Surya hails from the South India city of Chennai. While his academic background and formal training are in engineering, the call of the wild was stronger, and he switched careers to pursue his passion for nature and wildlife. His jungle journey commenced in the forests of Satpura National Park and Tiger Reserve, where he began as an intern at an acclaimed safari lodge, eventually becoming a full-time naturalist guide. Surya's interests broadened to encompass the region's multitude of varied species, especially its lesser fauna and their microhabitats. His exceptional enthusiasm led him to pioneer Central India’s first walking safari, as well as canoeing, wilderness camping
and night drives in Satpura. With Satpura's focus on more than just tigers, Surya had the chance to explore other activities beyond standard jeep safaris.
After five years at Satpura, Surya moved on to Kanha National Park, where the emphasis is much more tiger-centric. While becoming a tiger expert, he also pursued his love for diverse wildlife, and his eagerness to learn deepened his knowledge of India’s rare and special amammals
, birds, reptiles
and butterflies. Whether in Satpura, Kanha or elsewhere in wild India, what Surya enjoys most is showing and explaining the little secrets of the jungle to visitors, rather than merely seeing it for himself. His love for guiding prompted him to write a book, a Photo Field Guide to Central India.
The comprehensive volume covers 850 species in the region, a first-of-its-kind field guide in India. During the monsoon season, when India safari tourism takes break
, Surya leads his own group tours to Africa.
Surya believes that the key to sustainable ecotourism is to keep local people at the helm of leadership and involvement. In addition to his work with Nat Hab, he is currently working to set up wildlife lodges in the northern Indian region of Ladakh, in the trans-Himalayas where snow leopard and other lesser fauna are the focus. Integral to the project is collaboration
with local villages and residents in the valley, ensuring their participation that is so important to the potential conservation success of the venture. Surya believes that such a model is crucial in helping to address many of the conservation issues India faces.
Known for his zeal, vigor
and inquisitiveness, Surya is renowned as a guide who captivates his guests and sends them home equally enthused!
Upcoming Adventures with Surya:
The Grand India Wildlife Adventure
India's Tigers & Wildlife: A Photo Safari