It all started with a phone call I received from Bhuwan last month, asking me, if I would be interested in riding into the Sariska National Park, where motorcycles aren’t allowed! Once in a lifetime chance of riding into a national park, where tigers have just been reintroduced?
With only limited number of motorcycles and riders to be allowed inside, the planning was done in private and on the cold November morning, Shamik, Sparsh, Nadya and I decided to ride from Delhi to the Hotel Highway King, where we were supposed to meet Bhuwan and his colleague for breakfast.
16th November 2008: Delhi - Shahpura - Sariska - Shahpura - Delhi
In the past day, temperature had dropped faster than the stock markets, feeling cold even in four layers; I left home at around 4:30AM. Just after Gurgaon toll booth, found Sparsh, Shamik and Nadya waiting, after a quick hello and it was time to officially start the ride.
After about an hour of riding, we decided to stop at Shree Neel Kanth restaurant for tea, a decision we were soon going to regret. After ordering tea, it was time to grill Sparsh to get the details of the famous dhaba in Sikkim that caused some stir in this thread, and he gave the details without me having to beat him , oh well there is always a next time .
We soon realized that we had been sitting at the dhaba for more than 20 minutes and still there was no sign of tea! Which was kind of surprising since there were few customers and they too had ordered tea, it finally took Shamik to literally stand on the cook’s head to get tea made for us. We spent almost as much on this tea break that we normally spend at breakfast breaks!
With the target of reaching Hotel Highway King near Shahpura by 8:30am, we decided to ride hard and fast and were able to reach there by 8AM! Since we were early, we decided to have first round of breakfast before Bhuwan paaji arrived and then the second round with him and his colleague.
After a leisurely and heavy breakfast (chances of getting lunch were slim), we decided to start the ride towards Sariska.
After about an hour of cruising on the single lane and somewhat bumpy road to Sariska, we were at the park's entrance.
We were graciously welcomed in by the Park staff and were provided direction to the 17th century Kankwadi Fort, our first destination for the day. Soon we were cruising on our motorcycles, inside the Sariska National Park!
Soon enough, wild animals spotted us
After capturing the looks on their face, we decided to move on, only to stop at this wild hog crossing.
Even though roads were bumpy, all of us were really enjoying the ride and were trying to look frantically from one side to another, hoping to spot animals, before they noticed us and the growl of our steeds. In fact we got so engrossed in riding that we missed the turn to the Kankwadi Fort and kept on riding, poor Bhuwan had to chase down Sparsh and me and tell us to turn back .
Soon we were at a dirt track, after couple of kilometers of off road riding, the trail become really interesting with lots of big stones making up the trail, here we were told by forest rangers that we were on the wrong trail and had to take another one if we wanted to reach the fort.
The wrong trail we took
Shamik and Nadya
Part 2 of Sariska, riding to tiger’s den…
Part 3 of Sariska, riding to tiger’s den…