Importance of Natural Resources

Offbeat & Unexplored Travel – Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh, India

A couplet by Ahmed Faraz goes like this Some find their destiny as they begin their journey. While for some like us whole life is a journey. These wild tales will keep you engaged as a co-traveler with me in my journey. People will show us the path, while you and I will tread over it. It takes 10 hours from Delhi and about 4 hours from Lucknow to reach the village ‘Mihirpurwa’ by road. This road, after 45 Kms, will end at Katarniaghat located at the bank of river Geruwa. ‘KatarniaGhat’… Katarniaghat abuts the Nepalese border. This forest deserves equal recognition, if not more than the renowned Jim Corbett National Park but… for its name being linked to a famous hunter! The most unfortunate part is that even people from their own state know little about this wonderland. We will stay at the ‘Tharu’ huts for next three days. The simpleton villagers don’t realize what a treasure trove Katarniaghat forest is. Rare and fast depleting Vulture species, seem to be thriving here. They nest on the tops of the highest trees. These act as safe havens for their offsprings, keeping them far away from known or unknown dangers. This small village is located near the ghat. Inhabitants in and around it are either dependent on farming or on the visiting Nepalese who buy their essentials from Katarniaghat. The Terai region abuts many international boundaries. Jungles in these areas are ideal for a wide variety of flora. The river is abundant with crocodiles. In the area around the river, they seem to be the undeclared rulers, nothing moves without their knowing it. We climb a tree hoping to sight a python. And there he is ambling in a marshy patch! Our first day here is coming to an end. The sight of the setting sun gives an impression that the forest of Katarniaghat is welcoming us with open arms! This was only possible at Katarniaghat within few hours before the sunset. The winter chill and a veil of heavy fog make the forest look even more enchanting! And with the golden glow of sunlight, a new day announces itself. The forest seems to have come alive with the sounds of birds and animals. The foxes are at play. A wild boar family seems to have shed their shyness and are now making their presence felt. Even the monkeys have come down to bask in the morning sun. This peacock seems to really-really very happy this morning! The python is reported to have made a big kill this morning. There are many unknown and unforeseen dangers that await us in this dense forest. Crossing this marshy patch with the help of the creeper branches lying on it is the biggest challenge. This python is 20 feet long and weighs more than a 100 kilos. His body temperature has increased. His quota of sun’s heat, will help him digest the food and optimize body temperature. He would move only after his body temperature optimizes. This view is rare for any wildlife enthusiast. But when you are in Katarniaghat, you can hope for such enchanting sights and they will behold you again and again! Hope is what keeps the wildlife. The third day is upon us! Climbing this 100 ft ‘Machan’ is no less a challenge than climbing a cliff, but if you don’t have the benefit of a ‘Drone’ then this is a necessity. Moreover, you may forget what you saw in the picture but what your eye sees stays with you lifelong… The Geruwa river originates from Nepal. Beyond this, there is the last Indian village located near the international border. The river is free from pollution. Their is abundance of predators like crocodiles and alligators along with sufficient supply of food for them to feed on. That’s how nature balances the biodiversity. Whenever you visit here to see these big lizards, you won’t return empty handed. In the abundance of big lizards, this portion of the river also hosts Gangetic Dolphins, However, filming them is not an easy task. This part of the river is known as the ‘ amazon Trail! The gentle flow and the balance of nature around you will experience an unworldly peace and harmony that should be enjoyed and respected by us. Champa and Jaimala they are inseparable. These two female elephants neither move around or eat without each other. They have started recognizing me. So much so that when I don’t bring them anything to eat, they show their displeasure by angrily tapping their feet on the ground. We wait to see each other. In pursuit to sight a tiger, we have been closely listening to the forest. And then it happened, for which were all very eagerly waiting. By the time come back, the sun is already setting and the forest is on its glory. As we see a pack of swamp deer returning home and there is this checkered keelback seems to warning us to nor come in between it and its prey. Ambushing at night, Leopard zeroed in on the prey and ready to pounce. Instead of escaping, the valiant porcupine attacks the Leopard with his killer spikes. After this counter attack from Porcupine, Leopard quickly changes his mind as well as path. Attack is the best defense in Jungle.

Reader Comments

  1. This one is so professionally made. The visuals and story have been so well blended and I want to watch it over and over again and again. Cheers

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