“The world is an open book, those who travel less; learn less”
Travelling is a great form of learning as we get to see new places, meet new people and learn about their culture and tradition. Most of all, travelling always refreshes our mind and body providing us a wonderful break from the hectic schedule of our monotonous world. Though I am not an ardent traveler, I am always up for travelling far and wide as long as time, situation and my pocket favors me. I have been to most of the places in and around Kathmandu but travelling beside Kathmandu has been one of my fantasies; not to forget the real fantasy i.e. to travel out of Nepal itself.
This time around we opted for a week- long tour starting from Kathmandu. The tour would lead us to 1) Chitwan from Kathmandu; 2) from Chitwan to Pokhara; 3) from Pokhara to Bandipur and eventually back to Kathmandu.
With that plan on head and paper we headed to Sauraha, Chitwan at first place, early in the morning from Kathmandu. Since it was a weeklong tour and the season was winter; we stuffed our rucksack with warm and heavy clothes fearing the winter.
During the travel through highways, I came to realize how poor our roads are. The highways are in dilapidated condition. There are cracks and pot holes at every junction, the pitch can hardly be seen at some places. I felt as if the road was looking at us, begging for the repair it needed at most of the places. The government must be liable towards such a serious issue. I wonder when they would find time for such issues, besides the dirty politics they are delved in. Should not we be ashamed of our roads that lead us to the most tourist grooving parts such as Pokhara and Chitwan?
1) TO CHITWAN
After the bumpy ride of nearly 6 hours we reached Chitwan; home to varieties of wild flora, faunas and wild animals. Along the way, we were stopped at different places (I did not keep track of how many) but I know more than three places; asking for the entrance fees or say tax. As far as I can make out, they are collecting this amount, so that the area can be kept clean, the roads be kept free of pot holes (or let’s say for a better cause). As I was inside the vehicle, I overheard them saying “hijo maile 8 hajar jamma garekoma 4 hajar dunk hane”. Though we knew where our cash would go, we paid them unhesitantly, and so have been other tourists (local and foreigners) who have been making there.
We were ushered directly to our hotel. The continuous ride was a real pain in the neck, but the beauty of Chitwan made me forget all of it in seconds and so was the case with everyone in the group. In the evening we went for a short walk with our guide. We walked along the lush green Sauraha jungle. Our guide told us that it was just a warm up session for the safari we were going to make the next day. But the warm session was just as amazing as it could be. The biggest usp of our warm up session was the rhino we saw that day. It was a one horned rhino. We came to know at the very time that it had a wound on its back, so it was dipped in the water to keep off the flies at bay. Here is the pics.
We moved few steps ahead and there it was;another rhino. It was grazing with damn care attitude. There were people all around it (150 meters far) taking snaps. Here is the glimpse of it:
I also did the same and took a snap of it. Here is one:
Garnering some info on rhino from the guide and giving some nerdy pose for the picture with rhino on the background, we moved ahead towards a museum (guide le bhaneko museum re, so I used the same term here) that housed different stuffed birds and dead wild animals found in and around Chitwan. It was called Wild life Display and Information Centre. The entrance fee for each head was Rs-10 for local tourist (for foreigner, I did not enquired). I have a picture of the banner, they had pasted outside the information centre.
The room inside the information centre was too small to display and showcase all that it housed in a proper manner. Complain apart, we at least have the display and information centre for wild life and I am content with it. The display centre housed stuffed birds, wild animals, snakes, insects etc. I have managed to click some pictures and here they are:
|14 months rhino fetus|
|Asiatic Rock Python|
As soon as we were done with the display centre, we were guided ahead for Sunset experience. When at Chitwan, Sauraha each and everyone are advised not to forget enjoying the magnificence and brilliance of Sunset that can be experienced from across the Rapti River. It was totally awesome. Here is the click that I managed to grab:
Not to forget are the amazing jungle safari on elephant; the names of the elephant (Basantkali, Pawankali, KanchiKali etc) and the information that a fully grown up elephant can cost up to twenty lakhs was astounding in fact. Besides that what amused me were the name of the places in Chitwan that would sound too familiar for a Kathmanduties like me---Similar to Kathmandu, Chitwan has New Road, Thamel, Thapathali, Putalisadak etc.
To sum up, it was fun and if given a chance I would definitely love to come back some day.
Our next destination on itinery was Pokhara..We farewell Chitwan and moved ahead for Pokhara…….