The Queen of Ranthambore

When I got the email reminder for today’s daily prompt, I thought hmmm… Fierce, what do I cook up with that? Well, how bout I work on the weekly photo challenge and maybe something will come along related to such an intense topic.
While I was sifting through my collection, one of them happened to be from a trip to Mahabaleshwar hill station [you can see that post here. It reminded me of the lush green forests alongside those hills.
That was it! I had the cue to what I’d be writing on.

Oh why of course the Fierce Machli – the Tiger Queen!

Machhli on her throne atop the fortress of Rajbaug Lake. Truly the Lady of the Lakes

In a land of battles once fought with swords, there came to be a new variety of reign. The claim to the jungle territory by a renowned Bengal Tigress, Machli. The legendary Lady of the Lakes held her throne atop the fortress of Rajbaug Lake in Ranthambore National Park of Rajasthan, India for over 10 years. She was the world’s most famous tigress and lived for over 19 years[1996-2016].

The Queen Mother with her cubs

She inherited the name from her mother, the first Machli, so for the fish shaped mark on her face.Being the most dominant female in a litter of three cubs, she soon dethroned her own mother to command authority, at an early age of 3. Her tales of fearless bouts against her wild adversaries have been recounted throughout her years and now even after.

Machali fish marks
one can spot the stripes that look like fish marks above her eyes just like her mother

Machli had once fought a male tiger to protect her cubs. You can watch the video here She is aptly named the Queen Mother of tigers having birthed 11 cubs throughout a span of seven years in 4 litters. Most of the tigers of the park happen to be of her lineage.

machli and the male
Machli in a combat with a male tiger to protect her cubs

She is the world’s most ever photographed tigress and has credits to innumerable documentaries. Machli has been an epitome of conservation and tourist attraction in India, thus the government had issued a commemorative postal cover and stamp to honour the tigress in 2013.

male fight_1622407c
The fierce battle to protect her own

One of her equally famous tryst with a 14-foot long crocodile earned her the title of Crocodile Killer. Video here. Her prowess in hunting and immense strength have been aired multitudinously on BBC, National Geographic and Animal Planet channels. In her later years, Machli had been ousted by her own daughter Satra(aka Sundari) and had lost most of her canines and sight in one eye. She was unable to kill and depended mostly on the food provided by the park authorities. On August 18th, 2016 Machli succumbed to her frail health.

machali with croc
Machli fighting the 14-foot crocodile, that she eventually killed had cost her 2 canines

The majestic Machli, known for her ferocity and truly royal encounters continue to be the Queen of our Hearts!

Image Courtesy of Google

3 thoughts on “The Queen of Ranthambore

  1. This was awesome! Such a lot of good memories it bought back. I have been following Machli since her and my childhood. She was one of the great reasons that I feel in love with wildlife and tigers. I still have her documentaries which I watch every now and then. A true legend she was. Thanks for this great tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course she was an enigma. Though I’ve never been that interested in wildlife, watching her documentaries have given me the thrills. Something is just so magical about this tigress that makes me visit YouTube every now and then. I’m glad u like it. 😇


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