Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley – Nameri National Park

………..Continued from my previous post “Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley-Part 1

History never forgets nor forgives. So I leave the facts of Indo China War 1962 on the pages of history. We were on a day out and were going to Nameri National Park & Tiger Reserve which lies along the foothills of Eastern Himalayas. It is located 35KM away from Tezpur on the Balipara – Bhaluukpung road. Nameri is unique in having a rare assemblage of sympatric carnivores like Tiger, Leopard, clouded leopard and wild dog.

Royal Bengal Tiger at Nameri

Royal Bengal Tiger at Nameri

(Photo Credit: http://assamforest.in/NP_Sanctuaries/images/imgNameri_tiger-L.jpg)

The rich and varied bird diversity of Nameri attracts people from all over the world. So far 374 bird species have been identified of which some species are globally threatened. The rare elusive White Winged Wood Duck is the added attraction of Nameri.

White Winged Wood Duck

White Winged Wood Duck

(Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org)

We were nearing the Nameri and were watchful not to miss the road which goes through the forest on the right from the highway. We did not find difficulties noticing the big sign board along the road indicating the way towards the park.

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We took the road going down on the right. There were two more sign boards along the road, one of them asking the visitors to keep watch as one is to pass through the Elephant corridor. The other board was written in local language describing Nameri as also the sanctuary of migratory birds.

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Road through the forest to Nameri National Park

Road through the forest to Nameri National Park

It was then about 11 AM, we stopped at Nameri Eco Camp. This camp is managed jointly by the government of Assam and an NGO in association with the Department of Forest, Govt. of Assam. We entered into it; they have a tourism information counter in the front. Before coming we decided to have our lunch here, so contacted the reception immediately for placing the order in advance before visiting the park, but by now they were full with order of visitors in the camp. But they were very friendly and told us to enquire in another resort called Jiabhoreli Wild Resort which is located near the Jia Bhoreli River. But before that we needed to obtain necessary entry permits from the Range Officer, Nameri Wildlife Range. We chatted a while with people in the information counter and came to know that this Eco Camp offers the ideal platform to explore Nameri National Park. The camp has an excellent ambience, nice tents and comfortable surroundings. It looked like that one can just sit outside the tented cottages and spend some quality time within the camp. They also arrange evening campfire.

Entry Gate of Nameri Eco Camp

Entry Gate of Nameri Eco Camp

Inside the Eco Camp

Inside the Eco Camp

The Eco Camp offers to the visitor river rafting for either birding or Angling (angling now suspended) on the Jia-Bhoroli River. According to them it is the best place for rafting for beginner (Rafting here is more of a pleasure ride). One needs to travel upstream by jeep and then travel the same distance downstream by rafting. Lots of migratory birds can be seen during this trip and if lucky enough, one can even spot the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Elephant on the banks of the river.

A team leisurely rafting in the Jia Bhoroli River

A team leisurely rafting in the Jia Bhoroli River

They advised us to get the permits as quick as possible otherwise we may find it difficult to get lunch even in the other resort. It is because; this remote place is located far away from the nearest market place. The office of the Range officer is located just before this camp and we immediately rushed into it for the entry permits. Entry permits are issued from 9AM to 1PM and from 4PM to 7PM on Monday to Sunday on payment of specified fees. The permits are required both for rafting which is 14 km in length (rafting time is from 7AM to 2 PM) and also for wildlife trail walking of 5 KM starting from Potasali Ghat (Trail timing is from 7AM to 12 Noon and 2PM to 5PM). The Park remains open for the visitors from 1st November to 30th April.

We paid entry fees, guard fee and ferry charge and obtained the Entry Pass. Our journey by car began in the company of one armed forest guard. We went first to the Jia Bhoroli Wild Resort and placed order for lunch in advance, then headed towards the park and soon arrived by the bank of Jia Bhorali River to cross over the same by ferry to enter into the forest. There are no roads inside the park, so jeep safari is not available. Elephant safaris are though organized by the Eco Camp, we preferred to trail through the forest. We waited a while for the boat to ferry us.

Visitors crossing the Jia Bhoroli River

Visitors crossing the Jia Bhoroli River

Our turn to cross the river

Our turn to cross the river

Jainul Abedin, a 27 years old forest guard was assigned for our safety on the jungle trek.  We cross over the beautiful Jia Bhoroli River and arrived on the forest camp office on the other side. Someone was waiting here for us and she was none other than Moromi, a beautiful deer tied up with a rope in middle of the forest.

Oh my dear Moromi!]

Oh my dear Moromi!]

“Moromi”, in Assamese means “a loved one”.  She was looking at me with her pretty eyes. I could not move further. I felt like I was caught by her looks. First time ever, I felt for a deer like that. It was a love at first sight, if that exist at all. I came close to her, spread my hands for a hug and it was gracefully accepted by her.

My intimate moment with Moromi

My intimate moment with Moromi

All moment has an ending, so as my intimate moment with Moromi.  Saying bye to Moromi was hard but it was time to go until we meet again. I marched forward to the jungles with my friends in search of some animals and rare species like white-winged wood ducks and the great hornbills.

We were signaled to stop by Jainul Abedin near a tree. He showed us a Gecko on the tree peeping out from its home. Tokay Gecko, a lizard species are found here.  He told that such Asian lizards are grown upto 35cm-40cm in length and the local name of this lezard is Keko Saanp.

