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Ustad (T-24): A Fearsome Man-Eater Tiger Who Truly Lived Up To His Name

Ustad T-24

Ustad (T-24) is one famous name after Machali (T-16), who earned fame among wildlife lovers and photographers. In other words, he truly lived the life of a king. There was no other tiger who could match his strength. However, he did have some minor tussles with his sibling Zaalim (T-25). This fearless tiger became a menace when he started preying on humans, which became a primary concern for forest authorities. Stay with us to know more about this iconic beast of Ranthambore National Park in this blog.

What made Ustad (T-24) a famed tiger in Ranthambore National Park?

Other than Lady of the Lakes, Machali (T-16), if any other tiger grabbed the attention, it was Ustad (T-24), born to tigress Gayatri (T-22) and Jhumroo (T-20) in 2005. This mighty, attractive male tiger was the ruler at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve for about nine years. Ustad (T-24) had domination in zones 1, 2, and 6. He often shared space with his partner, Noor (T-39). 

Ustad had been a rising star of Ranthambore National Park and had no rival tigers to outshine him. He was always a free-spirited beast who roamed like a king, so locals named him ‘Ustad’ meaning Master. It is said that after hunting, he would drag his prey to the highway and feast on it in full public view. 

Compared to other tigers who would leave the path after seeing humans approaching, Ustad (T-24) stayed. This characteristic of Ustad (T-24) made him unique among other tigers. Despite his unusual behaviour, he was still a favourite among photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Turning man-eater

Besides gaining popularity, Ustad (T-24) became a menacing threat when he became a man-eater. The tiger came into the limelight when he killed a veteran forest guard, Rampal Saini. This horrific incident happened in 2015 on 8th May. It looks pretty shocking yet surprising how Rampal, a brave forest guard who lived amidst tigers, could become his target. But it did happen, and Rampal had noticed a change in Ustad’s (T-24) behaviour for the past few years. 

According to his family, sometimes he had this feeling of nervousness and fear of getting mauled to death by this ferocious tiger. Well, this is not the first time Ustad (T-24) has made a human kill. There had been prior incidents of two villagers getting killed in July 2010 and March 2012 by this ferocious beast. And in the same year (2012), in October, Ustad had killed a forest guard before.

Usually, tigers don’t attack humans unless they feel threatened. But with Ustad (T-24), the case was different. According to locals who reside near Ranthambore National Park, the tiger became violent in the past few years. After the reported killing of a villager in March 2012, NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) received an advisory demanding an immediate relocation of Ustad (T-24) to a secluded location to save further human lives. 

Relocation

Despite requests to send Fateh (T-24) to another place, NTCA and forest authorities did not favour branding Ustad as a ‘Man Eater’ and allowed the tiger to roam unrestricted in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. However, after continuous protests from the villagers and forest guards, the ferocious beast was finally relocated to Sajjangarh Biological Park in Udaipur on 16 May 2015. But it caused outrage from wildlife lovers and photographers, as they could no longer see the beautiful beast again in Ranthambore National Park. After all, watching such famed tigers is one of the exciting activities to do in Ranthambore for animal lovers.

Death

Earning a lot of fame, the fearless and dominant tiger Ustad (T-24), who ruled 1, 2, and 6 of the safari zones in Ranthambore National Park, died in the enclosure of Sajjangarh Biological Park on 28 December 2022, giving tears to wildlife enthusiasts. With his death, the ‘Man Eater’ tag on him was also removed. 

Best place to stay in Ranthambore

If you want to experience tiger viewing, book Bookmark Resorts Jogi Mahal, one of the best resorts in Ranthambore. It has all kinds of facilities that make it an ideal stay. There are well-appointed rooms with modern amenities. It has two lavish accommodations per guest’s preference. One is a Premium Room of 500 sq. ft., providing an outside view of the Aravalli mountains.

The liberal use of wood here brings warmth to the space. The surrounding greenery lets you breathe fresh air and relax from city life’s chaos. Another option is a Luxury Room of 550 – 650 sq. ft., with a facility of plunge pool where you can have a refreshing dip with your favourite beverage. 

The resort also makes a better option for your destination wedding in Ranthambore, with its spacious banquet hall of 4200 sq. ft., featuring six seating arrangement styles. The lawn area of 15000 sq. ft. is also spacious enough to accommodate guests.

So celebrate your lifetime event by taking vows before your dear ones and immersing yourself in the grandeur and luxury the resort provides. Besides commemorating special events, the resort is also the best to host corporate meetings. 

For a gourmet dining experience, visit the resort’s in-house restaurant, one of the top restaurants in Ranthambore. The restaurant serves authentic Rajasthani cuisine that was once served to royalty.

At first glance, you will be amazed to see the restaurant’s inviting ambience, featuring black and white chequered flooring, wooden furniture, and captivating artwork. The sprawling restaurant can accommodate guests in its spacious indoor and al-fresco space. 

Conclusion

The must-read facts about the tigers of Ranthambore are essential for every wildlife enthusiast. Today, we provided facts on Ustad (T-24), who was also a favourite among animal lovers and photographers, other than Machali (T-16), the grandmother of all tigers. Until his death, he made his domination on the Ranthambore tiger reserve and had no competitors to knock him down. As far as his journey, the ferocious tiger truly lived up to his name.

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