Machali or T 16 is the "star" of Ranthambhore. She is the central character in a number of films including 4 by BBC Wildlife Division. She has successfully raised 4 litters - a total of 9 cubs - to adulthood. T 17 or Sundari, the other tigress that has been profiled in the "Ranthambhore Tiger Database" is the dominant cub of her last litter. Machali ruled over the most scenic parts of Ranthambhore - the area o the lakes. She recently ceded her territory to T 17, her daughter.
Machali means "fish" in Hindi. Her mother who dies in 1989 was known as Machali because she had a mark on her left cheek that resembled an outline of a fish. The "original" Machali died while BBC was shooting a documentary on her. Since they had already shot more than half the film, they named her dominant daughter Machali and the name stuck.
Her trademark is the "fork" on her left cheek (see below).