Machli Tigress – Dramatic Life Story of Queen of Ranthambore
Once upon a time, in the Land of the Royals – Rajasthan, lived a big cat in the forest of Ranthambore – Machli tigress, whose tales of valor are no less than the Rajput warriors of Rajasthan.
Machli Tigress of Ranthambore has a very inspiring life story, filled with her moments of bravery throughout, and has a dramatic end. Machli’s story of Life was so popular across the world, that wildlife enthusiasts and photographers flocked from all around the world to see her. Yes! Machli – Queen of Ranthambore was indeed a celebrity tigress for the world
Titles Earned by Machli – tigress of Ranthambore.
Machli’s story and the various events of her life have gained her a “Lifetime Achievement Award” and many Titles as follows:
- Most Famous Tiger in the World
- Most Photographed Tigress in the World
- Tigress Queen of Ranthambore
- Queen Mother of Tigers
- Crocodile Killer
- Lady of the Lakes
- Longest-Living Tiger in the World
- Pride of Ranthambore
- The most famous tigress in India
- Most Loved Tigress of Ranthambore
Now! You all must be wondering, what was so special about Machli tigress of Ranthambore, that she earned so many titles? So, without further delay, let’s listen to the life story of Machli – the most famous tiger in the world.
Machli’s Story – Early Years
One fine day in the year 1996, a royal Bengal tigress of Ranthambore, gave birth to 3 female cubs. One of the 3 cubs was Machli, named after her mother and the identification mark on her forehead – a skeleton of a fish.
Unlike, the other cubs Machli started hunting for her own food at the age of 2. She used to go hunting with her mother and learned the techniques of hunting with her. Soon, Machli defeated her own mother and took over her territory. With time, Machli started to grow her own family and expand her territory.
Machli’s Story – Glorious Middle Years
Machli gave birth to a total of 11 cubs in 4 litters. She played a significant role in increasing the tiger population of India. Her two cubs were later transferred to Sariska National Park, which further increased the tiger population there.
Thus, Machli was called as “Queen Mother of Tigers” as almost half of the tigers in Ranthambore National Park had her genes. Soon she became the most famous tigress in India and eventually most famous tiger in the world.
Machli Tigress was very protective of her cubs and fought many battles to defend them. She was undefeated almost all her life, until her last years of old age. Machli was soon recognized as the Queen of Ranthambore, as she never lost a battle in 15 years.
Machli defeated many strong male tigers, who tried to invade her territory or attack her cubs. Out of the many epic battles, Machli fought her battle with a 14-foot crocodile, remains to be the best one. One of the most fierce battles, Ranthambore forest has ever witnessed.
Machli lost 2 of her teeth in the battle, but defeated the crocodile and earned the title “crocodile killer”. The story of this battle spread like wildfire among wildlife enthusiasts all around the world, which made Machli – Queen of Ranthambore one of the most famous tiger in the world.
Walking tall and proud, like a warrior, the Machli tigress, owned a territory of 350 sq miles which also consisted of a most beautiful part of the Ranthambore National Park. The famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ranthambore Fort – a historic fort of Rajasthan, along with the Ranthambore palace and nearby lake, was all part of her territory. This earned her the title “Lady of the Lakes” or the “Queen of the Lakes”.
As the heroic tales of Machli tigress became popular, people from all over the world, flocked to the Ranthambore National Park to catch a glimpse of the majestic Queen of Ranthambore. She was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” as she literally generated a whopping $10 million per year for the Ranthambore National Park.
Many wildlife enthusiasts and photographers went away happily, as Machli tigress of Ranthambore could be easily spotted in the zones that fell under her territory. Her favorite spot was a cenotaph near the fort, where she would sit for hours, posing like a queen.
Machli was very smart and people-friendly, which gave the wildlife photographers, ample opportunities and time to shoot her. Unlike, many wild animals, she never feared humans. She was so camera-friendly that she would patiently wait and pose for the people to photograph her. Thus, Machli earned another title of “most photographed tiger in the world”.
This camera friendliness of Machli Tigress gave her the opportunity to get featured in many wildlife documentaries across channels like BBC, National Geographic, and Animal Planet. These platforms could easily capture Machli’s moments of bravery, resilience, and royalty. A film on Machli, “The World ‘s Most Famous Tiger”, won the National Award at the 66th National Film Awards.
Machli’s Story – The Dramatic End
All her life, Machli – Queen of Ranthambore literally lived her life “king size”. But as she became old, karma happened to Machli. Yes, the most famous tiger in the world – Machli who never lost a single battle all her life, was finally defeated.
In 2014, as Machli’s health began to deteriorate with her old age, she started becoming weak and eventually began losing her teeth and one eyesight. Machli lost a battle to her own daughter “Sundari”, which eventually cost her the territory that she had earned in all her lifetime. Thus, Machli was abandoned from her own territory to wander around in the wild.
Here is a fact – on average a tiger lives a lifespan of 10-15 years. In 2014, Machli was already 16, which made her the longest-living tiger in the world. But, her story does not end here. Yes, the most famous tiger in the world has a dramatic end to her life story.
After, losing her territory, the forest rangers used to feed Machli, as they loved her dearly. But, one fine day, Machli vanished for a month, until she was found again wandering near the railway tracks around Ranthambore. The forest officers shifted her back into the forest again as they feared that she could be hit by the train.
Even in her old age, Machli had too much pride to be fed by the forest rangers. She kept hunting small prey to feed herself, which was clearly not enough for her to be alive. The forest rangers started worrying about her, but Machli never wanted to receive any help from them.
Finally, in August 2016, at the age of 19 Machli – the longest-living tiger in the world finally began taking her last breath. According, to the forest officers, she had not eaten anything since the last 5 days of her death. She used to just lay in the bushes as she was too weak to hunt.
On the final day, she was found lying in the bushes at the edge of her old territory. She was too weak to move and was thus spotted by the morning safari tourists along the route of their jeep safari. Soon the guides informed the forest rangers and everyone gathered around her.
As she lay without any energy, weak and pale, taking her last breaths, Machli couldn’t have a more dramatic end. She raised her neck proudly for one last time and gave a glance to everyone around her and the cameras before finally resting back in the bushes and dying a natural death.
She was cremated according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority Protocols (NTCA) by the forest officers. After her death, the Indian Government issued a commemorative postal cover and stamp to honor Machli for her ecological and economic contributions. The legend of Machli will continue to live on in the forest of Ranthambore for years to come.