Monday, November 30, 2009
I saw a beautiful Crocodile lazing on the river.
I have always wished to see a Great Pied Hornbill as i'v seen the other tHree I.E, the Malabar Pied, Malabar Grey and The Indian Grey Hornbill. We had got permission to visit Sykes Point In Dandeli. Its a beautiful valley with the kali river gushing in full fury. So we drove up and as we reached I suddenly see GREAT PIED HORNBILLS GLIDING :) as we were on top we had a spectacular view i ended up counting 30 great pied flying one after the other. I got more than i bargained for and was grinning from Ear to ear.
A spectacular place offering great sights :)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The trip was exciting as i was traveling to these forests for the very first time.We set off Early morning by bus. The bus was heading to Kollegal. It was a long drive and we switched buses to head to MM Hills. The driver of the bus thought he was driving in a formUla one race.Those roads were so narrow he just whizzed past.We reached MM Hills around afternoon and met The officer who drove us to the camp site.Basic Facilities is what one can expect but the scenery is breathtaking.Since it was cloudy the weather was pleasant and the hills were covered with mist.
Mystery Trails is a set of planned eco-treks through the deep jungles of Chamarajanagar range of forests. These eco-treks will be designed to give trekkers a lifetime experience of nature in all its pristine glory. So as we are working on making 3 trails, hence we visited these hills.We drove through the forest and saw lot of quails. I spotted a shikra when we stopped. There's a Memorial dedicated to the late P. Srinivas DCF(IFS)who was murdered by the bandit-Verappan in 1991.It was a coincidence as it was his death anniversary on the day we reached 10/11. There was a function held for him.
We saw lots of elephant dung on the path and crossed steams and rugged terrain. It was exciting. We also had a guard to protect us :) Suddenly my colleague spots a rock python and we stop by ,i didn't see it as it moved away. On our way back i saw eyes glisten im pretty sure it was a spotted deer.We saw lots of shrews running about. We reached the camp site and the place was so quite. We had our dinner and headed to bed.
We woke up early and the scenery was breathtaking. The mist on the hills, the refreshing air and the dam (IN FRONT) filled with birds makes it paradise. We head out to trek around the dam which is easily 3 km. We walk along with our guard in case any elephants should chase us. I saw lots of water birds cormorants,Cattle Egrets, Grey Heron,Pied Kingfisher fishing for his meal, ashy wood swallow, spotted dove, Rose ringed Parakeets, Blue Breasted Kingfisher,the noisy Red Wattled lapwing etc.The trek took us through narrow paths and we saw the hoof prints of spotted deer.At the end of the trek there's a small temple dedicated to Lord Muneshwara.
We fresh up and leave for our departure to bang. We get dropped near the border. The Cauvery river is the line that separates Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. We took a coracle boat to reach the other side and there we were in Tamil Nadu :)It was a delight traveling across the river on the tiny boat.People there use this mode of transport as the water is high.We wait for our bus and when it arrives oh god there's a rush, That moment is back to Civilization for me :(
On The way back sitting on a bus is tiring and i reached Bangalore early evening.
This place is slowly recovering as poaching was Rampant especially by the Notorious Bandit. It needs to be strictly protected and the steady stream of visitors to the various temples around certainly has a negative impact.
A lovely place and a important corridor for Wildlife, it is truly Paradise.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I compiled it from various sources and found this extremely interesting.
Amphibians in Indian culture:
In India, frogs were believed to personify thunder. In the Sanskrit language, the word for frog is also the word for cloud.
As a part of a centuries-old "Pongal" harvest tradition to "prevent the outbreak of mysterious diseases in the village" a remote village in India Marries young girls to frogs. The ceremony has its roots in the story of the Hindu God Shiva who turned himself into a frog following a quarrel with his wife Parvati. She cried for days causing disease to spread throughout local villages. When the villages asked for help she sent them to find Shiva and plead with him to marry a young girl. She herself posed as the girl, and when Shiva agreed to marry her they returned to their original god forms and the outbreak was cured.
The word Salamander means fire lizard when translated from its Greek origin. Linked with fire, Salamanders were thought to be immune to fire and able to put off flames with special secretions from their skin. Collected and burned to ashes salamenders have been used in medicinal purposes. The skins, bodies and body parts of salamanders are used in traditional Asian medicine even today.
