Author: Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Wildlife Safaris - 3 years ago

In Awe of Nature

In Awe of Nature

What can Eagles Teach Us?

{Blog 2 of Series, What can Animals Teach Us; Read Blog 1 Here.}

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve in Central India is an ancient forest, and one of the oldest protected natural reserves in the country. Although famous for the sightings of the Royal Bengal Tiger, the park is home to more than 200 species of birds as well. Amongst the birds of prey, eagles are a sight that always leaves one fascinated with their display of power and precision. If you have ever gotten the opportunity to observe them in action, you will truly relate to the below lessons we could learn from them about Life!

Focus, Focus, Focus

The importance of “focus” is evident across a wide spectrum of self-improvement books, TED talks, mentoring sessions etc. In nature, eagles are an excellent example of what focus and determination helps to accomplish. With the ability to focus on something as far as five kilometres, once an eagle identifies its prey, it does not move its focus away till it is able to get to it. Our eye vision might not be as sharp like the eagles’, but our mental visions can be and if we let our vision (goal-clarity) guide us with a strong focus on one goal at a time, we can achieve all our goals.

Love the Storm

When clouds gather, other birds might take refuge in trees, but eagles use the storm’s wind to lift higher, and glide while giving its wings rest. Can we try seeking meaning in the storms of life? It is often said, if challenges are embraced, they can help one achieve greater heights, they can push us to become stronger, they can propel us to explore the purpose of our being. Love the storm, to get to the rainbow beyond!

Keep Good Company

Eagles fly with only eagles, and together they soar high altitudes. This is a reminder of how important the role of the people we spend time with is. We should flock to positive-minded people, and people we would like to mirror in our lives. Sort of alluding also to the benefits of creating your own “tribe”.  

Be Fearless

Eagles never surrender to the size or strength of its prey. It always puts up a brave fight to win or to defend its territory. When confronted with troubles, instead of giving up, let us strive to face it with all our might. There is another unique characteristic of eagle, when compared to other birds of prey like the hawks etc. They never look back before striking the prey – which accords them with the name – kings or monarchs of sky!

From the Naturalists’ Desk: The Eagles with Recorded Sightings at Tadoba

  1. Crested Serpent Eagle (resident) Spilornis cheela
  2. Grey-Headed Fish Eagle (resident) Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
  3. Short-Toed Snake Eagle (resident ) Circaetus gallicus
  4. Crested Hawk-Eagle (resident) Nisaetus cirrhatus cirrhatus
  5. Bonelli’s Eagle (resident) Aquila fasciata
  6. Booted Eagle (migrant) Hieraaetus pennatus
  7. Indian Spotted Eagle (resident) Clanga hastata
  8. Greater Spotted Eagle (resident) Aquila clanga
  9. Black Eagle (resident) Ictinaetus malaiensis

Research/Fact Checks/Identification Acknowledgements to Naturalists: Anusua PalArpit Parekh, Jignesh Patel, Prasun MajumdarRishin Basu Roy, & Swarna Chakrabarty

Illustrations: Austin Tu (6 yrs), Devina S. Ramchandran (5 yrs), Esha Sinha (10 yrs), & Nandika Sinha (11 yrs)

Pictures: Bhautik R. Desai, Mayank P. Sinha, Ranjit Mandal, Sanjay Ramchandran, & Sayan Roy Chowdhury


Book: Animal Teachings, Dawn Brunke

Blog: 7 Powerful Life Lessons from the Eagle, Carla Ibanzo

E-Article: The Biggest Eagles in the World – Top 10

E-Article: Why Eagles are the Kings of the Sky?

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Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Wildlife Safaris - 3 years ago

In Awe of Nature

What can Spiders Teach Us?

{Blog 1 of Series, What can Animals Teach Us}

Entering the pristine mystical forest of Tadoba after seven long months was pure bliss. The green serenity, the smell of wet earth, the fresh air was an instant dose of rejuvenation for one’s soul.

When the jungle has not had too many visitors for so long, its denizens have had the freedom and space to take over all parts of the reserve. One cannot, hence, miss observing (or avoiding) the encounter with the giant wood spiders & their large orbicular webs as one meander through the virgin tracts.

Arachnophobia (Fear of Spiders) is one of the most common phobias that people experience. A genuine fear, especially if one has had an unpleasant acquaintance with them or because one has been exposed to only their eerie anecdotes.  

This blog is an attempt to share a positive narrative about Spiders, one amongst millions of our co-existing inhabitants. Spiders have been on Earth far longer than us (longer than the now extinct dinosaurs). Pondering upon their long evolution history, their depiction in mythological fables, authors’ inspirations and their kind love for them not only teaches us so much about them, but there are lurking life lessons for us to learn from them too.

Below are just a few of them.

Focus on Mastery & Self-Approval

Spiders have been subjected to so much virulence all their lives, yet they have survived not seeking anyone’s approval or flattery. They have recognized their own mastery and chosen to weave life with dexterity, purpose, & beauty! For all the times when we are devoid of recognition and seek external appreciation, let us remember the humble spider that does not seek anyone else’s praise for moving on in life.

Perseverance leads to Great Works

Remember the Incy-Wincy spider nursery song? Or have you ever gotten tired cleaning up the cobwebs just to find a brand new one in its place moments later? As much as some of us might despise spiders and discriminate against them, the continued efforts on part of the spiders (without any assistance) to rebuild despite the recurring difficulty and trouble, is a lesson of perseverance, grit, & resilience for us.

