Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Sunday well spent with the wild ~ Second Zoo visit

So, this Sunday was truly memorable. In every way. It was our first trip outside the mofussil town of Mhow to Indore, a city of food lovers and animal lovers too! Which was the precise reason for our visit there. Kamala Nehru zoological park is located on A.B road of Indore between Naulakha and Chaavni. It happens to be one of the oldest zoos with recently captured three white tigresses. And that was enough to lure us into animal watching. But before that, we had to refuel ourselves as we had nothing but tea since morning. So we stopped by the chappan gali of Indore. It was truly a sight to watch out for. There are about 50 + shops selling mouth watering fast food. Most of the crowd comprised of college going students considering the fact that Indore too is an educational hub like Pune. We chose one that was less crowded (when I say less crowded, it means a lil space to accommodate four of us. It was that crowded in each joint!). We ordered three plates of shahi poha, a plate of jalebi, a plate of Idli and three plates of Pav Bhaaji. Only when we started eating, we realized we were totally famished. And the food, I got to say was out of the world. There is something to the culinary skills of Indoreans. They have this uncanny ability to make the most simple foods taste extraordinarily delectable. The shaahi poha was nothing but a normally made poha garnished with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, fresh coriander, pomegranate seeds and farsan. Pav Bhaji was quite spicy, yet so appetizing. And with a plate of jalebis the spices were perfectly balanced in our tummies. And after another round of sipping tea, we headed towards the zoo.

Kamala Nehru Zoo, Indore
Zoos have always been fascinating to me. So, it is all in the genes. My son too loves to watch animals, and mind well, wild animals. Sometimes, the way he keeps looking at lions and tigers on Nat Geo, my husband and I get that feeling as if he is going to run into the television and hug the wild cats. Yes, he absolutely loves them. So when we entered, guess who greeted us a long afternoon? Emu, the second largest bird and a native of Australia. When standing, it almost matched my height. I had never seen one before and my son’s eyes were riveted on it. Although I wouldn’t call it a beauty, there is a magnificence in every creation of nature. And emu has its splendour in those clawed feet (Its one and straight long hut shaped feathers (which are often a catch for the poachers). As we proceeded, the second host to welcome us was the Indian rock python. The majestic creature had just had its lunch and so it slowly started crawling out of its shell. After my son’s efforts in grabbing the snake’s attention by a constant hiss hiss sound went futile, we proceeded towards the next enclosure. In a city, perhaps this would be the best place to do some bird watching. And boy, almost all jungle birds have been provided sanctuary here in order to protect them from poachers. We saw mountain parakeets, vultures, eagles, wild fowls, swans, pelicans, country ducks, white peacocks and multi colored love birds. And opposite them, were the rodent family that included rabbits and porcupines. The next were the jungle mammals that comprised of the docile breed. There were black bucks, neel gai (as they call them the blue bull found mostly in Assam and West Bengal) and spotted deers. Among them, the black bucks were truly a beauty. Their horns were shaped spirally and I believe, they are mostly used in making weapons like spheres. And not forgetting to mention, Black bucks are an endangered species. (Remember the infamous black buck shooting case of the 90’s that landed Salman Khan in a coup?)

As we were discussing the black beauty, my son suddenly ran towards the opposite side. Also there was a crowd dropping in there. So what did we see there? Gaping wide and basking in the late morning sun were the most ferocious lot that ruled the roost in the food chain. Ghadiyals, Aligators and Crocodiles (of course, they were in different enclosures) come under the world’s five deadliest. If you just have one look at them, you can be easily fooled into believing that you actually saw nothing, or perhaps, a huge stone slab or even a rock. Another closer look drives the chill down the spine. As the saying goes, the power lies with the one who has the stealth, the alertness and the speed, all in the accurate proportion, these reptiles surely are the incredibles. Then we saw hyenas, foxes and wolves. Among these breeds of wild canines, hyenas are huge (quite huge, actually) followed by wolves and then foxes. Sometimes, the sound of a hyena can be mistaken easily for laughing/gagging sounds of a human. However, among the three, wolves are supposedly most ferocious. It was already past one hour and we took a quick break as we settled under the cool shades of huge banyan trees. It took us a while to realize that all of us were tanned, not realizing it all this time. Later, we proceeded towards the den of our national animal – Tiger. This is one animal that has fascinated me to no bounds. The way it walks, the way it looks through you, the way it corners its prey, it is royal by all means. We saw white tigers and the Bengal tiger. Although it was resting time, we still managed to click them in that little time window. Sadly, there were no lions. (But then, we were content with the tigers, you see :P)
Then, we passed by the enclosures of bears, cheetah, leopards, hippos, tortoises and monkeys. The zoo is well maintained in the sense that animals are well taken care of. There is also a zoo hospital inside that tends to wounded/sick animals. As usual, eatables and plastic items are not allowed inside. Animals are not supposed to be fed or hurt or intimidated in whatsoever way. Ironically, people were littering the beautiful lawn with emptied food packets and plastic bottles. Also it was sad to watch a lot of children hurling tiny pebbles at the alligators and crocodiles. Notwithstanding the fact that they are ferocious animals, yet they live in captivity. That is when I realized, one cannot teach children, the love for animals. It is imbibed if we follow what we preach. Sad, but true that rules are always meant to be broken.

So here comes the end. It was a Sunday and so Indore market was closed. Nevertheless, we purchased a few items from the old market side and binged on kulfi to relieve ourselves from the scorching Sun. Then after exploring the entire old market (taking a note actually for the next shopping trip), we proceeded towards having a scrumptious lunch at JNB restaurant, Indore. We ordered an Amritsari thali and it contained three lachha parathas, one paneer amritsari, one dal makhani, a rice plate, a pickle, salad, a boondi raita and two juicy warm gulabjamuns. And with that, I could say, it was a well spent Sunday indeed. We headed back home with fond memories of the zoo visit. Next, we are planning soon to make a visit to the Jim Corbett National park, considering all three of us are animal lovers, in the sense we love to watch them and not tame them J
So long, till then, stay tuned for more interesting posts to come J

Signing off for now.....

P.S: Due to closely netted enclosures, we could only capture the images perfectly in our memory. It was tricky to click as it was noon, which is either snack time or nap time for the wild. Hence, we had to wait long for the animals to show up. Yet, I somehow managed to club a few pics that you must have seen while scrolling down.

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