Thursday, April 15, 2010

Corbett a 2nd time : Part-I

The second visit to Corbett turned out to be as exciting as the first one. We will remember it more for some misadventure than the thrill of being very close to the tiger. Luck was not on our side this time too. Thus our sighting score is 0 out of 2.

This time we had a drive in trip. Last one was a KMVN package with confirmed Dhikala booking. The highway NH24 from Delhi has improved a lot since our last visit, specially the section beyond Gajraula. You can easily drive above 100 in the Gajraula – Moradabad section. Construction activities have shifted to Ghaziabad – Gajraula section. We got stuck in jams at some areas on this section on our return which coincided with the evening rush hour. However on our onward trip there was very little traffic hold up. But I would like to warn you of Simbhaoli and Garhmukteswar. If you can cross these two points without getting stuck you should feel lucky.

We had stopped at Gajraula for breakfast. If one starts early from Delhi, then this is where you have to stop for breakfast. Though there are many eateries located at the point where the flyover starts at Gajraula, most of them are run of the mill. If you looking for decent ones, then you need to cross the flyover. There even is a McDonald at Gajraula on the other side of the flyover, some half km from the end point of the flyover. Around the same location, there is a good restaurant (I forgot the name) which is on the right side of the road if you are travelling from Delhi.

We had arrived at CTR Office in Ramnagar town around noon. Getting the passes took some time as the staff was out for lunch as well. While waiting for our passes, we decided to satiate our lunchtime apetite at the KMVN located next the campus. The KMVN restaurant offers good home like food which is not very spicy or oily. Having the entry permit spared us the trouble of coming back to the town next day and stand in queue for permit. We would save a couple of hours by this. We headed out of the town to look for good accommodation for the night. We had enquired with a couple of resorts at Dhikuli. The ones along the highway are costlier. The bigger the sign board, the more the costlier. The Corbett Inn quoted 5500 per room. These resorts are running on packages booked by various travel agents in big cities like Delhi. The luxury cars in their parking tell the story. Thus they are off the limit of smart traveler.

We spotted a small signboard of a resort named Jungle Paradise, just next to the Corbett Inn. It was pointing to a narrow lane by the wall of its luxurious neighbor. About a 100 meter walk along a paddy field lead us to a scenic campus with natural surroundings. This resort comprised of few cottages nested among a paddy field and forest. The place appeared much better to us than the costlier Corbett Inn which appeared artificially landscaped. We were initially quoted Rs.1200/- per cottage. But then because of our requirement of 4 cottages, we could bargain it down to just 900 rupees. That was a real bargain. All the families liked the place, specially the kids for the lush green lawns. Photos of the resort tell the story. We were offered the services of a local boy who led us to the Koshi river in the evening. It was a small nature walk to refresh us after the days driving. Food served for dinner was decent.

(Contact nos. of Jungle Paradise : 09412035559, 05947-284314, 09927772567)

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