After having a fair bit of an idea about what existed within the campus of Joypur resort, we planned to head out. We were keen to hit a walking trail to view the landscape that encircled the farmland. The clock alarm rang on time and nudged us to leave the warm bed. We braved the crisp morning that hung drunkenly over the resort. An age-old habit of morning walk came pretty handy.
A warm pullover with a jacket made us prepared for the survey of the jungle. The cool wind blanketed us which made every exhale off the nose form a white mist telling us the temperature had dropped appreciably. Some of the folks put on a woolen cap; however, the chill was strangely comfortable.
The ducks and all other birds were still sleeping perhaps as we trundled out of the main entrance on to the State highway 02. We were greeted by the approaching and diminishing sounds of tires on asphalt as trucks roared the empty road at speed.
At the parking area, a small puppy came towards us in right earnest wagging its tail like a windshield whipper of a car. It was used for human socializing and made every effort to show its happiness seeing a bunch of bipeds on the explore.
We chalked a plan to walk along the road as a marker and then hit the jungle at right angles where we would get the first opening. The plan was not to lose the path of homecoming.
If anything amiss, we will know what exactly we did and will retract from where we started.
We finally came to the middle of the forest. It was not very dense but was not thin either. The application of human effort to create the forest was obvious as long trenches were seen running along the forest floor. Trees were neatly planted at geometric angles. Nature cannot be so perfect. It applies mathematics in a very different way, I suppose.
We learned from the watchman that these early winter mornings sometimes attracted herds of elephants that come down from the Dalma range of forest that is connected with Joypur forest.
We walked for about one hour through the forest trees, unlike branches and fallen trees that are seen in a natural forest, Joypur was clean. The forest officials were committed to cleaning the forest neat. Mounds of termite hills or ant hills were rampant.
Holes could be seen through them and few of our team members expected snakes to come out; however, none paid any visits to us.
The forest road made a detour over the vast broken grounds and met another shorter forest cover and then disappeared as it met a lateritic un-metaled road.
It ran over an elevated section with a couple of small water bodies that flashed the brightening sky above which incidentally caught our attention.
None of the trees bore any fruits. Harsh looking trees stood like sentinels. We descended along the slope holding the craggy field escarpments that bordered the cultivated stretches. The northeastern fringe was quite different. No forest cover but a huge field that lay untouched.
We found two goal posts on either end. The explanation was complete – this was a football field that is used by the local school or village boys and girls.
In the early morning, this very field becomes the highway for heard of elephants that cross it and rummages over the rich vegetation that grew in the distance.
The watchman also showed us the watch tower at one end of the field. The tower also forms a circuit house maintained by the state government. We heard that with a little bit of a plan, one can reserve a room or two in this.
The aim of this tower construction is to provide a panoramic view of the sprawling land and perhaps elephants and spotted deer that came grazing at will.
We waited here for an hour facing the cutting cold wind to see if any elephant comes our way for a healthy green diet; however, none could be seen.
After about spending three full hours roaming around, the thought of a hearty breakfast was very much dangled in our minds, so we slowly retreated the way we had come.
The day grew older and the quietness had started to diminish.
The trees, the sky, and the wind played amazing tricks which cannot be explained. The soul inside was washed with goodness. We had made a plan to visit a place which was historic and a lay couple of miles away from this spot.
So, we made a beeline for the resort skirting a water body which looked pristine.
On entering back to the resort, we were all well received by the canine mother of the puppy who had seen us off in the early hours of the day.
A baffled look on her face told us that she was still not very happy about how trustworthy we were to have left her little one around us.
We gathered to have our breakfast which consisted of hot serving ‘puris‘ along with ‘aloor dum‘ or potato curry dish. Extremely tasty and was gulped down with steaming tea.
Our cars waited for the next venue of Joypur forest. I am sure you’re quite eager to hear it as much as I would love to narrate.
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