Barnawapara – A not so famous Wildlife Sanctuary

At yatripandit, we believe there should be no boundaries on travelling especially when it comes to jungle and wildlife. It is the only one, out of 543 wildlife sanctuaries in India where you can drive your own car inside the protected area. When we came about this unique fact about Barnawapara, we were already inside our Ford Ecosport heading towards the Jungle.IMG_20170203_155409672

My younger brother suggested us this trip and 3 of us along with him, left from the capital city of Chhattisgarh, Raipur at 2pm and within 2 hours we were at the entry gate of Barnawapara. The highways are maintained in tint condition and cruising on them gave us great adrenaline rush.

Where to stay: We chose to stay at CG Tourism’s, Hareli eco resort ditching the more famous ones like Muba Resort and celebration. We did not regret the stay and hospitality even one percent and saved some bucks as well. The resort is well maintained, wide spread, and located on a lake side. Its service is fabulous as well and can be booked from various online platforms.

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After getting our room keys and dumping our luggage, we boarded our car and headed straight to the protected area entry gate. A guide, who are usually local village boys can be hired from the entry gate at a nominal price of 300-500 INR. Getting a guide is a must otherwise you might get lost forever in the wilderness(just exaggerating a little more).  It was a good 1.5 hours ride on bumpy jungle roads. And we were lucky to spot a sloth bear lazing around by the road side, wild boar and a heard of deer.

Deers

Back to our machan like rooms in the Hareli resort, changed and got fresh to have a relaxed time sitting in balcony sharing some talks from our old jungle trips(read about Bandhavgarh and Bastar), laughs,  relishing some drinks with freshly cooked snacks and doodling over music. All we needed after that was a good dinner and some nice sleep. The dinner was cooked on demand and was more like a home cooked food. We truly enjoyed every bite of it.

What to do: Jungle safaris are all about waking up before dawn and in Hareli resort the chirping birds played our alarms clocks. Within minutes we were driving in our Ecosport again and reached the entry gate driving through the fog and mist in no time. Hired a new guide and there we were inside this beautiful jungle which is spread over an area of about 245 sq km in the Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh. Bird watching in Barnawapara is one of the most enjoyed activities. The major fauna of the Barnawapara Sanctuary include Tigers, Sloth Bear, Flying Squirrels, Jackals, Striped Hyena, Wild Dogs, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Gaur, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Cobra, Python, Antelopes, Leopards, Chinkara, Black Buck, Jungle Cat, Barking Deer, Porcupine, Monkey, Bison, to name a few. The sanctuary also has a large population of birds that include Parrots, Bulbul, White-rumped Vultures, Green Avadavat, Lesser Kestrels, Peafowl, Wood Peckers and the list can go on and on. We could spot many of these but tiger. 😦

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Africa look alike lake

Do not miss climbing to the highest watch tower and observe the forest silently breathing pure and light. That greenery; spread till the horizon is the best treat you can offer to your eyes, tired of laptop and cell phone screens.

 

When to go: The protected area is closed for tourist during Monsoons(June to Sept) every year. The most suitable time of the year is winters i.e. November to March.

Not to worry if you donot have your own can to offroad, Gypsy’s and jungle safari’s can be hired at the entry gate or Hareli resort can arrange the same for you.

Bidding adieus to this self motorable jungle; we were back again to smaller concrete Jungle(Raipur) in 2 hours and next day to a bigger one(Pune). We captured many memories and pictures. We surely are returning back to this jungle very soon.

Stay tuned for our upcoming story on rules of the Jungle (Which are NOT location specific).

Story by: Abhimanyu

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Naya(New) Raipur – A Smart City in Making

 

I have been born and brought up in the city of Raipur. I did most of my schooling from this business hub of central India. During school days, I always hated the pollution and dust which blanketed the city. The scarcity of greenery, sports grounds and gardens was always heartfelt. There were no tourist places nearby. The air connectivity was extremely poor. The roads were narrow and traffic was haphazard, with only a couple of traffic signals in the city.

In November 2000, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Prime Minister then), declared Chhattisgarh as a separate state. I was there. I was there when the RTO registration for Raipur changed from MP-23 to CG-04. I was there, when our 1st CM, Mr. Ajit Jogi took the oath. I was there when the state government’s 1st chopper (Maina) was commissioned. I was also there when a lot of roads were constructed across the city. This list can go on and on.

