A glimpse into the treasures of Rajaji National Park.
A trip to wildlife, to unknown adventure, to the world of distinct species where a real thrill lies beneath the hushed environment.
Starting my trip with group of 11 into a world which is quiet unknown to me. Being zoophobic I have always kept myself stern away from the animals. But visiting rajaji national park was a choice, well-made. The beauty of park with its precious wild gems made my 2 days trip worth cherished for.
The journey to wild trail started from Delhi where a mini-bus picked us by 11:00pm of Friday night and dropped Haridwar by 4 in the morning, way too early from the time we expected. So we had to wait for our rides to come and take us to Rajaji National Park which is about 10 km from Haridwar. The long working Friday and sleepless, restless night it was, but the excitement for this adventures trip overshadow all the odds and filled a new energy which indeed was enough for this upcoming trip.
The freezing winter’s morning and open gypsy surely not a right combination but this is where the right feel of wildlife safari lies. 2 open gypsy came to pick us from Haridwar and took us to Rajaji. The gates of Rajaji opens by 6.00am so we entered there bang on time.
The one of the best time to spot the animals is at dawn, and this is what we did. We entered the park and a hopping rabbit welcomed us. Quite awe moment was that as i spotted my first animal there. We chased the dawn in our beautiful safari. The sight of sunrise and animals actually made us forget that how cold we were feeling.
Rajaji stretch across 820sq km and have diverse range of terrain, flora and fauna. Some of the frequently spotted animals here are Cheetals, Nilgais, Sambhar, Barking deer, Asian Elephants, and frequent spotted birds- horn-bill, woodpecker, kingfishers, jungle fowl. But leopard and tigers are the real thing which we were eagerly waiting for. But to spot these animals one need to have sharp eyes and silent environment, if you talk loudly or make noise while spotting animals would spoil the sight.
We continued our safari into the magical green mist of Rajaji and spotting the cheetals which were moving in herds, in early morning in search of food and water. And early morning safari gave us the opportunity to capture these animals in groups. But soon we saw enough of cheetals and were waiting for the real spot, a sight of leopard or tiger but it was almost 12pm and we left for our guest house which was in Beribara range. Each range has one guest house but for that you have to take special permission from the forest authorities to live in.
After having powers nap and filling up our tummies we again started our safari and this time with the determination to spot leopards. Spotting leopard is one of the hard task as it is a quick and shy animal which instantly hide behind bushes when they spot humans, and that’s what happened to us. Bored of cheetals and nilgais, it was dark but dark night is what gives you right opportunity to spot leopard as they come out for preying in dark as it gives high chance to hunt the prey. We spot our first leopard which was sitting on the car path but quickly ran in bushes without making noise. Those who were not quick enough lost the sight of it, and unfortunately I was one of them. With this happy note we ended our 1st day safari. But just spotting one leopard wasn’t enough. The Beribara range where our guest house was one of the range where leopards are frequently spotted. While star gazing we heard the calling of cheetal which is a sign of a danger, the leopard is around. A friend of ours who is a frequent visitor depicted the call at right time and told us exactly what these sound were.
The second and final day of this safari started with drizzling which continued for rest of the day. The weather was beautiful but major concern was that how we will spot animals on this rainy day. Still we continued with the safari and cover major ranges where we could spot elephants, leopard and tigers but we wandered in jungles for almost 6 hours without the sign of animals. The moment we gave up our hopes our driver spotted the leopard with its kill. Soon our hopeless expression flipped and again the excitement pumped up our mood and for almost an half hour we had the leopard sight which hide itself behind bushes and gave us stern look. We ended our safari on this note and left the Rajaji, but we spotted a leopard which was a worth farewell for us.
“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks” – John Muir
Point well made by John. The picturesque landscape, majestic beauty of animal kingdom and the intense silence which will give humans an opportunity to forget the hustles of human world and witness what nature has to offer. It took us hours of patience to spot the treasure sight of animals. So if you seek a real wildlife experience, the key is the patience and certain code of conducts. These parks are sensitive zones in which behaving in a particular manner is important.
- Maintain silence when you spot animals.
- Maintain safe distance from animals.
- Don’t talk loudly as you may disturb them.
- Wear earthy color cloths.
- Be patience as it is a matter of chance.
- Don’t hunt animals, capture them in your camera and cherish the memories lifelong.
So, lose yourself into the enchanting experience of Rajaji National Park.