“Pack your bags. We are leaving for Corbett at 6 tomorrow morning.” The jungle was calling. With a two-day break from work staring at us and a
dozen plans made and cancelled, we finally zeroed in on Jim Corbett.
More than visiting the wild, this trip was meant to be a respite from a monotonous routine. So instead of staying in a cottage somewhere inside the jungle, we chose a lush resort offering everything from perfect rooms and clean pool to a sports room and decent food. That certainly isn’t a nature lover’s complete delight. You are close yet far. But there is something so fascinating about the Corbett that leaves you enthralled even as you are near it.
Corbett is a six-hour drive from Delhi that is if you don’t take frequent breaks (like we did) and know your way right (we didn’t). We took longer than that and couldn’t help but pounce at the lunch like the hungry tiger, we all were hoping to see. The safari requires a permit from the forest department and the timings change with season.
Entering the jungle in evening was highly improbable so we decided to spend time swimming and chit-chatting. But when you are in conversation with the wilderness all you want to do is sit silent and stare at the untamed beauty in front of you. And as night descends the voices around you seem more real and you become aware of the predators some or many kilometres away. We lit a fire and sat around it joking about the rendezvous with ferocious animals of the jungle the next morning.
If darkness makes the jungle intriguing then early hours of dawn make it even more charming and mysterious. Sitting on a jeep we were ready with our cameras to quickly take a snapshot of whatever we saw of over “580 varieties of birds, 25 reptile species and 110 kinds of trees”.
They say you could spot a tiger if you are lucky. Guess we were quite an unlucky lot. We saw nothing to boast of except a few beautiful birds, wild hen, spotted deer and some admirable flora. It was only later we were told that the bright pink I wore like other members of the group are a strict no-no.
Then there are a few tricks and signs that alert you of animals around. So, it’s best to have a guide or someone familiar with the jungle with you when you are out on a hunt for wild animals. But even if you don’t spot any, there is nothing too disappointing since the experience of being in the forest is worthwhile.