[Photos] Mausam was Awesome – Tryst with the Jungle
five of us belonging to ‘KC Bikers’, a recently formed group of bike enthusiasts, got together on our respective Royal Enfield bikes
Just in time – the Rain Gods blessed Udaipur a few days back with a consecutive 80 hours of rain and it was in the midst of this change in climate that the KC Bikers went through with their quick trip to the Jungles of South Rajasthan.
The idea being to promote Helmets and safe riding amongst the villagers of the region whose daily routine consists of some heavy two wheeler driving on steep hilly roads, jungle tracks and wild animal infested regions.
With this motive and for adventure, five of us belonging to ‘KC Bikers’, a recently formed group of bike enthusiasts, got together on our respective Royal Enfield bikes (1992, 2013, 2015 model) and completed a 32 hour bike rally, of which 15 hours were spent in the jungle and riding on jungle tracks.
Not a very long journey, but short and exhilarating, the drive that began from Udaipur at 8AM on a wet Sunday morning took us through to Madri, a small village town just once we cross the Pai Village downhill and take a detour off the Jhadol route. Here we stopped for some hot tea with Pakodas and fresh roasted Bhutta followed by hot chapatis with Sabzi for a nice breakfast after an adrenaline-charged ride through a heavy rain drenched valley in the midst of thick clouds.
Post breakfast we stopped by a Banyan Tree Jugalbandi, a set of 6 Banyan Tree trunks emanating from 6 different roots but all conjoined. Madri was our first stop where we spoke to the village folk about safe driving and our individual experiences on the negative effects of unsafe riding.
Our immediate destination was then Phalasiya, a small but very friendly town, a few kilometers before the Som Ghaata. Another class with the villagers, with us trying to enthuse road safety amongst them. A quick ride through the Phalasiya jungle, crossing a fairly tricky rivulet on our happy machines got us to this marvelous home of a well-meaning villager, who had prepared a nice Chicken Lunch for us – all with Buttered Chapatis, hot out of the Bhatti and thick but palatable Makki Di Roti. We must have spent a good 2 hours enjoying their hospitality.
For a moment we thought that we should trek up the Phalasiya jungle and camp there for the night – but it was still early evening and our destination was the new and unexplored Dayya Jungle, so we continued…getting our gear and clothing all wet once again while crossing the rivulet. The oldest bike almost collapsed in the deeper part of the rivulet, but it hung on.
Then came a pronounced, exhilarating climb up the twisty, wet and densely clouded Som Ghaata. We stopped for a few minutes for our bikes to catch their breath, and us too, before driving down to the valley that would take us the Dayya…this was another fantastic fun filled and smooth ride through narrow but well paved roads, with dense jungle on both sides.
This ride, being the last session on decent roads brought us to Daiya, a village town 2km from the Gujarat border, with dense forest mountains around it.
Here we stopped for a quick tea with the much friendly Forest Department guards before we commenced our 10km Jungle track ride. Caressing our Bullets through the manageable first 4km jungle track, we again reached a rivulet, which had a wheel deep sink. Completely drenched, slightly wary but high on enthusiasm, we kick started the 350cc machines, went on 1st drive and pushed ourselves with our bikes on a 6km uphill jungle track, which took all of 45 minutes – speed not being of the essence, as we had to ensure that we climb through the rain, up the rocky and muddy terrain, without damaging our bikes or injuring ourselves.
Finally, we reached camping site in the dense jungle, but having a bit of scantily located hutments around us, for psychological support. Before we could pitch our tents, a heavy downpour started, forcing us to cancel the tent plan and seek shelter in a brand new constructed forest watch tower. The villagers were most humble as they provided us with bedding for the night and cooked our evening meal. A four hour stay in the jungle keeping a watch for panther or bear, ended at 11pm with no sighting whatsoever, maybe due to the heavy rains.
Sleeping through a part of the night, we left the watch tower at 9am, once again with rains continuing, making our 6km descent even more nerve-racking due to heavy vehicle, slippery mud, and jagged stones all along the route. The ascent that had taken us 45 minutes, took all of 90 minutes to descend…but we reached unscathed with just a broken silencer on one of the vehicles.
Our return drive, with a heavy heart started at 11am from Daiya Forest Office and once again a wet, cloudy and fun drive, this time a detour through Phalasiya to Koliyari and Jhadol back to Udaipur concluded at 4pm on Monday. It was surely a dream ride for all of with all elements of fun, fear and enthusiasm taking us through.
Next trip planned soon, towards mid winters…