17 years later, the things are a lot more advanced than they were when I WAS THERE. Naya(new) Raipur is going to be the new capital of the state of CG. Naya Raipur is India’s sixth planned city of India and 2nd largest planned city after Chandigarh.

Here we list down 10 things you must know about this city of future:

  1. Green City – Environmental issues have reached to an alarming stage across the globe, and there is a tremendous effort and consciousness required to save it. In Naya Raipur, about 30% of the land is reserved for greenery. The city is has flourishing gardens and grasslands making it the first Greenfield Smart City in India.

12301717_854053938027191_974767572440326675_n2. Fitness first – The NRDA (Naya Raipur Development Authority) has taken a wise measure to promote long lost habit of cycling by constructing smooth and safe cycling lanes across the city. This shall surely reduce pollution and improve fitness.

17498448_1202597613172820_1938008730192688381_n3. Sports is a key focus area – Magnificent Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium has hosted many 1st class cricket matches and 3 seasons of IPL. It’s the 2nd largest cricket stadium in India after Eden Gardens with a capacity of 67,000 audiences. A sports village is being built in Sector 3, ensuring world class facilities for indoor and outdoor sports to promote sports culture.

204. An Educational hub in Making – A sound education system forms the backbone of any region. Keeping this in mind there are many esteemed universities making a mark including Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU) which is ranked sixth among the National Law Universities in India.

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IIT Naya Raipur (IIITNR), KIT, ITM University and State Administrative Academy are also operational in the city. IIM-R’s new campus shall be functional soon. A number of national and international schools are laying a good foundation for a bright future.

5. Marvelous Infrastructure – The roads are wide and cut each other at 90⁰, have proper demarcations and are lit with LED lamps. Bus stops are built such that they do not hinder the moving traffic. This smart city sports an underground utility corridor which means that services including water supply, sewerage, telecom, and electricity are developed underground. Waste management and disposal system shall be made matching the global standards.

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Swami Vivekanand International Airport

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6. Welcoming all Industries – Naya Raipur is willing to welcome all sectors with wide open arms, whether be it electronics, IT, pharma, agriculture, jewellery, handloom, hospitality or manufacturing. Sector 22 will be a hub for IT, and services industries. About 194 hectares of land in Sector 5 is reserved for automotive, banks, handloom, etc.

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7. Reliable Medical facilities – No city can be considered developed until it has reliable and latest medical facilities. Satya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, has NO BILLING COUNTERS and is committed to provide free medical treatment and operation facilities for heart patients with no discrimination. More than 3000 surgeries have been successfully conducted here till date. A few world class hospitals such as Vedanta Cancer Hospital, Sankara Eye Hospital, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are under construction.

aiims38. Seamless connectivity – Naya Raipur will have excellent connectivity via rail, road, and air. The Swami Vivekananda International Airport was decorated with a National Tourism Award and recognized as the best non-metro airport in India in 2016. A new railway line is being constructed to connect Naya Raipur with rest of the country by broad gauge and four railway stations will be built by NRDA.

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Wide Roads

9. Tourism and Recreation: This is the most important aspect from yatripandit’s point of view. Recently, Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the Jungle Safari – Asia’s largest man-made forest safari and the Botanical Garden in Naya Raipur. An amusement park is currently being built in sector 24 alongside Jhanjh Lake for thrilling water sports. Ekatm Path, a 2 km corridor is a true bliss for morning walkers and will remind you of Raj Path in the national capital- New Delhi.

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10. The emotional connect – The transformation of this pretty city of Raipur is visible to the world but only people like me can proudly say, “Raipur is not only a city but definitely an emotion for the ones who dwell there and belong to it.”

Now that, I have been living in the big cities of Pune and Mumbai, what I miss the most is the laid back small town life. People actually believe in keeping their lives and things simple. For instance, people in Raipur usually relish their plate of Poha and dahi-jalebi for about half an hour with a lot of worldly gossips with the poha vendor himself.

Keep all this in mind and plan a visit soon to experience this smart, integrated city of future.

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Photo Courtesy: NayaRaipur Chhattisgarh FB Page

This 5 minute video by Dainik Bhaskar will enhance your knowledge more.

Check out our story on Bastar to experience the tribal life and tourist attraction of Chhattisgarh.

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Story By

Abhimanyu

Edited By

Utkarsh