Abhishek Sharma, Diwaker Bandanwal, Gopan Jain and me took a weekend break from our tight schedule to visit Jim Corbett National Park.
Lets begin the Journey
Gopal was supposed to hire a rental car, which actually made the whole trip a never ending journey. It was 11:05 pm on Friday (27th June 2008) and Gopal kicked off along with TOP-e-TOP (our driver) to fetch Diwaker. I joined them after 15 minutes and then after next 15 minutes Abhishek Sharma was also with us. We all headed towards Gaziabad from Cannaught Place but nobody knew that tonight we will gonna explore the UP(Uttar Pradesh) State of India.
Routing the Adventurous Journey
As Diwaker has explored International Tourist destinations before, he brought printed Google Map with him which was the ultimate weapon to cross unknown places. Ironically, TOP-e-TOP did not know the exact route to Jim Corbett though he had been to Nainital once. Till gaziabad I told him the best route and then at Lal Kuan Chowk (Intersection of Gaziabad, Dadri, Noida, Hapur) we took the staright road (though we are supposed to take left turn towards Hapur. Here starts the live nightmare at 1:00 AM. We crossed Dadri and reached Sikandarabad then Buland-shahar and somehow we sensed that we are not on right track and thought to confirm someone about the place. Finally, we had crossed extra 50 Kms from our supposed way to Jim Corbett. It was 1:30 am when we took Gulaothi (it was midway between Buland Sahar and Hapur I suppose, Please note that this route was not that good to travel in night) route to reach hapur. Finally, at 3:00 am we found ourselves on right track. Now another adventure comes when we found our car on the right track but in wrong lane and here comes our driver (Mr. TOP-e-TOP) taking naps while driving. Anyhow we managed to drive till 5:00 am after which our driver gave up driving any longer. Now here comes the real action, when Diwaker and Abhishek shared the driver’s seat for 30 minutes each. Hope they enjoyed their role on those bumpy roads.
Somehow, the driver forcefully took his share of sleep and joined his actual role as driver at 6:00 am. Around 6:30 am our car tyre got flat and the extra tyre was also of no use (but actually we used it) as its condition was too bad. This time we had feeling to kick this TOP-e-TOP at the maximum height so that he should not come back in front of us. Finally, we reached Rampur at 8:30 then Jim Corbett at 11:30. Thanks to the MAP which Diwaker had with him.
Surprise on Arrival
The best news one can get on arrival is that the Jungle had been closed on 15th June for night stay and will open again on 15th November (Note: due to heavy mansoon season the goverment do not allow to stay tourists in Cottages in the jungle). No issues as we took the ticket for evening safari and decided to go Nainital next day (sunday) before heading towards Delhi. Well, the Jim Corbett Safari (3.00 pm to 6:00 pm) was awesome and we had the real feel of jungle.
Getting into the Jim Corbett
The feel of the environment was beautiful and so natural that you just fall in love with nature. Jim Corbett is actually famous for Tigers as it has around 165 tigers till date. During our short 3 hours visit we did not find even a single sign of tiger, but we caught the glimpse of lots of deer (especially samba, i think there were 3 types of deer in Corbett), birds, elephants etc. The Old Iron made Machaan was quite real experience and as we got to know from our guide that the Tigers are not Man Eater in Jom Corbett. If possible I would like to visit this Jim Corbett once in a year to refresh myself in the lap of true nature.
Next day we moved towards Nainital and crossed 90 kms in 3 hours, we did boating in Naini Lake and then had our lunch. It rained heavily in afternoon (God’s grace that we did boating at right time) and we headed towards Delhi at 2:00 pm on Sunday (29th June 2008). You would not believe that we returned to Delhi at 4:00 am on Monday (30th June 2008). I will say that the driver was not that good, and screwed some our time due to his non-sense. But anyhow it was interesting to find some people to whom we give the responsibilities and get stuck with no way left. It was a short weekend journey which we spent more than half moving in a car. We learnt so many things from this journey.
One should keep traveling in different transportations for different places with different people to get the best out of your journey and take the adventure out of the boring routine life.