It was a cold morning in the month of Mangsir when we started our journey from Kathmandu to Sauraha. We took a tourist bus to get there and reached to our hotel in late afternoon. The weather over there was cool and welcoming. The trip has been exciting to us. For me, it was the first time I have ever been to terai and the topographical distribution left me enthralled. And for my husband, because of his photography passion, it has been an opportunity to capture the exotic beauty of Sauraha again.
After having lunch, we got to meet our tour guide. He gave a brief introduction about himself and the activities to be carried out the following and the next day. We were planned to visit sunset viewpoint at the evening. This gave us time to take rest for few hours. In the evening at around 4:30 pm we headed towards our destination. On the way we could see few tourists and as per information provided by our guide the no of tourists had declined that month. We were also provided information about the national park, the wildlife species and the local community. The lovely view of sunset and its reflection on the river was so spectacular that it made us fall completely in love with Sauraha. We could also see some crocodiles and gharials basking on riverbanks. There was also Sauraha beach restaurant for the visitor to relax and enjoy the view. We also got to know that camping is also done at night in the beach of river.
Later in the night we visited Tharu cultural dance center. We got to know that there were two cultural dance centers at present. Varieties of Tharu dances representing and reflecting Tharu culture and tradition was presented in the program. The peacock dance fascinated me the most. The cultural program was so entertaining that we could see a huge crowd of tourists and local people were enjoying it. On the top of that, the viewers were invited to participate in dance at end of the program, which added more excitement in the viewers. The next day was planned for canoeing, jungle walk and visiting elephant breeding centre in the morning and elephant ride later in the evening.
We were happy with the hospitality of the hotel we were staying. They provided us with delicious food and their service was impressive. Next morning we had our breakfast and left for canoeing. The canoeing was in Budhi Rapti River. We were accompanied by few Japanese tourists. The cool environment in the morning and the beauty of nature was worth to view and we got this wonderful experience to explore beauty of the Chitwan National Park through canoeing. We got an opportunity to view crocodiles and gharials and varieties of bird species on our way. After canoeing we had short jungle walk. It was a great opportunity to explore and experience beauty of flora and fauna. We were given instruction about do’s and don’t and how to stay safe if encountered by wild animals. We were totally in love with the exotic beauty of national park and captured all those lovely memories in our photographs.
Then, we headed towards elephant breeding centre. It was fascinating to watch the interaction between mother and baby elephants. We could also observe the multitask use of their trunks. Most of the mother elephants were chained up for the safety of visitors. From there we went to our hotel for lunch. We planned to utilize the time before the elephant ride. So, we headed towards market area for some shopping. We went to the market area by walking so that we could explore the area, and know more about the local life. We could see enormous number of hotels, resorts and lodges on the way that has made the trip of Sauraha more comfortable for the visitors. Varieties of handicrafts shops were present. We bought some gifts for our loved ones.
Our next activity was elephant ride and we were really excited about it. The ride lasted for almost 2 hrs and we were accompanied by two other American ladies. Our Maute was very interesting person and his conversation made our ride even more interesting. He also provided us some information about the jungle. We also got to know that each elephants were given a specific name. On the way we got opportunity to see plenty of deers, varieties of bird species, few monkeys and we were lucky enough to see a couple of rhinos. It was an amazing experience to explore the beauty of the Chitwan National Park through canoeing and elephant ride.
As our travel plan was for 3 days and 2 nights only, we returned back to Kathmandu the next morning. During this short trip we were able to experience some wonderful moments that will remain in our memory forever. The trip was worth to its fullest. The beauty of national park was a beauty at its best. It is a best destination for all the nature lovers and we look forward to visit it again soon.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://ghumante.com/authors/retina.png[/author_image] [author_info]
Retina Shrestha is a travel enthusiast from Kalanki, Kathmandu. A nurse by profession, she loves to spend her free time reading novels and writing.
The Photos used in this story are taken by her husband and fellow traveler Bidhan Rajkarnikar.