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Wild Wild India - Season 1 - E21 Bharatpur: A Bird’s Paradise

Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan is a paradise for birds and bird-lovers. It’s home to countless number of Indian and migrant bird species, many of which travel thousands of kilometres each year to nest at this special site.

  • It was Rudyard Kipling of 'The Jungle Book' fame who once commented that the female of the species is deadlier than the male. Witness a true story which proves the truth of this adage, at least as far as Indian wildlife is concerned. In this story, two headstrong tigresses wage a proactive battle that changes the course of their lives.

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    Watch the heroic struggle of a group of 54 trekkers to survive in often hostile conditions at the immense altitude of 19,500 feet. With rivetting footage of the events as they unfolded in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, this real-life drama will have you at the edge of your seat.

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    Decades ago, Jim Corbett rid the Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region of its man-eating tigers. Through his books and his efforts to aid the local people, he entered the folklore of Kumaon. Today, he is considered one of India's foremost environmentalists, whose efforts gave a new lease of life to the tigers. But what is their state now? Find out in this episode.

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    Rehman Khera in Uttar Pradesh is a small village on the outskirts of Lucknow. The campus of Central Institute For Sub-Tropical Horticulture is the only structure of note in this hamlet. However, in January, 2012, Rehman Khera and the Central Institute caught the public eye when a wild tiger entered the area.

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    Who are the most talked and written-about tigers in India, whose fame has earned them the status of wild celebrities? Meet the tigers who are known for their special appeal and who have had huge fan following.

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    Sariska is a well-known tiger reserve, close to New Delhi, the national capital of India. However, its tiger population took a serious hit a few years ago. In this episode, we evaluate the measures that helped ensure the return of the tiger to this national park.

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    Located in Uttarakhand in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rajaji National Park is a national park and tiger reserve that encompasses the Shivaliks. Uncover the true story of the disappearance and resurgence of tigers in this habitat that is also home to several intriguing species of birds and plants.

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    Called the ‘land of roar and trumpet’, the forest in which Corbett National Park is situated is a place of flowing rivers, rugged hills and Sal trees. Thousands visit this world-famous National Park every year. And yet, few truly notice the element which provides health and vitality to its amazing forests- the Ramganga river. Explore the significance of this life force in this episode.

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    Situated in the heart of India in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the best places in India to go tiger-spotting. Though that is not the only reason to take a safari through this reserve. This National Park also boasts of hosting Indian leopards, sloth bears, barasingha, and Indian wild dogs.

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    Elephants are much-revered and feared creatures in India. As their habitats are encroached upon, cases of elephants attacks increase. Conversations with victims of these attacks from the eroding elephant corridors of Uttarakhand, and those who have studied elephant behaviour for a long time reveal the true culprits behind this phenomenon. Also, witness the fearsome rage of these magnificent animals in this episode.

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    Set in the Bandhavgarh National Park in central India, this is the story of a family of Royal Bengal tigers. Watch this wild family experience death, hope, anxiety, and all else that makes up life in the forest. How do its members react to the visitors that flock to this popular national park? With two members dead, and a third one missing from the enclosure, there is no assurance that this story will have a happy ending.

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    Set in the Bandhavgarh National Park in central India, this is the story of a family of Royal Bengal tigers. Watch this wild family experience death, hope, anxiety, and all else that makes up life in the forest. How do its members react to the visitors that flock to this popular national park? With two members dead, and a third one missing from the enclosure, there is no assurance that this story will have a happy ending.

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    140 km west of the 'Blue City' of Jodhpur in the arid lands of Rajasthan lies Kheechan village. Every year, as winter appears, so do migratory cranes from Eurasia to this otherwise unremarkable destination. The villagers share their place with thousands of Demoiselle Cranes hovering and foraging just outside their home, till spring arrives.

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    In this episode, meet Dr Amte, a man who has earned himself the moniker 'Jungle Doctor'. For the past 40 years, he has been living in the wilderness. But he is not alone. He is accompanied by his wife, and their sons' families. All of them have turned their backs on modern civilization, for a just cause.

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    Understand the undeniable impact of human-animal conflicts in the beautiful hilly state of Uttarakhand. Are leopards and elephants in the region feeling the heat of human development, and paying the price for it?

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    Understand the undeniable impact of human-animal conflicts in the beautiful hilly state of Uttarakhand. Are leopards and elephants in the region feeling the heat of human development, and paying the price for it?

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    Explore the special bond between humans and blackbucks in this episode. Discover how the local community’s support for this herbivorous beast has allowed it to thrive in the desert.

