The MD of Chhattisgarh Tourism, Mr. Santosh Misra described Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary ‘as a state of mind.’ I entirely agree with him. I would add that it makes for a very pleasant state of mind!
I got to see Barnawapara as a day trip which is a highly unsatisfactory way to see it. I would love to spend a few days at the Hareli Eco Resort. This is the water body by the resort was where Anuradha Shankaran and I sat for hours in the sun chatting away pleasantly. And even though I have not stayed at the resort I had the key to one of the rooms for the day. Whatever I saw of the room, I liked it.
Right by the water body we spotted a common kingfisher, an egret and a few other birds. Monkeys walked past us in a peaceful manner. The sun was out and it felt that all was fine with the world. The cell phone signals drop at Barnawapara and I wonder if it contributes to the feeling of well being!
We traveled to Barnawapara from Sirpur and it is just 17 kilometers away if you know the correct route. Our driver didn’t and we of course had no clue. But we reached at Hareli in through the circuitous route, enjoying the serene drive. When we reached at the resort, it was time for a late breakfast or early lunch. I still remember the delicious aaloo paratha the staff made for us.
We did take a ride within the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of those places which is not crowded, yet. You can also take your own vehicle inside the park. The route we took was small. One of the invariable questions that follow a visit to a wildlife sanctuary is that what did you see?
I would start with this bunch of yellow toed green pigeons. But more than that for me entering a forest in itself is a luxury. I can take deep breaths and inhale only oxygen. In the city if I do the same I end up with a lot of petrol fumes! And when I visit a wildlife sanctuary the more important question to ask is what the other jeep saw? Well, they spotted a sloth bear.
I have been always been in awe of the people who live on the fringes of the jungle. This girl was cycling back to home I guess, on the safari route! I wonder if she has encountered wild animals on the way? I wonder if she gets a little scared at times?
I would say go to Barnawapara if you are looking for a quiet vacation. I would also say go there before it gets crowded.