A day drive to Keoladeo National Park

20th Mar 2016
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 1/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 2/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 3/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 4/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 5/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 6/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 7/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 8/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 9/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 10/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 11/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 12/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 13/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 14/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 15/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 16/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 17/18 by Rajesh Sharma
Photo of A day drive to Keoladeo National Park 18/18 by Rajesh Sharma

First of all, thanks to Tripoto for publishing my first ever blog,Delhi-sariska-bhangarh bike trip which I took on 05.03.2016 to 06.03.2016. Since this month I had already done my solo bike trip so there was nothing in my mind to do another one. It was a normal official day 16.03.2016 when I was sitting in front of my desktop and I got a call on my intercom. He was Bhargava Ram my colleague who called me up and said that he has seen my sariska bhangarh updates on my facebook and was willing to go for a day road trip with me. At first instant I said no as last week already I was on roads. But he tried to convince me by saying that his wife has gone to hometown and he is free on weekend and has a chance to go for a road trip. I was in a bit confusion as it was just one week back that I had convinced my parents and I was thinking how they will react if I will ask for a bike trip again. I again said no and we ended our conversation. During Lunch time, my mind called me up and said hey u r getting another chance to be on raods and this time u r getting a company too so why you are reluctant. I was thinking and thinking until the following quote came to my mind:

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” by Matthew Karsten

 Soon I called bhargava and said ok but lets keep it a day affair, I mean we will go to a place not too far from delhi so that we can return back. He said ok fine and told me to decide the place. A couple of days ended my search to keoladeo national park, also known as bharatpur bird sanctuary as its around 200 kms from delhi. So for a day trip 400 kms was optimum on plains. I called, my colleague and he agreed so we decided the coming Sunday 20.03.2016 to be on roads. Now, the most difficult part was seeking permission from parents. But this time it was easy as my mom was out of town for attending some family function. A day before, I asked my father for permission. As always he said go and explore and have a safe journey. Also he was happy as India had beaten Pakistan in a T-20 world cup the same day. I called my colleague and we decided to follow Yamuna expressway to reach bharatpur. We decided a meeting point and it was in front of Amity university on Noida-Greater noida expressway. My friend lives in Noida and I was residing in west delhi. We decided to meet at 0600 hours as it was a day trip so as early we could start we would have more time to explore the sanctuary. I made myself on bed at 0000 hours and put an alarm for 0400 hours. I was in deep sleep till my alarm started shouting. I saw the watch and it was 0400 hours. I jumped from my bed after 10 minutes, quickly got freshen up took shower and was ready by 0500 hours. When I stepped out of my room I was surprised to see my father awake. He had already prepared tea for me, thank god for having such a father who always motivates me. I had my tea and called my friend. It was 0515 as he told he just had to take shower I said fine I will leave in another 5 minutes. Then I just asked, U taking some belongings with you. He said just a backpack with one pair of clothes just in case of emergency. The idea was good and I also took a back with pair of clothes (earlier I was planning empty handed). By 0530 my bag was on my bike, I wear my safety jacket, put on my knee pads and kick started it. Just dropped down in front of a small temple in our block to pray for our safe journey (it’s my usual way to start my road trip).

