After a few hours we broke out onto a wide plane of gnarled old trees and the occasional palm with dwarf canopy, ringed by the Aruvalli Mountains shrouded in a cold mist. A rocky outcrop jutted up from the center of the plane upon which stood the timeless Kankwari Fort.
With its thirty foot high heavy studded wood doors hanging from their hinges and trees and grasses growing from its ramparts, it looked as if it had been plundered, deserted and not a soul returned since.
Only a primitive village of herders nearby betrayed any human presence.
It was stunning, with a true fantasy atmosphere akin to a Tolkeinesque manifestation. Standing on a high, crumbling turret, surveying the prehistoric panorama before me, I was reminded of the reasons for why I traveled. It was just to find myself somewhere like this. I no longer felt it necessary to seek further justification for what I did. This was enough. This was it.
Just before nightfall we left the park. Despite the lack of big cats, it had been a great experience never forgotten.