Yes, last weekend I was at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo National Park.
The best way to reach sanctuary is through railway. I reached here after celebrating my valentine at Kota, Rajasthan. I reached here at an odd time, 3:30 am, as I had boarded a late night train at 11:45pm from Kota, called Mewar express. I got a brief sleep, all thanks to the chatty passengers who stayed up till 12:45am (which is pretty insane according to me) to douse the light inside coach.
I was lucky, I got a tea stall open on platform no. 1, even at such early hours in day. Later I visited a pay toilet to freshen up. And then I waited till it was 7am; the dawn lit the sky. Well, technically, I didn’t waited, I was charging my phone (and playing games) from a charging port outside section-engineer’s office 😉
How to Get there?
After alighting at Bharatpur, you may spend 100 bucks to reach the sanctuary, or may reach there within 10 bucks. I took a share auto till “Bijli Ghar” (Electricity House) and yes you have to pronounce that well, for the sake of five bucks 😛 Then from Bijli ghar, you can get another auto to “Saras Chowk” (Saras Intersection) spending another five bucks. Later, from Saras chowk, you can walk another five minutes to the entry gate, and then you will reach at the gate of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
The entry ticket is 25 bucks, however, you can opt for a bike by paying another 40 bucks. Make sure you have a 5 bucks change, else consider it as spent :p It’s good to have a binocular by your side. Otherwise you can opt from many of cycle-autos (man-driven cycles with seats for travellers to rest on) for 100 bucks. The rider himself would be your authentic and reliable guide (and yes, they guide beautifully) and most have binoculars that you may use.
Where to Go?
It’s a big lake and even bigger a sanctuary. Follow the straight road, which is very very long…and you can find sight-seeing spots / benches by the lake from where you can click pictures or make observation of the birds. One thing let me tell you straight. This is probably the only sanctuary, which will never disappoint you, and reward you at a surprising ease, as you get involved with plethora of bird species that fills the park, often in flocks. After reaching the curve-end of road, you can find a canteen, where you can have a cup of tea / cold drinks or packaged foods like chips, biscuits etc., Well, I took a right-turn before the canteen and I was pleasantly surprised with this –
I was lucky to find a bird-watch tower (that too without barb-wires!) Well, the view from there, was pretty touchy..
Hell yeah, I was able see so many bird species, as I was with my Binoculars. I could see every inch of land resolve into bird feathers..and the best part was..that I could actually see and feel the birds making the flight! At my height, the whole world was a bird-world..and I felt like I was actually flying up there with them..
[ Caution: Please donot attempt to climb a watch tower if its barbed with wires..it’s risky, 1. you may fall down and die 2. you may get caught and be fined. 3. Both ] Okay, now comes the interesting part –
I encoutered Jackal at few feets away from me..now, you may be knowing that Jackal is a carnivorous animal, something similar to wolf but definately not a werewolf. The jackals are shy species, you try to approach them, they will run. Don’t mistake them for dogs, or go near them luring some food..otherwise you may buy a greater risk for you…Jackals are extremely clever and are not as cute-minded as Dogs. Plus, they do not wag their tails 😛
Okay, now let’s make it more interesting. You may not believe, but this actually happened..while this jackal was resting, a male spotted deer (chittal) popped-in from behind me..carrying his huge horns.
I got myself into a dilemma – whether to look in front or guard my back ! 😮 Luckily they stayed longer than I thought, allowing me to study them with binoculars in detail, as well as get these pictures for you.. 😀
What made me Piss?
When they went away, I started with my trail..now a little more about these trails here..Firstly, I DONOT KNOW WHY THEY CALL IT TRAIL! Yes, it kind of pissed me badly, as I ventured into python trail hoping to see a loop-ending..but I cycled for almost more than an Hour and I was disappointed to learn that the only road that could take me back, is the same way I had came so far..and I was like – WTF 😮
So, even though these people call it trails, please please donot go inside more than how much you want to spend time returning back..otherwise you may feel bad missing out other trails (which are same, loopless never ending tracks)
Okay, now that I have spoken a little harsh about these trails, I must also mention, that these trails (route, yes I am now going to stop using the word trail and replace them with One-way-routes) so these one-way-routes are awesomely maintained, and can be travelled using a cycle (provided you don’t go over a thorny-twig inviting a puncture :-p )
Okay, I was lucky so far with the Python trail, as my bike suffered no puncture, else I had to walk back the entire one-and-a-half-hour route with my 5km/hour pathetic walking speed..costing me my whole day till I had reached the entry gate. Thank God this never happened!
Okay, a little more about my smartness (stupidity, to be precise) I took my bike inside the forest shrubs, while I was following a horn-less Sambhar deer (Pretty big girl, I scared her so much that she never appeared back) I went with my bike inside the foot-made routes (these are generally made by animals due to their daily-walks, basically this is a pathway which has no grass-growth)
Okay, so I went inside, inside and more inside through the zig-zag-zig way, sometimes turning right, sometimes turning left, sometimes turning no-where… And then, I heard a movement, so I (literally) parked the bike at X place (see my smartness) and went into the thicker thorny-shrubs (inside, inside and inside)..and then the F*** happened, All of a sudden, I (thankfully) realized that I was LOST!!!
Sweat trimmed down my whole body, as every direction I tried looking looked the same..everywhere shrubs..no rocks, no water, no Big trees or markings. So, technically, I was at X place in a jungle with my bike at Y place with no network in my phone..absolutely DEAD
Okay, this is what I did to escape alive. I made pee on the shadow portion of a shrub (as such the pressure was mounting, because of the near-death scary situation, so I relieved, but with a little wit) Okay, so now I had marked my shrub. It means, that now I know “atleast” one shrub which looks not like rest..TADA!
Now, I started making attempts at finding my cycle…I travelled in one direction, found nothing, returned back at the shrub where I had pee. Then again start in another direction (through those painful thorns) spotted some deer-dung and came back again…I continued like this, till in my 12th attempt when I discovered my cycle, all by a surprise…and I shouted a loud cry “H***! S***! you found me” (as if the cycle was waiting there to hug me back, lol) Okay, the rest was easy, I knew the route back as I kept myself on the trail with my cycle.. (It’s interesting to note, that it is lot easier to remember routes when you are on a bike than when you are walking!)
[ Caution: Never ever, for the love of God, venture out in a jungle…you can not imagine, what puzzle you are getting into..and if God forbidden you have, then please make use of your brains without losing your balls ]