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Observation Tower (Machan)

A machan is a hideout in the jungle for observing wildlife. A machan could be atop a tree or could be on the ground. A machan suitably located provides excellent viewing of wildlife. Machan viewing has the advantage that the animals are practically unaware of the presence of human beings and hence they can be seen in their most natural state. A tree machan is scaffolding on a big tree that is suitably camouflaged to merge with the surroundings and has the advantage of a wider and clearer view. Human scent is dispersed into the upper air quickly and as such has lesser chances that the animal will be able to detect human presence. Finally it provides comparative safety from wild animals.

A machan is normally located overlooking water holes. Occasionally these are also located in open ground with a wide field of vision. Great patience is required in viewing from a machan. Jungle sounds like alert signals let out by langurs or monkeys of approaching tigers gives one the indication of the arrival of an animal. While in a machan minimum movement, sound and emission of smell will ensure that animals are not able to spot the presence of the humans.

Settle down comfortably in the machan. Wear loose comfortable clothes camouflaged. A machan gives a very good opportunity for excellent photography. Carry a good pair of binoculars.

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