Sunday, July 6, 2014

Kanha National Park

Day 6 Pench to Kanha 

Distance: 200 kms. 
Road Condition: Very good roads and we clocked 1000 kms of our MP journey.

Today, we drive to Kanha celebrating our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. It would have been ideal to pamper yourself with apparel from a high end store, expensive jewelry, and a candle light dinner at a star hotel. However, there are few things money can't buy like having breakfast in middle of nowhere with birds chirping around, langurs jumping on trees, a lake nearby and the love of your life beside you making this perfect day priceless.

Blissful Breakfast
The best part about road trips are the challenges and surprises thrown at you and how one improvises to find solutions.  After driving a few kilometers enjoying the pristine beauty of the jungle on either side, we were taken aback to see a huge tree fallen on the road due to a heavy storm the previous night. Reminding us, mere mortals that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. We took a detour via some fields to reach the other side of the road.

Challenge Accepted! 
Arriving at Kanha, we made this our home for the next 3 days and took 3 Safaris. The beautiful and huge Sal trees paint the jungle green. In the morning the park is cold in it's unique way and one has to experience it. National Parks across Madhya Pradesh are closed for evening safaris on Wednesdays. Nearest petrol pump is 25 km away. There is an ATM right opposite Khatia gate.

Colors Of Jungle
Go here not for the tigers but to catch a glimpse of the rare Barasingha. These endangered species can be found only in Kanha. Thanks to the conservation efforts their numbers have now reached to 450 from a mere 66.

Endangered Barasingha
Do not be hooked on to just spotting a tiger, the park is full of surprises, try and be appreciative of nature around you. You never know what the jungle has in store for you. We heard strong warning calls from Sambhar and spotted deer, which means only 1 thing- the predator is around the corner. The wait for the tiger was fruitful and we did catch a glimpse of the tiger walking down a hill and a tigress lazing around in the bushes to beat the scorching heat. As all jeeps were lined up awaiting the arrival of the tiger, from nowhere a spotted deer sprang up and sprinted towards the meadows.

Surprise Element
We were lucky enough to spot a confused peacock dancing and trying to impress a spotted deer. Other wildlife sightings included bison, vulture, endangered barasinghas, painted stork, racket tailed drongo.

Bewildered Peacock
Racket Tailed Drongo
Indian Bison
Unexpected showers during our second safari was a very unique experience. The air was clear, the park way too calm and silent without any alarm calls. As the safari was coming to our end, there was buzz around a waterhole - Alas! the royal bengal tiger relaxing in the waterhole. The shutterbugs went click, click, click.

King Of Kanha
As we headed towards the exit gate, we saw a deer raise an alarm call sensing danger from a harmless macaque. Since the deer is only used to seeing langurs, it wasn't sure if the macaque  was a friend or foe and hence raised the distress call.

Safari Expenses- Entry charges Rs.2000, Jeep Charges Rs.2000, Guide fee Rs.300. No charges for the camera. Note- Entry to zones other than Kanha are Rs.600 less expensive.

Checked into Wild Chalet Resort, spread across 9.5 acres. It is a Bird watcher's paradise. Top class hospitality service. The staff is enthusiastic and love to take care of their guests. They surprised us with a cake during dinner as it was our anniversary. Resort offers great food and their masala chai is a must try. The property overlooks a river and you can watch elephants taking a bath in the river. Add-on the lake attracts a lot of birds. One more great property from India Adventures. We chose a Non-AC, Air cooler room during summer and we did not regret it one bit.

Our Den
Other attractions- Nature walk across the river bed, where we saw a crow hunt a bee- eater and simultaneously the bee-eater hunt for an insect, both failed attempts. It was an amazing sight to see the bee-eater hunt when it's own life was at stake.

Egret hunting for food

You can also watch the sun set by the river. The view in the evening is amazing with three different shades in the sky- pink, orange and blue. Clouds partially covering the sun with thunder and lightening.

Sunset

Resort Staff, Ghanshyam took us to the nearby weekly market to experience the flavors of the village. He was kind enough to buy us desi daaru, Mahua Liquor that is made from the mahua flower available in abundance.

Villager Collecting Mahua Flowers
Taking fond memories we packed our bags and left for Bhedaghat

2 comments:

  1. Nice post and happy that you saw Tiger there :)

    and Happy Anniversary !!!

    ReplyDelete