Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley-Nameri & Tezpur

………..Continued from my previous post “Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley-Nameri National Park”

Before we went further deep into the forest, Jainul Abedin, the forest guard, briefed us about the treks. He stood straight with his 3not3 rifle and said that this jungle treks allows one to get real close to wild elephants and a great way to spot the rare species of white-winged wood ducks, the great hornbills and other birds. He requested us to be extremely careful not to make noise on the trekking.

Kidding with him, I said, “Oh yes! with this 3not3 rifle and physic of yours, I doubt if you can rescue us.”

My friend KKD also joined me and doubted if Jainul Abedin had any bullet at all loaded in his rifle. Jainul Abedin is a gentleman; he managed a smile on his face. A smile only! Really, a smile without any word can always confuse you at times. It may either be a “yes” or a “no”. I asked about his tenure of service here. Surprise! Surprise! It was his first posting after 17 months training and he was here only for past few months. However, we were most sure of the treks to be safe and hence were not worried about Jainul Abedin’s capability. He told us that noise may scare birds and other animals, and we might miss watching them. It sounded rational, so we followed him on the trek keeping a reasonable silence.

Amidst the forest at Nameri National Park

Amidst the forest at Nameri National Park


Jungle Trail at Nameri

Jungle Trail at Nameri

We were trailing deep into the forest, noticing some birds at far distance, Jainul was telling their names, but neither our eyes could spot them clearly nor it was coming in my 18-55mm lens. Binocular was left at home due to rush. I noticed a baby elephant alone roaming in the middle of a bush. That was the only mammal we saw until now. So I took the snap.

Baby Elephant in the middle of a Bush

Baby Elephant in the middle of a Bush

It was a scorching heat, animals and birds were not also encountering, so we soon broke the rule of keeping silence and became rowdy. We were moving towards the watch tower discussing loudly about the probable outcomes of the Lok Shabha Election-2014. We reached at the top of the tower. The grazing field surrounded by the deep forest was bare of animals. It might be the heat or even the rowdiness of us that the animals hided in the forest and we could not watch any of them.

The bare grazing field

The bare grazing field

Our effort to see wild animals, and the rare white winged wood ducks remained unsuccessful. We were returning, and several miles of jungles yet to pass through, that we saw Jainul rapidly signaling us to stop and to remain silent. He was signaling us again and again to keep quiet. In his gesture, there was indication of an urgent situation, an impending danger. He was asking for a complete silence.

We were by now could hear the rumbling sound, which was mounting fast, echoing everywhere surrounding us. The earth below our feet was vibrating with the sound. It was the noise of some wild animals. We never thought that we would be amidst the forest of looming danger and in all possibility to come face to face with some wild animals. We all were standing quietly in a row with the poor dutiful Jainul Abedin in the front. Chandra, whispered from my behind, “It’s a Tiger”. I too thought alike. I was looking at the nearest trees, trying to spot which would be the easiest to climb, if situation arose.

Jainul Abedin was now very near to us, he whispered, “It seems to be a group of wild elephants”.

“Are you sure?”, I asked him.
“May be yes”, he whispered again.

I have seen elephants so many times, fed them bananas, saw Mahout riding them and heard their trumpeting, but that sound was not like trumpeting. It was more like roaring of tigers or lions that I heard in zoo. So I was not at all convinced with the judgement of Jainul Abedin. I thought it’s better to keep my eyes open and brain in action for own safety, especially because we were accompanying by a forest guard with a very little on field experience. But he was at the helm and we needed to follow him. A single man with a 3not3 rifle, GOD knows, if loaded or not, the ratio was 5 of us to him. He suggested Kamal and Prakash to move ahead of him and me, Chandra & KKD to follow. We were moving cautiously and quietly. It was a serious situation, no animal was visible yet, only the heart shaking rumbling sounds. We all were trying to escape somehow and were following each other’s steps. Jainul was looking confident to handle the situation, he pointed towards the bush to spot some wild elephants hiding there. I immediately made up my mind of running zig zag in case of an attack. They were growling loudly and we all were maintaining absolute silence yet moving forward. . How could I not click a snap of them? I looked through the lens, not sure of how much could I zoom in. But before I could click Jainul pulled me and virtually taken away from there. He cautioned, “Are you carzy? Elephants will not spare, if caught.” He forced me to go fast to catch my friends who were far ahead by now. I did in the end catch up with them and we did escape safely. It was perhaps Jainul’s quality training that enabled him to be alert on time, identify the noise correctly and handle the situation brilliantly.

We were now, after having lunch, driving back to Tezpur. The last few minutes in the Jungle were a real adventure. I was wondering how much more adventurous it would have been if the rumbling was accompanied by some live action.

I believe Nameri is the best place to be included in the itinerary when you travel to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh OR it can also be included along with your tour to Kaziranga National Park, Assam which is only 112 KM away from Nameri. But one must stay here a day or two to enjoy the beauty of this place and to see the rare species birds, and wild animals.

We reached back at Tezpur before the sunset. We saw Agnigarh Hill, it is a place, according to Hindu mythology, where the King Bana isolated his daughter Usha inside the palace which was surrounded by a wall of fire, because she felt in love with Anirudha, grandson of Lord Krishna. The present day Agnigarh is now only a hillock facing the Brahmaputra. It offers a great view of the mighty Brahmaputra River.

