"When I left to board the bus, members from the lodge chased me down the road saying I forgot my clothes, and I said, feeling much lighter, to keep them. Decades later I figure they are probably too worn for use, or were eventually burned as fuel in a fire that has now turned to dust. Somewhere a piece of me resides in the sacred ground where the elephants still roam free.
When I left Bardia National Park it was like a lantern being turned down low, first it burns orange, then red, and then eventually fades away.
The tented camp on the Karnali later became a tourist destination with elephants and other wildlife flourishing throughout the park. But it was shuttered in 2012 due to lack of funding. Despite an increase in anti-poaching patrols, Kancha’s remains were found in 2001 by a later expedition with his tusks tragically missing. No one knows whatever happened to Raja Gaj, legend has it that his ghost roams the vast plains and forests of the Terai lowlands. Whatever his fate, maybe he sensed something the rest of us didn’t and simply moved on, away from the last great obstacle - the incursions of mankind - lumbering peacefully in the far shadows of the Himalayas.
Such is the legend of the Beast of Bardia.
Guardian of the Swaying Crescent Moon."
From the Thunderstorms of Eden - A Memoir
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:#bardiannationalpark, #elephants, #nepal, #rajagaj