River Kosi - Jim Corbett National Park

Tiger Camp on the outskirts of Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, reverberated with our laughter.

Our group of 60 got ready for a walk to the banks of river Kosi...

We picked up tidbits of jungle wisdom from our guides. A blend of greens everywhere was a relaxing sight.

Not familiar with a lot of vegetation here; there was much information to gather.

Bird watching at Jim Corbett National Park

Each tree and plant we came across was unique. Quite suddenly, the vegetation seemed to make way for boulders, fine sand and the music of the river sounded over our jolly cacaphony.

The morning sun soon grew stronger and added a dazzle effect to the sand and water. The soft sand and smooth pebbles left our soles tingling. This pebbly expanse was under water during the monsoons, the guide enlightened. We were actually walking on the dry river bed.

Except that we were on holiday, while this was the life they lived everyday

This was October now. The Kosi hurried, deep green and white, and with a rhythm that touched the core of our hearts. Lapping against bull-headed boulders and foaming vigorously but rushing past, forgiving all that obstructed its way. After the initial squeals of delight there was silence in the air.

We were absorbed in the sheer beauty of nature. The moment we touched the river side, some of us glided in. Some, unfortunately slipped and reached the inviting waters a bit earlier than expected. Soon there was a buzz all around. We were energised by the icy waters. We held hands and tried to wade across, but the currents were swift.

Sooner or later, all of us slipped for an unwarranted dip in the liquid refresher. Splashing left, right and centre, we enjoyed...

Across the river, stood green hills. Clouds caressed the trees there.

Shortly, we realized we had interesting company. A flock of chirpy birds was busy river-diving! They dived in the shallow river bank, popped up, chirruped full throated, flapped and flew up to nearby boulders. Then, with deft strokes of their beaks they combed their feathers.  Taking turns they repeated the grooming regimen several times. Once out of the water, they breathed deeply, with chests out and tails pointing upwards.

They seemed to be enjoying as much as us. Except that we were on holiday, while this was the life they lived everyday, unless they were migratory birds.

As we settled down in twos and threes along the riverbank, some with toes in the water; we found small fish, glistening striped black and silver nimphets.

The sun, sand, pebbles, swift waters, birds and now the fish only added to our sense of peace. Nothing of manmade pleasures could compete with nature's own paradise here.

Himalaya Series

Swati Sharma
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