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    The Kaziranga National Park in the north-eastern state of Assam is a World Heritage Site recognized for its biodiversity. Known for its significant population of rhinos, the park is also home to Bengal tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.

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    Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in Assam is a blink-and-you-miss-it sanctuary, little known to the world. It houses India’s only ape- the Hoolock Gibbon. On carefully scanning the dense environment, these slender looking creatures swinging from one tree to the other, can be spotted. The Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros is one of the few things that the state of Assam takes immense pride in. Interestingly, Kaziranga National Park is the place earmarked for this purpose by most travelers. But the fact is that the rhino can be found in several other sanctuaries all over Assam. The sanctuary stretches over 38 square kilometers but only about 16 square kilometers is the effective rhino habitat.

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    Manas is the Assamese National Park that was globally known for its rhinos. It then lost all of them. This episode captures the story of the return of the rhinoceros to this beautiful park.

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    Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan is a paradise for birds and bird-lovers. It’s home to countless number of Indian and migrant bird species, many of which travel thousands of kilometres each year to nest at this special site.

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    A place so mythically beautiful that it has entered Himalayan folklore. Often referred to as a modern-day Shangri La, the Valley of FLowers is one of the last few places on Earth which can be called truly wild. Nature-lovers all over the world speak about it with hushed reverence. The Indian Government, not surprisingly, is zealously protective of the Valley, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. One can visit it, but nobody is allowed to stay here after sunset.

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    Maharshi Valmiki, the Adikavi who gave the world the immortal epic- the Ramayana - was a highway robber. Legend has it that he came under the spell of Maharshi Narada and became a 'Brahmarshi'. A modern-day analogy may be found in the story of Mangalajodi in Odisha. Here is an amazing anecdote of how an entire village whose livelihood depended on poaching turned into die-hard conservationists

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    Animal attacks can be devastating for humans and their animal assailants. When a leopard attacked and injured 6 in the northern state of Uttarakhand, on the borders of Corbett National Park, the aftermath was brutal. Bowing to public anger and anguish in response to the event, the foresters had to agree to capture the leopard.

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    Animal attacks can be devastating for humans and their animal assailants. When a leopard attacked and injured 6 in the northern state of Uttarakhand, on the borders of Corbett National Park, the aftermath was brutal. Bowing to public anger and anguish in response to the event, the foresters had to agree to capture the leopard.

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    Till about a few years ago, not many people knew much about the Tadoba Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra…It was not in the itinerary of most serious wild lifers. In their pursuit of big striped cats, they would invariably head off to Ranthambore in Rajasthan…Kanha in Madhya Pradesh…Or Corbett in the foothills of Himalayas…So Tadoba remained a poor cousin of all these bigger and better known national parks…

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    In the last episode, we showed how Tadoba is fast emerging as one of the most exciting national parks in India, where tigers can be spotted easily from close range. One only hopes the situation remains the same or even gets better but the fact is, this beautiful national park is beginning to face pressures that often escort popularity. Poaching of tigers for instance. In the past few years, poachers have struck big and killed five tigers from this tiger reserve.

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    An episode on the training of a wild elephant!

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    For the people living on the outskirts of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, just where the road to higher Himalayas Starts winding upwards, the terror arrived one day without any warning…During the next 11 months, nothing could be more terrifying or fearsome…Nobody ventured out alone on the road, particularly after sunset….For they didn’t know when- or from which unseen corner- the killer would strike…

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    The tiger of Rajasthan adds its own special magic to this colorful State…Want a genuine close encounter with a tiger- then come to Rajasthan…This is what the wildlife tourists are led to believe…And they are seldom disappointed….But today, the issue is about the very fate of the tiger here…Will it be able to survive in Rajasthan, and for how long?

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    This episode is dedicated to the longest living and hugely popular wild tiger – Machli of Ranthambore! Machli, the legendary tigress, has defied death a number of times. Many consider her to be the soul of Ranthambore. In 2003, she had a legendary fight with a crocodile in which she lost three of her canine teeth. The story is important because Machli is now too old to hunt. The story is a tribute to a celebrity tiger.

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    This is not just any other forest. This is the very place from where Kipling drew inspiration for his Jungle Books. And the characters he formed- Sher Khan the tiger, baloo, the bear, baghera, the panther, and Bandar log, the monkeys- can still be found here…Barring, of course, Mowgli.This is the famous Pench Tiger Reserve which is known as much for its tigers and eye-catching landscape as for Rudyard Kipling. This is also perhaps the only tiger reserve in India which falls under two states, and hence is administered by two different set of forest departments: of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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    In this episode, we focus on the growing confrontations between humans and animals. Whether it’s the tiger, the elephant or even the highly protected one-horned rhino, each has suffered in these conflicts. Besides gripping footage, the special episode also carries the viewpoints of some renowned wildlife experts.

