Unnis (Krishna)

Unnis was initially the shy one of the litter, as a cub staying close to her famous mother and sister at all times. When it was time for her to strike out on her own, quiet Unnis had little choice but to take over the “leftovers” of her mother Machali's territory.  Supporting herself in this harsh and unforgiving environment was difficult. Timid Unnis kept to herself avoiding humans and other tigers.

However, its all changed today. After finding mate Sitara, she becme a mother to three cubs – two males and one female. Now, Unnis is starting to show her real strengths as a powerful hunter and mother, and after her sister's disapperance from the lakes area, Unnis has moved in . Her first litter have all grown up, and now she is the 'Lady princess of the lakes'.

Her two sons (T64 & T65) are still today within her Rajbagh territory and she gave birth to her second litter of three cubs in Feb 2014.

Could she follow in her famous mother's footsteps?

Is she pregnant again? Who is the real father?  Follow her here on Tiger Nation.


Age: 13 years old (adult)
Name Meaning: 'Nineteen' in Hindi
Code: T19
First seen: October 2006
Gender: Female
Notable marks: Double parallel 'eyebrows' over her right eye and two - pronged - fork mark on her left cheek

Satra, Athara and Unnis were born during the 2006 monsoon months to tigress Machali and T2, Ranthambhore's dominant male.  At first, Machali kept the cubs between the lakes and Nalghati and rarely ventured out of this area. The territory boasts a high density of sambar deer (India’s largest deer species) on which the cubs were raised.

Unnis had to wait to take her over territory from her more dominant sisters, Stara, who ended by taking over her famous mother's territory of the lakes, and her sister was translocated to Sariska. Unnis settled into the Lahpur Valley and welcomed her first litter of two males and one female sired by mate Sitara in December 2010. here she brought up her cubs with skill and tenderness, and the cubs where seen occasionally as they grew up, and Unnis began to loose her shyness.

In the winter of 2012 her sister, now with three young cubs was having a serious clash with the dominant male in her territory, Sitara, as he believed that Satra's cubs where not his progeny - a dangerous assumption for young cubs. 

The result was a battle that left both tigress and tiger injured, but fearing for her youngsters she fled to the protection of her cubs father, Dollar in the Kachida area of the park. This move gave Unnis the opportunity to come back home, to take Satra's vacant territory. It was an ideal time as her cubs were now reaching independence and she was ready to have another litter.

She has since developed into a relaxed and beautiful young mother, and been seen hunting, flirting and mating with both Dollar and Sitara in April 2013.  Her two eldest sons (Akash T64 & Suraj T65) of her first litter are still be allowed to live under her protection around the Rajbagh lake. Will their father allow this state of affairs to continue for much longer?

Finally after many false hopes Unnis gave birth to a new litter in early Feb 2014. 

Unnis has three cubs in her second litter. 

Follow Unnis here on Tiger Nation

11 Apr 2014 Tiger diary about 5 years ago

A new home for a new dynasty in Ranthambhore by Hemraj Meena

The waiting game is over. For two whole months Ranthambhore’s tiger royalty kept the world on tenterhooks. The big question on everyone’s mind was just how many cubs had Unni...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Hemraj - Just like tigerfan has commented below, even I am curious about the presence of T64 (Akash), their elder brother at the place. Could T19 be trusting him to look after the new cubs? Or is it that he happened to be there just by chance. What's your opinion?

Kshitij | about 5 years ago

Nice to see Unnis with her cubs!

ernie23 | about 5 years ago

This is such an uplifting story. Great pictures too. Feels so good to see four more tigers in the world.

atulagupta | about 5 years ago

Incredible photos & account. We're intrigued about the presence of Aakash (T64) watching over his mum & new siblings ~ Is his presence likely to be a help or a hindrance, or neither?

tigerfan | about 5 years ago

Womderful story and pics...thank you ! How rare is it to have a litter this size ?

sallymuff | about 5 years ago

Wonderful photos and a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. This is such great news

Valtravel | about 5 years ago

Hi Hemraj, What wonderful photos, I have just come back from Ranthambhore, I did see Unnis (Kristna) several times, but did not see her cubs, you were so lucky, what a wonderful experience. anniehw

anniehw | about 5 years ago

Wonderful news,this has made an old lady very happy indeed.

doreen | about 5 years ago

Fantastic news and a great sighting.

janette | about 5 years ago

Wonderful. This news has made my day.

pallie9 | about 5 years ago

Thank goodness for some good news re tigers; lovely to see and wish I could have been there in person. Thank you for showing us all.

AlineDobbie | about 5 years ago

Lovely story of a mother who has her work cut out for her. May she prosper and raise a healthy litter. Thanks for sharing. Tigers Rule.

christina.little | about 5 years ago

These are truly amazing photographs and ones which any Tiger Watcher would dream of. You have wonderful life memories Hemraj. Thankyou for sharing your fabulous narrative. Soo

Jackwoods | about 5 years ago

Brilliant and hope for the future after Satra's disappearance.

debat3gates | about 5 years ago

lovely story ... amazing sighting ...

samith | about 5 years ago

Beautiful story and so are the images . Absolutely priceless . To see such young cubs ..so vulnerable and yet so dignified . The mother's prodigious skill and a bright future .. No words can describe this . Thanks for sharing Hemraj.

