Magical Evening with Spirit of the forest
It was late afternoon. The Forest of Dandeli was glowing in the evening sun rays. Safari road was appearing mysterious because of Sunlight and shadows in the forest. While looking at the Sunlight and shadows I lost in thoughts of the elusive beauty of the Dandeli forest – Baghira – a black panther!
We entered the thick patch of the forest. Our safari jeep was moving slowly. The naturalist was checking every waterhole keenly for any wildlife movement. Our jeep was navigating each road turn slowly and we were looking in the thick forest and also on the tree for any big cat movement.
As we were listening to the sound of forest creatures, I heard an Alarm call from the Langur. The Langur was sitting of the tree top. And the eyes of the Langur were looking at the thick patch of the forest below. Langur has seen some danger in the forest. Alarm calls slowly increased and suddenly they stopped.
I and a safari jeep driver were trying to look thru the forest. We couldn’t see any movement of the big cat. After waiting for a couple of minutes we decided to move on the same road. As we drove half a kilometer, Tiger scat on the road caught our attention, It was appearing quite fresh. Looks like Tiger has passed thru that road a few minutes before.
Since the Langur alarm calls were coming near to Tiger Scat, we thought Langur have spotted a Tiger. Safari jeep kept going. Suddenly some animal jumped across the road. I got excited and after a closer look found that a Sambar ran across the road.
After driving for further 2 kilometers, we decided to head back. While coming back, there was a big tree along the road. At the base of a tree fawn of Sambar was staring at us. The sambar fawn was adorable. After curiously looking at us, the Sambar fawn ran into the forest.
As we came a bit further beautiful Hornbill flew over our Safari jeep. This beautiful hornbill gave me a few moments to click the image.
We continued to drive on the Safari trail. Darkness was descending. Air was getting cold. I was standing in the jeep and looking around. Then, suddenly on the right side of the road, I saw two marble eyes staring at me. I slowly whispered to the Driver ‘ Leopaaard ! stop the jeep ‘
He swiftly stopped the jeep. All of us in the jeep started observing the Leopard. First, the Leopard was curiously looking at us. Then leopard entered the patch of bushes. Leopard was constantly looking in the tree tops – maybe looking at those Langurs.
Leopard was moving slowly in the bushes and then came on the Safari road. Then the leopard started slowly walking on the road and he turned and looked at us for a few moments. There was a tree beside the road. Leopard lifted the tail and made a scent marking.
After that, this elusive beauty vanished into bushes. Upon closer look, I found that Leopard was looking at us thru the bush.
While returning from the forest, this jungle drama was permanently engraved on my mind.
I had a Magical Evening with Spirit of the forest – not a legendary Baghira but a Leopard.
I looked at the heavenly forest, smiled, and said, “see you next time, Baghira!”
I hope you have enjoyed this memorable evening with Leopard in the Dandeli. I would love to hear how you felt about this journey.
Looking forward to seeing your comments in the comment section below.
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Very nice photo essay. The photographs are beautiful. Loved the way you narrated the story. I felt as if I was in this trip.