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    The dazzling Chilika Lake of Odisha, India’s largest brackish water lagoon is a paradise for birds. It is one of the last remaining wild stretches in India and a favourite with tourists in the region thanks to its incomparable natural beauty.

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    Visit the largest salt desert in the world, in the northwestern parts of the country. This is the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, spread over more than 7500 sq. kms.

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    In this episode of Wilderness Days, we inspect from all angles the man-leopard conflict in the suburban areas of Mumbai. Sanjay Gandhi National Park, housing some two dozen leopards, has turned into a war zone and the humans as well as the big cats have suffered alike. Fortunately, a string of measures taken by the forest department and environmentalists have produced gratifying results. Peace seems to be returning here.

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    If it's lions in your mind, it has to be Gujarat. Rugged, brown, dry and thorny with a hint of green, Gir is beautiful but harsh teak dominated habitat in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. Far from the stereotypical vision most people have of forests in the tropics, Gir is anything but lush. It is, nevertheless, one of India’s most precious and vital biodiversity vaults. Explore Gir, the world’s only remaining home for Asiatic Lions, with us, on your favorite wildlife show.

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    Today, after more than a century of conservation, the population of Asiatic lions stands at more than 400 animals, all of which live in and around the Gir National Park. The animals are now so identified with their sole remaining habitat- that is, the ‘Gir or Gujarat lions’. But the roaring lion population has certainly brought some fears along. The lions have outgrown their protected reserve and share their habitat with more than 100,000 people residing in the villages around the national park

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    The rich wildlife of Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh National Park alone, with tiger as its prime attraction, is sufficient to hold you mesmerized for days... It has produced some of the most popular and fondly remembered tigers of India. But unlike most other natural wonders which stand in isolation, the present of Bandhavgarh is still linked with its past…

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    In several national parks and sanctuaries in India, a trained elephant carrying tourists on a jungle safari is a fairly common sight….So common, in fact, that we often do not give second thought to it. Now imagine a mahout- the man controlling the elephant- who is so intensely absorbed in the forest that he doesn't miss out on anything…And who has been taking photographs of the jungle and its animals for well over three decades.

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    A Tiger’s Heart is a close look at the unprecedented phenomenon, never witnessed in the wild before- that of a male tiger taking care of two orphaned tiger cubs after their mother died. This happened in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve of Rajasthan recently. Our team worked for over 11 months on this unique subject, and came out with shots- and a true story- which have never been observed or recorded before.

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    The story of these tigers from Ranthambore in Rajasthan has all the elements which we associate with humans, namely tragedy, despair, hope, and strength.

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    In the charming hilly state of Uttarakhand, the Paudi Garhwal region stands out as one of the most picturesque of mid-Himalayan zones, and also one of the most dangerous. Danger lurks at every nook and corner here. Children and women are more prone to fall victim to it, at times men, too. For the man-eating leopards of Uttarakhand can strike from anywhere, at any time of the day or night.

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    This is the story of the elusive man-eating tigress of Uttar Pradesh, which has grabbed numerous eyeballs. Perhaps no tiger in North India has gained as much notoriety as this one. All attempts to capture her dead or alive had failed.

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    In this episode, we will take you close to the heart of the matter- the actual areas where the tigress has gone on an unprecedented killing spree. With up-close footage of a major offensive launched for her capture and of course, eye witness accounts of a few lucky survivors. Not since the days of Jim Corbett has a man-eating tiger gained so much attention as this one.

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    This episode is about how the forest department counts tigers and other animals in the jungle, and what kind of difficulties they face during this census. Then head to Lansdowne, a quiet hill station with serene beauty where clouds touch your feet, pine trees stand tall as wind whistles through them- it is truly a paradise for nature lovers.

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    Giving a boost to tiger conservation efforts, the Centre has given in-principle approval for creation of five new tiger reserves in the country, among which one is Mukundara Hills in Rajasthan. Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve comprises three wildlife sanctuaries including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambal. Nalsarovar in Gujarat is a bird-watcher’s paradise, one can find rosy pelicans, lesser and greater flamingos, crakes, and brahminy kites. Nalsarovar is the largest wetland bird sanctuary in Gujarat, and one of the largest in India.