RickSaveTadoba | about 5 years ago

A great story indeed...TFS the amazing moments captured!

Sunaina2011 | about 5 years ago

loved reading this article.

jyotilegha | about 5 years ago

This is a really lovely story with great accompanying photos. May the tigers always roam this earth.

KayTiwari | about 5 years ago

03 Jun 2013 Tiger diary almost 6 years ago

Dangerous but necessary liaisons by Hemraj Meena

Six weeks ago Unnis was flirting and courting madly with both Dollar (T25) and Sitara (T28). She failed to fall pregnant that time. As her oestrus cycle comes around again an...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Awesome video...

Anshul02 | almost 6 years ago

14 Apr 2013 Tiger diary about 6 years ago

Unnis plays the field by Yadvendra Singh

Distributing her favours, Unnis is playing a clever, yet often, dangerous game. Like her sister before her she faces the same conundrum. Two proud males dominate the terr...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Thanks for answering my question. I think Unnis will deal with & cope with the situation bettter than her sister did. I'm just not sure how she'll cope when her sister returns.

tigerfan | about 6 years ago

Yes correct. It is safe and such matings common. Recent reseach suggested the gene pool is more resilient than first thought and still good in India's overall tiger population

julianmatthews | about 6 years ago

If Dollars dad is Jumaroo, does that make Machali, Dollars grandma? If so, giving that Unnis is Machalis daughter, would it be safe for Dollar & Unnis to mate, in terms of the cubs being healthy, given they share the same genetic gene pool.

tigerfan | about 6 years ago

Lets hope that she can deal with these two males more succesfully than her sister was able to.

julianmatthews | about 6 years ago

15 Mar 2013 Tiger diary about 6 years ago

Unnis. A new Princess? by Bobby Bhargava

Is there a new Princess of Ranthambhore’s lakes? A dynasty continues today besides the scenic Rajbagh lake, but it’s not the expected lineage. Unnis (T19) is today en...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Interesting that Unnis has taken Mum back with her! Didn't Satra overthrow her mother? Then Unnis? It's all very Shakespearean

Lucydanielraby | about 6 years ago

I believe it will take atleast 10 more months before Satra tries to win back her lakes!!

sachin | about 6 years ago

Great story and that photo of the tigress looking across her domain, wonder what she was thinking?

KayTiwari | about 6 years ago

24 Feb 2013 Tiger diary about 6 years ago

Sisterly feud for thought by Yadvendra Singh

Unnis (T19) is making an ever more promising bid for the glorious lakes. This is in direct conflict with her sister Satra (T17). Seen to be queening it up down the main Ranth...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

09 Feb 2013 Tiger diary over 6 years ago

Unnis. Occupying a vacant territory? by Julian Matthews

Unnis (T19), a wonderfully calm and relaxed mother, has three cubs that are now every bit or more bigger than her, and getting ready to leave home. With her sister Satra ...

Tiger: Unnis

Reserve: Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

YES Satra was near Jogi Mahal area...that is the Lake side "BUT" She is NOT back in her old territory....She came just on a short Petrol and went back in Kachida area and was sighted near Jhokha Tent.....and now Unnis (T19) was also in this Lake area.....

yadvendra | over 6 years ago

Thank you Sriskandh. Good to have her back as you say

julianmatthews | over 6 years ago

Happy to know that Satra is back where she belongs...

imtiazkhank | over 6 years ago

Satra spent yesterday near the lake area of the park. It seems she is no mood to let go of her territory. Having spent most of the day sleeping near Jogi Mahal, she got up as the sun started to set and cut between a bevy of vehicles before heading towards Parnia. A real family feud is on the cards.

sriskandh | over 6 years ago


Photo-icon Photos: 75

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12 May 2017 Photo was added about 2 years ago


Krishna in lake


Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Mini_photogrid_1491285982197 Uploaded by NikhilR  

She looks cool ????

christina.little | about 2 years ago

04 Feb 2017 Photo was added over 2 years ago


After having prolonged views of Unnis and her three cubs resting and playing together across the lake, Hemraj Meena suggested we move a little farther down the lake shore. Shortly after doing so we were rewarded by close views of Unnis passing close by in front of our Gypsy King, totally indifferent to our presence!


Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Mini_user_default Uploaded by MikeBox  

She reminds me of her mother ... Lovely sighting.

christina.little | over 2 years ago

06 Jul 2016 Photo was added almost 3 years ago


Unnis' daughter Arrow Head patrolling and scent-marking in a portion of her mother's area.


Ranthambhore, Rajasthan

Mini_user_default Uploaded by Sriskandh Subramanian  

And a gif too!

tigerfan | almost 3 years ago

Love this! There's a photo of Machali (her Grandma) from years ago thats almost identical

tigerfan | almost 3 years ago

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