Shashi (Bamera Male)

Shashi is aptly named after the Hindi word for 'moon'. Famous for his nocturnal habits and the vast distances he covers at night, his sheer size and extrovert personality has helped him to forge a kingdom and a huge dynasty to match his boundless energy.

A favourite of all who see him, he seems to gloat in their admiration, unperturbed by the meandering of visitors and unafraid of their villages and homesteads. He often has to be herded back into the reserve for misbehaving outside his natural boundaries - devouring cattle in the dead of night. One of the lotharios of Bandhavgarh, most recently Shashi has been spotted in the company of several females such as shy tigress Tulsi.


Can Shashi remain master of all he surveys now that his father and rival Sundar is finally dead? Follow him with Tiger Nation

Age: 15 years old (adult)
Name Meaning: 'Moon' in Hindi
Code: P10
First seen: November 2004
Gender: Male
Notable marks: Chain-link stripes on belly flanks and striping on forelegs

Born in the early winter of 2004 to Pyari, a mother whose lineage stems from the famous Sita dynasty of the late 1980s, and with Sundar as his father, Shashi was always destined for greatness. Little did Sundar know that Shashi would become an enduring problem throughout his later life.

Amongst a litter of four cubs - two male and two female - Shashi and his sister Panpatha stood out. Bold and very tolerant, they were unperturbed by the comings and goings of men and machines, and the Chakradhara meadows proved a wonderful playground for this large family. Under the watchful eye of their mother, who had already raised three litters (and would raise five in total), the cubs were in especially protective hands - her previous litter had all died – probably killed by leopard when only tiny.

As the cubs grew, Shashi and his sister Panpatha where seen more often than the other two, particularly in the Chakradhara and Barua nallah regions. In March 2006, the whole family where seen tree climbing off the Kila road - a skill better reserved for smaller cubs than nearly full-grown adults!

Probably an unwelcome testament to their mother’s devotion, Pyari's family did not want to leave her. They should have ventured off on their own at around two -years- old. At two-and-a-half years of age, her litter still wouldn't leave her side, and much of what she killed was eaten by her hungry brood even though two of them where now bigger than she was.

Pyari was not amused and would take them to parts of the park where she would leave them, often to find them back again the next day. Part of the problem was competition. Bandhavgarh was brimming with tigresses and cubs and finding new territory was hard and dangerous.

Towards the end of 2007, now three years old, we still saw three of the siblings together, but Pyari had had enough. Her male admirers, Sundar and Shaki, finally persuaded them to move out. The result was not altogether welcome. Shashi decided there were rich pickings around the village of Tala, and cows here were easy to catch. Shashi was killing cows nightly, often laying in wait all day just yards away from workers in the fields. But the need for water ultimately was his undoing and once seen in daylight,he was rapidly herded back to the jungle by the Forest Department’s elephants.

Soon afterwards, Shashi and his sibling gang were making nightly forays into the Panpatha region of Bandhavgrah reserve, around the Bamera Dam. Pug marks were often seen around and even in the villages, often in the entrance ways of homesteads. They were traveling far at night and would hide carefully during the day. Panpatha was once a tiger stronghold, but today, this part of the reserve has many forest villages. Along with it has come the inevitable wood extraction and overgrazing that is an all too common feature of India’s forest habitats.

Shashi was now gaining a reputation for his nocturnal habits, moving large distances and as a result slowly gaining territory from his father and dominant male Shaki around Tala. He was also seen with Lakshmi, his sister (with whom he shares both a common mother and father) but from an earlier litter.

In the chill of winter 2008 three cubs where born to what we thought at the time was Shashi's sister. Tragically, eight months later, the tigress, whose home was in the Bamera dam area, was found dead, poisoned by cattle herders after lifting one too many of their stock. On re-checking our records, it turned out to be another tigress known as Moti, daughter of Lakshmi - not Shashi’s sister. Three eight-month-old cubs could not survive without protection and so the Forest Department took them into the enclosure in Sukki Pattia, where they sadly remain today, unseen by anyone bar their keepers.