Newar community in the Bagmathi River Valley of Nepal (an ancient land situated in the southern lap of the central Himalayas) has a strange practice of worshipping a frog. The Jyapu farmers form a majority in the Newar community and are cultivators connected with frog worship since time memorial. The frog worship takes place annually on the full moon day of Shrawan (July) during the rainy season. On the particular day they worship the frogs in their lush green rice fields, with flowers, sandalwood paste, and dry rice and also make an offering of boiled rice plus the soup of nine varieties of legume seeds for their consumption. This religious rite is called Byan Janakegu (Feeding rice to the frog) in the local dialect. The frog is a godling of rain.
The Rig-Veda the oldest existing work in Sanskrit, we find a panegyric of the frogs being compared with the Brahmin priests. The hymn is a satire to the Brahmins but an encomium to the frogs. They even believed that frogs were the givers of hundreds of cows to them and also lengthened their life in the rich autumn.
The principal of frog worship is the essence of Frog Conservation.
The peasants in the Bihar state in India also believe that the crocking of frogs is heard by Indra, the rain god, who sends timely rain. But they do not worship the frogs.
Monday, October 19, 2009
I keep frequenting this place as my work takes me there. Its always a pleasure being in those jungles. I'm fond of the people and the place :)
DANDELI : A wildlife enthusiasts delight. Be it the diversity, the forests or the birds it has lots to offer. I had the opportunity of staying in Kulgi for a week and be apart of the wildlife week celebrations.
Wildlife Week 2009
The 55th wildlife week celebrations in Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve, in association with CEE organized a weeklong programme to mark the wildlife week celebrations at Kulgi and Dandeli for various target groups from the 1st to the 7th October 2009. The overall objective of this celebration was to sensitize citizens on the importance of nature and wildlife and a need for its conservation.
On the 1 st and 2nd October, the Teachers Training Programme on Nature Education was conducted. 23 teachers from various schools around Dandeli attended the programme.
The Wildlife week as well as the teacher's training programme was inaugurated by the chief guest Dr. Sunil Panwar IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forests, wildlife division Dandeli. The programme aims at teaching them about nature and showing interactive ways to educate their children.
I gave a small ppt on reptiles found in Dandeli and Anshi. I spoke about the venomous and non venomous species and also about the myths regarding snakes. The need for conserving them was high lighted.
The 3RD of October was for school children around Dandeli. The event was called "GAJARAJA MELA". Painting competitions, activities, street play and essay writing was conducted. A photography exhibition was also held which featured the best of wildlife from professional photographers as well as amateurs. The children got materials on wildlife and nature. Each child was happy and learnt about the wildlife near their homes.
The event was inaugurated by MR. Sudarshan, Chief Wildlife Warden.
Mr. Sudarshan spoke briefly about bird watching, how one should go about it, the ways of identifying birds and their calls. He mentioned the bird books of Dr.Salim Ali and Grimmet and inskipp’s. Dr. Sunil Panwar, Mr. Kumaraswamy, Raghu ( RFO) and other officials were present.
The group included children, college students and families. Different groups were formed and each group had a naturalist to help them identify the birds.
The purpose of this event was to instill the passion for bird watching and need for conserving them. We made groups and i was the head naturalist for my group.
The birds seen were lovely species:
Malabar Pied Hornbills
Malabar Grey Hornbills
white bellied woodpecker
plum headed parakeets
Lesser rAcket tailed Drongos
spotted dove and alot more.
WE also saw a pair of Malabar Giant Squirrels and hanuman langurs.
The 5th day had self help groups from around kulgi and Dandeli. These women are important as they are the ones who interact and see wildlife near their homes. The need is to sensitize them on nature and its conservation.Slide shows, documentaries, ppt presentations and talks were part of their programme. Making them aware of their role they play in protecting the forests.
The 6 th day was conducted for the rural youths of dandeli. They were enthusiastic and form an important part in conserving our resources. Activities on nature, slide shows on wildlife, documentary screening about climate change and talks were conducted for them.
The 7 th day was the last day of the wildlife week. The distribution of prizes was conducted.All the children from their respective schools attended.
The STREET PLAY was by a local group who protect the forests.
The street play has a unique way of showing the importance of the forest and wildlife. The play concentrated on poaching of the hornbills, wild boar and tiger, the forest fires, and the ethics to conserve these.
They showed the need for conserving the forests and that’s its each ones role in conserving the forests.
