How Prince became India’s most photographed tiger!

by travelmynation

As a kid, I had always been fascinated by big cats. Everything about them would amaze me so much – their eyes, their body, their tail, their looks, their behavior – everything!. While all the kids would play cricket/basketball/ tennis etc, I was busy watching channels such as Nat Geo or Discovery………chasing the wild 🙂
IMG_1732As I was growing up, my friends’ parents would tell me a lot of stories about the forest and especially the ones in South India such as Bandipur, Masinagudi, Mudumalai, etc. So when I finally moved to Bangalore, I decided to visit and explore these places which had always fascinated me. I decided to start with Bandipur forest a beautiful wildlife sanctuary located in South India which offers a lot of tiger sightings when compared to other wildlife sanctuaries in the South. This forest is rich in flora and fauna including different wild-life such as leopards, sloth bears, wild dogs, elephants, gaurs, barking deer, etc. It was in September 2009 when I first visited this place and decided to take the evening safari – little did I know that I was going in for a big surprise!!

The Safari started and we were seated in an open bus. As we entered the forest, it got thicker and thicker. Tall trees and green bushes made it difficult for us to spot wildlife. The sounds of birds and insects filled the jungle. Excitement filled up inside me and my eyes refused to blink even for a second, as I was scared I will miss out on the slightest of sightings. It had been almost 30 minutes since the safari started and we had only been lucky with some deer sightings on the road. Soon we were driving through the muddy roads and suddenly the driver pushed the brake hard –
ITS A TIGER” – He whispered!


People: “It’s Prince” It’s Prince”

Me: Prince!! WHO’S HE??
IMG_7773Late Prince was one of the most majestic tigers who ruled the Bandipur forest until 2017 like no other tiger ever had. This guy was massive. He was strong, muscular, powerful, handsome, mighty, and dominant. He was first spotted by a group of wildlife photographers in 2007 when he was just a few years old. It was believed that Prince originally belonged to the Mudumalai forest range, as he was spotted numerous times by the camera traps fitted in Mudumalai forest, capturing him crossing the forest and entering the Bandipur range.
IMG_1575IMG_1620He had also been very popular amongst the foresters and the visitors. Prince would often be seen gallivanting around the main streets of Bandipur forest. He was never scared of human beings and their presence. In fact, he would often come close to the safari vehicles and pose for the shutterbugs for a long time, due to which it became very easy for tourists to shoot his pictures.
IMG_1347IMG_1591He was believed to be the most photographed tiger in India to date, and many people would call him the “Celebrity Tiger”. Many times, he was also seen entering the nearby villages especially a village called Mallapura in Karnataka, to hunt for cattle, but never did he harm any human being nor scared them.
IMG_1607IMG_1514A few years back, while Prince was strolling through the main roads of Bandipur, he met with an accident as the driver of a private vehicle lost his balance on sighting Prince and hit him directly. An injured Prince struggled a lot. His fans thought he would not make it but Prince was a fighter and he soon made it back to normal life. The brutal accident left a deep cut on his tongue which ultimately became his identity. People could easily recognize him because of the cut. Another factor that differentiated Prince easily from the rest of the Tigers were his arms, which were huge and muscular. Handsome Prince was also believed to have had a lot of girlfriends in the forest and almost all the cubs in the forest were his, however, no one has ever been able to prove this.
IMG_3870IMG_3714On 4th April 2017, the 12-year-old legendary Prince and the darling of every tourist was found dead. Although the exact cause of his death is still not known people suspect that he died due to old age. Prince’s death has come as a shock to his fans. Bandipur forest has lost one of its biggest charms and this has been disturbing news for all his fans. Some forest officers have even decided to build a small memorial in his name. A shrine.

Although Prince is not with us anymore, we are sure that wherever he is, he is giving everyone a RUN FOR THEIR LIVES!!
juzIMG_9758IMG_8044IMG_8039IMG_7103IMG_3901IMG_7018IMG_2502Pic courtesy: @ Juz –

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Suparna Bora July 18, 2017 - 11:40 AM

My heart goes out for Prince 🙁
A good read indeed and what pictures these are!!
Well done guys….Way to go..

travelmynation July 24, 2017 - 10:54 AM

Thankyou so much

Anjana Pandit . July 29, 2017 - 11:00 PM

Awesome pictures & stocking story . A majestic animal yet so vulnerable. Animal lovers must surely be mourning his demise . But he has left a legacy behind. RIP Prince . He will continue to live through his pictures. Thanks to Juz . Thanx to Travelmynation, too.

Anjana Pandit . July 29, 2017 - 11:08 PM

Correction. not stocking story but soul stirring story.

Afreen Ansari August 5, 2020 - 2:24 PM

That’s quite a great collection of some amazing pictures of the Prince.. That a touchy story too

travelmynation August 7, 2020 - 8:29 PM

Thanks for reading and leaving your comment afreen

DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter August 5, 2020 - 8:42 PM

Fantastic clicks! Sad to hear that this majestic beast isn’t with us anymore. Thank you for sharing Prince’s story and wonderful pictures with us.

travelmynation August 7, 2020 - 8:29 PM

Thanks for reading and yeah I followed prince for a while and miss his presence in the forest

Nidhi Gupta August 5, 2020 - 10:01 PM

Its very clear why Prince is the most photograohed Tiger… and Machchki was the queen of Ranthambore. They are so magnanimous that the heart goes out for them in every shot

travelmynation August 7, 2020 - 8:28 PM

Yeah both of them were so photogenic as well.

Raksha Nagaraj August 6, 2020 - 2:58 PM

First of all amazing pictures of Prince. and secondly Prince is definitely a handsome boy! I have never seen a tiger in wild and that has been my long pending dream. In Pench, I missed it by a few seconds and I really hope someday I can see these amazing alphas.

travelmynation August 7, 2020 - 8:27 PM

Oh I have never been to Pench. It’s on my bucket list

Lancelot Quadras August 6, 2020 - 3:42 PM

Damn prince! Lived a life like a king! a Casanova, a fighter, a celebrity and so much more. He made his mark!

travelmynation August 7, 2020 - 8:27 PM

He will be thoroughly missed

avantikachaturvedi August 8, 2020 - 10:41 AM

What magnificent, majestic beasts tigers are! Prince’s name fits him just right – there’s an aura of royalty around him that once can spot through the pictures. And such stunning images you have made of him, brilliant post!

travelmynation August 8, 2020 - 6:33 PM

Yeah he was something else. Hope we get more like him in our jungles

3 Must visit wildlife sanctuaries in Assam - Moto Overlanders January 6, 2021 - 10:32 AM

[…] Assam shares its border with all North Eastern States other than Sikkim. It also shares its international border with Bangladesh and Bhutan and is the largest producer of Tea, contributing to more than 50% of India’s total Tea production. Apart from being blessed with a bounty of natural resources such as Petroleum, Limestone, Coal, Water, etc., it is also one of Northeast India’s iconic states due to the wildlife reserves which are home to the one-horned rhino, one of Assam tourism’s best-known mascots. The wildlife sanctuaries in Assam attract tourists from all over the world who flock to spot the majestic Indian Elephants and the Royal Bengal Tiger. […]


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