His sister Lakshmi was now also bearing his second progeny, two new cubs called Shardul and Nalini. All the while Shashi grew bolder, stealing yet more territory from his father and rivals in the Tala range. 

By the winter of 2009 Shashi held a large prime feeding ground ranging from Tala the hillfort, full of his main diet of spotted and sambar deer. He was six years old and now king of this jungle. But his patch still had other rivals: wolves, jackals and leopards would share his domain and occasional wild dogs became his worst nightmare. But little else troubled him unduly. He was relaxed with vehicles nearby, but could get angry with the tracking elephants if they did not treat him with respect.

Although tolerant to his own progeny, he was dangerous to his rivals, including his own father Sundar who was often chased by his son. Wounds were often on his father’s body.

Many tigresses - including Vijaya, Wakeeta and Lakshmi - were now under Shashi’s considerable charm and protection. But a feud now raged between Vijaya and Lakshmi (neice and aunt) as they fought tooth and nail for territory in Shashi's domain. In March 2011, Vijaya finally won, killing Lakshmi. Vijaya was found standing over her half-eaten body.

His father Sundar, for so long the dominant male of the Tala range, was under siege. In mid November 2011, Shashi was seen with a large gash across his nose, and only two days later his father Sundar was found dead in a pool of water, sucummbing to a combination of infected injuries and starvation at the ripe old age of fourteen. Another dynasty was at an end.

Shashi has been linked to some of the park's leading females, most recently demure Tulsi, but is also father to Vijaya's recent litter. Could Shashi be well on his way to fathering yet more of the reserve's litters of cubs?

Will Shashi, like his father before him, remain the dominant force in Bandhavgarh over the coming yearsFollow the story on Tiger Nation

These Life stories have been brought to you by Kay and Satyendra Tiwari, and involved twenty five years of passion, note taking and intelligence while living on the borders of Bandhavgarh Reserve. Read their blogs and diaries here.



06 Feb 2014 Tiger diary over 5 years ago

Shashi - injured by his own progeny by Kay Tiwari

Injury prone Shashi, the dominant male of the Tala jungle, (also known as Bamera male) has been in the wars again. He had been feasting outside the park on private land ...

Tiger: Shashi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

Hi Kay, It is indeed rare that so many male cubs are growing up in adjacent territories. The way it looks translocation of tigers especially males, given the status elsewhere seems recreating the same situation. It seems helpless and the fittest males are going to hold their territory at the cost of the lives of the other males. Natures law will prevail. Mr Kay I am very much interested to have the Family Tree of Charger and the relation with the present brood.Is it possible to put it on this site. If not please send to me on my mail nmaanay@gmail.com.

rnmaanay | over 5 years ago

What a magnificent animal the tiger is.We need them around in our forests.

geevis | over 5 years ago

Hi Christina.little...few weeks back my wife and myself were planning our retired life in B'garh. Shared our thoughts with Satyen. :)

anand53 | over 5 years ago

I adore Shashi, and I pray for him a lot, Im sure he will live a long life as his father, and Charger. Speak positive always I say.Thanks Kay for keeping a close eye on all the tigers. I hope one day to come to Bandhavgarth and stay permanently, become a forest guard to help them survive for a long ,long time.

christina.little | over 5 years ago

Kay thanks a lot. I appreciate it is hard.

anand53 | over 5 years ago

Tulsi has 3, Wakeeta had 4 but lost 2 , all five are boys! Its hard keeping track of everything.

KayTiwari | over 5 years ago

Anand...its me getting it wrong. Soo

Jackwoods | over 5 years ago

Kay, are all the four cubs of Wakeeta doing well? I saw Tulsi having three cubs. Soo mentioning Tulsis 4 is a bit interguing :(

anand53 | over 5 years ago

Anand, Wakeeta's cubs are about two or three months younger and not so big I believe. Poor little wakketa is really having problems feeding her kids will all the boys stealing there fair share! Regarding moving a male or two out of Bandhavgarh I feel this is a difficult issue because many parks right now have too many males and unless a park has a spare female or two then introducing a new male could simply add the same problem to yet another park. Not easy managing tigers!

