It is the branched and interconnected antlers that give the Barasingha its unique look. The Barasingha or Swamp Deer is one of the deer species that is found across India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It is most popular at the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh and the Kaziranga National Park in Assam where it is found in huge numbers.
Only the male species of the barasingha grow antlers. These antlers are shed every year and then a new set replaces them. As is the case with most of the animal kingdom, the one with the best set of antlers gets to call the shots. These antlers, when fully grown have 12 different branches on the same antler piece and hence are rightly called Barasingha in Hindi, which translates into Twelve Horns.
I got these shots of this beautiful mammal during an elephant safari at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. If I remember right, it was evening time and a huge herd of swamp deer were grazing in front of me. However, it was after a lot of waiting, that I managed to single this one out. This guy was just re-growing his antlers and hence they were not fully developed.