All in All the whole week went by and it was an amazing experience. It always feels nice when your doing something worthwhile. :)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Baneraghatta National Park is a Little unknown destination. Located hardly 30 km from Bangalore it harbours wild elephants,leopards, wild dogs, gaurs,barking deer, chitals and numerous small carnivores and bird species. I m not talking about the zoo side at all. The park spans 104 sq. kms which includes ten reserve forests of Anekal Range of the Bangalore Forest Division. It is surrounded by scenic hills, with many ancient temples perched on them.
The principal inhabitants of the national park are elephants, which migrate from Kollegal and nearby Tamil Nadu territory, for the major part of the year. The abundant bamboo growth provides fodder for these Gentle Giants.
I visited this place and was amazed at the beauty. It was shocking to see it so close to Bangalore. My Dear friend had a farm and he invited us to stay. Its a wonderful delight to trek and watch the little green bee eaters sand bathing. :) A wonderful hill gives you a spectacular view of the range of hills and the city (Bangalore). Its amazing how this Oasis exists for the wild animals.
This park has so many pressures on it such as the ever increasing human habitation around, poaching and the illegal mining. This mining is destroying the place. The sound is so loud and deafening.
There is no viable corridor for the Elephants and they have to cross the high way to migrate.
I sincerely wish that this place survives for these wild creatures.
My Next trip to Baneraghatta was with a group of Wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists. We camped at GeeD. We sat up and enjoyed each others company and also brought in a friends birthday.Tha cake shape: A gps unit:)
We trekked up to dodda beta that evening and watched the view.
Next morning we went on a coracle boat ride on a lake near the farm. It was fun :)
Monday, September 28, 2009
AN ART ,PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRIBAL HANDICRAFTS EXHIBITION AND SALE.
1 ST - 7 TH october 2009
Time: 10.00 am to 7 pm.
vEnue; ALLIANCE FRANCAISE
VASANTHANAGAR, KARNATAKA- 52.
A lovely vacation in the Hills. I had been up to Ooty with my family. This is one of my many trips up to Ooty. Ooty is also known as Udhagamandalam, the "Queen of hill stations" and the capital of the Nilgiris district. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Nilgiri's means "Blue Mountains". It is one of the most beautiful hills in India.
We drove up to Ooty and passed the bandipur-mudumalai forests. We didn't get to see much wildlife. The drive up was wonderful we felt the cold breeze on our faces, the smell of eucalyptus, and the inviting scenery to keep treasured in our mind frame. We stayed at LOvedale, a lovely bungalow. The house is a pleasant sight with the drive way , the lovely flowers which added colour to the bungalow.It was freezing so we cuddled up near the heater and had a hot dinner and slept.
The next morning was pleasant and we played some football. We headed to Ooty and looked about. Its not Very pleasant when its over crowded. We had lunch in the Chinese restaurant and then the skies opened up and it poured. We went on a small drive towards Cunoor. The landscape is picturesque.We headed back and played a few games of cards and cooked hot soup.
We headed to Masinagudi in the morning as a friend had a quiet place in the mudumalai forest side.The house was small and you can see some great sightings of wildlife in the evenings. The place is lovely with the stream flowing near by. We stayed there all day and headed to Bangalore early evening.
On our way back i was horrified to see a group of men getting out from their car and feeding the langurs. These are wild and they seemed so tamed. The constant stream of travelers encouraging these once shy creatures has made them lazy and over friendly. Another jeep with a bunch of people see this and stop to get out. I felt so Irritated. Coming from the other side was a lorry and these langurs didn't run away. I was worried about their long tails getting run over. It is so saddening to see this as it is only bringing dangers to these lovely creatures. I stopped and told them to respect wildlife but it doesn't really help. We moved on and i also saw cars stop and people getting out to take pictures in the forest , sometimes a board near by them saying Respect wildlife or Do not stop your vehicles. I have a picture which says it all. Photograph does speak a million words silently.
Another thing Id like to add is the traffic is terrible and there are traffic jams in the sanctuary. This is so as the roads are closed in the evenings till 6.00 am. When these gates are opened all the vehicles enter creating a havoc.
I HONESTLY hope it works out for wildlife. This is one of my favorite sanctuaries and there are so many pressures on it. We need to conserve as its also a Biodiversity Hot-Spot.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It is being held in Bangalore: Follow the link for the Venue
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Nagarhole: A beautiful park which has the backdrop of the (distant) misty blue Brahmagiri Mountain , is also called the "Rajiv Ghandhi National park" which is about 94km from Mysore and 234km from Bangalore. The best way to reach this place is by having your own vehicle, as the public transport like bus is not frequent and easy.
