“Running, running incessantly at a fast pace as if a participant of a rat race. We are absorbed in the thoughts of worldly pursuits and hardly listen to what our heart says. We think that heart can wait, as of now only worldly pursuits is the bait. What about the dreams of the heart? Brush them aside, again they can wait, seems it is their fate. Stop for a second, think, of what use would be the treasure of this world if it makes us eternally numb to the matters of the heart?”
As usual I sat down to write a poem but to my surprise I ended up writing the above piece. I had nothing of this sort going on in my mind but may be there was something my heart wanted to convey. I am not a ‘worldly pursuits’ offender but I am more soft on the heart than on the mind. So after writing the above piece unintentionally, I realized that my heart desired something and I absolutely knew what it was- a break from the drudgery of daily life, a tour to a relaxing place.
Wildlife parks as a holiday destination have always been too high on my list. I decided to go to the Corbett National Park and fortunately my sister and her lovely kids joined me. We drove to the Park and were booked at the Wood Castle Resort which has been my favorite for years. Sprawling in acres of land, this resort is located on the banks of an ever flowing river. Amidst gorgeous greenery and peaceful environment we were enjoying life and nature.
Early morning we embarked on the jungle safari on the jeep. As we ventured into the forests I was overwhelmed with the colors and a distinct aroma of the park. I simply loved it as it was soothing to the senses. Corbett National Park is one of the most famous wildlife destinations of India. Covering an area of 520 sq km, the Park is located in the majestic Himalayan foothills in Uttaranchal. Established in the year 1936, the Park came under Project Tiger Scheme in 1973. The Park is famous for tigers, crocodiles and leopards. A variety of other wildlife including the bird species are also found here. The Park got its name from the renowned author and wildlife conservationist Jim Corbett who played an important role in establishing this park.
The first attraction of the Park we saw was a large herd of Spotted Deer. Among the herd we spotted a small baby deer. It looked very sweet and I was amazed at its activeness. It was jumping around playing and eating, unaware of our presence. As we moved further we were greeted with the sight of Himalayan Black bear, sambar and some peacocks. We even got a chance to see the peacock dancing. It was a sight to behold.
Majority of the vegetation of the Park consists of tall Sal trees peppered by many streams. Every now and then we could sight some or the other animal, especially the herbivores. But the kids were eagerly waiting for tiger. Our guide was scanning the surroundings with his eagle eyes and suddenly pointed towards a beautiful bird called green bee eater. It is a beautiful bird with bright green color. We also saw blossom headed parakeet, dragonflies and red jungle fowl.
As we drove deeper into the forest, trees gave way to the grassland. There we saw a herd of elephants and the star attraction of that herd was a small baby elephant. Kids were too excited to see the elephants. Then we stopped at Dhikala to gorge on some food as we had started early from the resort without breakfast. Dhikala is the best region of the park where the chances of sighting tigers and other animals are bright.
Then we continued our wildlife journey and saw wild boar, jungle cat and some more birds. Next we stopped at high banks to catch the sight of gharials lazing in the sun. We captured them in our camera. As we neared the end of our journey the kids asked me about the tiger. I smilingly said we had a bad luck on the tiger front but we must feel good that we had the opportunity to see so many different wildlife species. They smiled and said “ok, better luck next time”. This was the end of our morning safari. We left for the resort with a hope to sight a tiger in the evening safari.