India, the land of the tiger

During the dry season, when temperatures are warmer in national parks such as Pench, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh, it is the best time to spot the largest feline in the world: the Bengal tiger.

This majestic and fascinating animal can be seen on morning and evening safaris, where you can explore its natural habitat. The lush jungles, similar to those depicted in the classic story “The Jungle Book,” are home to a diverse array of wildlife including predators such as the Bengal tiger and indian leopard, as well as golden jackals, hyenas, sloth bears, axis deer, langurs, and a wide variety of birds ranging from colorful small birds to powerful raptors.

In India, the Peacock (Pavo cristatus) symbolizes beauty, wisdom, and even immortality. In 1963 it was declared the national bird of the country. In the picture, the colorful tail of a peacock can be seen in front of one of the ponds at Bandhavgarh National Park.


A common langur (Semnopithecus entellus) with its young standing on one of the labyrinthine trails that run through Bandhavgarh National Park. The alarm calls of these animals – the usual langur calls – are a great help in locating tigers.


The axis, chital or spotted deer (Axis axis) is one of the most common mammals in the national parks of the Indian region of Madhya Pradesh. Their alarm calls are also essential for locating the big cats of the jungle: the leopard and the Bengal tiger. Bandhavgarh National Park.


A Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) at dawn in Kanha National Park. The camouflage ability of these felines is amazing.


During the summer, when temperatures usually exceed 40ºC, Bengal tigers spend most of the day inside the water. On more than one occasion, this leads to territorial disputes. Kanha National Park.


In the jungle there is always activity, but you have to know where to look. A common langur (Semnopithecus entellus) jumping between the branches of a tree in Pench National Park.


There are looks that are never forgotten. This young tiger, about two years old, decided to stretch out right in front of my gypsy at sunset. A moment full of peace. I almost forgot to take any pictures. Bandhavgarh National Park.


A central barasingha or swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi) in Kanha National Park. This endangered species is one of the symbols of the national park.


In Kanha National Park, one of the most iconic tigers in history was Munna. A big male that dominated the center of the national park for many years. Now, much of that territory is dominated by his son, Chota Munna (in the photograph).


The moment when this Bengal tiger crouched down to drink from a small pool seemed incredibly intimate and fragile to me. A precious moment inside Bandhavgarh National Park.


The call of the black hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) is part of the soundtrack of the Bandhavgarh National Park.


The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is one of the 13 subspecies of leopard that survive around the world. It is one of the most endangered big cats in the world due to poaching and deforestation. Pench National Park.


The Pench National Park is covered by an extensive dry forest.


After two long hours sleeping in the shade, this young Bengal tiger began to become active during sunset. Bandhavgarh National Park.


A crested hawk eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) cooling off inside the Bandhavgarh National Park.


During the summer in India, dust tends to envelop the environment and blur scenes as interesting as this Bengal tiger doing the Flehmen response (a particular movement of retraction in the lips that facilitates the transfer of odor chemicals in the vomeronasal organ). Bandhavgarh National Park.


Dawn in Bandhavgarh National Park.


The red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) lives in Asia from Pakistan to the Malay Peninsula. It is critically endangered. Vulture populations have been drastically reduced in India (over 97%) due to the use of diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory intended for cattle that causes the death of vultures when they feed on the carcasses of cattle treated with the drug. Since 2006, its use in veterinary medicine is prohibited.


In the heart of Bandhavgarh National Park, among the ancient trees, a subtle shape appears and disappears. Spotting Bengal tigers is not a straightforward task.


Bengal tigers grow and are raised with their mothers until they are about two and a half years old, when they become independent. This young tiger, along with its brother, had become independent a few weeks ago. An uncertain future and the great challenges of nature awaited them.


This beautiful tigress, Spotty, shakes off the water after a relaxing bath in one of the pools at Bandhavghar National Park.


A crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) in Bandhavgarh National Park. The ability of these birds of prey to hunt snakes is formidable.


Similar to most cervids, the axis deer (Axis axis) lose their antlers at the end of winter every year. They will regrow with more branches in a few months. Kanha National Park.


A group of barasinghas (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi) walking through the marshy areas of Kanha National Park.


Bandhavgarh has one of the highest tiger population densities in India. It’s a fortunate moment to observe a young Bengal tiger relaxing in the orange light of sunset, at a close distance.


The golden jackals (Canis aureus) are not easily photographed. They are restless animals that constantly patrol their territory. Kanha National Park.


When visiting tiger country, spending some days to discover the Indian culture is always surprising and a big contrast. A boat at dawn on the Yamuna River.


Going from the silence and peace of the jungle to the noise, smells and stress of Old Delhi neighborhood was quite a challenge.


The warm light of India. The same that illuminates Bengal tigers, illuminates the sacred temples of the city of Delhi. Humayun’s Tomb.