Monday, January 31, 2011

Chambal Pristine & Esoteric

The river is an epitome of purity, less damaged by polluting industries and urbanity. It is surrounded by enigmatic low rise sandy mountains that create an amazing maze of ravines. The ravines are topped by scanty thorn forest of Babul typical of arid and semi arid zones in India. The amazing spectacle of ravines and river flowing through spell binds and intrigues.

Chambal was once notorious for harboring Dacoits like Phoolan Devi, Daku Man Singh, Tehsildar Singh,  Daku Madho Singh, Mohar Singh, Chhidda Makhan  and others. Decimated gangs of dacoits or bandits still patrol the region giving sleepless nights to the law and order machinery.  Anyway all the Cat and Mouse chase has been effective in curbing the menace. The menace has not hampered tourism and is limited to rural environment perhaps dominated by local politics.    

For the travelers visit to Chambal River Sanctuary is the easiest way to experience the rivers magnificence.  The panoramic river cruise on motor boats is and enchanting experience.  The river is home to two crocodilians the mugger and gharial besides the Gangetic river dolphin. The fauna is amazing  eight species of freshwater turtles, smooth coated otter, jackal, hyena, fox, and some nocturnal mammals. 

The bird life is interesting one can see Indian Skimmer, Great Stone Plover,  Long Legged Buzzard, Osprey, Black-bellied terns, Sarus Crane, Woolly Necked Stork, Black-necked storks, Bar Headed Goose, ruddy Shelduck, teals, Bonelli's Eagle, Laggar Falcon, Sand Lark, Brook's Leaf Warbler, stilts, Comb duck and more.

The vegetation is diverse depending upon the region the river traverses through. Nevertheless vegetation is dominated by arid zone floral elements. The geology is diverse with sedimentation and soil types that are much varied.      

A short visit is worth it perhaps few hours of boat ride and birding on the shores. MPT facilitates motorboat ride at affordable fee at Dholepur in Rajasthan. MPT is on the Madhya Pradesh. part of the river across the bridge.    

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter travel in India

It is important to take basic precaution during India tour in winters. Severe winter ranges from mid December to mid January. In some hilly areas it may stretch for longer period. The severity may occur anytime hence one has to be prepared to face it. 

Exposure to cold could be more frequent and extensive hence on needs to be best equipped. Warm inner, sweaters, jackets, socks, head gear and  hand gloves should be with the traveler all the time. Some basic accommodations may not have a heating system hence an extra quilt should be in one's bag always.  

High altitude may not suit travelers with breathing problems hence should be avoided. Places above 1400 m can be quiet uncomfortable for such travelers. 

It is wiser to carry all prescribed medicine for those susceptible to cold and high altitude. The cold is not restricted to North India it can be severely cold in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh at Places. A good doctor may be able to give apt advise to travelers in India during winters. Masala tea or ginger tea proves very good for cold and cough. Try it! Any chaiwala will make you a ginger tea.

Due to fog flights, rail and even road traffic may come to a stop hence on should keep an alternate travel recourse well planned in advance.  Even tough winter is a healthier season in India road side food and water should be avoided at all cost.

It is better to make your trips during the day and return to hotel in the evening since the cold gets worse after sunset. The nature is at its best during the winters and the landscapes splendid enjoy your travel in this incredible country. 

Nainital Tour

As we climbed up the road to Pangot from Nainital township the landscape began to change. The snow all along the road made matter worse. But the driver of our bus handling the vehicle expertly and we were assured. The tourist from UK had never experienced all this. 

As you climb higher on the road to Pangot the sight of Himalayan Range is breathtaking. One can see a long stretch of the magnificent Himalayan Range if there are no clouds. breathtaking is what my guests described it as.

Pangot is about fourteen km from Nainital township and is visited most by birders. Birding is the major activity at this hamlet. It snows in Pangot albeit less frequently sometimes blocking the road to Nainital township. Major birding stops are Kilbury, Bagad, Vinayak, Gugghu Khan and the township itself. 

The place clean and unspoiled by ubiquitous plastic that you see everywhere in the district of Nainital. The plastic is littered everywhere in rivulets, roads and countryside. It is surprising that no removal system exists since Nainital is a prime tourist destination. Most of the visitors are young couples on honeymoon. The inbound tourists from foreign countries come here mostly for birding at Sat Tal and Pangot. 

The next destination is Corbett Tiger Reserve for tiger safaris and birding as well. Corbett is a well known destination.  As a tour escort of destination management company I enjoy visits to Nainital. Most of my tours are for bird watching and it is exciting to be at Sattal, Pangot and Corbett National Park.