We decided that this year will be devoted to visiting National parks. We have already visited Sunderban and now its Bandavgarh and next on the list would be Ranthambore, Corbett or Kanha...let's see...
Reached Katni early in the morning.
Meso with his friends had come a night before to Katni. He took us to the hotel they were staying at. We got fresh there had tea and started our journey...yes it was a journey, Meso told us that it'll take around 6-7 hrs to reach Bandhavgarh. The way seemed to be ok. I mean the view was good, road were also not that bad and company...well If I am there, company has to be good. ;) The only bad thing about the journey was that we did not eat anything on the way. Starved till we reached Bandhavgarh.
On the way itself we sighted some Deers, a Peacock and Monkeys.
Now we had to look for a decent place to stay. We had not made any reservations in advance as usual :). It seems even Meso knows us, he had arranged for the trip and decided to get lodging on the spot :) We managed to get a decent place called Kumkum Hotel. Not very fancy or luxurious.
For those who plan to go to Bandavgarh and want to stay in luxury, there are quite many options. They have Mahua kothi, that'll cost around Rs50,000 per person inclusive all the luxuries one can look for.
We ordered our food, and got fresh. It was already 4pm by the time we were through with all this. The safari was at 4.30pm. So immediately after having food, can't call it Breakfast not even Lunch, we started for Safari. After completing the formalities at the gate we started. We were accompanied by a driver and a guide.
Calm, quiet, natural, away from all noises of cities.... If you want to be with true nature, visit Bandhavgarh, MP tourism have not paid me any thing to advertise for it, its my experience speaking ;) There were more than 20 jeeps on safari. They said its more crowded than the usual days. All jeeps went their own ways. There are no fixed routes in the evenings, unlike morning safari when routes are assigned to vehicles.
The first animal we saw was Cheetal. Then Sambar, Langur, wild Boar...
But we are in a look out for the King of the Jungle, The Tiger. The driver was following some foot steps.
They informed us that Tiger had been seen in the morning, so the chances to find him now are quite bright. The driver, more of a guide, showed us some marks on the tree trunk. These were the marks of Tiger's paws, that Tigers use to demarcate His boundary. The search for The King went on till around 6 in the evening., when we saw some strange kind of excitement in everyone. First we could not gather what's happening. All the drivers and guides were giving signals to each other. Then the Driver cum guide, actual guide was quite shy to share his knowledge, told us that someone has sighted a tiger and that now all are going to that place....
There were so many people waiting to see The king of the Jungle. We got to know that He was siting behind one of the lots of bamboo trees there. There was only one track and so many jeeps wanted to stop at the place from where that particular tree is visible. It was strange - so many people - Rich, not so rich; Indians, non-Indians; people of all ages...all waiting to have a glimpse of the Royal Bengal Tiger, thats what makes Him a King, I believe :). Finally the King decided to change his position. He got up, crossed the road and went to the other side of the track, and sat behind below some other tree, without paying any attention to so many curious eyes on Him. He was so MAGESTIC.
Great going, we decided to come on the morning safari as well...
Fresh chilling air, nature's aroma, animals in their natural habitat...all this felt like a Fairy land. It was an 'Out of the World' experience. Away from all affectation of city life.
We went by the track mentioned and then gathered at one place, where we had tea and pakoras, that felt like heaven in chilly morning, empty stomach, and interacted with other people visiting the place...
We had to start a long journey now to Meso's place, another 8 hrs in Maruti Van, where mausi was waiting for us.
Thanks Meso for your wonderful company and the arrangements you did for us...
It was an amazing trip!!!
Already finalized the plan in March to revisit the place. This time with more time in hand and with larger group :)