Wow gd sir, awesome pics and narration of the elephant encounter. I have seen quite a few towards Motichur as well as in and around Mohand and its exciting everytime. :) . Wild boars used to be a frequent sighting near my house, close to the tea gardens.
You inspired me with that great mushtache of yours. And nice photos of those beasts in wild.
The wedding photos were very colourful (just like typical indian weddings themselves)!
very nice writeup and pics mate , definitely a different kind of blog!
The tuskers look great ! It surely would have been a wild encounter!
Lovely log GD sir. and the pictures have come out very well.
GD Sir, Very nice and colorful pics of the wedding. The bride is looking lovely and that is one lucky firang indeed.
Your 'Close encounter of the wild kind' episode sounds scary and exciting at the same time. I guess, living it would have been an experience in itself.
Ek choti si gustakhi kar raha hun. No offence to you or anyone else in the pic.
Thank you Wander...
I wish if the 'close encounter' could have been a little closer...:)
This "choti si gustakhi" is so hilarious and adorable. Amit, Sandip & Ramu would surely love this..clap:
After having looked at the boars, we moved forward with eyes darting to the left & right to spot some game. Suddenly the jeep stopped and Manoj pointed at a tree faraway. I could see a Rhesus perched on a thin branch and looking intently at one direction.
Manoj said the monkey is agitated and is calling and that means a predator is on the move and nearby. I whispered - is it a Tiger?
He said - no, it is a leopard.
Intrigued, I asked him how did he know? He said, that the monkey is perched too high and at the edge of a thin branch and this indicates it is a leopard. Leopard can climb the tree, but that thin branch wouldn't support its body weight, hence the monkey is safe.
Had it been a Tiger, the monkey wouldn't have been that high and on the edge. Wow, pythagorus theorem solved.. Jungle teaches you to read nature and react accordingly.
I asked, can we wait and maybe the leopard will be visible. Manoj said, it is a very shy animal and as the park closure time was approaching fast, it was not advisable. He said the best time to spot a leopard would be to enter the park at 6 in the morning. I was also told that there were 9 Tigers and 10 leopards in the park.
Surprisingly, till now we did not see a single pugmark, unlike during my last visit in 2005/6.
Moved further and saw this lone spotted deer running away fast to safety. He too had heard the monkey calling.
When a predator is on the move, practically the whole jungle comes to know of it. Further down we saw this magnificient male spotted deer with young velvety antlers, looking alarmed and staring in a particular direction with ears cocked-up. As we neared, looked at us and gave a yelp and vanished into the bushes.
Going further, we saw this collection of various animals grazing under a tree in a distance near a dried river bed. There was this male Neelgai, a few spotted deers and two Langurs.
Oh, what a lot of sightings in an hour.
As we turned a bend, a flat opening appeared on the side and boy, was it an aviary. You bet. So many peacocks and jungle fowls having supper. The deepest of the deep blue of the peacock neck is just mindblowing.
There was this lone bird running on the ground. I'm not an ornithologist hence couldn't identify, but Manoj said something about it being a road-runner. I didn't hear properly.
As the jeep moved forward standing at one corner of the foliage was this magnificient male spotted deer with its full grown antlers. Even the occupants of the jeep in front stopped to admire him. No sooner the driver stepped down, one leap and he bounded into the bush.
Today, we were destined to see Tuskers. And this is what we saw. Two tuskers, one young and the other fully grown were trying their strength against a solitary tree.
Nearing the park gate this was the last animal that we saw - a lone stag deer deep in the grass.
We were the last to enter the park and the last to come out at 6 pm. A very satisfying two hour journey inside the jungle.
After freshening ourselves at the washrooms out side the Park gate we proceeded back to Doon.
As we left the park complex and neared the Ganga barrage, I saw a commotion and crowd. Some Forest Guards with weapons and sticks were stopping the vehicles. I was also stopped. I asked one of the guards what was it all about.
A big lone Tusker was blocking the road and feeding. I couldn't see anything, but could hear the rustle of the leaves and cracking of the tree branches. Adrenalin rushing, took out the camera and came out. Bad luck.
