Himalayan Tahr and a Rhododendron Tree

April 14, 2021

This was the first time ever, that I had the opportunity to spend so many days in a Bugyal in spring. It was going to be a 4 to 5 days trip and I would spend the next few days shooting a lot of Monals and Himalayan Tahrs.

There were trees upon trees, all in shades of light and dark pinks, laden with Rhododendron flowers. From a distance, the whole forest seemed to be carpeted with the beautiful hues of these flowers and interlaced with greens and yellows, the valley just looked absolutely stunning.

I had experienced such a blast of high altitude Rhododendrons only once before. That April I and my friends were negotiating up the steep slopes of Rudranath in spring, and the flowers I saw on that trip, never ever have I witnessed that kind of flowering. Trees upon trees just laden with flowers, not a leaf in sight, just flowers.

I was out of breath and about to reach my destination and decided to rest and soak in the breathtaking valley to my right. The valley had a vertical drop of 500 meters to the valley floor below. To my right, the mountain on which I was trekking was cut upon by ridges some 500 to 1 Km long. On one such ridge stood a lone Rhododendron tree, with flowers blooming all over it.

Himalayan Tahr besides a Rhododendron Tree in Himalayas
Himlayan Tahr besides a Rhododendron Tree

Besides it was a huge rock and here, I saw something like an animal resting on it. At the altitude and distance, I knew it could only be a Himalayan Tahr (Male). I peered through my 400mm and sure it was, just sitting there, a lone Himalayan Tahr.

“What a beautiful habitat shot this is,” I thought. It was not going anywhere, so I took my time and fired off a number of horizontal and vertical shots. After that, I even made some videos . When I left after 10 to 15 mins or so, it was still there, just sitting on that rock. “I will see you again,” I said, bidding him goodbye and in the next few days for sure, I saw and shot him multiple times.

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