Pobitora wildlife sanctuary is located at 50 kms from Guwahati. They have a rich population of about hundred One-horned Rhinos in a relatively small space compared to Kaziranga national park. Kaziranga is about 200 kms from Guwahati which needs night stay to take early morning jungle safari. I had only half a day’s time, so I chose Pobitora. On Feb 13th, Sunday early morning around 5.30 am we started from Guwahati to Pobitora. It was a foggy morning and road visibility was for only 5 meters. The sides of the road were completely white with fog. Nothing was visible. It was such a pleasure ride in chillness!
Pobitora has early morning elephant safari and jeep safari. Elephant safari should be booked in advance as the availability on the spot becomes difficult. Also, we must be there well before time, ones the elephants start moving we will lose our chance to ride. I booked for elephant safari 3 days in advance in a site nexplore and paid Rs.850 per ticket. If we buy ticket in the sanctuary its Rs.400 only. The sanctuary has wild bull, boar and the Rhinos in a pine forest will grassland and the trip is for one hour. They have a herd of 15 elephants that marches together. Some elephants have 2 seats, and some have 3 seats. We got a 3-seater. There is a beautiful lake with a hanging bridge that we must cross to reach the elephant ride area. The bridge is beautiful location for photography especially in the morning fog the railing of the bridge made a beautiful black and white pattern.
The Rhinos in Pobitora are single horned. The Unicornis is a symbol of good luck! Seeing one is said to bring focus in life. I was lucky to see many. They are regarded as symbol of freedom, magic, purity, innocence and healing. The Rhinoceros are the most ancient species that dates back to 11 million years and so are the Elephants. Watching Rhinoceros on Elephant ride in a forest zone was out of the mundane world experience! Especially on a foggy morning! There were marsh lands and ponds with lots of migratory birds. The water had a white misty layer above for like one feet. It looked like heaven as the water layer had a cloudy layer above and the sunrays penetrating the mist formed rainbow just above the water and there were these beautiful white feathered migratory birds. The birds chirping was a musical delight to the ears with early morning sunrays penetrating the fog like the piano keys.
Our ride started around 7 am and went on for one hour. The Elephant we travelled on is named Shankar and he is 35 years old. Very lovely guy! took us very safe all through the ride. We were talking to Shankar all through the ride patting him. His driver knew Assamese, I had a friend to speak to him in the Assamese language to know about Shankar. In our entire ride there was a baby elephant that accompanied us with its mother Elephant who was on duty carrying passengers on Safari. Babies accompanying mother to office when at work happened there also. He would nimble between the herd of elephants to find his mother and get lost in between to eat the grass. Then comes running again to find his mother. It was an awesome show.
The Rhinos are very soft and shy beings. They are vegetarians and eat the grasses in the land. They need cold climate to survive. Mostly they remain solitary or with the baby Rhino. They make cute noises and when elephants approach them, they move away from our direction making it difficult to photograph front pose. They have very cute black eyes and grey body. Their sharp single horn looks straight above pointed to sky. When they look at us with the horn in centre of the symmetric face, all our focus goes into the Horn. We spotted almost eight of them. Then we saw some wild Boars which was difficult to photograph due to high grass. As the sun was rising the fog faded and the trees of the forest was clearly visible. It was a pleasure ride altogether away from the routine life. My heart kept beating wishing for more time in the forest along with Shankar breathing pure air, hearing the birds and watching the calmest Rhinos hiding between the tan-coloured dry grass. Shankar was eating grass and breaking the tree branches all the way halting in between ride having his breakfast. We didn’t feel guilty we are burdening him at the back as he had his feast all way and was walking with joy!
After completing Elephant ride we had some wild berries from the forest tree. It tasted sweet, juicy and chill making good starter before breakfast.
At the entrance there was a tea shop where the hand weaving machine was present, a scarf was being weaved when we went.
After the sunrise the lake view was green and merry. The hanging bridge is called Haduk and The lake is called Garanga Beel.