Be Patient, Gratification is not always instant

Once the spider has worked hard spinning its web, casting it as big as possible, it then patiently waits for the “fruits” of its labour. It has faith on its hard work, and knows it is just a matter of time, when it can enjoy the reward. Similarly, when we have an objective in mind, we should put our best efforts, and remind ourselves that work comes before the result. Many of our lives’ aspirations might experience delayed gratification. Patience is key.

Small can be Significant

Svasara’s logo depicts the Tree of Life, illustrating everything on the planet is interdependent. And spider, no matter how small is a perfect example of nature’s inter-connectedness. Spiders are endemic to almost all continents and without them the balance in the ecosystems would be disrupted. As predators, they help in controlling insect populations (including flies & mosquitoes!) and as prey, they are an important source of food for birds, lizards etc.

From The Naturalists’ Desk: The Common Spiders seen in Tadoba

  1. Giant Wood Spider
  2. Black Wood Spider
  3. Wolf Spider
  4. Crab Spider
  5. Lynx Spider
  6. Jumping Spider
  7. Signature Spider 
  8. Fishing Spider
  9. Daddy Long-Legs Spider
  10. Spitting Spider

Research/Fact Checks/Identification Acknowledgements to Naturalists: Arpit Parekh, Imran Khan, & Jignesh Patel

Illustrations: Devina S. Ramchandran (5 yrs) & Esha Sinha (10 yrs)

Pictures: Sanjay Ramchandran

References & Further Reading/Viewing Recommendations (Book list is especially compiled for young readers):

Book: Animal Teachings, Dawn Brunke

Book: Spiders, Gail Gibbons

Book / YouTube – Read Aloud: I’m Trying to Love Spiders, Bethany Barton

Book / YouTube – Read Aloud: Be Nice to Spiders!, Margaret Bloy Graham

Book / YouTube – Read Aloud: Diary of a Spider, Doreen Cronin

Book / You Tube – Read Aloud: Are you a Spider, Judy Allen

Magazine / YouTube – Read Aloud: National Geographic Readers: Spiders, Laura Marsh

Blog: 10 Lessons from a Spider about Achieving Your Dreams, Arvind Devalia

Blog: Five Spiritual Lessons Spiders can Teach Us,  Nikki Harper

Blog: 6 Lessons from a Simple Spider, Neil

Blog: Four Life Lessons we can all learn from Spiders, Dr. Audrey

Blog: The Importance of Spiders to an Ecosystem, Nicholas DeMarino

PDF: Handbook Indian Spiders, B.K. Tikader

About this Blog & Author

My love for animals (first initiated through love for dogs) started from my childhood. My first ambition (which I recall being around age 11 years) was to work for World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Assuming, I must have thought that would give me an opportunity to be in situations where I would get the time to spend with different animals and that I would be able to take care of them when the need arose.

Fast forwarding to today, grateful that thanks to my uncle (bade papa) who shared a common love with me for wildlife (although he was fixated with tigers…), and our family’s hospitality business background we ventured into the beautiful world of low impact eco-tourism / wildlife-tourism.

Svasara, our family owned jungle lodge has given me so much joy to be able to do what I always dreamt of doing – be amidst nature & around so many beautiful creatures!

One of the best parts about owning a jungle lodge is the endless knowledge and appreciation one gains through interactions with passionate naturalists who I feel our true custodians of nature, and on their shoulders lies this big responsibility of being advocates of wildlife conservation. Each of our resident and visiting naturalists have taught me so much and my respect for Mother Earth and every living creature has only grown deeper through my interactions with them.

This blog, is dedicated to my daughter (and every child who has the inherent and unbiased curiosity, love, & fascination about the natural world around us) and my naturalist team. I hope through my writings I am able to (in a few of you) inculcate a deeper appreciation for nature, respect for all living creatures, and embed the idea that all of us can co-exist in our beautiful planet.

p.s. All views are personal. Thank you for reading.

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Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Relax & Explore - 7 years ago

Forest Tree Nursery

Tadoba famous for its big cat sightings is a beautiful forest home to many diverse species of flora too. When Svasara bought the land on which the lodge is located, it was a barren land with a sole white Siris tree on its premises. The vision of Svasara was to restore the native forest so that it becomes a natural extension of the Tadoba reserve. With the help of Nishikant Jhadav (fondly also called the tree guru) and eco-wildlife consultant Dhruv Singh, Svasara planted more than thousands of saplings and continues to maintain a forest nursery for its ongoing plantation initiatives. Some of the saplings that can be seen in the nursery include Jamun (Syzigium cumini), Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) Sagwan/Teak (Tectona grandis), and Bhirra (Chloroxylone swietenia).

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Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Svasara Evenings - 8 years ago

Jungle Cinema

Besides the outdoor dining, The Teakhouse also contains an open-air Jungle Cinema. Here the guests, every evening can catch a presentation on Tadoba by the Lodge’s Naturalists or a BBC/Discovery Channel documentary on Tadoba with the sound of crickets chirping in the background. As the Lodge sits very close to the Tadoba forest, every once so often, the roar of the Tiger in the Cinema is replied with a real roar or an alarm call from the forest!

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Ratika at Svasara-Tadoba

Relax & Explore - 8 years ago

The Spa at Svasara

Why orange is a key ingredient in a number of our treatments?

Keeping to the lodge’s eco ethos, we wanted our spa to feature local ingredients. As oranges are known for their innumerable health and beauty benefits, and are cultivated in the region, orange was selected as one of the key ingredients. All the spa products used for the therapies are made with 100% natural ingredients and pure Ayurvedic or herbals oils.

Did you Know?
The city of Nagpur is affably called the orange city owing to its importance as a major trade center for oranges.

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