We went to Bannerghatta National Park yesterday. After an awful ride through dug-up and extremely dusty roads, we finally reached there… The first and foremost reason for us to make the trip was defeated… To have a smooth and fast drive.
And the Bikers (Ragul,Me,Sumith,Kannan & Joseph... from L to R)
Oops... Kailas was missing in the last one
Since it was a holiday (Saturday, as well as Sankranti/ Pongal festivals) people flocked to the place and it took us quite sometime to get the tickets. We went in for something called the GRAND SAFARI (Rs.110, about $2.50 per ticket).
As we went in I saw a very heartening sight. NO PLASTICS ALLOWED (apparently a deer had died some days back, consuming plastic). They were taking meticulous care to pack everything in paper bags so that the harmful plastics are not exposed to the animals. But since I was in India, I should not have been too optimistic. I saw people sneaking plastic items into the bus as it’s easier to carry and the wait to transfer it into paper bags would consume their PRECIOUS time.
The safari stared, first showing us some Deer (striped/ non-striped /big /small etc). But we were a bit astonished by the fact that the deer were not bothered by our bus near them. Either they were used to it, or they were bound by (invisible) chains (I would like to think it was a real safari, so they were used to buses… Period)
Then it moved on to what was called a BEAR Safari, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. There was only a single Bear and that too, it was more interested in the processed and bowl-served food than the whole lot of deer that was hopping around him.
But if that was a disappointment, the LION Safari was a total letdown. Yes, we saw lots of Lions (about 10 of them) but they were all in cages, taking their afternoon naps after a fiesta. If caged animals is their idea of a Safari, I wondered, what next?? This trip was going to the WILD dogs. We started taking more interest in the antics of two cute kids on our bus than the scenes outside.
CUTE KID 1
CUTE KID 2
But as a Sine wave goes with crests and troughs… the trip had its high point, and that was the TIGER Safari… after passing the initial Tigers, again in cages, we got to a point where there were 3 tigers walking around our bus… That was cool.
Tiger, Tiger Everywhere...
Then we saw White tigers and the trip took a turn for the better. As our safari ended, we were in a much better mood than when we started. The zoo was a good one with all sorts of animals from zebras to leopards, snakes to monkeys. We had Joseph trying to “ape” some of them as he tried to scale heights that no man has ever done before.
We also saw a fight between two porcupines, which was scary as we were standing just beside the cage. Joseph had his camera and one hand inside the enclosure and did a funny but great job of pulling his hand (and more importantly the camera) out before anything unwanted happened..
And the winner is...
We loitered around for sometime having some fun of our own and making the most of this "Out of the City" atmosphere. Then we headed back.. to "Square One". Though the drive back was as horrible as it could be… it was just that the trip was not bad and we quite enjoyed it.