Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gir Forest in Night

Gir Forest in Night

Many of us have heard stories of jungle and its animals. A fear current will pass through the body if some one is told to go to jungle in the night. Day time activities of the wilds are known to us because of our visits to the forest areas. But what do they do in night? I was very keen to know. 

We reached Gir that evening very late. Tired of the day we were about to close the day after the dinner, but for the sake of curiosity, I asked Sandeep, what are your animals doing tonight? 

Let's go and see Sir, Sandeep promptly replied. 

My body was tired but inside I was ever ready to move. Let's go. We moved into the jungle in night.

It was a winter night, therefore the whole forest was in silence. The Lions, the deers, the Panthers, the birds, all were in rest or in sleep. The reptiles settled in burrows. 

Why so much of silence at this time, I asked? Animals are resting at this time as the carnivorous hunt the herbivorous either at the dawn or at the dusk, Sandeep replied. After 10 pm, generally there is no movement of major animals. 

Suddenly we saw two rabbits jumping around. If there is Sasa Rana, no chance to see other animals. Rabbits are the indicator of the safest position in the jungle. Normally one can see movement of Panthers, but that chance was also diminished by the presence of the rabbits. We could see two birds, the lap wing (titodi) and one more. Be careful about her eggs. If she can fight with the Sea, what is our strength? We were joking, remembering the story of a lapwing and the Sea. She fought with the Sea to get back her eggs. Owl, the night king and the bats may be watching us from the trees.

Let us stop and at least hear the sound of the nature, I proposed. The vehicle was stopped at the cross road and all of us moved out of the vehicle. 

As the surrounding was in total dark, I lifted my head up and look at the sky. Oho..ho..ho..what a glorious sky it was! A clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. The moon was yet to rise from the east. The night sky lit up with Stars, "Twinkle twinkle many Stars, like many Koh-i-Noors glittering in the sky". We saw our Galaxy, the Milky Way and could see many constellations. The ruhani carpet the Orion, the hunter was on the top of our head. And what was it looking like a bright cloud, the Andromeda Galaxy! The Taurus the bull, was also visible. As there was not a single ray of artificial light around, the sky was full with uncountable glittering Stars. 

What is there, a bright light at the southern hemisphere? Sandeep asked? It is the International Space Station, he answered too. 

Suddenly we saw a shooting star over the western sky. Before we could wish something, it disappeared. Except little sounds of some insects, the entire environment was in silence. We and our Sky, full of Stars, the Spectacular Nature indeed! Without sky guide or sky watching information, we could see the most beautiful Sky in the dark forest of Gir.

“Have you ever stood under a star... and felt the earth move under your feet?” You may try it in Gir.

6 January 2016


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