A prayer from the plains for a river from the rains

By Nakul Mohan Heble Schooled in Singampatti! It was our last day at the Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (ACCC), a beautiful field station at the feet of the giant peaks of southern Western Ghats. After several days of unbearable heat in the plains, the monsoon winds had finally hit the western coast of India. The…

Pawprints in Khandar Fort Pt. 3: Unexpected Treasures

By Priya Ranganathan I led the squabbling men down another path, towards our second camera trap, lost in thought. A leopard and a tigress coexisting in the fort was a rare scenario, given the size of Khandar Qila. Unlike Ranthambhore Qila, where tigresses were often spotted preening on the stone walls and suckling their cubs…

Pawprints at Khandar Fort Pt. 2: Leopards Hunt at Sunset

By Priya Ranganathan I jumped over a fallen pillar, taking care not to damage the valuable artefact, and approached his side. He was pointing at a faded print in the dust, barely noticeable but, once noticed, hard to miss. “Pugmark?” he asked. I squatted on my haunches to better survey the imprint. “Leopard,” was my…

Pawprints in Khandar Fort Pt. 1: Breaching the Fort

By Priya Ranganathan It was four in the morning and the scrubby landscape bounced in and out of my vision as our jeep made its way through the dark Rajasthan forest. The hardly powerful headlamps were our only chance at getting to the base of the steep hill going up to Khandar Qila. The Qila…