KayTiwari | over 5 years ago

If these are Dad's injuries...I wonder how the son/s fared? With so many males at present in BNP and especially with Tulsi's 4 up and coming male cubs cubs growing fast, are there any plans being put in place to relocate some...or will they be left to fight it out as they have little option to find new territory with the park being so crowded? Soo

Jackwoods | over 5 years ago

Kay, very distressing to read the dominant male's sufferings. That is life. Are Wakeeta's and Tulsi's present cubs of same age?

anand53 | over 5 years ago

23 Dec 2013 Tiger diary over 5 years ago

A ghost of Christmas past by Kay Tiwari

Shashi was in the Bhitri grassland yesterday, full bellied and a picture of rude health.  He’s been eating off the dining table of his two mistresses, Wakeeta and Tulsi, over...

Tiger: Shashi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

"Chief Tiger Julian", we would certainly echo this plea from jyotilegha. To look at the photos is one thing, to imagine the sightings is another, but to trace or retrace their footprints through the Jungles of India is a joy you are denying us all who follow those so lucky to dilligently record their pug marks and behaviours with those of us who are not so familiar with the terrain and topography on which our Tigers and fellow creatures tread. Soo

Jackwoods | over 5 years ago

Julian...is it possible to put up detailed maps of the reserves so that those members who are not familiar with the details of the area can also enjoy as much while reading ,..for example i ave been to bandhavgarh a couple of times but have no idea as to where the bhitri grassland is ...but i woud love to know and figure it out on the map...similarly when members comment about a particular waterhole no,...say waterhole no 9 in tadoba where i think crooked tail was spotted ,now i would love to know where it is and figuring it out on the map if it available ...pl see if this is posible ...thanks

jyotilegha | over 5 years ago

nice write-up

Kshitij | over 5 years ago

12 Dec 2013 Tiger diary over 5 years ago

A Rumble in the Jungle. by Kay Tiwari

Two tigers can be heard fighting in Milchaini. Roars and growls emit from thick bamboo cover. A huge male runs across the road near Hardia from Sher Marg and vanishes in...

Tiger: Tulsi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

Hi everbody, I have been wondering why are tiger names so complicated and are they African?

tigercubs | over 5 years ago

Dear Kay madam, Yes, it indeed seems like when a male and female fight, it is more likely that the male is trying to steal a kill rather than kill the cubs. You have put it extremely well when you say "Its all about surviving, eating well rather than who fathered what cub." Also, I totally agree with you on "The best friend a young male tiger could have is a sister or a young female as a companion." Traditionally, Indian culture has said that among tiger, both males and females will do the hunting on their own, while in lions, the males will lie around lazily and the lionesses will do all the hunting and provide food for the males. But as more and more observations suggest, even male tigers appropriate kills from their tigresses and at times, even male lions assist in the hunts. With lions, it is somewhat understandable when female share kills with the males as the entire family stays together all the time. But in tigers, when the males and females do not stay together all the time, I find it amusing how tigresses even allow males to just show up on a kill and take it away. I feel it is very unfair on the females because they have to raise the cubs on their own, hunt, and then a powerful male just turns up on the kills and starts eating. Definitely there is a reason why nature made it so. But what could that be?

Kshitij | over 5 years ago

Mmmmm.That's really interesting what you say Kay. You have really challenged my understanding of Tiger behaviour. I have almost taken it as a given, that if a male is seen with a female and her cubs then he must be the father ie we have seen Shashi with Wakeeta, Pushpaj, Kanvar and Ananti, and also Shashi with Vijaya her two deceased cubs and Balu. So what I am struggling to get my head around is that a male who is known to the mother but not by the cubs, can be accepted into the family for food provisions and will therefore accept cubs of another male. How does that work with the cubs themselves. Surely instinct and smells ID them to their father or not?. That has totally thrown my thinking.....Did the killing of Vijaya's two cubs and the Yoshilla boy cubs occur because it was a new male looking to acquire territory aswell as a mate.? I understand the bit about sub-adult males who need to be taught manners and the way the jungle works, but am now totally confused but intrigued. Soo

