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Old 24th September 2009, 02:42   #1
abk
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Default Chaukori - Pangot - Jim Corbett National Park trip in summer 09

Since I had this travelogue written & ready with me for months now I thought of uploading it here on TBHP along with relevant pictures for the benefit of the community

Prologue:
One of the first things I wanted to do after returning to India is to go on a long drive immediately in my sorely missed OHC. But then visiting my folks was up on priority & therefore, I headed off to Assam first to spend a few days. During this time Yash had made plans for our next odyssey.

Day 1: 14 May 09
Having hardly slept the night I drove (270 Kms) to Guwahati early morning to catch flight to Delhi which I missed due to a misleading SMS but thankfully Jet accommodated me in their last flight that was delayed just enough (by a VIP) for me to jump in as the last boarding passenger - by the skin of my teeth!

Yash picked me from the Delhi airport at 7:30 PM and would not let me have a "natural" break or dinner at any of my mate's places but insisted on hitting the highway right away which we did, not before stock piling cigarettes, pan masalas (one potential culprit to send me to hospital after the trip!), juices and colas. Yash drove through the night miserably assisted by the poor headlight beam alignment (high beam was as good as the low beam on bidirectional UP roads!!!).

Day 2: 15 May 09
I took controls of the wheels in the wee hours of the dawn after a short nap on the car's rear seat & a sustained but unsuccessful effort to get more. Through bad roads and roads breathtakingly scenic we finally hit Chaukori at 1:10 PM with both of us almost on the verge of hallucinating due to acute sleep deprivation!

We checked into a tent (camp) accommodation which was cheaper and sounded more adventurous compared to TRH. Out came the bottle of malted barley to warm ourselves up and soothe the frayed nerves. We could not care less when soon enough a rather violent storm struck the place. Thankfully, our tent stood in the same single piece!

Yash thought it prudent to change our planned itinerary to ease up our tight driving schedule & let our bones, bums and backs rest adequately. As darkness engulfed heartfelt swigs of the same barley under the brilliance of stars united us with the place. Besides there was no power for a week in most of the Garhwal hills because of transmission failure down at the base!

Day 3: 16 May 09
Checked out of the tent & headed to Bhuvaneswar Patal, an ASI heritage cave site within a temple. Next we proceeded to Pangot (Pangoot) recommended by one of Yash's office clients. Pangot is further up Nainital. We were welcomed by excellent roads from Almora all the way to Nainital which helped us cut our estimated driving time. In the evening we hit Nainital and spent no time to drive pass the town towards Pangot. As soon as we left Nainital, the hustle & the buzz of tourist commotion left us immediately as we entered blissfully deserted hills amidst thick forests. The drive of 15 kms took us about an hour due to shoddy state of the roads but was charmingly mystic and fulfilling.

Checked into the only hotel available there. My first reaction was it looked a scarytale motel - where guests disappear! The hotel had no proper entrace path nor did any guests live there despite its huge but weird architecture!

Spent the evening enjoying the malted barley along with pakodas whilst soulful ghazals played on my laptop (Yash did not let me drop my laptop off at any of my mate's places in Delhi and here we found the appropriate value of lugging it with us!)

Day 4: 17 May 09
In the quest to find streams we went trekking down about 5 kms thru forests eventually to find the stream but not before the local village hospitality greeted us with wild fruits, water and folk tales.

Had less of the barley to drink in the evening as I found the chicken cooked by the hotel staff awful. Had an early day to call.

Day 5: 18 May 09
Left Pangot for Corbett National Park riding our luck that it being a weekday we might find ourselves accommodation in Dhikala (heart of Corbett). We reached Ramnagar at 11:00 and luckily (?) found ourselves two beds in a dormitory in Gairal (Dhikala eluded me yet again!). In no time we drove into the wilderness sensing the overwhelming nature of Corbett. The experiences of Corbett call for their own dedicated space. However, should mention here that all we folks in the dormitory had a sleepless night in heat and sweat & scared by the animal that I stumbled on the moment i shone my flash light in the darkness. The animal was identified in the morning as a porcupine! No lights after 10 in Corbett is not a very comforting feeling.

Day 6: 19 May 09
Left Corbett to reach Gurgaon in the evening, without anything eventful to write about. Of course, we were terribly low on cash but managed it alright till the end.

All’s well that ends well.

Amen!

Chaukori - Pangot - Jim Corbett National Park trip in summer 09-img_0013.jpg

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Last edited by abk : 24th September 2009 at 02:45.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:36   #2
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breathtaking photographs and lovely roads , i am sure that you would have had a wonderful time ... the pictures and the narration had me hooked till the end.

whats the yellow thingy , looks delicious - one look and it made me hungry !

Last edited by hellstar : 24th September 2009 at 12:41.
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:03   #3
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Nice report. Corbette has always been one of my personnal favourites. The calmness, the serenity and the closeness to nature is a beautifull feeling.

