My first tryst with the forest and wildlife was nine years back (May 2008). It was a family trip to one of the most spectacular places of India – Corbett National Park
Back in those days I used to spend quite a lot of time watching various wildlife shows on TV instead of cartoons and other stuff. Whatever I got to know about wildlife was from these television shows and the fact that I was finally about to visit a forest for real was like a dream come true for me.
I just had a small camcorder and my dad’s Nokia N73 for taking random photos and videos. During the entire trip we saw a variety of mammals and birds, and was able to learn a lot about the forest and its denizens. I still remember how we were welcomed by one of the most beautiful creations of Mother Nature. Just after crossing the Dhangadi gate, our driver stopped the car and whispered, “look it’s an Asian Paradise flycatcher!” The bird was perched on a high branch and as soon as our car stopped, it flew back into the thickets. I had never seen something as spectacular as this, the gorgeous bird with that long white tail looked almost like an angel! Some other memorable moments were the sightings of huge herds of elephants and deer at the Dhikala grassland, elephants crossing the Ramganga river in the early morning light, Otters and Gharials in the river and many more.
I can never forget that bone chilling moment when we had to wait for almost an hour at a particular spot just to get a glimpse of the tiger. The continuous alarm calls of spotted deer confirmed the presence of the big cat. One of the deer kept on making the calls while another one thumped its leg on the ground. No other sound could be heard apart from the petrified shrill of the deer. It seemed as if the entire forest was wrapped in a sheet of silence, this was the first time I experienced such a thrilling moment in the wild. Our naturalist and driver tried their best to track a tiger but we weren’t lucky enough to see one.
We witnessed some of the most magnificent wonders of the forest and this was the only thing we wished to take back home happily – memories of a lifetime.
May 2017, a second tryst with the enchanting forest of Corbett.
The trip to Corbett in 2008 sparked off a passion for wildlife and instilled the love for nature in me – two of the many reasons why Corbett holds a very special place in my heart.
Many plans were made to revisit the forest during the last few years but none of them worked out. Finally after such a long time I was able to go there in mid-may this year, it was a photography tour of Way 2 Wild.
A lot of wonderful memories were rekindled during this trip, it was almost like a flashback of the experiences that I had 9 years back. Coincidentally even this time we were welcomed by the gorgeous white male Asian Paradise Flycatcher! From the grandeur of the gigantic Sal woods to the mesmerizing wildlife, everything was still the same. I could recollect each and every memory of the previous trip. The only thing that wasn’t the same as before was, this time I had a “developed vision” and also had that one thing which helped me to look at the world in a whole new way – my camera. Our rendezvous with the roar, trumpet and song of the forest would never have been complete without the blessings of Mother Nature. Finally my long time wish of seeing the majestic Tiger of the terai came true!
Here are a few photographs that I took, and now I am going to let them do the talking 🙂