Jackwoods | over 5 years ago

Tulsi had a problem last season in summer with Pushpaj and Kanwar around Rampur Ghorademon area. Most thought the female was Wakeeta with her new cubs but we saw Tulsi actually fighting one boy that morning. Much fighting occurs over food, its more about giving up food to a male rather than a male wanting to kill cubs. Young tigers of all ages need to understand how it all works and know each other and which animal they are dealing with. I still feel the cubs of Tulsi's are Jobhi's but Shashi has to hang on to his only second female so he can be provided for. Tulsi knows Shashi well so she knows he will protect her when he needs too. Its all about surviving, eating well rather than who fathered what cub. I also believe Jaya's cubs are Shashi's but he spends no time with them any more and neither does Jobhi seem to threaten them. I actually think Pushpaj is a rather lazy male and depended a lot on his mother and sister for food. Now hes on his own the whole family are telling him to get lost. The territory Wakeeta and Shashi share is the worst prey based area so competition is tough. Today a male tiger turned up on the edge of Chakradhara from Ghorademon but we are not sure if it were Pushpaj or Shashi? He was not seen. Certainly all are in dangerous territory and hunting in tall thickly grassed meadows is impossible because virtually no deers use them right now! For a young male tigers the best friend to have is a sister or a young female for company but thats not possible at present as all are settled and owned by dominant males. Dont know where the sister of Pushpaj is, probably somewhere outside in greater risk of trouble?

KayTiwari | over 5 years ago

Kay, good to hear news of Pushpaj and Kanwar, but this must be their most difficult and dangerous time now. I just hope they keep away from Jobhi and Rahasy, but what areas can they move safely into? I am surprised that Tulsi would also allow them into her range especially with her cubs, but I suppose if Shashi is there he will do the protecting which would kinda suggest he is the father of her cubs and not Jobhi as we thought? Soo

Jackwoods | over 5 years ago

05 Dec 2013 Tiger diary over 5 years ago

Is Shashi in command again? by Kay Tiwari

Shashi has been rather elusive this season. Does he still command his tigress Vijaya’s Chakradhara meadows or walk along the Barua Nallah riverbed as he once did? Ea...

Tiger: Shashi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

17 Jul 2013 Tiger diary almost 6 years ago

Vijaya : The village lady. by Kay Tiwari

The Chakradhara stream is in full spate at the moment. Its gushing waters pour from the springs and waterfalls of the hillfort plateau and sweep through Vijaya’s territory an...

Tiger: Shashi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

27 Jun 2013 Tiger diary almost 6 years ago

Shashi is back. by Kay Tiwari

Shashi is back after a temporary exile.  Strong, emboldened and ready to reclaim his lands off an impudent marauder. Shashi, well known for his nocturnal escapades revisi...

Tiger: Shashi

Reserve: Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh

Get the feeling that the monsoon, when the park will be closed, will be decisive. I am hoping that Shashi will pull along for some more time and keep the challengers at bay.

mahendrasingh | almost 6 years ago

That is wonderful news...Chakradhara with Bamera a heaven place...but yeah, its very dangerous now as the mystery male may return any time...

tejasraval | almost 6 years ago

Excellent update Kay , diaries from you is always very informative. I'm anxious to know whereabouts of ''Rahasy''.

vipinsharma | almost 6 years ago


Photo-icon Photos: 81

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24 May 2016 Photo was added about 3 years ago


Found him during early morning (06.16am on 24/05/2015) at the main road side of Tala region, while taking rest. It was a decent sighting ever from a park. Sighting was lasted for just 5 mins. Pay homage to Shashi

Mini_vsrp Uploaded by Prasanth Kumar S R  

Yes Kay, Somanshu resembles Shashi so much!

Kshitij | almost 3 years ago

So next King sworn in...

Prasanth | almost 3 years ago

Hope Somanshu makes it as a dominant male to carry on the male Chakradhara line. Somanshu and his Dad look so similar in appearance its weird bar that slashed nose of cause.

KayTiwari | almost 3 years ago

21 Apr 2015 Photo was added about 4 years ago


Bamera or Shashi in 2013. Where has this brute of a male who controlled most of the Tala zone gone?