In Dhikala things have changed over the years. There is electricity 24 hrs available there. In season time it is a mini City. IMO it was better earlier when they used to switch the lights at 2200 hrs. Atleast you could do some star gazing..lol.

And the yellow thing is a Lime, Isnt it so?
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Old 24th September 2009, 18:39   #4
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Amazing Pics there and beautiful locations too. This thread is provoking me now to visit a wildlife sanctuary. By the way which is the best time to visit Corbett National park? How are the road conditions if one is travelling from South India by car?
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Old 24th September 2009, 18:46   #5
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Lovely pics. Keep them coming bro!
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Old 24th September 2009, 22:55   #6
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Lovely pictures there,

please post more if you have!!!
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Old 25th September 2009, 00:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellstar View Post
breathtaking photographs and lovely roads , i am sure that you would have had a wonderful time ... the pictures and the narration had me hooked till the end.

whats the yellow thingy , looks delicious - one look and it made me hungry !
Thanks hellstar! We had very good time indeed. In fact the night spent in Gairal was eventful, the outline of which I have already covered in my brief narration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Nice report. Corbette has always been one of my personnal favourites. The calmness, the serenity and the closeness to nature is a beautifull feeling.

In Dhikala things have changed over the years. There is electricity 24 hrs available there. In season time it is a mini City. IMO it was better earlier when they used to switch the lights at 2200 hrs. Atleast you could do some star gazing..lol.

And the yellow thing is a Lime, Isnt it so?
You are bang on, deky! This was my second visit to the Corbett & was more fulfilling than the first. In fact, it kept enticing me long after the visit. Planning to go there again someday soon (albeit, once I get the telescope - so much am yearning for!) but would make the best attempt at getting accommodation in Dhikala. Although, as you rightly said, with electricity & provision for few AC rooms, tourists swarm Dhikala like they would in a popular hill station resort. What a shame! Nevertheless, sight of the tiger continued to elude us though the gang of guys we were sharing the dormitory with were lucky twice on consecutive days! So Dhikala it would be if we could for the majestic sight of the elusive tiger

@hellstar & deky, the yellow thing is a wild fruit of the citrus family. We were offered that and other fruits by the local village farm owner when we trekked down to a village from Pangot in search of stream, which we did find eventually. We tasted the fruit much later - it was too tangy & sour in a unique way, unlike lemons / lime / Jambura (or batabi lebu - both are bengali names not sure what it is called in english) or similar fruits of this genre. But it was extremely juicy, good enough to quench a mild thirst!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
Amazing Pics there and beautiful locations too. This thread is provoking me now to visit a wildlife sanctuary. By the way which is the best time to visit Corbett National park? How are the road conditions if one is travelling from South India by car?
Thanks Torque123! Corbett is definitely worth a visit, if you like being in the middle of nature for a while.
  • Generally it is believed that winter months are the best time to visit but my last visit in the summer was equally fulfilling. Just that it gets very sultry at night because the fans too are turned off after 10 PM at Gairal. However, one can sleep in the balcony of the rest houses, which almost all the families & friends staying at the first guest house at Gairal did. It was fun! On the other hand, life at Dhikala rest houses is more comforting. However, it needs to be borne in the mind that major accessible areas of the park is closed to the visitors during the monsoon season.
  • The road from Delhi to Ramnagar is good with occasional bad patches. However, we approached Corbett from Pangot via Kaladhungi bypassing Nainital. The road was excellent! I think I still have the official Corbett park rules/charges brochure. If you need any info on this feel free to PM me.
  • For travelling from South India to Delhi, please search relevant threads for all your information needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoonwheels View Post
Lovely pics. Keep them coming bro!
Quote:
Originally Posted by skartik2 View Post
Lovely pictures there,

please post more if you have!!!
Thanks neoonwheels & skartik2! My original intention was to post only those many pictures that I posted already. However, I would not want to disappoint you folks either. Will post a few more..
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Old 25th September 2009, 08:54   #8
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Thanks Abk,

I will be visiting Corbett for the first time via your pictures.
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Old 25th September 2009, 10:55   #9
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Wonderful and stunning pics. How long before the next installment...?
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Old 25th September 2009, 12:00   #10
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Lovel pics Abk. I loved the pics where the Chital is crossing the water and the sunset over the river.

I had planned to go on a trip to Corbett last December, but had to cancel the plans. Your pics make me regret my decision. Hopefully, I'll go there sometime. Keep 'em coming
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Old 25th September 2009, 20:03   #11
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The pictures posted in this travelogue are breath-taking. Remind me of the time I visited Corbett and stayed in Ramnagar almost 13 years ago. That was as part of an organized group trip but I'm getting inspired to go once again, driving this time.
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