A random query on the internet as to what crocodiles do all day would render an answer that it eats and watches its territory all day long! So, when I embarked on the journey to Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa, I got a bit wary of encroaching upon the prized territory of the deadly saltwater crocodiles to which the National Park is home.
Spooky lantern lit boat ride in the silent waters commenced my trip
The drive from Cuttack to Khola covering the distance of 140 kilometers had been nothing other than the usual but as night fell; the unwinding roads took me to the water bank from where I was booked with a boat- the only transport to Bhitarkanika. But, the eerie boat alight with lanterns in the dark of the night was simply out of the scary Anaconda movies hands down. Mute with apprehension, I took my lone seat and waited to land again in safe lands.
Presumable guests of the crocs, the hospitality of the Swiss tents was remarkable
The drive to the Swiss tents, my choice of accommodation had come very recommended but the strange noise in the stillness of the night had possibly numbed me terribly. And, then came the glorious morning when the quacking of the ducks woke me up and I paid good attention to my surroundings. Laced with all the modern amenities, the tents were a great way to camp in the middle of nowhere.
An interlude with the fiercest creatures on earth
Accompanied with the guide, I made my way to the Bhitarkanika National Park where among the mangrove forests lay some of the largest endangered species of crocodiles that have been conserved under the Dangmal Conservation Project. In large enclosures, secluded in some corner were the large reptiles brooding and looking just as menacing as they are yet, interestingly, they had been given some very docile names like Gauri! Basking under the sun was indeed their favorite pastime as I spotted plenty around in the boat ride that I rode in.
And I came back in one piece!
With the approaching dusk, I returned back to the comfort of the tents which suddenly looked very appealing. In the backdrop of the moonlight, there was a bonfire arranged for the guests. The cuisine spread may not have too many options but with the searing excitement, it felt amazing. It had been truly a day well spent at the National Park.
The next day, I caught on the informative Museum and spent time figuring the exotic birds. While the guide kept pinpointing in rapt attention, I strained with my binoculars paying as much attention as I could. All in all, Bhitarkanika National Park showed some myriad facets; it was pristine in the mornings, resplendent in the evenings and disturbingly peaceful and fearless in the nights. Here’s leaving you with a thought- how many places in the face of the earth can be attributed with such qualities?