Lifescapes Gallery

27 / Aug / 2009
Enter the Dragon 2
Common Indian Monitor, Kabini
Jayanth Sharma

Enter the Dragon 2

For all those weaned on martial arts movies, here’s good news. Another, highly entertaining, action packed thriller is playing at this very minute, in the jungles of Kabini, and the lead actor is a real dragon. The Common Indian Monitor doesn’t spit fire, but does everything a self respecting dragon action hero should. He can run like a sprinter, burrow underground when he wants to lie low, do the breaststroke like a champ, and shimmy up a tree and stay camouflaged, before you can say ‘Ninja’. And woe betide any unauthorized male monitor who dares encroach on his territory. What ensues is a bout that wouldn’t be out of place in the WWF or a Sumo wrestling ring. The commonest maneuver is to stand up on the hind legs, clasp the opponent firmly about the neck and shoulders and with a sharp sideward jerk of his head, to throw him down, sometimes tossing him completely over. To the victor go the spoils, which include free rights to the territory and all the beautiful lady lizards there. All this running, climbing, swimming and fighting is, however, hungry business. And our hero rightfully works up a rather large appetite that’s entirely carnivorous. He prefers foraging on the forest floor, tongue flicking in and out, and has a very convenient luncheon philosophy: eat anything that you can overcome. Despite all his talents, our hero is a solitary reaper, and doesn’t seek an audience; you’ll most likely find him riding off into the sunset, all alone.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 10:06 am and is filed under Reptiles . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. S. Devanand says:

    Very insightful. Thanks for demystifying a creature that looks more myth than reality. Love the awesome pic and the brilliant copy. It’s a laugh riot, really.

  2. S. Devanand says:

    Ha ha…the copy had me in splits. Fantastic! And what a fabulous pic. Great work, gentlemen!

  3. DISHIN KK says:


  4. Don F. P. says:

    This letter is in appreciation not of just one particular work, but the entire LIFESCAPES Series from Orange County. Keep it up Guys!! While the photographs excite, the story simply enthralls, and makes an Advertising Creative like me left with that ‘wish-I-had-done-this’ feeling.

  5. jagadish.m.b says:

    wonderful picture, great job

  6. Sakshi says:

    A True Love…..

  7. Ramesh Abhichandani says:

    Raab ne Banadi Jodi………..

  8. Nandakumar says:

    Looks like Jayanth Sharma literally requested these monitors for an action shot. Goes to show how adventurous his life is. Great shot indeed and a rare one!

  9. Shweta Jagadesh says:

    A terrefic capture.
    A mindblowing title.
    An excellent write up.

  10. Sanjeev Roy says:

    Want to goback to Kabini again! Guys this is such a fabulous idea! Please keep it coming. Love the photographs, the commentary and Orange County for bringing this.

  11. Sekar says:

    Great picture and great writeup. After seeing this, I am now tempted to visit Kabini. Have visited many nature tourism places around the world. Lifescape may tempt me to visit the one in the backyard sooner than later:-).

  12. Mahesh Madhavan says:

    Hi, after long day of stressfull work, when I see Lifescapes Gallery at the end of the day- belive it or not, I feel very relaxed in mind. Makes me look at my calender to plan for next long weekend at Kabini…
    Fantastic job by Jayanth Sharma. Keep it up.

    Waiting for Big cats…..

  13. devarajan says:

    Its a excellent idea and quite novel, wish u guys all the very best.

  14. shivu.k says:

    this is the exallent Shot! great photo. well sharped, good background, well lighting…and also great moment.

    Shivu.k. ARPS.
    pictorial photographer.

  15. Vikram Nanjappa - Chief Naturalist - Orange County, Kabini says:

    The Common Indian Monitor is widely distributed and the max. length recorded is 1750 mm. The ” combat dance “, as depicted so beautifully in this photograph, only occurs during the breeding season and does not end in the death of any of the combatants. It ensures that only the strongest and most robust males get to mate as a result of which only the healthiest of genes are passed onto the next generation. In fact most people will be surprised to learn that this “combat ” also includes biting on the nape of the neck without drawing blood !

  16. Dr Sameer R. Rao says:

    Great image by the master photographer and Lifescpe is a great concept and presentation.



  18. krishnan says:

    Great pic, great writing.

  19. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Once again a lovely picture, though very violent looking, it is raw, beauty of nature. My children were scared looking at this big lizard, but after reading the story, they laughed happily and found them ‘so cute ya’. Then they went and did google and found more information on monitors. Now they are saying after this article, that they will also try to like their class monitor in school, and plan to call him Bruce Lee. Thank you Jayanth Sharma for magical photo and Orange County for beautiful story.

