​Celebrating Holi in Shivalik Jungles

I laced up my boots and went for a small hike along the concrete road in the Jim Corbett National Park.
Not celebrating Holi in the loud North Indian style with stubborn colours and incessant beings was a conscious decision, which paid off the moment refreshing mountain breeze entered my lungs on a cold evening…

Scarletminivet: I had seen a scarlet bird for the first time in the wild

It was just touch and go trip which lasted less than 24 hours… but boy, watching a red bird or rather Scarletminivet, Jungle Owlet, Himalayan Bulbul, family of Deers crossing over to drink from River Kosi or taking in such a huge number of chirping House Sparrows as well as Red-vented Bulbuls gave my senses a much deserved break and rejuvenated me. 

Jungle Owlet which i mistook for just another bird

Prettiest sight was these psychedelic birds prancing about. Centuries old thick deciduous woods of Himalayan foothills are a treasure trove for nature and wildlife lovers like me. 

I didn’t do any of the jungle safaris for want of time and am sure that would have led to more sightings… but there’s nothing like spending a spring morning searching for hidden wildlife oblivious of intruders like us, on foot …

Pretty Himalayan Bulbul, this is the 2nd type of bulbul species i discovered that is found up there

And what is exhilarating is capturing unusual moments of these wild beings in one’s camera to make it a memory for lifetime!

Ever more dramatic was seeing a Jungle Owlet flying. I mistook it for some bird and would have continued thinking so had it not been for my camera zoom…

Revelling in the flora and fauna of the Jim Corbett jungles can be a never ending experience, the more you walk, the more you see, the more rewarding it gets.

Spotted Deer, saw many of them there

Sauntering along river Kosi can be both nice and boring as the river is dry during spring season…

I have a word of caution though don’t go into the thick jungles on foot. Forest officials also warm you against the same via signage every few meters. The reason is safety of both humans and wildlife.

On another note, in the vicinity of my hotel there were different elephant sheds where the pachyderms were kept for safaris, God knows if they were treated well or not. But most of the time I saw them feeding on grass.

Pachyderms are commonly used in Corbett for safaris

My last thought? I wish Holi 2017 lasted 3 days, for me to take in more of the scenic and invigorating break! 

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