The Story Of The Hunter Who Sacrificed His Wife To A Tiger
Most people have the notion that forests are haunted. Well, we can give credits to the movie Kaal for that. But the jungles of Kanha in Madhya Pradesh have secrets that will leave you speechless. This is the story of a hunter who sacrificed his own wife to a tiger.
This story is of a hunter, a brave one at that, who was the guardian of the villagers way back in the 1920s. Before the forest became a tourist spot and was termed a national park, it was home to the locals. This naturally meant they had the animals as their neighbours.
Lapsi, as the hunter was known as, would hunt down and kill man-eating tigers using the traditional bow and arrow. On one such occasion, when there was a man-eating tigress roaming around the forest, Lapsi built a 15 ft high machaan in the trees and sat on it, waiting for the beast to arrive.
When she didn’t come, he tied a buffalo as the bait. That also didn’t work. After that, he tried his luck by tying a cow, a goat, and a dog. Still, the tigress showed no signs of coming even remotely close to the bait.
That’s when Lapsi made a drastic decision and tied up his wife. And it worked. The mighty tigress showed up, all set to have her meal. The hunter, up in the trees, shot a poisoned arrow at her but missed it. To save his wife and kill the tigress, he jumped down and fought the animal with a knife.
In a scene that sounds straight out of a horrific battle, all 3 of them lost their lives.
There is a memorial made right in the centre of the forest, where the bodies of the hunter, the wife, and the tigress rest. It is a popular belief that if you throw stones on their graves, the chances of spotting a tiger in the park will increase.
And in most cases, it turns out to be true.
Vipul, my naturalist at the Taj Safaris, narrated this story as we listened in awe. He took us back a century and we could vividly imagine the scene being played out, right in front of us.
Stories like these make you think about how beautiful and massive our jungles are, and how little we know of them.