After getting drenched in rains for last 6 weekends in and around Pune, finally did get some time to write back on the memoirs of Satkosia; the Tiger land of Orissa. This is to complete the Satkosia Series. Some of my friends have already planned for the year end trip to Similipal and Sunabeda Tiger Sanctuary though fully aware that chances of getting permit is bleak because of Red brigade Threat. Insha Allah, we will make to this two sanctuaries this year end.
Coming back to Satkosia, after spending 2 wonderful days at Chamundia (Baisipalli Side of Satkosia) and Tikarpada it was time for us to leave the serene Mahanadi at Tikarpada. As per our plans,we were supposed to go to Kandhaida and Labangi( Lobang as pronounced by Rahul Bose in Mr and Mrs Aiyer). We left the Eco Camp around 10 am. Had a last look at the blue waters of Mahanadi and the hills of Baisipalli. Anyways I had already promised myself that I would be back in Baisipalli next year for another short trip. Had I not burnt my pocket, I would have gone on exploring the state where I am going to go back one day and settle down permanently along with a bunch of kids.
Saying good bye to Amazing Satkosia
As we left Tikarpada, after 15 minutes drive we reached Purunakot (Purunakote). Stopped for a minute to take the pics of the age old Forest guest House.Woooow….superb. Just imagine if you stay on a small hillock in the British type Arch structured Guest House on a full moon light and sip neat scotch amongst tall Sal trees and flickering Fire flies. Warmth of shawl and bonfire to add to the renzedvous with the Tiger Land. Man, let me tell u that I am feeling restless now.If I am not able to make it to Similipal & Sunabeda, then Kanha and Tadoba-Andhari will be must. Can this monsoon get over little bit fast so that I can go back and enjoy the winters ion one of those fast depleting forests of Sal and Teak?I can smell that freshness of air. With Tiger lands depleting fast, I wish I can go back to that era when Forests were in abundance and people would go back to houses and lock in by the evening in fear of Big Cat.
Purunakote Forest Guest House
We enquired about the road to kandhaida and then left for the Game tank. Bubun and me were little bit skeptical about the venture as we didn’t have any guide. Road was good enough to speed at 30kph. Vegetation in and around the road was a good indicator of the various Fauna species that existed in that region. Absolute superb place for RBTs to hide in the tall grasses and pachyderms to roam about safely. We were informed by a group of people on the way to Kandhaida that group of elephants were in and around. That created some thrill but to no avail we could see the elephants. We reached the game tank in about 20 mins. Being all alone over there, we tried our luck to see the black stripped prince. But again our bad luck continued. Only it had left the pug marks on the banks of the water hole.
Signs of Elephant
Fresh Pug Marks
Kandhaida Game Tank
Somebody would have surely experienced that...nahin to Idea kahan se aaya
We returned back to the main road to go towards Bhimdhara, a small waterfall inside the sanctuary. It was again deep inside the forests. Being late winters, already water was trickling down from the top. Folklore is that Bhima . younger brother of Arjun and Yudhistir did put his knees with lot of force on the top of waterfall , as a result a small tank has got formed. Bhimdhara has been named after him.
We again drove back to the main road inside the sanctuary and enquired about Labangi.After hearing that road is absolutely in worst of the conditions the inevitable could not be avoided. We did drop the plans of going to Labangi. May be some other day we would sure come back. Still that place beckons me. Drove back to Bhubaneswar and reached around 9 in the night. Barely a sleep of 6 hours and I had back packed myself again. After Tigers; it was now turn of another of dreaded species on earth…Welcome to the land of Crocodiles - Bhitarkanika National Park.
COMING UP....BHITARKANIKA NATIONAL PARK AS NEVER BEFORE