Tokay Gecko

Tokay Gecko

He hinted that there exists an illegal trade of such Gecko and they are sold as much as Rs. 5 lakhs in the international market. To verify the truth, back at home, I searched on the net and was really shocked by the report which was published on “The Telegraph, Calcutta, Page Northeast, Saturday, March 30, 2013”.  The headline opened up a lot, “Gecko smuggling on the rise in Tezpur – The lizard species is used in making Chinese traditional medicine.” So it is China again, it has not let free the Tezpur even after 52 years of Indo China war 1962, this time in the role of a buyer, promoting illegal trade here. But can we shoulder off our responsibilities? Can we keep our eyes closed? Awareness – where it is?

…….. Thrills await us on the jungle trail ahead.

 

14 Comments

  • AJAY SHARMA says:

    Hi Anupam,
    A brilliant post on the very natural, Nature. Eco-Camp & its ambiance seems very attractive, specially the board atop the tree. The jungle track penetrating the high rising trees in parallel reminded my days in Jharkhand. Rafting seems some what like sailing, where is the thrill!
    Sensible writing about the awareness!!!! Indeed where it is? Why blame others, when we are betraying.
    Maromi, tied, why? Its a national park, so where is the need of captivating, perplexed me. Grudges again, too short, at least hoping it was a complete story till the trail, restless, come soon with the end portion.

    Keep travelling
    Ajay

    • Anupam Chakraborty says:

      Dear Ajay

      I can’t disagree more on all of that. Yes, rafting is not an adventure here unlike Rishikesh. I will complete the story in my next post, I promise.

      Thanks for your such nice comments.

      Anupam

      • AJAY SHARMA says:

        Thanks Anupam for the assurance! In fact, I love NE, visited so many times in the past. A nature crazy hence, the restlessness. Wish to follow the paradise leisurely soon again. Your company may benefit a lot.

        Keep travelling
        Ajay

  • SilentSoul says:

    Anupam post. Why is there an armed policeman in boat ? is it a dangerous area ? terrorists or animals?

  • Anupam Chakraborty says:

    Dear SS

    I understand your concern. The worst part is over, I guess. Assam is now a quite place. He was a armed forest guard for our safety in the Jungle Trek, to provide safety from wild animals. Safety inside the park is the responsibility of the Forest Dept., Govt of Assam.

    Thanks

    Anupam

  • Nandan Jha says:

    This is a first on Ghumakkar, a FOG. Thank you.

    Your narration along with those pictures of none but just the Jungle and the river is so soothing to the eyes and soul. Thanks.

    @ Ajay – Moromi looks like a domesticated Deer. I know that being tied up kind of kills the whole idea of a National Park but I have seen similar things in Corbett and Rajaji. In Corbett, Dhangarhi Gate, there was this Sambhar who would roam around, get close to visitors and used to hang around there. At Raja-ji, they rescued a baby elephant and it was growing under the care of Jungle authorities but tied. May be it was tied so that it remains safe and doesn’t go to unsafe places. Usually forest folks are careful on these things.

    • AJAY SHARMA says:

      @ Nandan, Agreed Capt!
      Let me tell u a story, Hazaribagh, means a place with thousands of tigers, indeed there was and so it was christened, but in the PAST.
      I, for the first time happened to visit the NP, after riding my 2-wheel in the entire forest, lastly found only a deer, domesticated, tied with a tree near the FRH. It was way back in the early Nineties.
      Being close to my then settlement, we still happened to visit the park more often, just that it was wild, despite of no Wild Life, because of the Nature Crazy characteristics.

      Hazaribagh is in Jharkhand. A mystic place, out of many-many more around there, which has never ever been hyped by the grace of Good-Governance of the pathetic politicians there.

      Regards
      Ajay

    • Anupam Chakraborty says:

      Dear Nandan

      Assam and NE is a less explored region though there are many such places for nature lovers. During our visit, I, learnt that one European couple stayed at Nameri for more than 30 days and explored the park. Interestingly our forest department gets the main feedback from these tourists only and not the Indian tourist.

      Hope GOOD DAYS ARE AHEAD here too.

      Thanks for your support.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Anupam,

    Nameri has everything – river, forests and wildlife. What more can you ask for?

    Enjoyed the beautiful post.

    After tiger bones and rhino horn, now the Chinese wants to eat geckos – unbelievable.

  • Hi Nirdesh,

    Yes, what more one can ask for. It is always encouraging whenever you get such a comment from your favourite writer.

    Thanks for your encouraging words.

  • Sharmistha Dan says:

    This is the first time I read a travelogue about Nameri. Beautifully written with a hint of social awareness. I particularly loved your moment with Moromi. Awaiting for more such travelogues from you.

  • Hi Sharmistha,

    Even I loved to be with Moromi. At the same time I completely agree with the argument of Ajay as above.

    Thank you Sharmistha for taking out time to read it and commenting on it.

    I wish I will read soon your stories too.

  • Niladri Choudhury says:

    Dear Anupam,

    Very pleasant read indeed. Remind me of my road trips to Mergerita from Digboi. Miss the dark blue sky so much.

  • Thanks Nilu. Its better late than never. You found some time to read it, that’s really nice. If you get some more time, read the others in the series, you will surely miss Assam again. And do think of giving a visit here.

    Thanks again.

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