The trip was very well organised by Juniper Wings, headed by Joydeep Ghoshal. Two teachers from our school accompanied us. All of them had their share of experience regarding wildlife and we learnt a lot from them. We stayed at the White Tiger Forest Lodge. Bandhavgarh National Park, which is known primarily for its tigers, is also a paradise for bird watchers.
Our teachers in particular are extremely skilled birdwatchers. They taught the budding photographers from Akshar how to make the best use of cameras to capture flying birds. It was because of them that we spotted over 80 species of birds such as the Malabar Pied Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Changeable Hawk Eagle and Jungle Owlet, among others.
The Bandhavgarh National Park is divided into various zones. We had three game rides and we ventured twice into the Magdhi region and once into the Tala region. The two regions we entered had completely different types of terrain. The Tala region is more dense and picturesque with 10th century AD caves and a huge figure of a reclining Vishnu.
When it came to spotting tigers, our group was divided and moved in three different jeeps. Tigers could be spotted only in Magdhi. Over two days we were able to see as many as five different tigers and that too from very close quarters. The tiger is such a regal creature. It has such grandeur and dignity. It is sad that we humans are killing such a majestic animal. Besides tigers and birds we saw other animals such as the wild boar, gaur, jackal, sambhar and the rare jungle cat.
An added bonus was spending some time at Bhedaghat near Jabbalpur to take a boat ride on Narmada river and see the beautiful marble rocks. An exciting moment was when we spotted three majestic Indian Eagle Owls perfectly camouflaged in the rocks.
The trip has affected each of us in different ways and we have become wiser with experience.
Class X, Akshar
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