    • Jose Ramapuram, Director - Marketing, Orange County Resorts says:

      Dear Mr. Nair,
      Thank you for the comment. If, on reading this post, your children (read … next generation) were prompted to google this beautiful reptile and study them further, Lifescapes has met its objective. The idea behind Lifescapes was precisely this. To kindle the flame of interest in our rich nature and culture among the urban opinion makers of today and among our children who can, if they choose to, hold it in trust for future generations.

  20. HR GANESH. says:

    very good picture it is heart touching. keep up the good work.
    with nature,

  21. Anbu says:


  22. DR S R Jayaprakash says:

    superb photograph & fantastic write-up

  23. Thresi Emmanuel says:

    The photographs and the write-ups continue to amaze me!! I enjoy it. Awesome work!

  24. Goutham says:

    Amazing shot Jay.

  25. Ajay Gopalswamy says:

    Awesome picture ! How come we were not so lucky to see these creatures when we visited Kabini ? Hmm… I guess you need to have a trained eye.

    Good initiative by Orange County and keep up the good work (including the write-up). Looking forward to the next picture already …

  26. dr renuka says:

    that was a beautiful picture. wishing to share more wild life pix with kabini. thanks a lot

  27. SUCHITA SHARMA says:

    amazing pic…………beautiful and raw.

  28. Sumit Sinha says:

    for those who think the picture represents violence & gore – Most of the time such behavior is ritualistic only & doesn’t end with anyone’s life. Its a way to judge who is fitter than other, genetically speaking. The picture is an awesome documentation of such behavior!!

  29. Rama Gopalakrishnan says:

    Dear OC Team,
    Photo by Jayant Sharma is excellent.
    You could give credit to the person who writes your content for such photographs too! High time.
    Enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks for posting it.

  30. Nagashree says:

    Wow – what a scene. I never knew such creatures existed in our part of the world.

    I understand this is not a beautiful scene that can be used as a marketing poster. I love your initiative where it is beyond just your marketing. This is nature and anyone who tries to find out the meaning of the word Nature or Natural will have no issues with such a photograph. I wonder why mr. Nirav thinks – these newsletters are to attract people to orange county. I think it is to educate people about wildlife and natural history. So you got it wrong Mr Shah.

    No wonder – people need education.

  31. Muralikrishnan says:

    Brilliant capture, equally good write up. Cheer to Kabini

  32. Nirav Shah says:

    I am sorry to say that the picture is very unappealing. You’re in the tourism industry, and not NatGeo. I am sure you will understand. Let people come and find out about this creature, amongst all others when they come to Kabini. It just sticks in the mind unnecessarily, and makes one not come to Kabini spontaneously.

  33. AB Apana says:

    This is a superb image, thanks to Orange County for sharing it!


  34. Dr. Sujit Kumar says:

    last week (aug 15 weekend) we spent 2 nites at the CIcada, as you, my first pref didnt have rooms for both nites…am sure I missed being there and will make it soon some time.
    While this looked like a pyaar ki Zappi to Mistry..i see violence and gore…to do unto death the other…But then That’s nature….survival of the fittest !!!!

  35. Soumil Shah says:

    this is a really good capture. Nature at its very best at Kabini.

  36. girish deshpande says:

    having traversed thru many an Indian forest – and witnessed some of the most thrilling sights (including a tigress make a successful killl in kanha) – each time a picture like this gets published, it raises goose bumps on the magnificence of our jungles! would love to get such pics from you. Alas, only if our patrolling efforts were made contemporary & law enforcement ruthless.

  37. B.Ashok says:

    I cant be saving each and every snap of yours and 1 defnitely want coffee table book of these prized photographs on my table. Can u come up with that soon or for every valued guest u can present them with one. U have definitely got my attention for Orange County 🙂

  38. Swaroop Rao says:

    Personally, I’m quite impressed, fascinated by this new initiative by Orange County. The quality of photography is outstanding and the two pictures I’ve seen so far have been very nice. Keep up the good work.

    However, the good work needs to be continued in terms of service to your customers. I had left feedback from my last visit in May 2009. I’m not sure if anything has been done about it.


  39. rajesh says:

    awesome pic. and some good writing there. just loved the whole mailer. thank you.

  40. P.T.Bopanna says:

    Now we know why you are rated as one of the top eco-tourism resorts in India. Please keep up your responsible tourism initiative.

    From P.T.Bopanna
    Journalist and author of ‘Discover Coorg’

  41. C.M.Mistry says:

    too good – pyarki zappi ho to aissi

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