The rustling of leaves stopped and it was gone. It was almost dark and I couldn't have shot hand held although I had upped the ISO. If allowed through the barrage road, I would've reached the highway within 7 to 8 minutes otherwise the regular road was about 6 Kms bisecting the jungle and would've taken atleast 30 minutes. Who knows another lone tusker might have decided to block the road & my wife & I would have to spend the night in the company of .............!
Luckily, one of the forest guards asked for the lift to the highway and said that he would take me through the barrage road. I was delighted. Dropped him on the highway and sped towards Doon. Ramaswamy had invited me over for dinner. Reached the Club around 9 and freshened up. The escort vehcile had arrived to take me to Ramu's home. Reached there, savoured some fermented grape juice and snacks and then went to Hotel President on Rajpur Road, for a chinese sit down dinner. Thanked him & Meena for the lovely evening and bid-goodbye. Next day morning it was going to be a drive back to Gurgaon...
To be continued.....
Date: 20th February, 2010
It was time to bid good-bye to Doon, to Amit & Renu and to the wonderful ambience that was so very enjoyable. Wish I could spend the rest of my life living such in the hills. Sigh.....!
Got up leisurely as the check-out time was 12 noon. Got ready by 10, loaded our baggage in the Scorpio and set out for Gurgaon. But before that one last chore had to be accomplished.
What is the point of visitng Doon and not returning with packets of the famous Ellora Bakery's round, crispy & soft rusks? So, it was Ellora before we hit the road. Like all good things that come to an end sometime, the Ellora also split into two - Ellora the original and the oldest and Ellora. Both shops side-by-side, selling the same fare. Very confusing for first timers.
Well, picked up our stock of the rusks, plum cakes, cookies, potato chips and what not, and set out for home. The clock read 11:30 am.
This time I had decided to take the picturesque Ganga canal route through Roorkee. After crossing that stretch of road from Sundernagar bisecting the Rajaji Park, via Chutmulpur headed to Roorkee and took the 117 Km long Ganga canal road to Muradnagar. The canal flanked by lush greenery and sugarcane fields on the either side is a sight. The road is a single lane tar road and is fairly good. Some repair work in patches was going on. Let the pictures do the talking:
Near Purkazi, saw a strange sight that reminded me of Ladakh. Green fields on one side, river on one side and man made white sand dunes and lots of them. Since that area is no desert, the sand must have been the result of desilting of the canal. I wish I had taken pictures. Either you drive or you take pictures.
At one place as the road curved, I heard the roar of the river. And what a sight. It was the Mohammedpur Hydroelectric works that generates around 3 MW of electricity. They had opened the gates and the water was on the boil. I stopped and clicked.
After about 107 kms of driving, I reached the Meerut Highway just next to Cheetal Grand. Stopped there for lunch and then hit the highway to Delhi.
I did not take the Meerut by-pass as I wanted to go through the city to stop at my favourite joint in the city. The Refreshment Centre at the HP Petrol Pump that serves awesome Omlettes. Had our fill and were on our way. The traffic was very heavy righ through till ITO bridge in Delhi.
It was 9 pm when we reached home. My kids were eagerly waiting for us.
Thank you for bearing with me...The End
Good travelogue has come to an end. Enjoyed the pictures of the marriage and RajaJi National Park.
I have seen the road on the left hand side on the left bank of Ganga canal but haven't used this. stupid:
Thanks Irish. yes the Ganga canal road meets NH 58 at Khatauli. If approaching from Meerut, Cheetal grand is on your right. Before the Grand, there is Cheetal. Earlier it was one, then they brokeaway. The canal flows next to old Cheetal.
You cross a small bridge and then Cheetal is on the RHS. Before the bridge is a single lane road that goes right upto Roorkee next to the canal.
Superb pics, GD sir. The travelogue was wonderful too! Spotting so many animals in such a short time was the real 'icing on the cake'! :)
Thanks gd1418 for yet another excellent travelogue. Having tried one myself, I now realize how much time and effort goes into writing such a log. Really appreciate your sharing the details of so many of your trips.
And I just love little things like this that you put in:
Did I hear you right - at Khatauli, you turn off NH58, right, and go along the Ganga Canal till Muradnagar? Are signages good at the points where you have to turn off? And does the road remain good during rainy season? And is it better because you can escape the messiness around Meerut and Modinagar?
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