Photos: Step into India’s private forests

In a country with only 5% of its land area protected as forests, and even that shrinking, a few individuals

Updated on Jun 20, 2021 02:06 PM IST 12 Photos

A tiger rests in the private forest nurtured by Aditya Singh and Poonam Singh in Bhadlav, Rajasthan. The big cats stay sometimes for four or five days, an indication that they feel safe here.(Photo: Aditya Dicky Singh)

Aditya, 55, and Poonam, 52, left their lives in Delhi behind to answer the call of the wild. They settled in Sawai Madhopur, the town closest to the Ranthambore tiger reserve, in 1998, and slowly started acquiring farmland abutting the reserve. They then let nature take over.(Photo: Aditya Dicky Singh)

An aerial view of the result: one of the patches owned by the Singhs stands out amid the farmland in Bhadlav. The patch shows a clear distinction in growth patterns. “The trees on the borders grow first, because that part is usually left uncultivated,” says Aditya. “They form natural borders.”(Photo: Aditya Dicky Singh)


Camera traps on the privately owned SAI (Save Animals Initiative) Sanctuary in Kodagu, Karnataka, capture all the wildlife that strolls in and out, from the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary next door. These 255-acres of former coffee and cardamom fields are now an extension of Brahmagiri. Seen here is a sambar fawn with her mother.(Photo courtesy SAI Sancturary)

Pamela Malhotra, 69, and Anil Kumar Malhotra, 78, bought the first 55 acres of what is now SAI Sanctuary in 1992. They had been looking to sustain a forest of their own.(Photo courtesy SAI Sancturary)