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Published: June 11th 2020
Cuckoo coo!! The alarm startled us on a chill December morning forcing us of our cosy beds. With a rejuvenating effect that early rise provides (seldom nowadays), carrying our backpacks (less you carry, more you enjoy!), six of us started our journey around 5.30AM from Dibrugarh. It was a misty morning and the ride was scary at times as nothing was visible at even stone’s throw. Alike the weather, the driver too was a gloomy grumpy person who spoke very less. So, switching to new and old numbers, we kept ourselves warm.
Our first stop was a roadside hotel at Moran for a cup of morning tea. En route we stopped at Dergaon for breakfast in a hotel named “Hotel Gajanan” which was unique of its kind for its way of serving. We had poories and sabji served in banana leaves. We so much enjoyed it, reminiscing of granny’s delicacies in native villages. Sun was still playing hide and seek and the blanket of fog persisted until noon. The huge Sukafa complex at Jorhat was under construction then. Being Sunday, we came across lots of markets from vegetables, fish to livestock ones. These areas thronged with people busy bargaining. On reaching Kaziranga, at the kohora range, a one horn Rhino was spotted to our delight. We crossed a tamed elephant too which as local belief says “sight of it is good during travel”. Slowly few of us dozed off owing to non habitual early rise.
Finally that juncture was reached where the roads diverted one for Guwahati and other for Tezpur. Crossing the famous Kaliabhumura Bridge, the longest bridge of Assam till then above Brahmaputra we reached a chariali where one road was towards Nameri. Nameri National Park is at the foothill of eastern Himalayas, a few kilometres from Tezpur, adjacent to the Pakke Tiger Reserve of Arunachal. It was all lush foliage and far at very long distance, hills and mountains were visible. We opened our GPS which worked fortunately. With its help we spotted the Nameri Eco Camp run by Assam Angling & Conservation Association. Angling in this region though has been banned nowadays.
The camp was a lovely place with well built cottages and camp tents. Our tent’s name was “Mohmara”. We checked in our respective camps and kept our luggage there in. As it was only 1.30pm, the receptionist advise us to do the rafting today itself so that next day we can relax a bit. It was indeed a good decision. We got ready for the rafting which started around 15 kms away from the camp. We went in our car and the rafting boats were taken by another vehicle with the riders. On reaching the Jia Bhoroli River we were astounded by its beauty with the blue hilltops in the backdrop. Jia Bhoroli River is one of the major tributaries of river Brahmaputra. This river was famous for its fish “the golden mahaseer” which are considered endangered nowadays. Rafting in Jia Bhoroli is of mild nature .Except one or two, most of us were scarred of water and this thrill adventure added to our fear .I enjoyed though being the only swimmer in the group. It was told that there will be two rafts which can carry maximum of four persons. Being six in numbers we decided to take two rafts with three in each. The view was exquisite with blue horizon. The water current was not that dangerous in fact it was sort of sailing rather rafting. Only at very few places we encountered some whirls. The sound of the water hitting against the rock was very soothing. It was around 2 hrs of rafting. We saw flocks of birds flying towards the forest. There were many the white winged duck, the Indian cormorant, ibisbill, and little brown cormorant
. Nameri is worldwide renowned for its fauna, rich with around 300 species of birds. People from various corners come here for bird watching –a paradise for bird watchers. The two hours came to end and as dusk fell; people sat on the banks, enjoying the evening breeze. The nearby village folks were mainly Assamese mising tribal community.
We reached our camp tired by the day’sjourney and thrilled by the rafting experience. Hungry as dead we had the evening snacks and freshened up for the bonfire party. Everyone had gathered near the bon fire, music was on but on low volume. Amidst the deep jungle, we sat there contemplating the beauty of nature. Away from day to day work, it was a complete different scenario. We loved it and felt revived in the wilderness. The dinner was served in our camps. We dined till late night playing cards and karaoke.
The following day we went on an early morning jungle trek. Our jungle guide for the day was a tall guy, Mr. Das. We walked down to a spot a mile away from where the snow capped mountains were visible. It was the riverbank “potasali ghat” from where we crossed the Jia Bhorolli River for the jungle trek on the other side. Capturing some beautiful moments, we sat in a small government registered boat. The river had a depth of around 30 metres in this part and hence it was so tranquil. On reaching there, we had to cross a stretch of river sands. There we saw footprints of elephant. We reached the forest guards office and quarters. From there around 8 mtrs we had moved on to deep jungle. We kept on walking clicking some pics of birds and trees, apprehending accounter with any species. But it was futile as we could not track any animal. We climbed a watchtower where we rested for sometime having some snacks and getting some photos clicked with the gun of the guide. He told us lot of stories of jungle trekking and encounter with wild ones, some funny and some scary. He was a nice person who loved this jungle and the creatures living here. He was proud of his job. We then reached a stream where we had some group clicks with him. On our return journey; we enjoyed watching the birds and the wild jungle flora. Lots of photographs came on the way. There were lots of leeches and almost everyone got a bite. I was among the lucky few.
Reaching our cottage, we were too exhausted. We relaxed, freshened up and packed our baggage. At the reception counter a warning sign was there “while trekking tuck your pants inside your socks to avoid leeches” which unfortunately we noticed later while having our stupendous breakfast! We took a stroll around the camp. Stalls beside the cottages had traditional attires, homemade pickles and locally grown veggies which were run by a women NGO “Ketekee”. We bought some delicious bamboo pickles from them. With some beautiful memories; we took leave of this verdancy though via historic Tezpur town this time.
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