Sunday, August 28, 2011


It was only couple of days back that we took a decision to take a break from hospital work for couple of days and be at the Betla National Park which is only about 15 kms as the crow flies, but about 40 kms away by road. It was the first park in the Indian subcontinent where a tiger census was done sometime in the 1910s. However, over the years the number of tigers have come down from to technically 8, but practically one which was sighted sometime in January 2011.

We arrived after a hurried day for me at the office. We had finished our selection process for the nursing school over the last couple of days. I had barely any time to pack, but my sweet better half had ensured that all my essentials were taken. I had hired one of the outside vehicles for the trip rather than take a hospital vehicle.
The drive was uneventful. The scenery was superb after the regular rains we had over the last couple of months. It was so pleasant to see the Auranga river full of water.

We had not done our homework well on where we would stay. We had booked a room in the Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation guest house called 'Van Vihar'. The decision was a tragedy. However, we were blessed to have the 'Tree House' of the Forest Department unoccupied and we shifted over to the same, today afternoon.
We had a quiet overnight stay at the former place. Today morning, we came down to the park entrance for an elephant ride. Unfortunately, the gentle beast was booked for the day. The mahout offered us a booking for the next day which we gratefully accepted. However, we decided to try our fortune to sight some animal by taking a jeep-ride. The only thing we spotted was few monkeys and a peacock. The guide assured us that we would definitely spot elephants if we came back in the evening. We had come down to get some time of peace and quietness. Therefore, we politely declined the offer.

Later, in the morning, we had a time of worship at the Gems mission centre. It was humbling to see very poor people come down to this place. Pastor Santosh is doing a very good work among the people in this region.

After a simple lunch at the Forest Guest House of which the 'Tree House' is a part, we had a good afternoon siesta after quite a long time. We planned to go to the museum before it closed for the day. Unfortunately, the staff had decided to close it early and we will have to postpone our visit to the museum for our next trip to the park.

By evening, quite a big horde of deer had come down from the forest to the 'Tree House'. We had a good time just watching them graze.

We wait patiently for the elephant ride tomorrow. Who know? We may see the tiger tomorrow (

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