A White Tiger Safari in Mukundpur, Rewa
Posted on June 22, 2019 by Ghoomophiro
Tigers are majestic. The word ‘royal’ is redundant in name of Royal Bengal Tigers, our national animal. However, another class of tigers perhaps outdo even the Bengal tigers – the white tigers who gave the title to Arvind Adiga’s Man Booker award-winning book ‘The White Tiger’.
Theoretically speaking there is not much difference between white tigers. They live, love and bread in similar conditions and habitat and very much similar nature. And yet white tigers are loved far more – perhaps because of their rarity … or perhaps it is absurdity of their existence, you almost get the sense that they should not exist, nature defies its own rules in letting them come into existence, perhaps breaking away from its own set, rigid ways to create something beautiful.
It is this majesty of white tigers that infatuated us with a strong desire for white tigers. And there was one and only place to do it – Mukundpur where the world’s first white tiger safari was held. And Munkunpur very well deserved the honor of being the place where maiden tiger safari should be held as it was also the very place where first white tiger of the world was spotted by Rewa king Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951.
When speaking of tigers, Madhya Pradesh quickly comes mind – especially when the subject is white tigers. It is perhaps one of the most gifted places when it comes to being home to most royal of all creature
Mukundpur is a village in Satna District of Madhya Pradesh State, located at a distance of 478 km from the state capital, Bhopal. The beautiful village is surrounded by water bodies on one side and by the forests on the other. It got its name from Maharaja Mukund Dev, since whose birthplace it was and attracted the attention of wildlife enthusiasts for first time in 1951 when the first white tiger was spotted here by Mahara Martand Singh.
The tiger that was sighted by Maharaja Martand Singh was named Mohan. Mohan was probably a result of genetic mutilation, however, the mutilation was so beautiful that Maharaja encouraged breading via Mohan to produce more white tigers. It is from Mohan that all white tigers of the world have descended.
How to reach Munkunpur?
The nearest airport is at Rewa which is located at a distance of 15.6 km. You can hire a taxi from there.
Rewa located at a distance of 15.6 km has the nearest railway station. You can hire a taxi from there.
You can hire taxis from several of nearby major cities including Rewa and Lalitpur.
The White Tiger Safari
The white Tiger Safar at a Mukundpur was one of the high priority items on our itinerary during our tour to Bhopal. We took a long detour just in order to enjoy it first catching a train to Rewa and then hiring a taxi from there. We reached Mukundpur a bit tired but what was held in there can freshen up any wildlife enthusiast.
We started by visiting the zoo first. We took a golf car to see the zoo and we got a chance to see the white tigers as well as several other animals – such as bears, black bucks, lions, etc. The sight of all the exotic animals was thrilling but white tigers stood in their own league.
The safari was opened from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The tickets were very reasonably charged. We seated ourselves in the safari van and let ourselves enjoy the mesmerizing view of tigers. Within the very first hour, we got a chance to see a deer who passed by the van though we failed to click it.
But after that, nature seemed to have turned it back on us for next few hours as we roamed around in the beautiful sights created by natural vegetation but our eyes starved for a sight of the grand prize. Even near the pond where tigers were most likely to be sighted – given the love of all wildlife for drinking water and tiger’s best chance of finding his prey there, we achieved no success.
At a little of 3 p.m. when we were already at the end of our hopes, someone in the van started screaming in excitement. And yes, it was a white tiger lying a few feet away oblivious to the excitement his sight has caused among us, lesser mortals, in the van.
It seemed to be lazying about, but even that was enough for us to go click happy (a rare privilege granted to us). We clicked its pictures, in one he was yawning and even in that picture it seemed so cool. Perhaps tigers just can’t help being cool.
It was a majestic sight. And it stayed there – for what? like fifteen minutes, letting us admire him and his royal indifferent ways before getting up and walking away in the direction away from us. Our guide told us it was named Raghu and was one of the first tigers to be brought to the reserve.
And this was the highlight of the safari. Nothing much happened after that.
What to take back home?
We highly recommend buying some locally handcrafted goods made of bamboos as the perfect souvenir one might get from Mukukndpur.
- Please note that photography is not generally allowed during the tiger safari.
- Follow the rules of the tiger reserve and the instructions given by the staff of the reserve
It was a 478-kilometer distance we had to travel on trains and buses just to reach Mukundpur from Bhopal and then an equal distance on our way back but the unique experience which was waiting for us there was more than worth it. We are even considering going for another safari there soon.
We hope you loved reading our memories. J