Pause and Unwind in the Jungle
We live in a concrete jungle with stress, noise, pollution and a boat load of other unpleasant things. Every now and then we need to take a moment to catch our breath, pause and unwind. While catching up with friends for a drink or a movie on Saturday night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon sounds idyllic, we suggest you pack your bags and head straight into the wild!
Two of the very best National Parks in the country are in Madhya Pradesh and are not only gorgeous but litter free and full of animals in their natural surroundings. If you want a break, the Pench Tiger Reserve and the Kanha National Park are perfect spots to kick back and relax. These are seven reasons why we think visiting the forest is the best kind of relaxant !
The Tiger - At the end of the day, both these parks are brilliant for spotting this majestic yet elusive creature. Seeing a tiger in the wild, not caged in a zoo but in its natural surrounding is a thrill unlike any other. This creature roams the jungles hunting for prey and protecting its cubs and if you're lucky, you'll get to see them up close passing your jeep or sprawled out in the jungle sleeping away. You will be blown away by the sheer size of this massive cat and how stealthy and beautiful they are.
The Natural Beauty - What's amazing about the forest is that each part looks different. There are tall wooden trees that remind you of Sherwood forest and you can image Robin Hood and his band of merry men hiding in them, sprawling lush green meadows, dense hilly areas that are deep inside the jungle and plenty of streams and even lakes inside. The topography keeps changing as you go further into the forest and to each zone. While the Pench Tiger Reserve is slightly smaller in size, Kanha is sprawling. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in an open jeep early morning or in the evening zipping through this incredible foliage enjoying the animals along the way.
The Ghost Tree - One of the most fascinating sights is this unique tree called the Ghost Tree. It's found in abundance in Pench and a few in Kanha as well. The entire tree is stark white with the bark that looks like it's got a print on it. The tree is mostly bare and at times even has this pinkish hue to it. It's indigenous only to this region and looks stunning! As if it were straight out of a Narnia or an Enid Blyton novel.
Glamping - Let's be honest, a great way to relax is to stay in a great hotel. In this case, most hotels and lodges provide this amazing facility of living in a luxury tent. It's a tent but it's got an AC, TV, hot water, comfy beds that you can curl into and makes living in the jungle mighty luxurious ! The Taj Safaris is a great option but a wee bit pricy. Another alternative is the Pench Jungle Camp and their fabulous tents!
Sunrise And Sunsets - There is something incredibly soothing about watching the sun rise and set. More than that, the real beauty is being there to watch the entire forest wake up and come alive, to watch the day break and see it change and of course to watch the sun go down on your way out. While we're use to seeing the sunrise and sunset over the sea or in the city, watching it in the jungle is altogether a different experience and so soothing. Pench specially has been known to witness some spectacular sunrise as the sky turns fantastic colours of yellow, orange and pink and you can see it peeking through the trees.
Wild Dogs - These are slightly confusing animals because while they travel in a pack, never alone, they look like foxes but behave like dogs. They are a breed of wild dogs and are extremely rare to find in the jungle but if you manage to spot them, they're a sight! It's best to keep your distance and not provoke them or even block their path (all the safari jeeps are kept to one side of the road ) as these animals can attack at any moment and do some serious damage.
The Hunt - While these jungles are gorgeous and there are plenty of birds and animals and lots flora and fauna to see, the hero is the tiger. To spot one is far from easy and at times quite a task but the thrill apart from finally seeing the tiger, is the hunt for one. The driver and local forest guide listen to the animals give what is called an ' alarm call' when they see a tiger. The deer and langur monkey give these calls as soon as they spot one to inform the others. They race through the jungle trying to triangulate these sounds or calls, look for pug marks and check how fresh or old they are and check near water bodies (ponds, lakes, streams) and other known areas where the tigers frequent. The racing up and down, tracking, listening, waiting in utmost silence in the hope to see this glorious creature is a fantastic high.
Article and Images by: Roxanne Bamboat
Roxanne is a pint-sized girl who enjoys reading, movies, travel and is obsessed with food. She expresses her love for all things edible in her food blog. A freelancer in her profession, she is able to spend most of her time sampling the city's food offerings and reviews them as well as shares a few of her favourite recipes. More often known as The Tiny Taster, she's decided to take the world by storm - one plate a a time !
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