After conquering the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, the heat and dehydration had taken a toll on me. The need to rejuvenate and recharge led me to decide on a quick power nap en route to my next destination.

My third adventure for the day was a journey to the Minneriya forest, promising more wild encounters nonstop. Anticipation filled me as the promise of witnessing hundreds of wild elephants in this scenic jungle awaited. Elephants, often considered spiritual beings on Earth, are symbols of strength and power. Hindus worship them in the form of Lord Ganesha, seeking blessings and good luck.

The jungle jeep safari was a thrilling experience, navigating through rough terrains and picturesque landscapes in Minneriya forest. Arriving at 4 o’clock in the evening, the excitement surged as wild elephants, moving in groups, crossed the road before us. The jeep driver expertly guided me to a massive lake in the heart of the forest, where we patiently awaited the majestic creatures.

After about 20 minutes, a herd of wild elephants emerged from the woods, moving leisurely in a row toward the lake. Witnessing them toss and play in the mud, mothers guiding their babies to drink water, was a delightful spectacle, capturing their moments and body language through my camera lens.

Tourists in another jeep initially showed signs of fear as the elephants moved around in herds. However, observing their body language and behavior became a mesmerizing experience, keeping us all glued to our seats. The echoes of elephant sounds resonated through the woods, their communication sharp and clear. The mother and baby elephants visually signaled and touched each other’s trunks, creating an emotional tableau.

Amidst this, the surroundings teemed with wildlife—peacocks, wild hens, cranes, ducks, wild buffalos, monkeys, and various bird species. The sunset over the lake added to the splendor, providing a perfect backdrop for some beautiful photographs.

As we captured these moments, the guide emphasized the importance of not using camera flashes, as they could disturb the majestic mammals. We watched the elephants from a distance, recognizing their wild nature and crossing paths. Their excellent memory power enabled them to catch up with one another over long distances, using their senses of hearing and smelling to communicate in their unique language.

On our way back, a female elephant, named “Lakshmi” by forest officials, became alarmed by a sudden flash of a camera button. Disturbed, she followed our jeep aggressively. Other tourists took different routes to avoid the situation. Witnessing this behavior, both thrilling and concerning, heightened my awareness of the wild.

Upon reaching the hotel by dusk, my accommodation at “Nice Place Bungalows – Inamaluwa, Sigiriya,” provided a beautiful room in the midst of a garden for a pleasant stay. Special mention goes to the attentive staff who ensured my safety until midnight, allowing me to have a restful and uninterrupted sleep.

“Let’s not treat animals as creatures, but as living beings. It is wonderful to see the natives treat and care for these giants as living beings and not just another beast!”

“Jeep Safari ride”

“Baby Elephant”

“Selfie with wild elephant”

“Pose near the lake”

“Terrified Lakshmi elephant”

“Various Birds & wild buffalos”

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