Thursday, June 7, 2007

..devoid of their king..

I would like to recount the visits to Jim Corbett (known for tigers) and Gir Forests (known for lions) since both were equally remarkable.

Jim Corbett

It was my idea to go for a safari at Jim Corbett. Gyanu was working in Kashipur. Ramnagar, the gate town to Jim Corbett, was an hour journey from his place. It was the month of December. Chu, Aman, Dabas and myself started from IIT Hostel for the Old Delhi railway station. We boarded the Jim Corbett Express, although without reservation. When we reached Kashipur at 4.30 am, some of our body parts were numb with cold. We moved to Gyanu's house like five ghosts of the dawn.

Gyanu's was a modest accommodation. We had Maggi for our breakfast. At 8 am we started for Ramnagar. Gyanu informed us that the cine-crazy public of Kashipur rejected Veer-Zara in a week while movies like Sexy 16, Reshma ki Jawani and Ganga Bai were enjoying silver and golden jubilee there.

Ramnagar is at the foothills of the large forest of which, Jim Corbett is a part. We booked a Safari and filled it with ample food and drinks. However, when we reached the forest gates, we were informed that the time for entry is over. Our safari-man told us that he knows another way which goes all the way from the other side of the forest. We had no other option and hence followed his suggestion.

Five friends, a sunny winter day, a safari and prospect of watching a free tiger are enough conditions for an out-and-out gossip. That was all we did because after scavenging the forests for hours, all we could find were deers and elephants.

Gir Forests

It was the last stage of what I remember as a perfect journey. Day before we were in Diu. Manoj, Vandana, Thakur, Pats, Naveen, Su and me. The isolated and calm island of Diu, forces you to feel that you own this world. Its a remarkable blend of old Portugese architecture and modern India. The next day we went to Somnath Temples, one of the twelve jyotirlingas, and enjoyed the huge waves of Veraval coast.

Sasan Gir was a two-and-half hour journey by bus from here. After reaching Sasan, we took a safari and moved inside the jungle. En route, we heard that a family of lions have just moved ahead and we tried to follow their trail. It was a waste of time. After searching the forests for 3 hours we were completely exhausted. So we settled down for the flora of Gir.

We had to come back to Veraval before 8 as we had already booked tickets for Ahmedabad by a sleeping coach. So we left Sasan at 5.30 by a local bus. We had our dinner at one of the stops and were fortunate enough to reach the city of Veraval on time.

I call this as a perfect journey because we started for Diu on Friday night and reached back to Ahmedabad on Monday morning. Every thing fell to its place on its own and hence we managed to have a perfect weekend.

No comments: