The Big four Males of Mukki, Kanha National Park

The Big Four Males Of Mukki, Kanha National Park


  An unprecedented story has been developing in the Mukki zone of Kanha National Park. Mukki was never known for male Tigers. It was mostly home to Tigresses with cubs and some odd male Tiger showing up. The limping male (father of Munna), used to spend time in Mukki. After him no one really dominated Mukki until about 3 years back, when Umarpani male started showing a liking for Mukki. He is an unusually big framed Tiger. In particular his head is massive when compared to rest of the Tigers of central India. But lately the big four males of Mukki have become a talk of the Tiger world.


But after Umarpani male spent about 2 years dominating Mukki, there was advent of Bheema. Then Rajaram, a.k.a. Kingfisher male, and finally Link 7 since last year started to regularly show up in Mukki. These four male Tigers have developed a liking for Mukki for reasons beyond anyone’s imagination. Actually Mukki is too small a range for four adult Tigers to co-habit. It has become a favorite pass time talk of all Kanha lovers that a deciding battle for supremacy of Mukki is round the corner. Everyone anticipated the monsoon of 2015 to decide this. But when the park reopened in October 2015 these four male Tigers surprised everyone by showing up within the very first week.

In 2014 and then again in 2015 there were a few skirmishes that happened between these Tigers. Some were more than simple alterations. People were still discussing Bheema and Link 7 exchanging some blows near Babathenga waterhole when Umarpani and Kingfisher fight went viral on youtube. I have never seen such a voracious fight between two adult Tigers. Few tourists who saw it had some sleepless nights.

Umarpani male
Umarpani Male


One very interesting point worth mentioning here is how different male Tigers used Babathenga water hole. They had their favorite sides at the water hole where they would sit. And they made sure that they did not overstep their self defined boundary on the water hole.

The fight shifted from Babathenga to Umarjhola in summers of 2016. This time it was Kingfisher and Link 7. 2014 had seen emergence of Link 7 as a promising young Tiger. Also known as Chotta Munna, he was shaping up really well and was predicted to take over the legacy of his father. But his enthusiasm and aggression was no match for the girth of Kingfisher who gave him a run for his life. Kingfisher visited Umarjhola for three days to ensure that Link 7 left his territory. In the subsequent week Link 7 showed up again.

But this time everyone was surprised as Link 7 had seemingly lost a lot of weight. Was it because of the territory that he got confined to, the undulating terrain of Bada Chattapatra, or something else we don’t know, but he was visibly leaner.

Subsequent week, saw Kingfisher male mate with Mahaveer female, and she gave a litter towards the end of summers of 2016. It is predicted that Kingfisher should be able to save his cubs from Mahaveer who in the past has not been a good mother, though a great Tigress. Her past litter with Umarpani male did not survive.


Kingfisher, a.k.a. Rajaram


The best was saved towards the end of the season. This time it was the Minkur anicut which became the Tiger station. Umarpani male, Link 7 male, and Bheema chose to be present at this depleting water hole on the same day at different times of the day and at different locations in Minkur.


Reopening of park in October 2016, will all the Males of Mukki show up this year?

With park scheduled to reopen in less than 10 days, all the Tiger lovers of Kanha have their fingers crossed. Everyone has his favorite Tiger. And everyone is hoping that their favorite male Tiger is alive when the park reopens in October. I am eagerly looking forward to my favorite, the Umarpani male.

Last one year provided me some amazing sightings of Umarpani male, Bheema, and Kingfisher. But i am yet to see the Chotta Munna, a.k.a. Link 7, the son of Munna. I am very eager to capture him on my lens because firstly it will complete my collection of male Tigers of Mukki. And secondly i have been fortunate to click Link 7’s father Munna, and his grand father too, the famous limping male. So getting Link 7 male will give me 3 generations of one line of Tigers of Kanha.

See you soon, you Males of Mukki, or should i say handsome hunks of Kanha.

Sharad Vats




Safaris in the national parks of India...

Bandhavgarh of bygone times....

2 Replies to "The Big four Males of Mukki, Kanha National Park"

  1. Mitra  |  says:

    Even i have heard that in one territory only one tiger will be there and that tiger will dominate all other in their territory. I don’t is this correct or not but after reading this even i felt is may be a true gossip

    October 14, 2016 at 12:27 PM

  2. admin  |  says:

    Hi Mitra,

    Thank you for your wishes

    Tigers are highly territorial animals. Their territory range depends, on water, prey, and Tigresses in the area. Usually a male Tiger has a much larger territory compared to it’s female counterparts. It is said that depending on the above factors a male Tiger’s territory can range from 50 sqkms to about 200 sqkms. In his territory a male will accept about 2-3 females. The females territories are smaller but they also compete with other Tigresses as they have to bring their own litter. Hence they also require abundant ambush and prey. It is recorded that Tigresses do fight with each other and at times kill the cubs of each other as well. Male Tigers also will kill cubs of a Tigress if they are not sired by him. It is a complex and competitive world of Tigers.

    Mukki in Kanha never had so many adult dominating male Tigers historically. This is the first time when 3 male Tigers are of same age, and one is about 2 years younger to the rest. There are skirmishes often between the male Tigers for last two years in Mukki, but surprisingly all 4 seem to be in Mukki. Umarpani male tends to go out of the core of Mukki but does return to the core often. This season since the park opened on 1st October 2016, he has not been sighted till writing of this note. The other three male Tigers, i.e. Bheema, Chotta Munna, and Kingfisher have been sighted. I hope and pray that Umarpani male is safe whereever and soon he returns to reclain his territory. He is usually the shy one compared to the other 3. But the largest of the 4 as of now. This year though Chotta Munna has gained in size substantially, and both these Tigers have the same father, legendary Munna, so strong genes, and most likely it is a matter of time before Umarpani male shows up as well.

    Also, whether they are gossips, or myths, i cannot say. But i guess they are observations by certain people who studied habits of some Tigers in some areas. So, they are not commandments to be followed by the Tigers. Survival of the fittest is the Jungle law, so whoever adapts faster in this shrinking habitat will survive.

    Best Wishes

    Sharad Vats

    October 17, 2016 at 06:15 AM

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