It was a little chillness in the morning as I was rolling towards greater noida expressway. Was cruising at a speed of 70 kmph and took the ring road to reach DND and finally to expressway. At sharp 0600 hours I was in front of Amity parked my bike in service lane and called my friend. He didn’t answered, my 10 minutes of waiting vanished after seeing the desert storm coming towards me. He dropped down and I showed my watch to him, he said actually he was searching fuel. I said haven’t you filled u r beast a day before to which he replied dude it was India Pak match last night. Hmmm so a match has delayed our start. So we quickly started our bikes and now was in search of petrol pump instead of heading towards Yamuna expressway. As there is no petrol pump on greater noida expressway we slipped towards left (very first exit after amity) and continued for 3 kms until we found a pump station. I waited outside and he went to fill the stomach of his desert storm. It was 0700 hours as we started from the pump station and soon was on greater noida expressway. We were rolling at speed of 80 kmph to touch the Yamuna expressway. The sight at the entrance of Yamuna expressway was a heaven for bikers. We saw around 20 bikes of different makes and believe me none of the 20 bikes was enfield. I think the lowest CC was Harley 750 CC amongst them. As we slowed down to see the bikes we realized, it was Harley, triumph, Honda makes and all were stunning bikes. So after a slow down look we accelerated keeping in mind our day trip and entered the Yamuna expressway. It was a great morning sun was not out yet a perfect delight for a biker and ahead was a wide Yamuna expressway road. We continued accelerating at a speed of 80 kmph. We were continuously on our last gear until we slowed down at Jewar toll. We both took the returned fare and continue rolling..My friend was leading and I was 100 metres behind him we were at a constant speed of 80 kmph and enjoying our ride. As soon we crossed second toll, before Mathura exit we stopped at food court to have breakfast. Since it was Sunday the place was crowded and we decided not to waste time standing in a queue for ordering. So we just freshen up and kick started again. We took the exit towards Mathura at around 0900 hours and now the road conditions changed it was a two way single road with lot of shared autos, bikes, cars. Now from 80 kmph we were rolling at a speed of 30 to 40 kmph. It took us 45 minutes to cross Mathura via Mathura cantt to reach NH-2 (Delhi –Agra Highway). We asked a local about the way to Bharatpur and he guided us that just take right turn and drive a km on NH-2 towards delhi and u will find a board saying bharatpur is on left. We flowed his instructions and reached State Highway 33 (Bharatpur-Mathura Road). Now again road conditions changed it was not much crowded and road condition was good except from too many road breakers in front of villages. We were rolling at a speed of 70 kmph and now a landmark showed bharatpur-35 kms. As we were rolling I saw a shop on the road side selling fresh sugar cane juice. I signalled my friend with a horn and we both stopped and ordered two glasses. As we galloped the juice we got some relief from heat of the sun and our empty stomach got happy. We kick started again and was keeping a track on landmarks as now it read 15 kms left. Cruising a little further, my eyes and bike both simultaneously stopped watching camels along the road. I quickly clicked myself with them and have a little conversation with the owner who was an old chap. He told us that he uses the camels for load stuff that he buys from a little town till his village. We gave few bucks to him that made him happy and started rolling. As we entered Bharatpur we stopped and ask the way to bird sanctuary. Many locals know this place as Ghana or keoladeo(lord shiva name). So we started asking by that name and soon were guided straight towards tha national park. As we were a km from the main gate three policemen from rajasthan police stopped us. Our biker kit made them stopped us as that was the only thing that was making us felt different. We stopped and showed our papers. One of them asked about my jacket and knee pads and he was happy that we were driving in a safe way. We passed smiles and started to just enter the parking of National park. It was 100 meters from the main (small) entrance of the national park. We parked our bikes it was 1115 hours and sun was shining bright. We quickly removed our jackets put it in our bag packs (Thanks for bhargava who gave me the idea of bringing a bag). I inquired about the tickets as my friend went for bringing water bottle. The tickets were as follows as on 20.03.2016:

  • Entrance ticket= Rs 75 per person
  • Cycle= Rs 40 per hour
  • Rickshaw= Rs 100 per hour
  • Guide= Rs 150 for less than 5 person

As my friend came we discussed, Truly if u come early morning, than cycle is the best way to explore the national park. But since we have less time and were loaded with our bag packs and helmets we decide to explore via rickshaw. I took the tickets and there was our rikshaw puller who loaded our stuff and introduced himself as Balbir singh(He was nice man and a guide too..one can ask for him if plan to visit this sanctuary). We didn’t took guide as I had read in other blogs that the rickshaw puller is a better guide u just give some extra tip after the tour. And I was right as he enters the national park he professionally welcomed us and told he is pulling rickshaw from past 27 years. He guided well made us to see owls, kingfisher, Cranes, Pelicans, Geese, Ducks, Eagles, Hawks etc. I remember only these species. As we entered to the marshy land we spotted Indian sauras crane. They were in couple. Believe me they were looking so fantastic. Balbir was a good guide and made us witnessed many species and clicked our pics too. The flaura and fauna of this sanctuary was really soothing to the eyes. We spotted some deer, nilgai too. He made us to stop and have our lunch at Hotel Bharatpur Ashok (Run by ITDC). My suggestion is atleast stay one day in this hotel as it is located inside the national park and feel like staying in a forest and do early cycling to explore the national park. The lunch was relief for us as we needed the energy to carry us back to delhi. It was 1500 hours and we decided to go out as we had to roll back. Balbir took us to a temple before exiting the park. The temple was an old hanuman temple and a pond next to it was a residence for more than 100 healthy tortoise. A pujari thrown atta bowls inside pond to attract tortoises and there we witnessed 4 healthy tortoise. It was my first chance to see these creatures live. We thanked pujari ji given a few bucks for the atta and left the temple. Before leaving the park we also witnessed wild bore. By 1600 hours we were outside the park and settled the fees of balbir singh. We thanked him for such a nice guide apart from his pulling skills in such a heat. We grabbed some water and geared up for our ride back home.

As every traveller feels the most difficult part is to travel back home. But also it gives us the motivation to successfully rach home so that we can plan our next destination.

I end my experience with a suggestion to fellow travellers who wish to visit this place. Please stay one day here and bond yourself with the silence of forest and presence of such beautiful species that you rarely see outside.

While rolling back home in darkness as sun was hiding at Yamuna expressway the following lines came to my mind as a Traveller.

“Take only memories , leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle