My team at Siemens suggested we go to Similipal for seeing Tigers. I jumped on the invitation. We used to work at an average of 11 hours per day. This was our routine for more than 2 years at a stretch with very few holidays. So, we planned one weekend in Similipal.
Similipal is is Orissa (now Odisha). We finished office on Friday and went straight to Howrah station. We caught an Express Train at around 9 PM. We travelled in unreserved compartment. We got down at Balasore. (Balasore is the first big city in Orissa when you travel by train from Kolkata towards South India.) It was about 3 AM in the morning at that time. Arpan had arranged for a driver to pick us up from the station. We all boarded the jeep.
It was early in the morning at about 6 AM when we reached the check-post of Similipal.
After completing the formalities at the check-post, we proceeded on our journey. Our driver took us to the Circuit House Arpan had reserved. It was a very nice place full of flowers and gardens. The rooms were very comfortable. We relaxed for some time after finishing our toiletries.
At around 10 AM we all assembled in the garden to have breakfast. The caretaker at the Circuit House had arranged local breakfast for us. We were all very hungry and thus ate whatever came our way. Then, we went around the Circuit House.
At around 11 AM, we started for our adventure with the forest. The road was very treacherous. However, we least bothered about that as we were taken aback by the beauty of the surroundings.
We passed many villages on our way. The driver kept promising that we could get to see Tigers anytime.
We found that villagers had set part of the forest on fire. This was a routine they had to do at that time of the year.
We soon found ourselves driving up a hill. We all were very thrilled. The scenery was breathtaking.
After driving up some more, we saw a beautiful water fall. We took a lot of photographs here.
I also managed to get this shot of butterflies here.
However, so far we had not seen any Tigers. And to make matters worse, we had not seen any animals also so far. However, all of us took a lot of photographs of the surroundings.
It was an extremely hot day. So, we stopped at a village to collect some water.
As a last resort, our driver told us that he would take us to the place where the Forest Officials fed the Tigers. We would have a decent chance of seeing Tigers there. So, we all agreed. After about 1 hour drive, we reached the place.
We saw the arrangement the forest officials have for feeding the wild Tigers. However, we had reached a little late as the feeding time was over. Nevertheless, we spent some time here in anticipation. However, we could not see any Tiger.
So, we left the place. Next our driver took us to a temple on top of the hill. There was stream here and lake. We were all very excited to see this. We all wanted to swim. However, none of us were carrying our swimming trunks. So, we dressed down to our underwear and entered the water.
It was nearly evening by this time. So, we got dressed and asked the driver to head back to the Circuit House. At the Circuit House, Arpan announced that he had told the caretaker to cook Desi Chicken. We all gathered around a bon-fire and had lots of fun singing, dancing, etc. After dinner, we all packed our luggage and again boarded the jeep.
We reached Balasore station at around 4 AM in the morning. Our train was at about 4:30 AM. The train came of time and this time we had reserved berths. We all crashed on our berth and slept till we reached Howrah station.