We were experiencing two long years of stress and anxiety because of the pandemic. We were suffering from mask wearing, no travelling and scrolling all the time gloomy news.
Now, we were seeking to travel to the place where we can have a healing effect on our minds and bodies.
In such a situation, we had decided to travel to Sikkim for a week – long program. In fact, we had a thought to seek regenerative travel to bridge the gap between self-care and exploration.
I like most to “adventure in woods” and that dream came true when I wandered in the woods while visiting a dense forest there.
Yes, that was Mahananda Weir Wildlife Sanctuary. We entered the sanctuary through the Sukna Gate side.
Sanctuary is Situated between Mahananda and Teesta River in Siliguri. This vast expanse of forest lands is home to rare mountain goat, Cheetal, barking deer, fishing cat, sambar, tiger, elephant and Indian bison and migratory birds.
On the east of the sanctuary, is bounded by the river Teesta and on the west by the Mahananda river and hill cart road.
There was an offer for a day jungle safari. The total distance in the safari route is 8 km . They have advised us to come back before it is dark because there was always fear of wild elephant attack.
Our guide mentioned that elephant rides at the sukna forest area were available earlier, now discontinued. This is because sometimes wild elephants get into conflict with the elephant doing the rides and start chasing them.
On a couple of occasions, elephants with tourists on their backs panicked and ran, creating enormous risks for the tourist. On one occasion,
Tourists taking the ride were about to fall off. That is why the elephant rides have been discontinued.
That sanctuary is huge and dense . There are a variety of plantations seen all around in the forest. Amongst the forest plantations we have seen Khair, sissoo, simul,and sal forests. Other major plantations includes teak, udal, champ, Lali, Jarul, gamar, mandana, siddha and bamboo orchard. There was a large grassy area as well.
We have been told that the forest has the zone for elephant migration. elephants migrate between Nepal, west Bengal and Assam areas and a huge number of elephants can be seen in winter and monsoon season.
There are Bengal tiger, lots of other animals and reptiles are different types of birds are present in the forest . We were unlucky not to spot Bengal tiger during jungle safari.
This sanctuary is also a haven for the bird – watcher. There are over 300 species of birds in this sanctuary, including one’s like hornbill, peafowls, peacocks, fouls, egret etc. many migratory birds arrive here from central Asia as told by the guide.
This Mahananda wildlife sanctuary has been accorded the status of ‘ ‘important bird area ‘ because of its ongoing and critical role in conservation of birds and their habitats.
We were excited to see several watch towers that have been set up in that sanctuary, which is great for watching elephant migration and watching deer, Indian bison and other animals. We would have been enjoyed all these facilities, but we had to catch the train and reach the station in time.
We had seen one good thing there . The government has been encouraging eco – system in the sanctuary that involves villagers from 11 villages, including several forest villages.
The villagers help to conserve the bio-diversity of the forests and protect the wild life. Many of them have been engaged as guides to the tourists. The village girls take part in ethnic cultural dance and music to entertain the tourists.
There is a large, and well-stocked museum located in the main building. We have seen preserved leopard in a glass cabinet. There are many exhibits and artifacts here that reflect the flora and fauna of the jungle including preserved skins of tigers, head of deer and bison, etc. but the major attraction is the preserved cub of an elephant and a huge Royal Bengal Tiger there. That is all about the Jungle safari.
Friends, someone truly said that when we travel and enjoying the moments, actually, we rewire on our brain. We have got new experience that is helpful in building new neuro pathways in our brain.
Consequently, we feel relaxed and fresh. Moreover, we become more energetic and more creative, generating new ideas to make our life happy.
Yes, we had enjoyed the moments in the woods, and that was a wonderful vacation filled with memories and smiles. I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me in the woods.
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BE HAPPY….BE ACTIVE….BE FOCUSED….BE ALIVE…
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Categories: Tour & Travel