Last year when PJ was talkin to Rajesh about their pending trip to a wildlife park, I jumped in as usual and said that I would be interested too. But I wasn't very sure then, if I could ever make it to one. It was more of a dream to me. This year when PJ put in all his efforts to convince everyone to chip in and make this trip a reality, I was more than happy to help him out. I used to be so excited about the trip and longed for it to get nearer. Finally the day arrived, the train journey to Katni was more of a fight with the unreserved passengers than a jaunt. NikDee's idlis, Kala's thepla and mere curd rice kept us all filled up and saved us from the junk food sold in the train.
Once we reached Katni, Mogli Resort manager had sent us a Tavera to get us to Bandhavgarh. I so wish the a/c in the jeep was more powerful. We couldn't wait to get to the resort. The heat was unbearable. Once at our terminus, I was with my ambhar sharing a neat cottage ;) cleaned up, had our déjeuner and jumped in the gypsies for our very first safari. My migraine started acting up, but I ignored it. The route and the woods mesmerized us as soon as we entered the gate. Our guide Kunwar Singh shared stories and facts about the jungle. As soon as it was 5 PM we saw B2 tigers 2 sons climb down the terrain and prey on a baby vulture. All the guides said it was a rare sight and we were more than glad to watch it hunt. What a sight! A sudden spate of joy built up in me :) I was gladdened seeing them so close the very first day. The jeeps roared back to the gate before it was 6:45 PM deadline -- all smiles :)
Once back to the resort, we dined, checked each others snaps & reposed for the day. Had to get up early for the morning safari. The alarm went off at 4:30 AM...I have never woken up so early apart for our South Indian marriages :p the morning safaris were more pleasant (sans the heat) We saw the same set of stripes today as well after a much awaited session. Meanwhile we also spotted the rest of the jungle family --> deers, elephants, langurs and different species of birds as well. The trails and the ratting calls kept us bewitched in the timber.
Safari # 3 was a bit disappointing as we couldn't get close to any panthera or the B2, who only glanced at us for a split minute. However, we were delighted (initially jealous :p) to hear that Pramika, Kala n Rahul (a wiretapping duh who shared a safari with us) saw B2 up-close n nigh. Thanks to Ram the super quick driver/guide. What an experience even looking at the pics n videos. Pure WOWY! Later, the night at the resort was fun with games and TP stuff.
Last day we checked out of 2 rooms, post safari # 4 and shifted our baggages to room 3. Last safari was uneventful ;( left for Katni after an early dinner and were dead tired by the time we boarded the tardy train. Thank god it was an a/c compartment. Journey was smooth and we kept on hogging thru out :p played a few games and reached Bombay (Kalyan) on time at 7:15 PM. Met Kala's hospitable uncle and aunt and then dined at Mahalakshmi. We nearly missed our Pune train as the coach numbers were mismatched at the platform and we had to take to the woods ;) hehe....Reached Pune before time around 12 and since there was a strike by the rickshaw drivers, family had to come to the rescue. Reached home after we reached our goal :) A trip that I'll never forget -- Adios for now.
PS: More info can be found at http://www.bandhavgarh.net/. For accommodation contact http://mogliresorts.com/