If you are a passionate traveller, your travels are incomplete without a Safari tour or a national park/wildlife sanctuary journey.
And for a Delhiite, the nearest protected reserve is Jim Corbett – a mere 6 hour journey from the national capital.
Day 0: Since bus journeys are mostly uncomfortable, we opted for Indian Railways this time. Ranikhet Express presents an overnight journey from Delhi to Ramnagar. But it reaches Ramnagar at 4:50 am so better to arrange the pick and drop services from the hotel/resort.
Day 1: Our train reached at the designated time and the staff at our stay in resort Corbett Woods had already sent cabs for pick up at the Ramnagar Railway Station. The fresh morning breeze was soothing and prepared us for a relaxing journey ahead.
The resort has Swiss tents and cottages alike and the facilities provided are top notch. Our morning tea and cookies, the myriad items in the breakfast and the morning dip in the swimming pool were the best welcome kit that we had been offered.
The only downside of the day was bed bugs on our beds. We got the room changed but unhygienic tents are totally unacceptable.
After stuffing ourselves with the lip smacking lunch and resting for a while, we took an open jeep tour to Girijiya temple near the banks of the Kosi river.
The waters of Bihar’s sorrow are extremely clean and many of my companions took a dip or two in the river. The scenery is delightfully wonderful.
Day 2: The second day began early at 4:30am as the time was finally here for the Jim Corbett Safari tour. Our resort had already arranged the permits for us and it is required to carry your ID proofs (no PAN cards) as the forest officials keep a vigilant check at the entrance gates. A guide will also accompany the tourists.
Do not buy the rumours that Jim Corbett is overrated. Trust me, it is not! The tall Savannah grass hiding the herd of elephants, the numerous family of peacocks & peahens and grey Francolins on the road and the myriad groups of deer families galloping in the dense forests and grasslands are the sights to behold. The sounds of the not-so-naughty wild rhesus macaques which are pretty sophisticated compared to their mischievous city counterparts & langurs will alarm you once in a while.
And do not forget to marvel at the beautiful nests of the weaver birds.
We did not spot a tiger or a leopard but the pug marks were there.
The usual wine & dine routine went after we were finished with our Safari.
We also took a tempo facilitated journey to the Souvenir shops in Ramnagar.
Our returning train Ranikhet Express was scheduled at 8pm from the Ramnagar Railway station and it reached Delhi Cantt at 5:30am.
This journey has instilled in me a resolve to take more Safari and wildlife sanctuary tours and revel in the sound of the forest.