There are two types of forests which one can visit : First are those which are very popular travel destinations and the only means to explore the forest is to book a safari like in Pench, Tadoba or Periyar. 2) Then there are offbeat local forests like Chilapata where you don’t see magnificent beasts like Tigers or leopards but you can walk through the forests, explore the place and melt in its beauty.

A lot of people visit the forests in the hope of seeing some wildlife but wildlife to them means seeing some big cats like tiger or leopard, some varieties of deer, Indian bisons, foxes or boars. But in pursuit of “wildlife sightings” they miss the real fun. Here’s what I love about the forests.

Scores of beautiful little birds hop merrily from one branch to the other and make the forest come alive with their chirpings. If observed carefully, one would be thoroughly surprised by the loud cackle that a puny bird can make. Insects play on the dew drops of the leaves. One can simply marvel at the camouflaging ability of some creepy looking insects. You would think a dried leaf is stuck on the bark of a tree but as soon as you try to touch it, it’ll fly away. Sometimes, a few squirrels might glide over your head, but don’t mistake them for your regular garden squirrels. They are usually flying squirrels. Huge intricate spider webs spanning from one tree to the next hold tiny dew drops like little shiny pearls on a string. Mysterious beams of sunlight shine through the thick canopy of tall trees like some divine light. Ancient trees with branches twisted in artistic fashion stand tall and wise. Having withstood the tests of time, they are like the ancient oracles carrying messages from the Divine. If you hear rustling of leaves or snapping of a twig nearby and turn around to find nothing around you, don’t be scared. A few pairs of curious eyes would always be watching you even if you can’t see them. You are the guest in the forest that they call home, afterall. 

But the best part is when you return to your home and smell the red dirt of the forest still fresh on your boots and long to go back to that paradise on earth.

So dear readers, you can always see animals in a zoological park, but when you go to a forest, don’t expect to see anything and nature will surprise you with its wonders.

Thank you soo much for giving me your precious time and reading this post. I would like to end this blog with a parting note:

When you visit the forests, take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints. 

See you soon. 🙂

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Ahana Banerjee

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