Looking to plan a similar trip ENQUIRE

Corbett - An Unintentional Adventure

The movie, Kaal inspired us to visit the Jim Corbett national park. It was my first trip to a national park and I haven’t stopped since.

 

We started from Delhi around 4 pm in a hired Toyota Qualis having no idea of the havoc that rains play in this part. We reached Rampur around midnight and asked a police car for directions to Corbett National Park. The policemen were quite amused to know that we wanted to go to Corbett at this hour. However, they informed us that many small rivulets flow across the road and we won't be allowed to travel to Corbett right now. A shady guesthouse with smelling bed sheets and leaking roof was our only option for the night.

Corbett - An Unintentional Adventure-1

Early next morning, we headed off to Corbett. But since the Corbett gate was shut at this of the year, we decided to travel other parts of the forest till the gate opened. We got down from the gypsy near an old and huge tree and then climbed down a hillock to bathe in a rushing stream. 

Corbett - An Unintentional Adventure-2

We reached our bungalow inside Corbett with some time to spare and two of our group members ventured into the forest on their own. Sometime later, the forest officer came to check on us. Long story short the two of them were brought back to the bungalow and officially warned. Also, we were told that CRPF snipers were given shoot on sight orders because of rampant poaching in the National Park and that walking on foot, we can easily be mistaken as poachers.  We were truly shaken at that moment.

Corbett - An Unintentional Adventure-3

We asked our safari driver and guide, Naeem, to show us as many animals as he could, no matter what it takes. Couple of tribal boys told us that a herd of elephants was heard crossing closeby. He came along with us only to jump off at a point and climbed on a mud hill from where he could see the herd. We immediately followed him and saw the purple eared elephants at some distance from us. Just as some of us were getting onto the mud hill, the forest officer and his subordinates reached there and ordered us to immediately hop onto the gypsy while asking for the whereabouts of our driver as it was his responsibility to ensure that we didn't leave the vehicle at any point. He was nowhere to be seen and we were seriously threatened this time for breach of rules. Naeem appeared in sometime and seemed inebriated. He was ordered to take us back to the bungalow immediately and our safari was over!

 

The forest officer went back while Naeem settled in his seat. In his inebriated state, he started moving further ahead instead of taking us back. As we also didn't want our safari to end so early, we did not object. A few hundred meters ahead, there was a group of spotted deers grazing and we hoped to see a tiger stalking them. Some more distance into the forest, there was a 2 feet deep and 1.5 feet wide gorge on the dirt track. Understanding that the tyres of our vehicle would get stuck in it if he move forward, we got down again and filled it with some stones at a gap same as the distance between the two front tyres of our gypsy.

Corbett - An Unintentional Adventure-4

But to no avail. Our vehicle went down into the gap with a thud. It had also started raining and was getting dark. We used all our power to lift the vehicle out of the hole but we couldn't see the vehicle coming out and asked Naeem to walk us back to the bungalow before it got too dark. He didn't seem to hear us and opened his bottle of whiskey while we decided to walk back ourselves.  Afraid of being attacked by a tiger or being hit by the bullet of a CRPF sniper, that proved to be the longest walk of our life. Finally, as we were about to reach the bungalow, we were met by the forest officer and his subordinates who had armed themselves with some weapons to search the forest for us. Upon seeing us safe, they were relieved and asked us for the whereabouts of our driver. We told them that he was drinking in the gypsy somewhere deep into the forest. We were told to stay inside the bungalow while they went to brought him back.

After an hour, we could heared commotion outside the bungalow as Naeem was brought back and was shouting abuses at the forest officials while they were threatening him with a cancellation of his permit. Both Naeems senses and his vehicle were back the next day. 

Rain ensured hat we got an overwhelming shock while heading back to Delhi. We could hardly see the road as whole of it was submerged under a huge rivulet gushing across it. A huge tree branch, six of us holding on to it for support and after losing a few belongings to the water, we managed to somehow cross it all. Into dry clothes and got back into our Toyota Qualis to return to Delhi.

Back in Qualis, we assumed that the adventure was over. As it got darker, and the rains continued to come down heavily, our windscreen wiper stopped working. As we didn't wish to stop, we tied straps of cloth to both wiper hands which were pulled alternately by the driver and the guy sitting in front to operate the wipers manually.

Finally, we reached Delhi around 2 am, feeling happy to be safe and sound!

loading...
location_on
people_outline
business_center
lockPrivacy Secure
Your details are secure with us.
By Continuing to browse this website, you are agreeing to the use of cookies close Accept