Mini_user_default Uploaded by tedcheese  

He is no more it seems. Died today. Any update?

pranjita | about 3 years ago

Is is true that he has been shifted out of BTR and kept in some enclosure?

pranjita | over 3 years ago

He is living near Thauni in the closed area and is seen now and then in Magdhi area or around the villages or off the main road. He is hanging in there and is tracked by the FD eles constantly.

KayTiwari | about 4 years ago

16 Jan 2015 Photo was added over 4 years ago


His reign was short lived and his surviving prodigy few. Poor Shashi TN's Star Male tiger of Bandhavgarh is now pushed to the edge of his once large territory and is seeking refuge in the hills around Thauni while his wounds heal? Here it seems he is out of reach of his presently preoccupied enemies Jobhi and the New Boy that are themselves in pursuit of young and available females. Photo 15th April 2013.

Mini_kay-_portrait Uploaded by Kay Tiwari  

At the moment, BNP seems so far away Kay. Glad to hear positive news, such as it is that Shashi is alive and seems to be coping. Such is life that up and coming males are challenging and roaming in his old haunts. But it does not stop me from anthropomorphizing about his life and all that he does. Soo

Jackwoods | over 4 years ago

Hi Kay, thx a lot for the detailed update! I'm relieved to hear Bamera is still holding on, as bad as his injury is. There used to be a male in Kanha who was walking with a permanent limp for many years yet he was still strong enough to be a dominant male of Mukki and kept his rivals at bay, so I think if Bamera can manage to heal his paw cut, he'll live on. But Chinkoo and most specially Tarun are powerful prime males that won't be challenged by an old and injured Bamera ;that's for sure, so unlikely we'll see him as often as before. And thanks for providing insight into the situation at BNP, which is basically a mess, nothing more. There's no more to be said on this, it's all been discussed before. It's simply a matter of if the Indian government wants to save their tigers, in this case, BNP tigers. The way things are now, looks like they don't give a damn to me. No wonder the sighting has gone down this season, especially for the males. .

leminh | over 4 years ago

I think Satpura does not want them now it has cubs of there own in the tourism area.

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

I read somewhere that there are plans to shift about 3-4 tigers from Bandhavgadh to Satpura. Is that true?

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

Shashi is staying during the day around Thauni that is Tala closed area. He goes by night for cows around the villages in Khitauli but across a very small area. I doubt he has met the Khitauli new male. I am calling the Khitauli new male Tarun meaning Boy. He meets Jobhi frequently and also the new male in Tala from Kulwah as they both cross his path on their travels. I am calling the New Kulwah male Chinkoo meaning Round Face as some call him Big Head. The main concern is his split forepaw pad which is proving hard to heal. But he is eating cows and sharing meals with other tigers including O1 and his mother Ondrila around Thauni. FD recently saw Shashi near a sambar kill of another tiger probably O1. He is hanging on but I doubt Jobhi or Chinkoo will let him back in. It is very sad but the pressure now on Bandhavgarh is huge regarding the demand for firewood from the forest right now as its so cold and villagers are all over the place in Tala collecting wood. Tigers are not moving much bar in the dead of night due to this disturbance. FD management is very under staffed and in a mess over all and in this cold no one seems to be controlling things really. Bandhavgarh needs a good Director and supporting staff in house, people who want to be in the field. The Supreme Court rulings did not help this park in any way!

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

Hi Kay, I heard that Bamera is now in Khitauli (wonder if Thauni is part of Khituali?). There is a very huge male first appearing Khitauli in Nov/Dec 2013, and looks like he's here to stay. If Bamera gets in fights with him, it might be bad news for Bamera, given his current conditions.

leminh | over 4 years ago

This is very sad Kay. Maybe he will come back!

julianmatthews | over 4 years ago

With Shashi sidelined, any news about confrontations between Jobhi and the new boy? Nice photo by the way.

