At the beginning of the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek season, when we were busy planning this trek, we were all very excited for our trekkers to experience the unexplored jungles of Chhattisgarh.
I remember having conversations with trekkers who were about to go on this trek.
“What kind of wildlife will be there in the jungle?”
“Will it be too cold in the jungle?”
“Will we find other people on the trek?”
There were many questions in their head, and I could see that as the beginning of the trek came closer, the trekker’s questions increased as well.
But once the trek was over, tables turned, because now, I was restless with curiosity to find out about their trek! It was exciting to listen to what the trekkers had to say about the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek in Gurughasidas National Park.
I caught up with them to ask them about their experience, and here are the five things that trekkers absolutely loved about the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek
1. You get to camp in the jungle
“You get to trek in the wilderness in many places in India, be it the Sahyadris or the Himalayas. But camping inside a jungle for the whole duration of the trek at different locations, being at such close proximity to the wildlife, is something I was amazed to experience,” says Abhay Pingle, who has done quite a few treks like Roopkund and Rupin Pass.
Just like Abhay, most of the trekkers choose to do this trek because of the real-life camping experience inside the dense forests of Gurughasidas National Park.
“I have been to Jim Corbett and Ranthambore in search of the jungle life thrill. However staying in the lodges, far away (even beyond the safe distance) brings some sort of disconnect to the whole experience. I think my quench for the jungle thrill got fulfilled after doing this trek in Chhattisgarh. It gave me a complete insight as to how it feels living in the jungle for 4 days,” says Souvik Sinha, who went on the trek late in mid-October.
One of the campsites Tediyaabandh where trekkers camp in Gurughasidas National Park. Picture by Atul Verma.
2. Experiencing wildlife so closely
There’s one thing that stood out the most for the trekkers. Spending time searching for animal footprints.
“They were always on their toes (quite literally) to look for signs of wildlife. I was amazed to know that they had so many stories about their experience with wildlife!” shares our Trek Leader, Kiranjit Pathak, who led most of the teams in Chhattisgarh.
“Apart from exploring the wilderness and camping in the wild, the trek has much more to look for. Trekkers get the opportunity to build campfires using ancient methods, climb trees, swim in lakes and rivers and even track wild animals by following paw prints.
There are plenty of leopard, monkey, bear and langoor tracks. I remember exploring the caves to find a bear family’s home. That was just an icing on the cake,” says Lakshay Bansal, a first-time trekker with Indiahikes.
“Many people think that trekking in a jungle means you will see animals casually passing by the trails or that you will get to spot wildlife at an eye distance. However, that is not the case and one should not be so naive to expect that. Finding footprints or signs of animals at the places where we were walking, then trying to figure out from where they might have come from and where they would have gone to was so much more exciting yet safe at the same time. One doesn’t want to have fun at the cost of the wildlife or their own life after all,” says Souvik Sinha, Indiahikes Trekker.
The overall experience becomes much more exciting after finding such fresh animal footprints! Picture by Kiranjit Pathak.
Pawprints on the trail spotted by trekkers in October. Picture by Kiranjit Pathak.
3. The trek has the right amount of challenge
A lot of trekkers assume that the Chhattisgarh Jungle trek isn’t challenging enough. Before going on this trek many trekkers had the misconception that the trek would be just a simple flat walk in the jungle. When I was constantly pushing the trekkers to be consistent with their fitness they would often ask, “But what is there to worry about on a jungle trail?”
However, after coming back from the trek most of them who had taken their fitness preparations seriously were happy with the fact that they were able to enjoy the trek without getting tired as compared to some others who were struggling.
“I don’t think this trek is a cakewalk in any way. There were long walks everyday and the paths were rugged and rough at many places. Not to forget the river crossings which were fun but challenged our strength too,” says our trekker Souvik Sinha.
You need to start your fitness preparations well in advance for this trek. Picture by Kiranjit Pathak.
There are long walks every day along with river crossings on this trek. Picture by Abhay Pingle.
4. A sneak peek into the tribal life of Chhattisgarh locals
If there’s one thing trekkers can’t stop talking about, it’s this. Gurughasidas National Park, being a restricted area to the normal public, gives you an opportunity to meet these adivasi families living inside the national park.
“We got to stay in an adivasi village mud house and interact with the locals. The calm and serenity offered by the village really puts the important things in one’s life into perspective and takes them away from the daily rat race.
“The village also has an abundance of agricultural crops and trees, which makes evening walks while identifying the various trees like mango, jackfruit, guava and many more a truly informative and enjoyable session,” says Lakshay, who was really happy from the interactions he had with the adivasi families.
Trekkers spending time with the locals of a small village near Tediyabandh. Picture by Abhay Pingle.
After a long day of trekking trekkers spent time in one of the Adivasi Hut. Picture by Kiranjit Pathak.
5. Go back in time
This trek isn’t just a detox for your mind & body, it’s much more than that! We often choose to go on such adventures because we want to disconnect from the real world for some time. Gurughasidas National Park takes the responsibility a bit too seriously! It takes you back in time altogether.
“There’s a bonfire at night to make sure no animal attacks, you cannot hear the honks of traffic around, you’re too tired to even take out your phone from the bag. You live together as a family for these four days surviving the fear of oblivion in that jungle together. If this is what going back in time feels like I absolutely enjoyed it,” says Dilip S Kumar, a trekker who was happy to go on Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek, which was gifted as a surprise to him by his friend.
Trekkers having fun catching the beautiful sunset. Picture by Kiranjit Pathak.
So, this is what the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek looks like from the eyes of our trekkers.
To know more, watch this video by our founder Arjun Majumdar. He talks about the Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek in Gurughasiadas National Park, and what makes this trek special.
If you have already been on this trek, do comment below and share your experience with us. If you have any questions about this trek, comment below, and we will help you.