B2, a name that does not need any introduction. A name that will never fade with time. He will always be remembered as one of the friendliest tigers of India. A tiger who reigned for more than a decade in Bandhavgarh will always be missed by all wildlife lovers. It is not because he reigned for more than a decade but for the greatness of tiger himself. I waited hours and hours for 10 years to get a glimpse of him. But I consider myself more than lucky to have seen him and photograph him.
It was until April 2010 when B2 for the first time faced a rival who was able to push him back from his own kingdom. He was lucky to have survived as age was catching up and B2 was a soft target for all the males trying to establish their territories.
With time B2 realized that it was for his own good not to fight for territory and move. He moved to the outer parts of tala where there was no or very less competition. His own cubs (mirchehi) were too small to put a fight against him so as B2 decided this was the best place for him. After settling for a smaller territory near Damna, which is one of the most sensitive areas of Bandhavgarh B2 made regular cattle kills. The security of B2 was of prime importance to the forest department here. But he survived. Until one day when he was attacked by another male where B2 was seriously injured. B2 was again pushed back and was found 22 kms away from his regular territory.
The hunting grounds of Bandhavgarh will never see him roam again! Here are few pictures I could manage to click of the Maharaja. The best way I can pay a tribute to my favorite tiger, who once ruled Bandhavgarh!!
B2 crossing the road near Damnar river. Photograph December 2010.
B2 near Badi Gufa. Photograph May 2010.
B2's pug. Photograph May 2011.
B2 resting under a tree on a summer afternoon. Photograph May 2011.