I been to few National Parks/Tiger Reserves but never spotted a Tiger and this is a bit sad feeling. Some of my friends been to Jim Corbett and they suggested that the chances of spotting the Tiger there are quite high. So, I planned to travel with one of my distant (Ha ha…. because she was known to one of my friends and traveled with me earlier) friend as she looking to travel anywhere 😛
Driving is a most preferred way to travel to Jim Corbett. Everyone I know traveled by road. Since we were two females, so I decided to travel by train instead of hiring a cab for 3 reasons 1.) we were two women and were not sure about security aspect 2.) Cost factor 3.) To save time.
I booked the train which was departing from Delhi at 10.30 PM and reaching Ram Nagar at 5.30 AM and return by train leaving from Ram Nagar at 10.00 PM & reaching Delhi at 4.30 AM. So both ways we traveled overnight and we got 2 full days to spend in Jim Corbett.
Our train started 1.5 hours late but we reached Ram Nagar railway station only 45 minutes late, it was good for us because it was day light. Our resort was only 5 km from the station, so we took autorickshaw (Tuk-tuk) and reached by 7.00 AM. Our room was not available at that time so, they gave us a tent for freshening up.
Our resort was situated in the middle of wheat fields and very quite and peaceful with river some 600-700 Meters away.
We had breakfast and took the hotel auto for the city. Normally I book the safari’s online but this time as per advice of some friends who been to Jim Corbett, I didn’t book the safari in advance. We reached the booking office and came to know that the server of booking office is not working. While I was checking with a counter for the possibility of booking, 2-3 agents (Rather should call them touts) approached my friend and offered to book jeep if we pay 300 Rs extra. The whole scenario was very frustrating for me, any how my friend took the number of one guy to call him back and came to the small market area. I spotted an internet cafe and decided to check for the availability of Jeep and we easily got booking online. The internet connection was working fine in a small cafe. This made me realised that counter people had some kind of understanding with touts and they make money from people who wanted to book on the spot. These things are disappointing and we loose trust on people.
We roamed around in the market for some time and came back to resort for lunch & rest as we had booked afternoon safari. I am not going into the details of different zones in national park because for those details are better discovered on wiki :-p
Finally, we left our resort at 3.00 PM and on the way we seen trees with big beehives. Trees of Rohini with small fruits, which according to our driver is one of the favorite fruit of Elephants and red powder on fruits is used as sindoor after drying.
Elephants are also used for safari inside the park.
When we were entering the forest gate, I crossed my fingers for Tiger spotting and our Jeep enters the forest area. We drove from one part to another for some 1 & 1/2 hour with no luck… No tiger in sight. Though we have seen some spotted deer, chetal, sambhar etc and few birds…. Finally, they took us to the forest guest room area in the middle of the forest for a snack break.
It was a small building in the middle of the jungle with electric wire around its compound for safety from wild animals, the guide told us that they electrify at night. We had some coffee there and rested for 1/2 hour.
Again our driver started moving in different part of the jungle…. again no Tiger 🙁 we spotted some wild elephants. Finally, as the sun was setting we moved out of the jungle and returned to our resort.
Post Script –
I been to 4 tiger reserves and done multiple safaris in some but never spotted Tiger 🙁
Every time I noticed that few hundred meters into jungle and guide start showing pug marks….. Then when we are in middle of the jungle and some animal cries or make some sound they build up the atmosphere as the Tiger is somewhere near, they move jeep front – back – left – right but that hidden Tiger never comes out 😀 …. Ha ha I guess Tigers are scared of me…. LOL