Category: Relax & Explore

Anusua | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 11 months ago

Indian Paper Wasp

Ropalidia is a relatively large genus in the subfamily Polistinae, containing some 136 species distributed in tropical Africa, southern Asia, Australia and Okinawa. R. marginata colonies are frequently built on eaves and windows of undisturbed buildings and other manmade structures, and occasionally on leaves and branches of some species of shrubs or trees in urban habitats.

The species shows two forms of nest building tactics, one being Independent founding and the other Swarm founding.

The one in the picture shows a typical example of an Independent founding nest. These nests are simple, unenveloped combs that are normally suspended by a narrow pedicel. Queens initiate new colonies either singly or in small groups, i.e. independently and the Queen use overt physical dominance to control or influence their nestmates. The Indian Paper wasps protect their nests against ants by rubbing the nest pedicel with an ant-repellent substance secreted by the van der Vecht’s gland present on the 6th gastral sternum of the wasp.

They face constant predation by Vespa tropica, The Greater Banded Hornet, whose workers almost systematically search for Ropalidia nests in the most likely places and prey upon the brood.

So go ahead and look out for these mesmerising little ones in your garden or windows.

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Bhautik | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 2 years ago

Giri’s Geckoella

The Giri’s Geckoella (Cyrtodactylus varadgirii) is a lizard endemic to India. It was discovered as recently as 2016 and was named after scientist Varad Giri. This lizard is a ground-dwelling lizard and found frequently on leaf litter on forest floors. They are nocturnal lizards; during the day can be found under wooden logs and rocks . They grow to a size of 6 centimetres in length. Widely distributed in India,  besides in forests they have also been found living in human-habituated urban landscapes.  The photographs featured as part of the blog have been taken at Svasara Jungle Lodge, Tadoba.

Blog Write-Up: #BhautikRDesai #SvasaraNaturalist

Pic Credits: #BhautikRDesai #PrasunMajumdar #SvasaraNaturalist

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Rishin | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 3 years ago

The Tussar Silk Moth

The silk that made India famous! The silk that created the trade route, the silk that generated revenue by creating employment. Silk that personifies Indian women and men. The creator of the raw material is the Tussar Silk Moth. Unlike the mulberry silk moth, tussar silk moth is not reared in captivity. Hence Tussar Silk is also known as wild silk or peace silk. This is because silk is only extracted from the cocoon once the adult moth emerges. I.e., the larvae are not killed inside the cocoon to obtain the silk.

Location: Svasara Jungle Lodge, Tadoba, Maharashtra, India


Credits: Text – Rishin, Svasara Naturalist, Photographs – Sanjay Ramachandran, Identification – Prasun, Svasara Naturalist, Sighting – Raju, Svasara Safari Driver & Tracker

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Ranjit Mandal

Relax & Explore - 4 years ago


#BauhiniaPurpurea is a tree that bears seasonal violet flowers enhancing the subtle beauty of our Teakhouse, when in bloom.

Local Name: Sona in Marathi (local language)
English Name: Purple Bauhinia, Orchid tree ,Camel’s foot tree, Butterfly tree, Geranium tree 
Hindi Name: Kota, Raktakanchan, Khairwal, Karar, Kanchan


Sona a small to medium-sized deciduous fast-growing shrub or tree with a round, symmetrical, moderate dense crown to 10 m tall, young branches becoming glabrous or nearly so (glabrescent). In dry forests like #Tadoba the size is smaller. The bark is pale grey brown, fairly smooth to slightly fissured and scaly.

At #Tadoba, the flowers appear on the trees from October and are a beautiful sight to see, creating a vivid splash of colour in the autumn landscape. The flowers are followed by 12-inch-long, slender, brown, flat seed pods which usually persist on the tree throughout the winter.

There are about 300 species of this genus found in tropical regions. The genus includes trees, vines, and shrubs that are frequently planted for their showy flowers and ornamental foliage.

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Bhautik | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 4 years ago

Nature Walks

We naturalists at svasara enjoy nature walks with our guests. It helps us elevate our senses of spotting, hearing and exploring in general! Moreover, it is simply rewarding to get to observe intricate aspects of nature that we would otherwise tend to miss or overlook on the jeep safaris.


It was one such morning walk, when I noticed something peculiar, a surprise really, there was a green bee-eater bird stuck in the web of a giant wood spider. Birds often eat spiders to gain protein and they also use their web as a material to line their nests, but they are aware how dangerous a trap a web can be and hence, avoid getting entangled. But, today I found the predator helpless and struggling for life.


It was actually an amazing reminder of how nature has provided the “small” species creative defensive means. In most cases, spiders will chose not to eat birds caught in their web as they are normally too large for their tiny mouths! They hence, prefer to cut the web themselves to get rid of the “extra load” on the web. Despite knowing these facts, it still made me wonder the fate of this beautiful bird, we hence, observed for an hour but finding not much action on either of the creatures’ side, we decided to return to the lodge. Being a bird lover, the next day, I was happy and relieved to get the update that the green-bee eater had been lucky to escape!



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Ratika Ramchandran

Relax & Explore - 4 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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Prasun | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 4 years ago


Tadoba has recorded sightings of 200+ bird species in the reserve. At svasara, almost a “mini” Tadoba forest, in the variety of native trees that can be found on its premises has increasingly become a popular home for many of the birds found in the area. Some of the birds that you can easily spot at the lodge are spotted dove, baya weaver, black drongo, black-shouldered kite, white-throated kingfisher, red-vented bulbul, white-browed bulbul, shikra, spotted owlet, indian roller, jungle babbler, asian pied starling, chestnut-shouldered petronia, purple sunbird, purple-rumped sunbird, prinia and lots of house sparrows at our outdoor dining pavilion, The Teakhouse.

Did you Know?
Svasara pronounced as sva-sar is a Sanskrit word meaning “a bird’s nest”

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Swarna | Naturalist at Svasara

Relax & Explore - 4 years ago

Butterfly Corner

The native butterflies of Tadoba: Lime Butterfly

Lime is a tailless, yellow spotted black butterfly. It’s a member of the family named papilionidae. Its wing span is 80-100mm. It is generally very fast and flies at an eye level. This butterfly can be seen in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. Its common name refers to its host plant which are citrus species (cultivated lime). It loves mud-puddling in large numbers on damp patches in summer. It basks with its wings held wide open on the tufts of grass and herbs. It is also frequent visitor of flowers in gardens. In the evening time it also roosts in large numbers on tall grassy area. While resting, the butterfly closes its wings over its back and draws the forewings between its hind wings.

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Ratika Ramchandran

Relax & Explore - 4 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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