‘No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild’ – said Jon Krakauer about Christopher McCandless in his cult book ‘Into the wild.’
The book documents the journey of Christopher breaking away from the shackles of civilization and venturing onto a journey which changed his life.
Breaking into the wild and scenic beauty of the forest is just like settling comfortably into a mother’s lap after a long tiring day. Away from the honking of cars, the mad pointless traffic and the scurrying of people there is a dense world of forests where the only jams are caused by animals and the only sounds you will hear are of mother nature! If you adore nature and wildlife for its serenity, a trip to jungle is what you need. All you need to do is pack your essentials and set forth!
If you are in/anywhere close to Raipur, the Barnawapara Wildlife sanctuary is your go-to place if you need some time away from civilizaton.
How to get there:
Located in Mahasamund district, the sanctuary lies at a distance of approximately 100 km from Raipur, when entered from the Barbaspur village. You can only reach there by road and is named after the adjoining twin villages ‘Bar’ and ‘Nawapara’
Where to stay:
There are some really amazing eco-resorts which offer a truly natural experience! Chhattisgarh Tourism’s Hareli Eco Resort or Muba Machan is one worthy of mention too! With rooms made of wood, it offers a truly rustic feeling and with a lake right beside where you stay – you can savour the sights of setting sun. Truly a delightful experience.
Another highlight of Barnawapara Wildlife sanctuary is the wildlife safari! There is nothing else that brings you in such close proximity with the diversified fauna of a forest. The jungle is lined with teak and sal along with a huge stretch of dense bamboo forests. The sounds of jonk river are distinctly audible and the hunks of this forest – the Gaurs (generally confused for bisons) can be seen in plenty.
Spotted Deers and Sambars are other members of this thriving forest!
There is also a high likelihood to spot the majestic member of the cat family sneaking from the trees. Though predictable at times, there is also a likelihood of being surprised by the Sloth Bear during the evening safari. Since they are nocturnal animals, you will primarily see them after sun set and a friendly chase of your jeep might get your adrenalin running.
Inspite of being a site of utmost importance which maintains the ecological balance there is tremendous pressure on the wildlife due to human atrocities. Illegal poaching, destruction of forest, interference of humans in jungle are some of the activities which are posing a major threat to the very existence of wildlife here.
Far from the maddening crowd and phone signals, you will be left with moments of solace in the lap of nature.
Like they say, you drive into the wild only to rediscover yourself. Barnawapara is the perfect place to see the largely offbeat, unexplored side of Chhattisgarh and it’s nothing less than rejuvenating.
Do share your experience in the comments below if you have been there!
[Contributed by: Aakash Awasthy & Photos by: Avijeet Jabbal]