Tring, Tring! Tring, Tring! I picked up the phone while I was half asleep. A voice from the other side told “Madam, this is your wake up call. Our jeep is ready and we will start sharp at 4 am”. Within seconds my sleepy and indolent body charged up. Out of curiosity, I looked outside our room in the government lodge of Bandhavgarh national park and I could see nothing; literally nothing! It was a dark moonless night. The dark in the woods was a welcome break from the never ending city lights. We hurried up and walked briskly to reach to the spot from where our forest safari in Bandhavgarh would begin.

The dark in the woods was a welcome break from the never ending city lights. Click To Tweet

On our way to the Bandhavgarh national park

We didn’t have to wait long. We quickly got into the jeep and started our safari at 4.10 am. While sitting inside the jeep I could hear the sound of the tires against the muddy road. Although I could not see much, but still tree stems seemed black against the bluish-charcoal sky much like the wood paintings. I was wondering even if there was a moon that night, its silvery ray would not have penetrated through the dense canopy above. The blackness in the woods is an experience in itself. But slowly and steadily, the black night was retiring. A crimson dawn was creeping in. I saw a beautiful woodpecker sitting on a leafless tree. I quickly framed it and then we entered into the woods.

The blackness in the woods is an experience in itself. Click To Tweet
Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

A woodpecker

 

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

Woods are lonely, dark and deep

Forest safari in Bandhavgarh

We were greeted by several forest sounds. Sometimes a melodious bird song, sometimes just a small tweet or sometimes some unique calls from unknown animals.

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

A singing bird

On one such call, our guide told us “He is around”. Unknowingly, our eyes bulged wider. We quickly exchanged glances and sat quietly. After a short while, our guide pointed to the sand at the side of our jeep. We looked down and found the paw print  of one of the tigers. It was a scary moment of excitement, and happiness.

We looked down and found the paw print of one of the tigers. It was a scary moment of… Click To Tweet
Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

Paw prints of a tiger

We waited, but the call seemed illusive. We still hadn’t met the royal majesty, instead we encountered a wild pig.

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

A wild pig inside Bandhavgarh National Park

Dancing Peacock

One of the memorable moments in the forest was when I witnessed a dancing peacock.

One of the memorable moments in the forest was when I witnessed a dancing peacock. Click To Tweet

A beautiful peacock was dancing amidst the bright greens of the forest. I felt as if they were celebrating freedom and happiness. I silently filmed all the dancing peacocks to replay it to my heart’s content in the future.

Video tip – You will hear peacock sounds at the beginning of the video

Tea break

We halted in an open field for some time to stretch our legs and hands. We had some hot tea prepared by the forest guards. Hot tea was a welcome break to combat the cold. I asked the forest guard driving along with us for a photograph; and he agreed.

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

Our forest guard

Black faced langur monkey

After 15 minutes or so, we started again. One black faced langur monkey blew me away. I admired his personality. I almost felt he was observing us quietly.

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

Black faced langur in Bandhavgarh

Intermission

Thinking of doing a forest safari in India? Which forest do you want to visit? 

Here is a list of articles on some other enchanting forests in India. One of them may help you to decide on your next adventure. 

Since you love forests, I assume you love adventure too! Here is a real story of an adventure.

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Elephant and deer

Next we met the big and strong guy – the elephant followed by a group of deer.

 

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

The big and the strong guy

 

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

A group of contemplating deer

Travel Realizations

I expected to shake my hand with the royal majesty, but could not. I thought I would take an appointment whenever I will visit this forest next time. But honestly, I don’t have any regrets. It was a wonderful jeep safari and I enjoyed each and every moment of it.  At the end just before bidding farewell, we saw some beautiful birds in different colors. I salute nature for its diversity. Sometimes it is snow white, sometimes it is green, sometimes blue and at times amazingly vibrant.

Dancing Peacock

Langur

Birds

Deer

Inside the forest

On our way back

Adieu

Our safari ended, but the inspiring moments produced the germ of desire to go for such safaris more often.

Travel Realizations, An enchanting forest safari, Bandhavgarh national park, Madhya Pradesh

Bye Bandhavgarh

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