“Dear Diary, today we went to Bannerghatta National Park. We saw some tigers, elephants, crocodiles and two Americans. It was great. We have pictures of all of them. The Americans even smiled for the camera.” No kidding, this is probably what would transpire from the journal of some of the people we met at the park! And they weren’t even discreet about taking pictures of us directly a couple of feet in front of us, and even asked if we would pose with them. That was so sweet! A friend asked if we felt like celebrities. No, we felt more like monkeys, but that’s ok, we certainly were a curiosity for some of the village kids who were there on a field trip!
We left rather early on Sunday morning to avoid the crowd and the heat, though the weather was perfect. It takes about an hour to drive the 22 kms from Bangalore. The park itself is larger than the island of Manhattan. They have a large zoo with cages/enclosures while other animals are kept in the forest that is the park, and seem to roam free. It’s AMAZING. We opted for the Jeep tour through the park but next time we will hop on the buses. The ride was rather bumpy and I have a series of bruises on my arm, but they are happy bruises!
So what did we see? Erick made a bee line for the King Cobra while I did all I could to avoid it! WARNING: If you don’t like snakes, scroll down quickly and skip the next image.
I prefer the furry animals. I spent a lot of time with the leopards. This group was in cages and it was sad to see them walk back and forth, like they do in all zoos around the world. But they are gorgeous animals.
They have a variety of monkeys but we were more amused by the wild monkeys walking around than the ones in the enclosures. A mother was looking after her two rambunctious offsprings who were fighting like only brothers and sisters can. Meanwhile, the father was knocking down garbage cans and drinking leftover fruit juices (click on a picture to start the slideshow).
I am now in absolute awe with tigers. They are so elegant, sleek, with cute little round ears. One was walking towards the lake and took a swim. The ripple on the water was soft, the birds kept chirping. The orange coat of the tiger was shining through the green leaves. And the paws, oh, they are humongous.
Some of the lions were in a large enclosure while others were in the wild, within the park of course. The lioness was being a ham! She decided to chew on her paws, and I could see giant versions of the kittens!
There are many more animals such as hippopotami (they stink), turtles (the exact ones we find in our backyard in Texas, which makes them exotic animals here), parrots and colorful birds (they are loud), sloth bears, himalayan bears and white tigers.
We didn’t see them all, but we will be back. No doubt. And Idhaya, we’ll come and pick you up!