Madhuri (Telia Lake Tigress)

Born to be a star, she loves the attention it brings. Madhuri, meaning ‘the dancer’ in Hindi, has even perfected her own trademark, a short wiggle of the leg to keep her fans happy. This Diva is not going to be budged from her Telia dam area. She still feels at the top of her trade. Other tigresses are merely bit part players or simply tolerated visitors in her own ongoing drama. Follow this real crowd pleaser here.

Age: 13 years old (adult)
Name Meaning: Dancer – she waggles her back legs all the time
Code: L1 (Tad)
First seen: June 2006
Gender: Female
Notable marks: Falling leaves on her right flank

Madhuri was born in 2006 and was always tolerant of visitors with her mother Laxmi in a prime area of the park, with her brother and sister.

As her family grew up she spent a lot of time patiently teaching them the survival skills needed to carve their own kingdoms, and one perfect example of this was
well recorded, when her mother and Madhuri, spent 24 hours stalking and eventually killing a sambar deer besides Telia lake. It was battle of wit and nerve for both predator and prey and lasted right through the night, as the hemmed in deer got caught between Telia lake, a crocodile and the tigress and her daughter. The result was inevitable.

When Laxmi her mother left to have another family with Crooked tail, she saw space in the Yenbodi, Telia lake and Kosba dam area of the Moharli range. She bore a litter of two cubs in July 2010 with Crooked tail. Soon though Crooked Tail came under a challenge from Scarface, which he lost, and Scarface took over his territory. Scarface then killed her two cubs in March 2011, so that he could start his own family.

By September 2011 Madhuri had given birth to 4 female cubs in the Telia Pazar area. They grow up under her care and protect as a mother, yet she was, even when her cubs were young, comfortable showing them off to visitors. Often she would weave happily in and out of the admiring traffic on a dirt road, her cubs in tow, enjoying the feeling of a royal command performance as she strolled her way up the same road, a trail of fans in her wake.

Her second litter of cubs, now called Mona, Geeta, Lara and Sonam are now some of the best known and most often seen of the tigers in the park, in prime part of the Mohurli range, including the Telai Dam, Pazar, Kosba line, tar main road and Jamunzora areas.

Follow Madhuri here and she her on her nature’s stage.

These life stories have been brought to you thanks to the records, diaries and photographs of Atul Dhamanker and Aditya Dhanwatay over the last two decades. They have been written and edited by Julian Matthews.  Should you have any photos or information to add to (or subtract) from these records them please help us by emailing the editorial team here

15 Apr 2014 Tiger diary about 5 years ago

The 'dancing star' is with cubs again by Julian Matthews

Madhuri is one of the ‘faces’ of Tadoba. Together with the Panderpauni female called Bhala, helped to launch Tadoba upon an unsuspecting and uninterested world. Madhuri, ...

Tiger: Madhuri

Reserve: Tadoba Andhari, Maharashtra

Yes she did have a kill out there . Can't wait to see the images !!

RickSaveTadoba | about 5 years ago

Yesterday i.e. on 27th April, I saw Madhuri at the bank of Irai lake with cubs. She had made a kill there. Unfortunately for me as there was lot of clutter in between the photograph could not come out as expected. Nevertheless I could get the recognisable image of two cubs with Madhuri relaxing, shall post by evening...

matrishva | about 5 years ago

hello & nice to see all of them. great sighting of tadoba

vipuljain | about 5 years ago

Great write up Julian. These two tigresses really made Tadoba world famous and a much sought after wildlife destination in India.

Kshitij | about 5 years ago

nice one ...

samith | about 5 years ago

Nice write up. Now Madhuri some time seen on buffer zone's route no. 2 with her four 5 months old cubs. They are very shy, but when they grown up may be seen very frequently.

flycatcher | about 5 years ago

One correction julian ,not very relevant to the story though but still i decided to mention,the word 'Madhuri' is derived from the word madhur and means' sweet '.

jyotilegha | about 5 years ago


Photo-icon Photos: 70

Small__dsc1507-7 Small_tadoba-sudhir_shukla_c Small_img_2239 Small_img_2209-001 Small_cubs-1 Small_3871 Small_madhuri_and_2_cubs_with_the_male_cub_head_on Small_3382 Small_3391 Small_3383 Small_tadoba_kolsa_apri_l2014_379 Small_telia_siblings_with_mother_cl5v3961 Small_03 Small__dsc1155_1 Small_2084 Small_0 Small_525639_2776069532054_2014038650_n Small_2845 Small__mg_4993_filtered__copy_ Small_2617 Small_telia_cubs Small_2643 Small_2637 Small_2548 Small_2573 Small_2569 Small__dsc2644a Small__dsc3824 Small_t2good2 Small_madhuri_cub_at_telia_morning_sighting Small_2519 Small_2532 Small_madhuri_cub___telia_lake Small_2533 Small_2531 Small_2522 Small_2511 Small_2507 Small_2503 Small_telia-tiger-siblings3-1202 Small_2414 Small_2435 Small_2412 Small_2387 Small_2369 Small_2370 Small_2381 Small_img_4250 Small_2369 Small_madhuri-at-telia Small_madhuri_s_cubs__4_months_old_telia_dam_-_29_dec_2011_atul_dharmanker Small_2362 Small_2340 Small_dsc_2208 Small_2348 Small_2333 Small_2335 Small_asg_3654 Small__dsc1235a Small_face_marking_of_telia_female__madhuri_ Small_telia_cub_may_2012__copy_ Small_2194 Small__v5c7276 Small__dsc1172 Small__dsc1532b Small_8 Small_9 Small_telia_cub_playing Small_2148 Small_by_imtiaz_khan


