trip: