When I read in the newspaper that Delhi’s air pollution touched a new record, I thought if I should consider buying a gas mask. I put a mental post-it to take a weekend off for a relaxing trip. It was unfortunate that my work got hectic and I had to cancel many of my travel plans. It was the expectation of the Jaipur trip that put me into the irritation mode more than the work. To the rescue came my friend Drishti, who told me about a fairly decent patch of forest within Delhi. “Sanjay Van” and so the Sanjay Van Night Camping plan became to take shape in my mind.

Inviting others

I have camped alone several times, but It’s always fun to camp with like minded people and so I put the word out inviting people to the camp. Two responded positively, Joy and Rakesh. Joy is a fellow trekker from Chennai Trekking club while Rakesh was a free lance website designer i met during a couchsurfing meet up.

Before the Sanjay Van Night Camping

Firstly, It is to be noted that sanjay van was inside the city and mobile network was available. There were easy and short routes and exiting in case of emergency was no big deal. The only trouble was snakes. Informatory boards warned people of poisonous snakes in high density within the forest. A sleeping human at a cold night is a good snuggling place for any cold blooded reptile and hence the need of a proper tent. The information from the SoDelhi page gave me some the information of the entry gates

Entering the Sanjay Van

We started into the forest at around 18:30 Hrs. It was dark but within minutes our eyes adjusted and there was no need of flashlights. Following a jogging track, we reached the middle of the forest and after a few trial and error of deciding whether to go left or right, we were able to build up a mental map. It was necessary as the the jogging track shown in the Google maps was not very consistent with the actual track.

Taking a smaller track which was branching away from the mains, we came across a small stream. I was not surprised that it was polluted and was putrid. The sound of flowing water is always calming but the stench was overwhelming and we carried ahead and soon found a spot, put up the tent, and dived into the supply of snacks we bought. Then it was the usual getting inside the sleeping bag and the gossips.

Exiting at Morning

Waking up at around 6, No wait, I’ll Rephrase: I was woken up by the soft chirps of the some birds. As i came out of the tent, I saw glimpses of the birds flying away alerted by our presence. After a customary group photo, We Packed up, we returned back to the noisy streets passing through the early morning joggers.Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I read on Paddywire’s blog that Sanjay van is good for birdwatching. Sadly, I was in a hurry and so I couldn’t enjoy much of the delight the birds had to offer.

The Group photo after the Sanjay Van Night Camping

Before i end, let me tell you that Sanjay Van Night Camping is a decent option if you need to have a refreshing breath of air and a quiet night. It works during weekdays too as it’s within the city. Oh, Almost forgot, A big Thanks to my friend Drishti for making me understand that getaway from the city can be within the city itself.