Apr 1, 2013

Call of the Wild- National Chambal Sanctuary, The river of Gharials


Chambal NAtional Sanctuary Gharial
Gharial

Well, I was in Gwalior and the time wasn't right. There was a lot of tension in Gwalior ... Travel agencies advised me not to venture out. And I wanted to visit the National Chambal Sanctuary which was very few KM away from the epicenter of all the tension- Morena. Next morning, I thought of giving a try than sitting in the hotel room. First, I reached Morena (38KM). I enquired in that dusty bus stand about reaching the sanctuary by public transport. Well, people were very helpful and I boarded another bus. Looked like everyone in the bus knew that I was getting off at the boating terminal. When the bus arrived at the place most of them spoke out ... 'yeh chokri, yahaan utar jao' (get off here) ... Well, I got off ...

Gharial Crocodile

It was hot and I found only one family of tourists looking for a boat ride on the Chambal river. I asked if I could share the ride with them. But, aunty-uncle-bhaiya-bhabhi refused :( Well, I hired a guide and a boat only for me. Saw few Gharials, a Muggar from far away and two Gangetic Dolphins. You know? Gharial crocodile is critically endangered, Gangetic Dolphins are endangered, and Muggar crocodile is threatened! It seems these playful Gangetic Dolphins are blind!! The river is also home for another critically endangered species- Red crowned turtle, which I didn't see in the wild but saw few hatchlings at breeding center. 

Chambal sanctuary turtle
The ride over the Chambal river was good. I was surprised to know river Chambal is a major tributary to river Yamuna. Yamuna in Uttarakhand, who descends down from Himalayas, gets some more water from Madhya Pradesh!!? Amazing nature :) The landscape is very unique which was hidden from the world because of the notorious past. Mid afternoon wasn't great for any photography and also crocs were a bit far away. The dolphins swam away pretty fast. Now, I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable that the guide and driver kept staring at my face all the time. I asked them why were they behaving so. The answer was ... Sister, you city people come here and enjoy watching crocs. We enjoy watching crazy city people!! ... Interesting huh? The river ride was good but, I decided to return. The guide suggested me to visit the Deori Crocodile Center which is the safest breeding centers for gharials, muggars and turtles.

Morena Gazak Madhya Pradesh
Morena Gazak
On the way back I got off the bus at Deori to see the hatchlings. It was a great experience to see those infant crocs and turtles of different ages.  Really a fantastic place and very friendly staff. After taking few photographs and having a cup of chai I took a bus to Morena. 

I remembered about the popular Gazak, a sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery. Especially the gazak from Morena is popular. I wanted to buy some and went looking for it. The shop keeper was kind enough and allowed me to take a picture of the pile. It was good day-long excursion and I reached Gwalior in time. Though I didn't face any problems I always felt little bit of discomfort. Clearly I was anxious! May be because I was aware of the notorious past of the area and the dacoits who don't exist today ... but then ... all is well that ends well :) 

That was the last destination in Madhya Pradesh for me. I was eagerly looking forward to meet my parents. On my return train journey I kept thinking about all those destinations, experiences and people I met. I had seen more than I thought, I remembered more than what I saw, I photographed more than I remember. A small fraction of all that is here in this blog. It is never possible to put many things into words. They should be just left to be- imagined, searched, felt, experienced, tasted, captured by eyes, saved in the memories of lifetime!

End of an episode in the book of my Travel Stories! What an incredible journey it was- to the Heart of Incredible India!
---

Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Related articles-
Backpacking in Madhya Pradesh
More articles on Madhya Pradesh
Backpacking India series
Wildlife around us

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
---
Creative Commons License
Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

27 comments:

  1. Nice pics specially the one with several ghariyals together. Never seen so many of them together. Ur post makes me wanna visit the place now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog Shaivi and thanks! You should head out soon then :)

      Delete
  2. I have never even heard of this animal. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting huh? Blogs really take us to farthest corners of the world! Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Delete
  3. Wow! What an adventure you had. I can understand your anxiety but am also envious that you saw such rare and fascinating creatures. Wonderful photos too and I really enjoyed th! commentary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol! Yeah, sometimes to see something rare we got to do some adventure!

      Delete
  4. what a fascinating looking animal. is this only found in india?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, cool looking animal native to Indian Subcontinent.

      Delete
  5. You sound very brave traveling to places for real adventures. The Crocodiles are cool, as long as you do not get too close. Awesome photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eileen! I don't know if I am brave, but when I want to do something I will do no matter what! Yes, crocs are crocs :)

      Delete
  6. I love those incredible crocs...such long skinny snouts and those teeth! WOW! This is such a fascinating post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Linda. Glad you enjoyed my corner of the world!

      Delete
  7. those crocs are wonderfully captured but they are not friendly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. This may sound mean - but I hope the family that said you could not join them saw less wildlife! Such a meanness of spirt.

    Nice post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha ... I don't know! I didn't see them after that! Everybody has their own way :) Thanks!

      Delete
  9. Another lovely one from Madhya Pradesh. Loved reading every single post about it. You should travel again to MP and write again on it. ;)

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/04/ruralscapes-of-india.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you NIranjan! Glad you liked the account of my MP journey! I will travel to a totally different state and hope people will like those experiences equally :)

      Delete
  10. Fascinating images of unusual creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jamie. Yeah, gharials are native to Indian subcontinent and hence look unusual to rest of the world :)

      Delete
  11. what a great and interesting post! i've never seen a gharial crocodile before--so different from the usual crocodile. dolphins in the river--how exciting! you're brave travelling alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Luna. Gharials are native to India so not commonly known.

      Delete
  12. Yes this is my first time to see these crocodiles even in photos. I agree with the comment above that you are so brave traveling alone, but i guess being also an Indian has special privilege there. I also wonder what is the place's past that makes it a bit unsafe for tourists. I will be back to backread your older posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad many of the readers of my blog saw gharials for the first time! Hmmm I don't know if I am brave but traveling alone, be it man or a woman, is something rare among Indians. Being Indian I know the language which helps a lot!

      Delete
  13. you should write a book...love your travels..hugs to you Kusum..Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle! May be some day I will write a book :) Hugs to you too ... get well soon!

      Delete
  14. Looks like a great time you had by yourself. The memories you made will last a long time. Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

    ReplyDelete

I would appreciate to have your precious thoughts, suggestions and kind encouraging words in comments. Please do not include self-promotional links.I am encountering some problems because of these links and hence I may not publish them.