Kshitij | over 4 years ago

29 Nov 2014 Photo was added over 4 years ago


Since the beginning of this year Shashi has faced challenge after challenge from various male tigers including his own son’s Pushpraj and Kanvar. However, during the monsoon he was driven far beyond his own territory into Magdhi by both Jobhi and the Mystery Magdhi boy and has been hanging out around the Khitauli forest village of Garhpuri recently eating mainly cows. The injury he suffered last summer to his left foot small claw has never really healed and though he is eating well his limp is considerable because of an abysses that has burst through his pad. This must be agonizingly painful to walk on and extremely difficult to heal, and for the last ten days or so he has not been spotted at all by the Forest Department elephants concerned for his welfare. Hopefully this Star male is holed up in some secret cave somewhere gaining strength and overcoming his injuries or else it might seem that for Shashi his rein in Bandhavgarh was short lived. At ten years of age can Shashi recover?

Mini_kay-_portrait Uploaded by Kay Tiwari  

Again wrote a long reply and it said sorry something went wrong your content cannot be longer than? Not good as have no time to rewrite now!

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

Hope he recovers and stay safe. He is a special tiger. 1) Did Sundar/B2 and Shaki/Bhoka faced so many challenges from other males.? If so Did they handle the situation better than Shashi? 2) Why suddenly we are seeing so many males? Is it due to lack of prey and no habitat left outside Tala, Magadhi and Khituali?

imtiazkhank | over 4 years ago

He still has fight left in him and a tiger has a strong will....I believe I will see him again when I come for a visit in 2016....

christina.little | over 4 years ago

He disappeared in the same way last Spring to recoup and was seen only after a month or so. Food is the problem.

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

He disappeared in the same way last Spring to recoup and was seen only after a month or so. Food is the problem.

KayTiwari | over 4 years ago

Tigers have amazing recouperative powers. Let us all hope he is left alone to heal by himself or let nature take its course. I am all for human intervention when appropriate, but talking to a conservationist recently and the stress tranquillization loads on to an already weakened animal, I am now not so sure we always know best!! No wonder Shashi is keeping well out of sight of the FD and Eles. Soo

Jackwoods | over 4 years ago

I just read that Machali has lost an eye in a fight Does anyone have an update on Machali??,

tigerfan | over 4 years ago

Hope Shashi heals fast

tigerfan | over 4 years ago

07 Jul 2014 Photo was added almost 5 years ago


Quo Vadis,Panthera Tigris? Bamera male (Shashi) while resting at Ghorademon? Beautiful to behold I had zoomed in because he had a drop of dew in his nose.

Mini_iphone_049 Uploaded by christina habets- little  

17 May 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


Bamera or Shashi ...you beauty ....

Mini_profile Uploaded by Shivir Chordia  

nice one sir...

audaciousakasmail.ch | about 5 years ago

My husband loves black and white photography....if these eyes were coloured amber, then I think you would have nailed the epitomy of what the essence of a tiger is all about!!!!! Soo

Jackwoods | about 5 years ago

05 May 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


Shashi has the look of Charger

Mini_kay-_portrait Uploaded by Kay Tiwari  

Thanks Christina for mentioning about the INW photo of Charger. That one is great too

Kshitij | about 5 years ago

Just want to share something with TN fans.When in India Nature Watch search box type"Charger of Bandhavgarh "by Dhirendra Swarup. One of the photos whereI think Shashi looks like Charger.Enjoy. Please Kay if you have some good ones I would love to see one of him.

christina.little | about 5 years ago

Hi Kay, you are right, he has so much confidence. There are a few pics of Charger in INW as well as the books I have.Thank you.

christina.little | about 5 years ago

03 May 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


Shashi (Bamera) recently, you can see the sore little toe on his left foreleg. Ouch!

Mini_kay-_portrait Uploaded by Kay Tiwari  

Lovely to see him back .. he looks in good touch.. i will be there in bandhavgarh from 25th to 28th May.. hope to see him there.. Mr. Tiwari thanks for your updates..

manishkhare | about 5 years ago

27 Apr 2014 Photo was added about 5 years ago


Shashi - Bamera. This sighting resulted in watching the mating with Tulsi and videographing it. Would love to share the video file.

Mini_img_0137_tulasi Uploaded by ANAND MADABHUSHI  

Wow.. when was this? Can you please upload the video on YouTube? I'd love to see the video file.

Kshitij | about 5 years ago

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