India 2016 (part XXXII): Rajaji

Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand:

Stork-billed Kingfisher in the Rajaji National Park

Stork-billed Kingfisher in the Rajaji National Park

After our hectic day of sightseeing in Haridwar, we were happy that we had booked a safari to the adjacent Rajaji National Park and could escape the seemingly millions of pilgrims.


Like most Indian nature reserves, the Rajaji National Park is closed during the summer months due to the monsoon rains. Nevertheless, we found a travel company which offered safaris into the accessible outer parts of the park with a chance to encounter elephants, spotted deers, sambar, nilgai, and even gorals. Unfortunately, we only saw a few birds and butterflies – overall a rather disappointing tour…

Since our flight back home left in the late afternoon, our safari guide dropped us at a road-side tea shop from where we took a taxi to the airport. Fortunately, we had enough time left before our flight, because a strong rain shower led to the flooding of an essential river crossing between Haridwar and Rishikesh. Our taxi driver said we would need to wait for about one hour before the water level would allow the passage. Anxious to reach our flight, we observed the traffic chaos with pilgrims in cars, busses, and on motorbikes trying to get through the river as soon as possible.

After a courageous bus driver made the first successful attempt, more and more people took the chance. I filmed some of the scenes, so you can get a more lively impression:

Fortunately, the taxi driver was right and we reached the airport on time. During the flight to Delhi, we had a nice view across the plains of northern India which were now full of green colours due to the monsoon.

The weeks after my return to Jaipur, I stayed in the office and worked.

8 responses to “India 2016 (part XXXII): Rajaji

  1. Wow, this post was loaded with adventure, Matthias. Rajaji Park was a lovely visit, your photos so wonderful. Lots of lovely birds, and the stork-billed kingfisher takes the prize. And the video of the flooded river crossing made my heart race!! What a wild mess! I loved it, but am glad I didn’t have to make a flight to the airport. Great post.

  2. Pingback: India 2016 (part XXXIII): Sights of Jaipur 6 | wild life·

  3. Pingback: India 2016 (part XXXI): Haridwar | wild life·

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