When we reached the forest office to secure our passes for an elephant safari at the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, the morning was awakening. The unique smell of the forest was heightening my senses. I heard a morning sonata sung by the birds. When I tried looking at the forest from the entrance gate, I saw closely knit trees standing tall, giving the forest a boundary.
When I tried looking at the forest from the entrance gate, I saw closely knit trees standing tall, giving the forest a boundary Click To Tweet
Early morning in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve
The pullover which I was wearing was not sufficient for the early morning cold in the woods. I saw a small shop selling hot tea in bhaars (clay cups). Without thinking anything else, I ordered four cups for me and my family. Sipping tea from the bhaar is a quintessential Indian thing. I looked at the board at the entrance gate and came to know about the kind of animals present in the forest and an estimate of their population. Kaziranga National Park, which is a world heritage site, is famous for its one-horned rhinoceroses.Kaziranga National Park, which is a world heritage site, is famous for its one-horned rhinoceroses. Click To Tweet
After reading the facts and figures I was all prepared to embark on an elephant safari. It was fun to see how the elephant was engulfing tons of bananas given by tourists.It was fun to see how the elephant was engulfing tons of bananas given by tourists. Click To Tweet
I ambled for a short while. When I turned around, I saw a group of elephants with their respective mahouts. There were two wooden platforms 15 to 20 feet above the ground with wooden staircases. Tourists had to climb onto the wooden platform before sitting on the elephant’s back. Everything was a new experience and I was keenly observing every detail.
A man with a gun
When we got our turn to climb up the stairs of the wooden platform and finally sit on the elephant’s back, my pulse raced. I was excited and happy for being able to start something new. For the safety of tourists, there was a man with a gun with each group. I was curious and asked the man sitting with us, whether he had shot any animals? He smiled and said “No”.
The elephant was engulfing tree branches
Our superstar elephant was moving through the bushes. I was surprised when I saw, how the elephant was engulfing tree branches and plants in one go while going around the forest.
My other articles on Indian Forests and Safaris
- A honeymoon, a tiger and an adventure in Ooty, India!
- Encounter with the tiger in Avalanche Forest, India!
- Bandhavgarh National Park in India
- An enchanting forest safari in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, India!
- A list of India’s top 4 forests to go for a wildlife safari
Meeting with the one horned Rhinoceros
Whenever we saw a bird, a deer or anything and everything, we chattered excitedly. When we first saw rhinos, it was an incredible feeling. An emotional moment. I heard the staccato sound of several camera shatters from other tourists sitting on their elephant carriages.
Meeting with wild buffaloes
The sun began to glow and my one pullover proved enough by that time to keep me warm. Along the way, the mahout gave us many interesting bits of information. He was able to get us quite close to the rhinoceroses. On our way back we met several wild buffaloes too.
Kaziranga forest is a world of its own. Disconnecting from the outside world for a few hours was refreshing. Now that I am finishing my blog post, I relived the whole experience once more. It brought all the moments back in a flood of emotions and memories.Kaziranga forest is a world of its own. Click To Tweet