How adventurous does it sound when someone talks about taking a Journey by Indian Royal Enfield from Patna to Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve that is approximately 222kms??
Well it did sound a little too adventurous to some of my friends when i proposed the plan to them. Their obvious suggestions were ” why not a road trip to Ladakh or Spiti and moreover Why Bihar?? Though they agreed to take this road trip still their minds were skeptica about the kind of experience they were going to get.
As they say, when you are behind the wheel, the adventure is in your hands. In our case this road trip changed our worlds forever and gave a new vision as a traveler. I went to the trip with my friends who made the journey more exciting.
We hit the roads at 5:30 am in the morning from Patna. It took around 8 hours for us to reach Valmiki Nagar via Hajipur, Bhagwanpur, Muzzafarpur, Motihari, Bettiah, Lawria, Harinagar and Bilaspur to Valmiki Nagar.
In the mean while we did stop for breakfast at a very famous local food shop which served us world’s most delicious Littis, a speciality of Bihar and Chai. As we served our appetite we again hit the roads by crossing beautiful landscapes and colorful villages situated at the both sides of the roads .
Though we lost our ways twice which increased our time of travel but we managed to reach Bilaspur around 3 pm where we met our Host Mr. Sitanshu Amar who belongs from the family Of Zamindars of Bilaspur estate who was generous enough to host us to the entire trip from Bilaspur to the Forests of Valmiki Nagar.
Sitanshu offered us fresh food from his farms and while we were having our food he asked us to eat properly and said “now you are going to experience what you have never seen before’, get ready for the real adventure guys he added as we moved towards the forests and then after it what we saw blew our minds!
We were criss- crossing and meandering rivers and streams. We were driving into the landscapes and routes of dense forests and farms.
Crossing grasslands and manmade canals, Hill Range with knife-edge ridges and precipitous slopes, cliffs, spurs, gorges, narrow valleys and grasslands as we reached the resort owned by Mr Sitanshu which was surrounded by the raw nature in the dense forests ranges of Valmiki Nagar where we stayed for the rest of our trip.
At the night we tried to relax by taking fresh pump water pool bath and danced on the rhythm of the nature, enjoying every bit of the moment.
The next day we started our trail hoping that we get lucky and atleast spot one Tiger. Mr. Sitanshu accompanied us as he is probably one man who is extremely familiar with the entire Forests ranges as he spent his childhood there.
He took us through Govardhana and into two forest ranges which were Govardhana Kapan and Mungaraha forest reserve by crossing the terrain landscape of Shiwalik ranges of Himalayas.
We also crossed the flood plains of Gandak and Burhi Gandak and spotted Indian leopard, Deer, Sambhar, wild Dogs, etc. If one gets lucky they can spot a lot of other animals like Wild Buffalo, Wild Boar, Barking Deer and many more as Valmiki Nagar is home to a larger varieties of birds, reptiles and wild animals.
While crossing the flood plains of Burhi Gandak, Sitanshu’s car got stuck in the sand of the floodplains. We tried for another two hours but the car was still stuck there and we got really scared of animals that could say hi to us anytime.
Luckily we were spotted by SSB commandos who helped us in taking the car out of the sand . We thanked the commandos and our fate and went ahead.
We also got to meet Tharu people who were roaming in the forest. Tharu is a dominant tribal community in the landscape. We got to know that it is said that Tharu people migrated from Rajasthan to the Himalayan foothills some 400 years ago. One of Sitanshu’s assistant’s was also from the same tribe. We started heading back to the resort only to come back again because we could not spot any tigers yet.
We reached the resort took rest till the clock ticked 5am. We went into the deep forests again just to get a glimpse of the beauty and find Tigers but all we could get was a fresh paw mark going from one side of the jungle to the other side. Well, that only gave us adrenaline rush that a tiger was around.
Though we could not spot a tiger but we did got the feeling that he might be around and that is a very difficult feeling to express as we came back to the resort with a mixed feelings of fear, courage, alertness and adrenaline rush.
We knew that our trip was about to end but then now all of us also knew that a drive of 8 hours from Patna can take anyone to the heaven of Valmiki Nagar National Park and wildlife Santuary.
The place is for any adventure and wildlife enthusiast. We then took our drive back to Patna with a change. A change from skeptical to sensitive as we were now aware that Bihar is the new Capital for all the travellers who want an endevour into the raw and unexplored beauty that nature has gifted to this state.