Feb 2, 2011

Jim Corbett National Park - A Perfect Date with Nature!

Coming down the hill from Didihat to Ramnagar was easy this time, thanks to the timely advice from my friend and proper precautions against mountain sickness. The nearest staying option we could find was KMVN guest house in Ramnagar, which was well maintained and had good room service with all the basic amenities.

We were among the few privileged lucky travelers to Jim Corbett National Park or CNP who got the most coveted Jungle rest house Dhikala. After confirming the booking in Ramnagar and a night stay at KMVN guest house we hired an open Gypsy with a driver for 2 nights and 3 days. You need to show your bargaining prowess here to fix a good rate. And Rs. 2000/ for a day was not bad according to other co travelers.

It took about 25 minutes to reach to the main entrance of CNP gate. After completing the formalities we were provided with a few jute bags to carry during our safari. We rented out 2 binoculars from shop next to the main gate.

Dhikala rest house: Journey towards Dhikala itself is like a small safari with loads of herbivores grazing all over the place. The lush green thick forest, canopy of conifers and fragrant wild flowers transformed us to a different plane.
Dhikala is well protected with electric fences and is the only jungle guest house abuzz with human activities. It has accommodation in the form of cottages, huts and dormitories. Cottages being the premium and most comfortable of all.
After checking in at the reception counter we were taken to our cottage on the first floor just above the reception.
The rooms are quite spacious and with electricity! The most precious commodity in CNP.

This is the only spot where you are allowed to step down from your vehicle and watch the river and the crocodiles in the natural surroundings.

Kids were amazed to see huge crocs speedily crossing the river, and found it surprising that they can swim and move too :) Most will be sleeping like logs all day long in the crocodile park we have visited in our city.

Morning safari: After a good night sleep a knock at 5 am woke us up. A regular wake up call by the staff of Dhkala with a pot of tea. Life is bliss...hot cuppa without  going to the kitchen! By 6.20am we were ready with water bottles, camera and binoculars for our morning safari. The gate opens at 6.30 am for 2 hours in the morning.
If you are a nature lover than CNP is the place for you. Our most exciting and a little scary moment was a close encounter with the Tuskers.

The first incidence occurred when all of a sudden our driver slowed down the jeep and asked us not to stand. We could not make out the reason as there were no animals in the vicinity, but were soon breathless when a large group of elephants rolled down the mountain and stopped in front of us. We were dumb struck and sweating in the chilly morning!

The elephants just starred at us and went down the hill near the water hole.

The water hole where all the animals come down for water.

A wild Chase: When I started panning about our CNP trip 3 months in advance many friends laughed away the idea of going to a jungle and watching animals when we can do the same at the Zoo also. For them spending a good fortune and looking out for just deer, rabbits and a few rodents was a waste of time and money.
But after our 3 wonderful jungle safaris, given a choice I would love to visit a sanctuary again any day to any other tourist place.
Evening safari started at 5 pm and was quite pleasant, till we came to a point where we saw a couple of safari vehicles standing. It was next to a large grassland area. And we could see a herd of elephants with 4-5 big tuskers.

Our driver also stopped the jeep and asked us to take pictures, after a couple of shots we saw the herd go berserk and started chasing the first jeep in front of us.
During such incidences of wild chase the experienced drivers come handy. Normally they will reverse the vehicle and drive fast in the opposite direction. But in our case there were 2 other vehicles standing behind us already and he couldn’t do that.
The driver in front of us shouted and asked our driver to accelerate and follow him. He did the same and we crossed the wild animals with just a few feet away. The picture shows the Tuskers chasing us.
The other travelers were caught and started honking their vehicle till the elephants got scared and turned back.
We stopped our vehicle a little further and watched the animals in action again.
Another thrilling moment of our evening Safari!

A Peaceful afternoon at the Machan: Morning Safari closes at 9.30 am in the morning and we had lots of time in hand. Our driver suggested we spent the time at the machan. And it surely was a good decision. We could watch various activities of animals for longer time. It was a stark difference between the noisy city life and a quite surrounding of the wild.  Barring a few monkeys who were hopping inside the machan for the crispies and cookies that kids were eating.

You need to book for the elephant safari the previous night. I forgot to take my charger for the Uttaranchal trip and had to make do with the mobile photos.

An altogether different experience sitting at the back of this majestic animals and rambling in the wild.

I am there again soon to luxuriate in the simple yet sublime pleasures of nature & wild.

Check out these sites for more help on Corbett Bookings and other details;

The other articles about the Uttaranchal trips can be seen here;
Uttaranchal II - A Road less Traveled
Uttaranchal I - A Road less Traveled

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  1. Woww beautiful clicks, thanks for this virtual tour Sanjeeta..

  2. Wow! Is this in India? Must be a great and fun place to visit.

  3. Nice trip,ur are lucky indeed to have visited this place.Its not everyday that one gets to stay here.

  4. lovely clicks and looks like u had fun !

  5. This sounds like a wonderful holiday.

  6. Thanks for bringing the clicks to our eyes,loved the post!

  7. Awesome clicks...a great way to enjoy!!

  8. Awesome post..and super clicks!!!


  9. First time here i guess. u have a lovely space.missed these days. I've seen u in chennai bloggers meet pics. Bookmarked ur previous post. this write up is also interesting. Captivating pics :)

  10. place looks awesome.. good post.. :) happy V' day

  11. Wow...very interesting ...enjoyed the beautiful clicks...no doubt u had a fantastic trip..:D
    Tasty appetite

  12. Sanjeeta- Thanks for sharing your lovely adventure in the beautiful National Park. Lovely photos!