Agnigarh Hill Entry

Agnigarh Hill Entry

: Hari Har war depicted at Agnigarh

: Hari Har war depicted at Agnigarh

Statue of Lord Shiva at Agnigarh

Statue of Lord Shiva at Agnigarh

Near the Agnigarh hill, there is Cole Park which recently renamed as Chitralekha Uddyan. The entire park, with its horseshoe-shaped lake and walkways, is a beautiful place at Tezpur. The rowing and paddle boating facilities are also available here.

Cole Park at Tezpur

Cole Park at Tezpur


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The sun was setting down the mighty river and the birds were flying back home. It was the time to call off the day and our tour as well. So we sipped a cup of Assam tea and hit the road to our home.

View of Mighty Brahmaputra from Agnigarh Hill

View of Mighty Brahmaputra from Agnigarh Hill

Contacts that may be helpful:
1. www.nameritr.org
2. Nameri Eco Camp – 07896145560, 09435220697

18 Comments

  • AJAY SHARMA says:

    Dear Anupam,
    I am gradually becoming a fan of your narration. It was so wild and serene, wow! Predators don’t attack but elephants do, we have encountered such situation in Betla long back. The 303 rifle didn’t mean for shooting, it is open fired to only scare the beasts.
    It was a right decision to step back than taking risk in capturing the shot because you were vulnerably on foot.
    May I suggest all, please don’t wear loud apparels when in jungle trek, that makes you noticeable and shy them away. Also, it is immensely important to maintain silence & follow the Jungle rules.
    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Keep traveling
    Ajay

    • Dear Ajay,

      I remember, you mentioned about your Jharkhand tour while commenting on my earlier post of this series. So it was Belta National Park. I completely agree with you, we were not in correct apparels and also we took it so lightly that we broke the golden rule of maintaining silence on the jungle trail. Unlike Belta here you will not get a jeep safari.

      Yes, in such deep forest you may come even close to the predators, who knows?

      Thank you for all the supporting words and so kind of you for taking out time to read it and not forgetting to review it.

      I think that my fellow Ghumakkars, who are also great writers, and who read it, might have some reason not to write their comments. However, I feel in the same way as they might be when they come out with their travel stories. To all of them, You will get me a reader of yours and I will certainly not forget to share my feelings.

      Thank you very much.

  • Indrajit says:

    Hi Anupam,

    I have read all in the series. All are great. You have a great flair for writing.

    You have beautifully articulated your travel adventure. It is a nice captivating travel story. Photographs are marvelous.

    Thank you for sharing your adventure.

  • Delightful shots…and so good to read you :)

  • Dear Siddhartha

    I delighted to know that you liked it. Thank you very much for your comment.

  • Sharmistha Dan says:

    Gripping story Anupam. Forests always attract me.
    Jainul Abedin reminds me of a local tour guide(I regret that I do not remember his name) at Neora Valley National Park in North Bengal. There were no animals out there. But that person guided us through the forest, plucking fruits from trees and feeding us, tearing a leaf here and a flower petal there to help me cure my cold and singing Nepali songs all along the way.
    I hope to visit Nameri sometime and have Abedin as my guide.

  • I wish that you can follow your heart soon. Again I will say ( just a few minutes ago I commented on Nandan’s Story) oh, nostalgia, how can I say, I don’t need you anymore.

    Thank You Sharmistha.

  • Vipin says:

    Interest tale, Anupam ji…loved reading it. Would definitely love to visit Nameri next time, we are around…Thanks for sharing! & completely agree with Ajay ji on this view about jungle behaviour…:)

  • Dear Vipin Ji

    Thanks for liking the story. Hope you will certainly visit there.

    Best wishes.

  • silentsoul says:

    very catchy post with captivating fotos. It is always good to avoid elephants, as they are moody and there is no escape from their attack.

    your Nikon 5100 has produced good fotos. I have recently purchased D-5300 and hope to capture good shots with my first DSLR :)

  • Dear SS

    You hit the bullseye. How do you know it is Nikon 5100? Good luck with your D5300. I have recently upgraded the lens to 200mm.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • silentsoul says:

    LOL Anupam ji I am a magician… I can even tell that Shiva’s foto was shot at F -5.6 at 1/125 seconds at ISO 320 !!!! colors further enhanced by Photoshop 7 .ha ha ha ha

    now guess the secret of my magic !

  • Ha Ha Ha…. let your secret of magic be with you. You are absolutely correct with all the figures. one thing, you have inspired me to learn something more about these modern days IT features. May be from you only! LOL

  • Nandan Jha says:

    For some reason, I could see it coming. Esp after you emphasised on the rowdiness aspect of the group.hehe. May be it is so simple to say in retrospect.

    Ajay has mentioned great points about what to wear and to remain quiet. But it is really hard to contain the group once no one sees any action in initial 1-2 hours. All in all, a great story. Thank you Anupam.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Anupam,

    Interesting encounter with the unseen animals. We can’t blame them – its their home and we are unwelcome there.

    The episode was heart pounding!

    Enjoying your posts and hope to visit Nameri sometime.

  • Thank you Nirdesh. Please do visit Nameri and other places of Assam and NE. NE is a great place to explore.

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