Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sariska- Bhangarh trip

PART- 1 (12th March,2011)

Near a dhaba in Gurgaon

The Wanderers(from left.. Manmohan, Sam, Bala, Paliwal,Babu,Dipesh, Amitabh)

It was time for our first Bike trip. This time around we decided to visit Sariska Tiger Reserve. At a modest distance of 220 km from Delhi it was perfect for our first bike adventure. 8 of us and 4 bikes. We started at 6am and decided to take the Delhi- Gurgaon- NH8- Dharuhera- Alwar- Sariska route. And off we were........ We stopped in between a few times for our meals, suttas and sip of water. We were enthralled by the beauty of the Aravallis which lined almost our entire route. Perfect metalled roads added to the fun and we reached Sariska at around 2 pm. Bikes and other personal conveyances are allowed to enter the reserve on tuesdays and saturdays. So we booked tickets and decided to explore the forest on our bikes. We were unaware of things to come.....

Inside the forest

Sariska has very rich variety of deer. We spotter Sambar, cheetal, antelopes, nilgai. And also peacocks everywhere. A visual delight. We were heading towards Pandupol,21 kms inside the forest to visit the Hanuman temple. But then midway the unexpected happened. One of the bikes had a flat tyre. There was no repair option inside the forest. Thanx to Bala's tool kit we could open the tyre and Babu and Bala took it outside the forest for repair. But the rest of us decided to wait near the bike until they returned. After sometime Sam and Dipesh heard roars from behind us. The rest of us laughed it off as the sound of a plane. With just 5 tigers over an area of 881 sq. km its an impossibility to have a tiger around in such open. We continued waiting

Then the rangers came and confronted us that it was risky to stay in the open and it was getting dark. We decided to load the bike on their van and take it to the check post. I and Paliwal decided to follow the van on our bikes... As soon as we crossed the Kalighati check post the van screeched to a halt on hearing the sambars giving out alarm calls. The rangers frantically started looking leftwards towards the bushes. And my oh my. It was the KING himself. Cold sweat on my forehead, goosebumps and heart in my mouth would be insufficient to explain that feeling. The black and yellow stripes visible through the tall grass, the graceful and audacious walk. Feeling scared to stay longer there we mounted our bikes and rushed back to the main check post.... It was unfortunate that only i and sam could have the sight and decided to take the gypsy safari again the next day. We lodged in a small motel nearby. Watched the India-SA match and
dozed off in anticipation of an even exciting day to follow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sariska- Bhangarh trip

PART-2 (13th March,2011)

We headed for the forest again to take the gypsy safari but since we were a little late, we decided to visit Bhangarh first and then take the safari in the evening. About Bhangarh it is said that it is a haunted place and the ASI has officially warned people to stay off this place before dawn and after dusk. Paranormal behaviour is noticed here during dark. There is an old 7 storey fort set amidst hills on 3 sides.It makes for a beauiful sight. We went around, took photographs and returned. The only paranormal thing was when we were asked not to laugh by the fort sweeper :P

The fort from a distance

Back we were to Sariska with the hope of spotting the tiger again. After moving around in the gypsy for some time we suddenly heard the deer giving out alarm calls. And we knew we were very close to spotting the tiger. We kept following the alarm call. It started coming from different parts of the hill. It meant the tiger was on the move. We kept following the sounds till we reached a narrow path. We noticed a few other gypsies in front of us. They had stopped at some distance and a lady was animatedly pointing towards our right. We all looked towards in that direction. At 10 feet distance stood a Tigress staring straight at us. And the bone chilling effect was back again. We were stuck with vehicles both in front and behind us. Our driver steered us towards a slope. From there we saw it move towards the hill top. The black and yellow stripes glistened brightly in the evening sun. The grace of the animal captivated all of us. We were so panick striken we couldnt click a single photograph of this beautiful animal. Cameras fumbled in our hands at its sight. But we were all happy and satisfied to have viewed this elusive spectacle.

We mounted our bikes and started our return journey. We made our way through the valleys, plains, trucks and traffic and back we were to our respective homes after a 10 hour ride. Out of all our trips so far this has been the most physically challenging and adventurous one. We enjoyed ever bit of it. Thanx to the group that was so enthusiastic about this all the way through.