Last weekend we headed out on another road trip, this time to Jim Corbett National Park, which is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. The park was established in the year 1936 and is India’s oldest National Park.They have a wildlife and tiger reserve there and I’m still on a quest to see a tiger in the wild before I leave India. As is the case with life, the journey was every bit as interesting as the destination.
The park is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and It took us about 7 hours by car to travel the 250 kilometers. We drove through a number of small villages and towns, including Ramnagar and Muradabad. I’ve been in India for 6 months now but the things I see on the roads still fascinate me!
Strange sites in traffic
We saw all kind of strange things on the roads, including vehicles stacked with goods as high or higher than the vehicle itself. Of course intermixed with all the cars are carts pulled by donkeys, cows, camels or horses. Ad to that tractors laden with crops, bicycles of all shapes and sizes, and pedestrians darting dangerously across the highway, and it’s sheer chaos. Somehow though it’s entertaining and frustrating all at the same time.
We finally arrived at our resort nestled besides the beautiful Kosi River. The hotel was lovely and lined with lychee, mango and Jack fruit trees.The lychee were so good that I couldn’t stop eating them! I was also impressed with the many variety of flowers (pronounced fool in Hindi). The hydrangea bushes were gorgeous and reminded me of home. The landscape was an interesting mix of desert and exotic trees and bushes.
We had every intention of going on a safari, but several other guests told us because of the heat they hadn’t seen a single animal in days. The temperature out was over 110 degrees. Plus spending four hours out in the scorching sun suddenly didn’t seem so appealing. So we passed on the safari and spent most of our time lounging and swimming in the pool.
We spent the next day walking along the rocky banks of the crystal clear river and playing with a group of wild dogs. Wild dogs are everywhere in India. Most of them are very playful and starved, not only for food, but attention. We took one last swim before packing up. All too soon it was time to head back to Delhi. The road trip home was just as fascinating as the trip out. I never get tired of all the weird sites and sounds of India. It is non-stop entertainment! It was the most relaxing trip I’ve had so far during my stay in India. It was just what I needed at exactly the right time.