When my train from New Delhi to Bharatpur got cancelled; I was a bit worried. Travelling by bus is not such a bad option, but With my Entire Camera Gear and Laptop in My Backpack, the process is a little inconvenient, to say the least.
New Delhi to Bharatpur is a Mere 200 kms. But with Communities agitating for their political reservations and whatnot, the road is not a smooth one, and when Jaats are involved, perilous even.
But, when I’m travelling alone, I tend to take risks. So, even when the Bus Operators called and said they won’t be going to Bharatpur, but will drop me in a place called ‘Mahwa’. And I’ll have to arrange transportation from there.
The only thing positive about this whole mess was that, I had a valid hotel booking in Bharatpur. So, chanting ‘YOLO’ in my mind. I boarded on that bus at 7 PM from Kashmiri Gate.
After a long jerky and uncomfortable bus-ride, I found myself in the Crossroads of Mahwa, with no means of Transportation to Bharatpur. The buses refused to stop and taking a 60 km hike was ‘inconvenient’ to say the least.
But my luck was yet to run out. I found a share taxi, who offered me a ride to Bharatpur for a mere 100 bucks. I reached ‘Hotel New Spoonbill’ at around 6 AM and immediately went to bed. I thought I’d spend the day fueling my lethargy, but when I woke up, I felt an uncontrollable urge of going to the jungle.
I was predetermined to hike the entire safari, because tuk-tuk was expensive for me. 10 PM was a bit late for a birder, but the weather was pleasant, so I didn’t mind…
No Cars are allowed inside Keoladeo. You either take a Ricksaw, or you walk. I felt taking a Ricksaw unnecessary and expensive, and as the weather permitted, I took a hike through.
In theory, Keoladeo houses around 230 species of birds, and during my entire hike, I came across a quite a few species of birds, some of which I saw for the first time. Which includes the majestic Egyptian Vulture and much more…
I went to the ‘Salim Ali Nature Interpretation Centre’ and had a Gulliver and Lilliput moment reading about the contributions of Salim Ali to the Keoladeo National Park.
I came back early that day, because of last night’s tiring journey wore me out fast.
Next day I was early, but the cloudy day and occasional drizzle made my hike a little difficult than the previous day. I had to make frequent stops, and find shades.
This day I went deeper into the Jungle, and found a flock of Great White Pelicans, also a couple of Sarus Cranes and a Few Pythons even.
As the train services didn’t resume, I decided to take a state bus back to Delhi.
I’ve been to Bird Sanctuaries before. But a bird sanctuary of this Magnitude was a dream come true for me.
P.S – All the Photos are Taken by Yours Truly… Your Feedback is Much Appreciated…