Thursday, February 13, 2014

CORBETT


The Forest Safari
The smell of greenery, the freshness of air and above all, the whole feel of the forest was simply unique. This was my first visit to a place like this. I hope to visit many more forests like this. Although I get over-excited only when I have to visit monument(s), but this time I was super excited to visit the Forest of Jim Corbett. The obvious reason is definitely that this was my first visit to any forest and secondly I love tigers. Though we could not site even a single tiger in the woods, still we were able to see many beautiful animals and birds there.



The forest is divided into four parts- Durga Devi, Jhirna, Bijrani, Dhikala. The Durga Devi is located on the Northeastern boundary of the park. This tourism zone is opened from the 1st November to 30th June and is closed during monsoons.



Jhirna is located on the southern periphery of Corbett Tiger Reserve. Jhirna was one of the three villages which have been relocated to other places for the sake of the conflict. This particular zones village namely Jhirna, Dhara and Kothirau transformed into densely forested and grassland habitat which is excellent for bird viewing. Jhirna zone is open throughout the year. Since we went in October, we went to this part of the forest.

Bijrani being one of the 3 zones was once a shooting block having crossing jungle roads. Located on the eastern side of the of the Corbett national park, Bijrani house a wide variety of flora which includes of pure Sal forests on the upper reaches and tropical moist, deciduous mixed forests in the valley and plains. The Bijrani tourism zone is open from 15th October to 30th June.

Dhikala has the widest range of the forest rest house accommodation in the park. The reservoir created by Ramganga falls into this particular stretch of land. The Dhikala tourism zone is open from 15th November to 15th June.

We opted for jeep safari, although elephant safari is also available there. 

Our visit was welcomed by Tusker, a kind of elephant. The first animal we spotted was a pair of Tusker, they crossing the pass. They were crossing the road and were quite irritated with the sound of jeeps that stopped by to watch the. Our driver was smart and he switched off the engine of car as soon as we sighted them. So, as soon as other jeeps left the place thinking that Tusker is not going to come out, they crossed the road. The huge Tusker was a sight to watch.


Then we saw number of beautiful birds. Though our guide was informing us about the name of the birds still I don’t remember their names. Some of the birds that we sighted and whose name I remember were- Green Manakin, Wild Hens White Dove and Hornbill.















As we drove deeper into the forest, we saw giant ant hills, peacock, an Indian grey mongoose, lots of langurs and a couple of deers. One of the most amazing sights was when langurs were shrdding of leaves from tree and deers standing under the tree were eating those leaves. There was mutual understanding between langurs and deers. At times we stopped the jeep just because we thought we heard some rustles inside the nearby bushes. At one turn the driver stopped our jeep and showed us tiger pug marks on the sand. But the beautiful tiger was nowhere in sight.

We then moved to a small guest house made amidst the forest. While all the jeeps stayed there for tea and snacks. We decided to move from there quickly. Since there are lesser chances to sight any animals when there are many jeeps travelling in a row, we decided to leave the rest of the group behind and started from there without waiting any longer.


Our jeep wondered in the deep forest. There was a time when no one spoke a single word we were just enjoying the dense forest, the silence of forest, the smell of greenery. The cool breeze touching our face was simply refreshing.  We got so mesmerized by the beauty of the forest that it was quite late when we realised that it’s time to rush back to the gate. Our guide and driver was in real hurry, we rushed back to the gate. On the way we get to spot a herd of spotted deers that were glowing in the twilight. And while we were rushing back to the gate I managed to click some photos of sun set also.






Though we could not get even a glimpse of the majestic tiger still the whole experience was simply wonderful. OPne thing is sure I an going to plan more trips to forests now.