You can see the previous post on this trip: Dubare Elephant Camp
I got up at 6 am in the cottage in Kushalnagar. It was winter season and the night was quite cold, one blanket wasn’t enough. Even in the morning time it was very cold, I could see fog all around the place. We got ready and left the cottage at 9 am for Nagarhole National Park. Nagarhole National Park covers 643 sq. km area and has an abundance of wildlife including large mammals such as tiger, leopard, wild elephant, dhole (Indian wild dog), and gaur (Indian bison). Other species present are chital spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, mongoose, civet, otter, and more. Nagarhole National park derives its name from the combination of two Kannada words, “Nagar” meaning snake and “hole” meaning streams. On the way to the park we found a wild elephant:
The route to Nagarhole was full of greenery and it was wild. On the way we had lunch in a small restaurant. We reached the National Park at around 2 pm. At the entrance there was a board which read: Shoot nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints, Take nothing but memories, Only one planet to live in, live and let live. Very true! We did some necessary formalities and they allowed our cab to go in the park along with a guide. The park consists of thick deciduous forests and the place was wild. We were all waiting to spot anything and we spotted a mongoose, but I wasn’t able to take a picture, as he was quite fast, within a blink of the eye he was gone. Next, we spotted a herd of spotted deer(chital):
We were moving on a slow speed and suddenly the driver stopped. He told that there is a small pit in the route and he can’t take the vehicle. The guide said that’s okay just move on. When we were about to cross that pit a thud sound came and our vehicle was stuck in the pit. We got out and pushed the vehicle and the driver was taking the controls. After about 15 minutes of pulling and pushing we realized that it was stuck badly and can’t be pulled out till we get another vehicle. It was dangerous as the core area was not far from the place. The guide suggested that we should go back walking, but the driver said that he wouldn’t leave the vehicle at any cost. So he stayed in the vehicle and we moved along walking with the guide. It was very risky but we thought that there is an experienced person with us who knows about the place. He told that there is a shortcut from the bushes, we agreed and followed him. But what it came up was scary. There were huge and thick bushes all over the place and everyone was quiet, as you never know which animal will pop up. I like wildlife and I am very enthusiastic about the wilderness but that day I was having tension, big time. Nobody in our group was talking we were just walking as fast as we can. When we came out of the bush I just turned backwards and took this picture:
We were a bit relieved as there were no bushes around but still the drama was not over. The first one who panicked was Sailaja, she took a stick and suggested all of us to take one. To make her feel good I too took a stick. But what one can do with a stick if a tiger or a leopard comes up? 🙂 We walked and walked till we reached a grassy swamp:
I am a big discovery channel fan and I have seen several times that the wild animals come to drink water in these kinds of swamps. You know, sometimes more knowledge makes you feel more scared. Suddenly, we saw lots of spotted deer running here and there, that also increased the level of fear as there may be a carnivore chasing them. Having all these thoughts in my mind I was walking and then we came across another hurdle. The guide told that there is one more shortcut, we need to cross a bush again to avoid walking for another 2 kilometers. I remember what Sailaja told to the guide at that particular moment, “No! We won’t go from there, we’ll take the long route.” Everyone agreed and we kept walking. After walking for about some time we saw civilization, some huts and houses. At that moment I thought that it’s all over now. Thankfully we reached safely to the office of the National Park and with the help of another vehicle our cab was pulled out of the pit after some time. We asked the driver how he felt during those hours alone inside the cab. He told that he smoked 4 cigarettes and he also saw a bison.
After this unforgettable experience we decided to go back to bangalore as it was getting dark. On the way back we saw a sloth bear walking in the highway. The camera was in my bag and by the time I took that out he was gone. After that, I made my camera ready, as there can be chances of spotting something. Some time later we found a herd of spotted deer and bison. Check how their eyes are glittering in the dark:
Then, I also got a nice snap of a an Indian bison:
For more photos of Nagarhole National Park, click here.
Then, we spotted a couple of foxes. I captured the video but I could record only for some time as a vehicle came from the other side and they disappeared:
After that we came outside of the wild territory and stopped for dinner at a dhaba(Indian local restaurant at highways). After a nice dinner we moved again and reached bangalore at around 12 o’clock in the night. It was a fantastic and an unforgettable trip and I know if anyone from our crew reads this post they will find themselves again in the beautiful but scary wilderness of the Nagarhole National Park.