Winter Holiday at Anshi National Park

Winter holiday well spent in an Indian National Park that you have visited recently. Describe your experiences within 450-500 words.

Every school vacation my father always takes us somewhere. This time he decided to take us to the Western Ghats. We are all fond of forests and quiet places. So where else could we go but the Anshi National Park nestled in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. This area is also part of the Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve situated in the Western Ghats on the Karwar-Londa highway. The best time to visit this park is from October to May and in order to avoid the puja vacation rush we settled to go in December.

So in December, we set out from Howrah Station by Yaswantpur Express to Bangalore and from there took another train to Dharwad. Then we rented a car to go to Dandeli. There is no accommodation available for tourists inside the park so we checked into a government guest house which was booked well in advance. We looked around the place that evening, booked a jeep for the next three days, had dinner and returned to the hotel for the night.

The entry timings were 6:00 to 8:30 am and 4:00 - 6:00 pm so the three days that we were there we set out morning and evening in a hired jeep for Anshi National Park. The entry tickets were already acquired for six visits. This was not my first forest trip so I was quite prepared to see the usual green surrounding. The endemic flora species of Anshi National Park included the Malabar tamarind, Bintangur, Mulberry, Flacourtia, Blackboard tree, Aini-maram, Teak, Silver oak, Bamboo and others. My mother is a botanist so I had no problem learning all the names and features of the plants from her.

The park is one of the biggest reserves for Bengal tigers, Black panthers and Indian elephants in the country. Other animal species of the park included the deer, bonnet macaque, pangolin, Indian bison, Malabar giant squirrel, Malabar civet, sloth bear, etc. Birds such as ashy woodswallow, adjutant stork, blue-headed pitta, broad-billed roller, brahminy kite and golden-backed woodpecker can be sighted here. Out of these we saw a herd of elephants, bison, some deer and the giant squirrel which often whizzed past our jeep. We heard several birds whistling in the mornings but I could not discern which ones. We were all hoping to spot the tigers but we were not so lucky this time!

It was time to pack up. We had decided to return by a different route so we went to the beach town of Karwar 60 km away and boarded the return Yaswantpur Express from Bangalore. As always we felt very hollow for the first couple of days till we settled back to the daily grind.

You can create many more essays / short stories based on the above, namely: ESSAY on
1. Visit to an Indian National Park
2. Visit to Anshi National Park
3. Holiday well spent
4. School vacation

Refer to the general articles: national parks section at www.arked.co.in and www.arkedworld.com

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