27 Apr 2018 Photo was added about 1 year ago


Shot was taken at Agarzhari buffer zone. Tiger was just 4-5 feet away when I captured this

Mini_user_default Uploaded by aravindh.rengaraj  


Veerumbarje | 21 days ago

Super close capture????

christina.little | 12 months ago

Missing Entry partial

23 Aug 2016 Photo was added almost 3 years ago


Telia Female (Madhuri) – Tadoba

12 May 2015 Photo was added about 4 years ago


Madhuri with 2 of her sub-adults - an amazing sighting that will stay with me for a very long time (my best ever!). Just 2 gypsies were treated to this amazing, chilled experience, brought tears to my eyes! :-)

Mini_seb231109_004.1 Uploaded by Jackie Downey  

Wow, you saw a lot of different Tigers at Tadoba, you are very lucky!

ernie23 | about 4 years ago

Now that is a sight to behold....Soo

Jackwoods | about 4 years ago

Wonderful photo, you were so lucky to have this sighting and be there with only one other jeep. I think I would have cried too!!

blackberry04 | about 4 years ago


imtiazkhank | about 4 years ago

10 May 2015 Photo was added about 4 years ago


Madhuri is now away from the Telia Lake (lost area to Sonam, her daughter) and in the buffer zone, she apparently has 4 sub-adults (about 18mths), but we saw her with 2 only.

Mini_seb231109_004.1 Uploaded by Jackie Downey  

Another very successful mother in tadoba. Four daughters last time, four sub adults cubs this time.

julianmatthews | about 4 years ago

wow nice photo and so glad shes doing well and hopefully will live a complete life

KayTiwari | about 4 years ago

05 Mar 2015 Photo was added about 4 years ago


There is one more reason to celebrate this 'Happy World Wildlife Day' on 13th March - The increasing population of Tigers in the Indian wild habitats. The buffers of TATR is a proof to that. The healthy cubs raised by 'Madhuri' and the legendary 'Wagdoh male' in the buffer of Moharli, speaks silently about the remarkable efforts taken by TATR authorities. Kudos to Maharastra Sasan

Mini_dscn2327-s Uploaded by Anindya Sengupta  

Wonderful photo

deb6686 | about 4 years ago

08 Jan 2015 Photo was added over 4 years ago


This was Madhuri's one of the four cubs which are now regularly seen in buffer forest.

Mini_2139 Uploaded by Atul Dhamankar  

Cute cub... and yes, can already see a mane! :)

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

You are right - he is a most beautiful speciman - and looks to be growing a mane almost as good at T24, the TN named Sultanpur, in Ranthambhore.

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

He has such innocent eyes!!!

sachin | over 4 years ago

06 Jan 2015 Photo was added over 4 years ago


Encountered the enigmatic Madhuri and her four cubs during a night patrol alongside the Buffer Forest guards at TATR. The cubs were playing for the next 4 hours in front of us. My only worry was the male cub who seemed to be attracted to the bike I was riding on. P.S : Sorry haven't been able to update alot on Tadoba in recent weeks as I am on field. Will try to keep everyone posted :)

Mini_image Uploaded by Mrigank "Rick" Save  

Great shot Mrigank. What a sighting to have. I envy you. :D

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

Great to have some news of Madhuri, lovely night time shot. I am very interested in the Tigers of Tadoba, visited for the first time last year & looking forward to visiting again in February. Thank you for your posts.

blackberry04 | over 4 years ago

Fabulous. Good to have you back and online and even better to hear of Madhuri's next four!!! Brill Rick.

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

09 May 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


Playtime for new cubs. These are of 4 cubs of Telia tigress - Madhuri who is now shifted to Tadoba buffer forest. She having 4 cubs of 5 months old.

Mini_2139 Uploaded by Atul Dhamankar  

awesome ....

samith | about 5 years ago

Wonderfully captured moment !!!

RickSaveTadoba | about 5 years ago

Fabulous - and great that they are growing up in some of Tadoba buffer zones, proving hope for other buffers around parks elsewhere.

julianmatthews | about 5 years ago

08 May 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


tree climber - One of Madhuri's cub try to climb on tree in Tadoba buffer forest.

Mini_2139 Uploaded by Atul Dhamankar  

Thanks for the update atul !

jyotilegha | about 5 years ago

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