Weekend at Jim Corbett National Park
Lecturer Roli Rai and son Pranav thought it a wise idea to take off to Ramnagar in the Kumaon hills for a breath of fresh air. A weekend with nature at Jim Corbett National Park was all that the duo needed to relax.
Face to face with actress Lara Dutta
An overnight train to Lal Kua found us admiring the green view in the rich Terai area around Kiccha. Wild flowers and several birds got us all excited. But the best was yet to come in the real jungle itself. Another hour’s drive took us to a resort in the buffer zone of the forest area in Dhikuli village.
River Kosi flowed behind this resort. In fact, all resorts were on the same side of the road. The jungle sprawled along the other side of the road.
We came to know that a film crew was staying and shooting at a neighbouring resort. And just when Lara Dutta was returning from nearby Garjia Devi temple, and we were caught in a traffic jam bang opposite her black Scorpio!
Right in the middle of river Kosi, stood a tall pillar like mount with Garjia Devi in a tiny temple on its top!
Temple on a river island: Garjia Devi
We found Garjia Devi temple to be located in a quite wondrous place! Right in the middle of river Kosi, stood a tall pillar like mount with Garjia Devi in a tiny temple on its top.
Since it was Navratri, we had to wait for a very long time in a queue before our turn came. Nonetheless, the wait was pleasant, as we observed the merry conglomeration of people who had come from as far as Nainital to pay homage here. The icy crystal waters of the river, famed for its fresh-water trout, and the numerous stalls around the banks found us happily absorbed.
A walk back to the resort under the cool shadow of flowering Sal trees, found us ready for a hearty lunch. The resort had made a naturalist available to sensitize guest about jungle etiquette. A wildlife film in the evening, along with dinner around the bonfire with jungle anecdotes doing the rounds had us looking forward to the jungle safari next morning.
Ready for a jungle safari
Early in the morning, we were ushered into a waiting jeep. It seated six tourists, including us. We ventured into the forest up to Bijrani, where we could feed an almost tame deer. The king of the jungle himself was elusive, but we did come across his pug marks and territory markings near a water-hole.
The jungle air was fragrant because of the foliage. When we stopped the jeep’s engine to wait for the tiger, the forest guide showed us a pair of owlets, a bee-eater, and butterflies, that we were otherwise oblivious to. We also delighted in spotting many peahens and peacocks near a stream. And of course we saw many spotted deer.
On our way back to the railway station, we stopped at Kala Dungi to visit Jim Corbett’s winter home which is now an interesting museum. We were delighted in particular to see a picture of Jim’s pet dog Robin.