Basusdha’s Family Trip to Bandhavgarh National Park will invoke the Adventurous Zeal Within You
Bangalore is my abode for past 8 years now. Being a resident of Bangalore, a short trip to wildlife is frequent. Bandipur, Kabini, Masinagudi, Nagarhole has always been a probable destination with a dwindling hope of tiger-sighting. Though the trail of safari’s used to start with great enthusiasm, as it progresses the zeal to sight a tiger used to turn into disappointment. We had another family who will venture with almost all the trips.
So the planning started in October 2017 for a trip to Bandhavgarh National Park in the month of May 2018. Not sighting a tiger in the month of May is next to impossible in Bandhavgarh and then we were up for it. As we were traveling with kids we had apprehensions about the hot weather. But we were determined and continued planning and booking our itineraries.
Our journey started on 30th April. We boarded a flight from Bangalore to Delhi and in the evening we had a train from Hazrat Nizamuddin booking up to Umaria. The train started around 5.20 p.m in the evening.
The train was very much on time and we reached Umaria next day morning around 7.15 a.m.
Umaria to Tala is 30 km and traveling time is 1 hr. May 1st, we reached Umaria and decided to spend the day at leisure. May 2nd the time of thrills starts. We were up in the morning by 4 a.m and by 4.30 we were ready to leave the resort for Safari. The Tala gate opens at 5 a.m, but before that, all the vehicles need to present the permit and the identity documents to the forest authorities which takes approx 10-15 minutes. You can easily spot queue of jeeps lined up for the permits. A guide is allocated for every jeep and that’s a rule. So per jeep 6 people can be accommodated.
And here we go! As we entered the Tala Zone our eyes were hunting for the Royal Beast everywhere around. Morning safaris usually take 5 ½ hours to complete, so we were quite hopeful about the sighting. The landscape was quite different from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala forest areas.
But we were not lucky enough that day. Though we spotted a tiger, the sighting was not very clear. The jeep waited there for 1 to 2 hours and left without any gain. So the quench of thirst of sighting a tiger was not met. Here the drivers are so experienced that they can predict the sighting of the day. And he indicated that good sighting won’t be possible for the day. We headed towards center point for snacks. FYI:- Every jeep has to report once at the center point during the safaris. We didn’t book the evening safaris for that day.
Day 2: May 3rd after a not so successful sighting, we were a little low on enthusiasm. Like the first day we started our safari and after a one hour drive, our driver spotted fresh tiger pugs and blindly started following them. Seeing our driver other jeep started following us too. And the moment comes where I can see with my bare eyes the pride of our country – The Royal Bengal Tiger. I got quite emotional a sudden sense of satisfaction started settling inside me.
The thrill doesn’t end there as Tiger made her way to the jungle. Our jeep too followed the tiger and waited at a place where we all expected the tiger to cross. And yet again our eyes were blessed with the enchanted sighting.
And the constant camera click sounds had enveloped the atmosphere. It seemed like they won’t miss a single opportunity to click. In the above picture, the Tiger is marking its territory.
We were more than happy as if a lifetime desire has been fulfilled. During the evening safari, we visited an important tourist destination in Bandhavgarh – Shesh Saiya an old sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a sleeping position.
It took me to the historical age and enjoyed every bit of it. The evening we again had a sighting of the Tiger but it was short. I had no complains as I was a peaceful soul. And after such a soulful period our departure day arrived. May 4th we headed towards Katni Jn to catch a Train to Hazrat Nizamuddin which is around 100kms from Tala. We approximately took 2-3 hours to reach the station.