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    Ranthambore, of late, has become synonymous with a tiger. The rugged place is the last homeland of the tiger in Rajasthan, and offers views and vistas which are starkly different from anywhere else in India. Some of the most camera-friendly tigers can be found in the Ranthambore National Park. Catch this visual essay on the popular tourist spot.

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    National Chambal Sanctuary is located on the Chambal river near the tripoint of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh. Chambal Sanctuary is famous for the critically endangered Gharial. The protected reserve of Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary would be a quick escape for the people of Delhi and Haryana but unfortunately very few people know about this sanctuary. Discover it in this episode

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    One really can't say whether B2, the tiger, was known because of Bandhavgarh National Park or Bandhavgarh gained its immense popularity due to B2…Whatever the reason, this magical link got snapped recently with the passing away of B2- arguably the most famous and photographed tiger of India during the last decade

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    The very thought of Kerala conjures up images of elephants, unending chain of green hills and unwinding valleys. But for the wildlife enthusiasts, Kerala is a no less than a treasure, which only needs to be explored to be believed. Dotted on its landscapes, giving way to some of the most mesmeric views that one could behold are these pristine wildlife habitats

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    This episode talks about all the bird sanctuaries situated around the capital city and migratory birds. If you are unfamiliar with the term, migratory birds are those who fly from location to location in search of favourable weather conditions.

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    Todgarh Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Rajasthan, spread over the Ajmer, Pali and Rajsamand districts. The small lesser-known forest has its own charm and story. Amidst the rich biodiversity is a great place to stay. Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on one of the oldest mountain ranges in the country and covers a large plateau including the highest peak in Rajasthan.

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    How about discovering a virtually unknown and largely unheard of jewel in the lower Himalayas? A place away from the noise and commotion of popular hill-stations, where 300 kilometers of snow-covered Himalayan ranges greet you every morning and evening. If that’s what you want, then Binsar is surely the place for you. Binsar is covered by thick forest. It’s also a wildlife sanctuary.It’s hard to imagine that Pushkar, the quaint little town in Rajasthan, becomes the centre of attraction for five days in a year. Visitors not only from India but from several other countries troop down to Pushkar…To experience the magical charm which the town gets blessed with in these five days. We are talking about the world-famous camel fair of Pushkar.

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    Famous hunter Edward Jim Corbett’s dream to turn ‘Chhoti Haldwani’ into a model town is now turning into a reality. Corbett, who in 1919 constructed his house here, wanted to develop it as an economically advanced and forest saving town. With a turnover of Rs 9 lakh in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal, this eco-village, today has not only attracted foreigners but has also improved on economic fronts with some help from the Forest Department.Dudhwa National Park is an ideal home for many majestic animals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Reptile, Birds and many others wild animals.

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    The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) was included in the very prestigious UNESCO World Heritage, Sprawling national park with diverse plant & animal species in a scenic high-altitude. Popular as Haryana birds paradise Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary. Probably the most common site for any bird lover in Delhi

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    The efforts which the forest department makes in keeping the national park secure from external threats, including poachers. We are sure that millions of viewers would like to see how the park fares during monsoons.

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    Pilibhit is 44th national tiger reserve of our country. Pilibhit tiger reserve is one of the finest examples of the exceedingly diverse and productive Terai eco-systems. The reserve lies along the Indo-Nepal border.Kandali festival is one of the important festivals of Kumaon Region and is celebrated once every 12 years in the Pithoragarh District.

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    The Chail Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the major attractions in Himachal Pradesh as wildlife lovers from across the country visit it. Chail is famous for the beautiful bird called Cheer Pheasants.

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    Older than the Himalayan mountains, the mountain chain of Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.

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    The Silent Valley National Park is a beautiful representation of the last remaining rainforest of Kerala. Historically, it’s a paradigm of people’s movement to protect the forest. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most diverse wildlife regions in South India. Wayanad is a popular retreat of Kerala. It is bestowed with lush green forests and rich wildlife.

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    The Desert National Park situated in the state of Rajasthan is simply one of its kind. It is a spectacular representation of the Thar desert ecosystem. It is also a great attraction for bird lovers, especially during winters, as in this season one can observe and learn about more than 100 species of migratory birds.

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    The raw nature, the picturesque valley, the flowing river by the side of Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary will dazzle you for hours, but this is not the only specialty of this beautiful place. You can also sight tigers at this sanctuary in the heart of Uttarakhand.

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    Simlipal National Park originated primarily as a hunting ground for royalty. It was formally designated a tiger reserve in 1956. This sprawling ecosystem has close to 100 tigers and other mammals.

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    The Nagzira Tiger Reserve was notified as the 46th tiger reserve of India and is an important forest area that provides connectivity to the southern forests of Maharashtra. It is among the lesser-known forests of central India, and therefore not severely affected by the large scale of tourism.

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    Madhya Pradesh is likely to be the second state to be home to lions, that is if everything goes right in Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh is known for birds, mammals, and reptile species. It is also a part of the Cheetah Introduction Project in India.

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    The mighty Brahmaputra - from whichever angle you look at it, it exudes brute strength. But once a year, Brahmaputra loses its cool and then there is no escaping its wrath. The Kaziranga National Park in Assam is one of the finest in the country, internationally popular because of one-horn rhino, its flagship species. But during the monsoons, the park becomes totally helpless for the floods of Brahmaputra cover its large tracts, making men and animals flee for their lives.

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    This series of magnificent tiger paintings will leave you spellbound. You will barely notice anything else, as the paintings will make you fall in love with the uniqueness of each artwork. These include a simple sketch, an oil painting and a painting decorated with feathers to make it look more real and lively.

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    Sprawling grasslands, thick Sal forests, rivers and streams in plenty - Rajaji has all of these in abundance. So what more can one ask for? Unfortunately, for several decades, Rajaji remained under the shadow of the Corbett National Park. The Jhilmil Jheel in Haridwar is fast growing into a haven for swamp deers, which are also known as the Barasingha and are a highly endangered species protected under Schedule 1, of the Wildlife Protection Act of India 1972. They are also included in the red data list of the rare animals of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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    Bhitarkanika represents one of the finest creations ever. The wetland is represented by three protected areas. The land of lush green mangroves, Bhitarkanika is famous for Saltwater Crocodiles. It is a very good place to see giant Saltwater Crocodiles, some growing to 23 feet in length. The Odisha coast has the world’s largest known rookery of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. The spectacular site of the mass congregation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle for mating and nesting enthralls scientists and nature lovers throughout the world.

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    An episode dedicated to Uttarakhand wildlife from birds, tigers, bird sanctuaries, and national parks in the state.

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    An episode about the venomous snake - King Cobra - nesting in Uttarakhand. In this episode, our focus is not on the attractions of Sanjay Gandhi National Park but on the struggle, the struggle for the existence and survival of the fittest. We have heard stories of man and animal conflicts, but things have changed slightly as man has started leaving villages for the cities and the cities have started moving into jungles. Watch how the forest department of SGNP is working hard to protect its leopards.

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    This not-so-pleasant show takes place in Bandhavgarh once a year. At Janmashtami, the day of Lord Krishna’s birth. This is when the park authorities are forced to open the forest to all and on this day, thousands and thousands of people descend on Bandhavgarh. Entering the park from the main Tala zone, the walk for over five kilometers to reach the temple situated inside the fort on the top of the hill. This is the ugly side of Bandhavgarh, which mercifully is not seen by the tourists because it happens in August, during the monsoons when the park is closed to tourists.It’s time to count the elephants in Uttarakhand. And this time, the forest authorities of the hill state have come up with a unique methodology. It involves taking samples of elephant dung and for this unique exercise, the forest department has teamed up with Bangalore based Indian Institute of Science. While tiger generally hogs the media limelight- and places like Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand only reinforce the image- it’s actually the elephant which has taken a serious beating in the recent years. This situation is grimmer in Uttarakhand…Here, the vital elephant corridors are in danger of being wiped off the man, thanks to the ever increasing human pressure.

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    This is a story about tigers - the flagship species of the Indian jungles. Over the decades, this royal creature has gone from being slotted as a villain for attacking humans, to becoming a protected species and the hero of tourism tales. Follow the tiger's epic journey in this episode.

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    In this episode, we will show you how tigers became celebrities and how they get their names from the forest department.

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    An episode dedicated to Rajasthan wildlife, from birds to tigers. In this episode, you will get to travel to every bird sanctuary and national park in the state.

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    India is home to a variety of bird species around the year, and many migratory birds make India their home for the winter. Find out more about these birds and bird conservationists in the country in this episode.

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    Punjab is not known for its wildlife but hidden away in this state is a wildlife sanctuary called the Harike Pattan Bird Sanctuary. Visitors say that Harike is as beautiful and charming as the well-known Bharatpur Sanctuary of Rajasthan. The Delhi Zoo is regarded as one of the finest zoos in Asia and efforts have been made to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds. Depending on opinions, zoos are either sanctuaries for education and entertainment, or unnecessary prisons. What is the truth? Find out here.

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