In its 36/2 odd months of existence, Ghumakkar has about 12 stories on and around ‘Corbett Tiger Reserve’ (CTR). I was fairly certain that I am not going to add one more to this list, more so when I have already written about it once and even more when the current trip didn’t involve going inside the park, at least for me. But as life goes, you end up doing more of un-certain things as you try hard to be more certain about what certainly you would not want to do. My last trip to CTR started at 5 AM from Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on Nov 22, 2008 and finished at about 5 PM on Nov 23, 2008. Thats 36 hours and the inspiration for the title.
Before you lose interest, let me share with you that I was all by myself for about 12 hours of this 36 hours. The time when I was driving. In simpler words, I was all alone during the journey, a first for me.
0500 – 1000 (First Five)
It was pretty dark at that early in the morning. I got armed with some music which I picked up at last moment, some company to have and I could find Begum Akhtar, Smokie, Kaajal, Shakti – percussion stuff, easily so grabbed them. A food packet by my significant half, along with driving instructions including the one to eat the food at least to drive the monotonicity of driving solo and of course lots of good spirit.
It was not long when I found myself going steady and quick on NH24. The drive till Hapur has always been much better, with most of the section being double and a good quality tar. Without making this section into a Road Review, let me drive fast. The next section was painful, Gajraula, Garh Mukeshswar are pain and getting acher with every new day, almost till about 20 KM before zoya, things are challenging. Zoya to Moradabad is very good. When I was close to Moradabad, I called up my office guys (sorry if I didn’t tell you this) who have started the previous night on a bus and I was definitley not disappointed to learn that they are not too far and probably we would reach CTR at same time. Moradabad to Thakurdwara to Kashipur to Ram Nagar was all routine and good. By the time it was 1000 hrs I was way past Aamdanda Gate, Dhanagarhi Gate, Mohan and was close to Girija Devi Gate when I saw this bus. Went past and checked-in at “Ram Ganga” resort.
1000 – 1200 (Getting In)
The resort is one big luxury contraption with a large swimming pool, around 10 huts, 10 large swiss tents and 10 suites, a well located sunny dining hall, a central gathering area which is covered with provision to put a bon-fire. Large lush green lawns, neatly manicured, rows of flower pots and pebbled pathways. And flanked with mountains from all sides, with a large iron rope-way bridge hanging majestically on one side and tons of serenity around,it was the best we could have managed. I have tried to write a small review with pics here.
Most of these two hours were spent looking around, and eating the nice spread in the sun.
I think I didn’t tell you that “Ram Ganga” is the name of the river which goes alongside the resort. So time to head to Ganga and wile away more time. The river is shallow but very clean, you can see the bed. Folks must have clicked at least few GBs of digital pics before they decided to come back and have lunch.
1500 – 1800 (Eat, Siesta, Tea)
Mostly rice and rogan-ghost which was very nicely cooked. The lemon corriander soup was frugal but yet rich. Eat, a quick noon siest under the Sun, get-up to some commotion, more sleep. Afternoon siesta are like being in a state of limbo where you are not really having a long un-interuppted run of sleep, rather its a mix of highs-n-lows where you wake up only to go back to sleep. Tea by the evening and it was starting to get dark, when we could find everyone together.
1800 – 0000 (DJ, Drinks, Bonfire and More)
Before you kill me for talking about a high-decibel DJ in Jungle, let me suggest you to grow-up and be more adaptive. At least I tried to do that, acting as a bar-man for some of the time, taking frequent walks outside the club-room and gradually building a small group of rebeles and then nourishing that group over time, to join me over bon-fire. DJ was over early, bon-fire did start but could not mature and folks decided to retire.
0000 – 0600 (Zzzzzz)
0600 – 0900 (A Mini Trek)
We went to this lovely Mini-Trek in the morning. Sun was already out by the time we reached to the top. We managed the stretches and climbs pretty well and it was sheer bliss as we reached on top with decent-sized meadows and un-interuppted views. Amid the trek, the high point was the conversation which ranged from trivial to insignificant and in turn making it all the more interesting to sustain and gorge upon.
0900 – 1100 (Eat, Get Ready and Get Out)
Get back to camp. Eat and get out.
1100 – 1230 (Marchula to Ramnagar, Safari Planning)
I was to head back to town but my fellow friends wanted to do a Safari. We reported at Ramngar CTR office and booked safari for all. I moved on.
1230 – 1700 (Coming back to Real World)
Driving through bright sunny roads, I put on Begum and as I was maneuvring my way through the dusty towns of Gajraula and zoya with horders of ox-fords (cattle driven vehicle) lugging cane and what not, Begum was singing at her Thumri best, I could not have asked for more.
36 hours well spent. This log might appear rushed, intended.