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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Unsung Warrior

An Indian legend has it that the warrior Tanaji Malusare and his 300 troops were said to have scaled the Kondhana fort on a dark night, with the help of domesticated Bengal monitor lizard (known as a ghorpad) nicknamed Yashwanti. They tied ropes to the monitor lizard and had it crawl up to the fort. The mission was successful, but Tanaji succumbed to a grievous injury. Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort of Kondhana to Sinhagad ("lion's fort) in memory of the "lion," Tanaji. Monitor lizards are widespread residents in the region. They are very shy and avoid humans. They have keen eyesight and sometimes make use of a termite mound to nest.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2018
Date Uploaded: 09.2020
Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Copyright: © chandrashekhar shirur
Awards
Finalist