Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kabini Trip

Trekking into the jungles of Nagerhole (Kabini Trip)

Date: 14/05/05 - 15/05/05

This is about my expedition into the jungles of Nagerhole. The journey
itself to this place called Kabini Jungle Resorts was an experience. We hired
a Qualis and an Indica for this. Started at around 7.30 am from hotel Kanishka,
Bangalore. (The previous day we all had descended to Bangalore from Hyderabad
for Kiran's wedding). The older people were sitting in the smaller vehicle
and the rest eight of us were in the bigger one. Our driver Prakash was taking
us at 90-100 kmph and at times beyond that. We were just horrified at this. Uma
was regularly entertaining us with his vast knowledge of Hindi.
After travelling for about an hour we halted at Kamat hotel to have
breakfast. Eased ourself and then continued our journey. Went through Seriranga-
-patnam, passed by Mysore. All along this journey we were on the highway, but
as we went past Mysore the roads deteriorated, reducing our speed. The whole
of Mysore and infact the whole land that we saw was very fertile. This was
summer and we could see lush-green paddy fields on both sides of till the points
our sight could reach.
There weren't any signboards or milestones indicating where this place was
located and this made our journey very difficult. We had to stop at every other
junction and depend on local people to lead us. As our driver was a Kannadighan,
we didn't have to interact with the local people. Once I changed my seat with
Swathy to occupy the seat besides the driver, I put the cassette: 'Gilli' (tamil
movie in which Vijay & Trisha played the lead roles) and played it. I had heard
one of the songs earlier when I had been to Chennai and I liked it very much at
that time. The music was awesome and I enjoyed listening to it all the time.
Along the journey we played Antakshari. Neha's got a sweet and melodious
voice and Swati's was also good. The trio: Neha, Swati and Snigdha had a good
repertoire of songs and they were leading the game. Due to this all the time just
passed by and it was 3.30 in the afternoon, by the time we reached the resort.
The resort was built on the bank of Kabini River (or rather the man-made lake).
There were nets tied to the trees and I had seen things like these only in the
movies. We climbed the nets and danced and jumped like monkeys. I forgot that
I was no longer a child, but that's ok at times it gives you so much pleasure to
go back to childhood even for a few moments.
We were all hungry and so immediately had our lunch, got ourselves freshened
up and were ready for the Safari. We boarded the open top Jeep and embarked on
the journey through the jungles. Afsar was our guide. Initially for half an
hour we couldn't spot any creature other than birds, but soon we were all on our
feet looking at all the wild animals. There were plenty of deers and they were all
in big herds. Soon we spotted jungle fowls, bisons, Sambars, peacocks, wild dogs,
wild pigs and elephants. I missed my camera very much. There were many elephants
grazing the grass on the bank of the lake. Because the lake was man-made, we could
see dead trees amidst water (which had died of sumersion).
It was 8 pm by the time we were back to our tents. Had dinner and then roamed
for some time around the resorts and I could feel the mild breeze flowing. Later
we watched a documentary shot in the Nagerhole forest. Watching it sitting inside
the forest was an experience by itself.
Next day early in the morning at 7 am we started for another safari through
the jungles. The jungles were dense at some places but really not as dense as I
had expected. Perhaps visiting the place sometime during the monsoon would turn
beauty into it's superlative form. This was the first time I got an oppurtunity
to ride an elephant. It was good. Mary & Sundari were the elephants that carried
us on their backs. We got the chance of boating in those small-circular boats.
On this boat we entered the jungles in the water (the dead trees emerging out of
water). Some of use even rowed the boat. I too wanted to. Again I missed my camera.
We then returned to our tents, vacated them and started on our journey home.
Overall it was a beautiful experience in the company of my colleagues and nature.
I was enjoying every moment of it. How I felt I should leave everything and stay
in these jungles with these animals. There was this person called Wakefield, who
supposedly started the resorts and has been staying there all alone (without family)
for 25 years. He had followed his inner calling.
Some images here

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