February 21, 2008

The above picture was shot in Sariska, Rajasthan. The Langur baby must have been a month old at most. As soon as it saw a rather hostile looking lens pointing towards it, it cuddled up with its mother offering a good opportunity for a shot. The picture captures the essence of the feeling of maternity quite well.

Langur Monkeys are quite common in the Indian forests across Northern and Peninsular India. In fact, there is a good population of Langurs that can be found even within towns and villages. They usually move around in groups of 20-30 and have a very intricate intra-social web complete with the dominant male and breeding females. They are largely arboreal (inhabit trees) and can be markedly seen jumping from one tree to the other usually. The group usually stays within a radius of 0.5 to 3 kms from the centre which is usually the tree they sleep and feed on currently.

Another interesting thing to note is the characteristic ‘whoop-whoop’ sound they make as a sign of contentment or joy. Another case in point is the sound of ‘khaar-takaokhak’ whenever they spot one of either leopard or tiger. But don’t trust a Langurs alarm call too much. They may sometimes raise an alarm on being disturbed by humans or their cars! That’s a personal observation! The langurs in the forests are markedly more shy as compared to their city-dwelling counterparts. They can be described as being much more decent and unaggressive in behavior as compared to the Rhesus macaque or ‘Bandar’ also.

For a Slideshow of fuller resolution pictures. Click HERE.