KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild!

Tripoto

The north eastern part of India boasts of virgin mesmerising landscapes that is yet to be fully explored by many travellers. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya boasts of a wide range of innumerable natural treasures.

Photo of Kaziranga National Park, Kanchanjuri, Assam, India by Suresh Khapay

Of them, Assam is also the home of India’s rarest wild animals and birds which one can explore in the famous Kaziranga National Park ( for birds and wild animals) and Manas sanctuary which is the home for a wide variety of birds.

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

We visited the Kaziranga National Park in the month of January to experience in short ‘the call of the wild’. To reach the Kaziranga National Park we boarded a short flight from Kolkata ( largest city in the eastern part of the country) to Guwahati the starting point for most of the north eastern travel in the country. Kaziranga National Park is an eight hours drive from Guwahati. The journey is fantastic through picturesque hilly roads along the lovely villages of Assam and small forests on way to Kaziranga. Travelling all day we finally reached the national park at 9 pm. The jungle safari timings are from 7am to 11 am and again from 2 pm to 5 pm. We stayed at a jungle resort situated at of a distance around 10 minutes from the main starting safari point of the National park.

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

The next day we embarked on our first safari in an open jeep along with our guide and a driver at 6.30 am in the morning. The short journey from the resort till the national park was very pleasant and the fresh smell of nature uplifted our moods. The Kaziranga National Park covers an area of 440 sq km and has 16 gates. The park is world famous for her inhabitants like deers, one horned Indian rhinoceros, wild elephants, water buffalo and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Kaziranga is also home to about 200 variety of birds like the Indian Roller, Jungle Fowl, Fish tail eagle, White tail eagle, the King fisher, Pelicans, Indian owl and also migratory birds like the Siberian Cranes etc. Such a breathtaking variety of wild life . My excitement to meet them was growing every minute.

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

As we entered through the gate the never ending stretch of grassy landscape welcomed us and heightened our excitement as we drove along the narrow roads heading further into the forest. Just after the sunrise the whole forest was under a veil of fog that added to the mystery and serenity of the place. What a calm weather !!! Cool breeze was blowing and we were slowly getting immersed in the quietness of the forest. 

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

Suddenly a herd of deer crossed our path. Wow!!! Their graceful movement simply blew my mind away and it was as if they have not seen us at a ll. They just ran past our Jeep and gave us the most memorable welcome that we could ever imagine in the forest. Our naturalist was constantly helping us to spot birds or species that came on our way and next we spotted an Indian with owl duo at one of the branches of a big banyan tree. They looked amazingly cute together. We continued with our drive along the yellow earthen jungle path for few kilometres with our eyes constantly searching to spot any wild animal. Next we saw few Rhinoceros at a distance taking their morning bath at a shallow water body. My first Rhino experience and I could not resist myself clicking few pictures of them. Experiencing the wild first hand is an amazing feeling. I looked up and saw the beautiful line of trees that were giving us shade from the sun along our pathway. The jungle road had a tremendous appeal wth unexpected visitors at the next turn. I realised why people fall in love with the serene ambiance of the place. 

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

This was my first visit to any jungle and right on the first hour I was already a confirmed member of the Jungle lovers club. We also encountered many species of birds along our drive like the India Rollins, Pelicans, Wild duck, Jungle fowl etc. So beautiful! Wow.. I consider myself lucky meeting so many of them. Returning from the safari around afternoon a delicious lunch was awaiting us. Pure bliss and ultimate relaxation at the lap of mother nature.

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

The afternoon safari and the second day went more or less the same and we could only spot many more deers, elephants, and the rhinos. But no luck till now with the tiger. Our safari would be incomplete without meeting him. It’s a long cherished wish to see the wild cat in his own habitat. As per our naturalist our timing was not fully perfect for the tiger spotting as during the winter the grass length of the forest remains in full form and hence spotting the tiger among that was difficult and matter of sheer luck. Mostly the tigers remain hidden among the wilderness. So we just hoped that our luck favoured us.

On the third and last day of our safari we entered via the central gate of the park. Our naturalist got a message from his sources that there was a possibility of getting a glimpse of the tiger from the western watch tower in the central forest range. We were hoping that the possibility becomes a reality! Reaching the tower we quietly went to the view point. A few minutes passed in utter silence except once in a while chirping of a bird. Our hearts were beating fast.. And then from among the thick forest came out the most awaited resident of the forest. The great Royal Bengal Tiger.. Eureka!!! At last we had the perfect meeting with the VIP of the region. What a beauty …No wonder the name ‘Royal Bengal’. The confident and graceful presence of the tiger kept us in awe. The tiger came to the nearby pond to drink water, we were informed. We literally forgot to click any picture and continued watching the tiger mesmerised by the grandeur of his beauty lines. The tiger was there displaying his stature for about ten minutes before vanishing again amidst the grasslands. What a lovely and thrilling experience it was, couldn’t thank our luck more. It was the last day of our safari and we saw the tiger!! On that day we also witnessed the sight of an injured water buffalo which our naturalist said was injured after being attacked the tiger.

Photo of KAZIRANGA- Call Of The Wild! by Suresh Khapay

Kaziranga undoubtedly is one of those places which will always have a special place in our heart. What a cherishing experience it was. For all nature lovers its a must visit place. With a heavy heart we left for Shillong on the next day in the morning with a promise to come back again in future.

This post was originally published on Gargi Dutta's Blog.

Be the first one to comment