The Virgin Beauty – Arunachal Pradesh Part 9
Travel Dreams Archive 30 May 2013
The Virgin Beauty – Arunachal Pradesh Part 9 (concluding part)
Nameri National Park is located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Sonitpur district of Assam. We had booked accommodation in Nameri Eco Camp. It is situated about 45 Km from Tezpur and about 1 Km from the banks of the Jia-Bhoroli River. It offers the shortest route into theNameri National Park, Assam. The entire place is set amidst dense green surroundings. There are luxury tents for travelers’ accommodation. Food is served at a common dining hall. The Eco Camp offers a grand ambience within the forests. When we reached there it was dark.
Bookings at this Eco Camp can be done via phone 9854019932, 9435250025, 9435145563. Jayanta made the place extremely comfortable for us by talking casually. He arranged for some chicken that went very well with the drinks we were carrying. The cool weather, pitch dark surroundings and the constant cricket calls gave us goose bumps. We were also excited about the action packed following day when we would go for a jungle trek followed by river rafting and finally experience the traditional Bihu dance organised specially for us by Jayanta.
We got up early next day, walked a fair distance and then had to take a boat to the Potasali Wildlife Camp. Armed forest personnel accompanied us for the trek. We saw some exquisite birds, colourful insects and beautiful flowers. We saw an elephant not too far off. The guard told that it could be a wild elephant. But we were not sure whether a group-separated elephant could patiently eat in the middle of the forest. We could gauge that the elephant was aware of our presence. We could not however see one of the famous white-winged ducks.
The point that we admired most was the class of the trees in Nameri forest. The mixed and deciduous forests house a lot of medicinal and commercial trees. The Sal, Teak and Shimul trees were really awe-inspiring. The quality of wood was fantabulous. No wonder, trees are getting smuggled from these forests on a regular basis. No wonder the ULFA militants once based out of Nameri forests had no shortage of funds.
It was past midday and getting increasingly hot. We came back to the Eco camp for lunch and in the mid-afternoon we started for the river rafting on Jia Bhoroli. We were soon in our life jackets getting ready for an exciting raft. The river isn’t deep, but the current is significantly good at some of the points. We saw red-necked ducks and a host of flying Little Black Cormorant (or simply Pankouri in Bengali). By the time we reached hotel, it was dark. The Bihu dancers were ready to perform. It was a marvellous performance by the local folk dancers and we really enjoyed it. The young men and women dancers in traditional colourful dresses and the musicians playing Dhol, Basuri, Khanjani made our evening really sweet.
Early morning next day we went to Tezpur, around 35 Km from Nameri, to take our flight back to Kolkata. It is possibly the smallest plane we have ever boarded; 20-seater planes don’t normally operate in other areas. That was the end to a reasonably long, yet eventful trip that we will remember for some time.