I visited nagarhole as a volunteer in Dr.Krithi Karanths project. I reached around afternoon an met Krithi and the rest of the group during lunch. After lunch we headed to visit the various home stays as part of her project. Coorge has many home stays as there are lots of coffee plantations. The people were very warm an i was really surprised at their hospitality.W e were placed in the jungle dormitory. We got back around 6 pm and during the ride back in the jungle we saw a Gaur grazing in the distance,Spotted dear every where and wild boars eating.
When we reached we saw a pack of wild dogs . It was my first sighting of a pack :) i was totally excited. They really didn't seem to mind our watchful eyes as we admired them rolling and playing with each other. I love their coat colour and these Dholes are surely admirable in their hunting skills. We watched them till the sun set.
The next morning we left and headed out as we had a number of home stay places to visit and each of us went our own way. Let me tell you that the distance between the home stays were minimum 2 km and all of us had a really long day. I walked on small roads with plantations on my sides and no one in sight. It felt like i was in a lonely, calm place. During my visits i met interesting people. I thank them for being generous. I also got to know that the local people the farmers carry out poaching for mostly bush meat, i was saddened at this. I spoke to a few more places and many mostly had problems with the elephants. Poaching of bush meat is rampant in all parks. That evening was a quite evening and we headed to bed early. I was up early as i was on the ground thruthing rounds. We left in the jeep and took the readings(gps) of villages quite a distant away from the park. A rough drive as the roads were terrible. Headed back early afternoon and saw a Crested Serpent eagle along the drive. We had a good lunch and i took a nap. The rest arrived later and we chatted about each ones day. After dinner Krithi asked us to drop our backs off at her lodge which was a more than 100 meters from the dormitory. Since we had only 2 jeeps some1 suggested that the bags would go in one. Chimayi, Arjun, Krithi, Praveen and me headed to the lodge. There are two paths, ones a short cut(Mud path) the other a little longer (Tar road). We stuck to the road and half way down we heard some1 shouting and then a torch flashed. The Fd were chasing a herd of elephants back to the forest. They were a big herd of about 25-30, with calves. Praveen headed back to quieten the rest of the group.
We were in awe and felt so close to seeing them. Chinmayi and me had our bags. As we reached the range office the guard shouted at us saying there were elephants near by, thinking he was speaking about the herd we saw moving away we felt relieved. Suddenly, we here a trumpet not far behind us,someone had chased them towards us not realizing we were there. That trumpet was the scariest thing iv heard. Our hearts stopped an some fell bruising their knees. All we could think was RUN!!!!!!!!. We ran , me and Chinmayi bags an all. Arjun saw the bus open and ran to it with Chinmayi. Kirthi and me ran the only place safe was the lodge, to the right is a steep fall into the forest and to the left the elephants running. I could hear my heart beat so loud and heard Arjun shout saying the elephants were getting close. I could see an elephant at the corner of my eye,we were heading the same way. Our minds numb we reached the stairs just as the elephants ran to the back of the lodge. That moment was one filled with astonishment, wonder, the feeling that we missed death. It made us weak-kneed. After all that me and chimayi had to head back to our room. Adding to my displeasure of heading on the same path where i was chased, there were a few wild boars. Walking back that road made my heart pound so much, the moment i reached i was glad i was back on my cot in the dom. The events that had unfolded were all we spoke about that night.
The next morning we left to Kabini for the next part of the study. The drive was fun as we were all cramped in a small jeep. The group got along well and we stopped at a river to eat. On our way we saw a lovely Oriental honey buzzard feeding on a cobra. As we went a little closer he flew away with the snake in his talons, the snake wiggled and fell. The cobra raised his hood and went into the bushes. WHAT A SIGHT !!. We reached Kabini at 2 and had a good buffet lunch. Jungle lodges was a really lovely place. The scenery was beautiful. The Bandipur range of hills on the left and Nagarhole on the right with the beautiful kabini backwaters.
We went on a safari and our highlight was seeing a lovely feline cat, the Leopard. I'm always in Awe of the cat family their grace and beauty , their sheer power leave me with nothing but respect. We came upon a herd of Gaurs which i should mention is Arjun's favorite mammal. He feels their like ballerinas :) i find it funnily interesting at his description.
Next day i interviewed few resorts after that we went on the boat safari. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as i v never been on a boat safari. they took us along the river and we saw lots of spotted deer, sambars, a few mongooses playing, wild boars busily hogging, a tusKer eating his bamboo and a few monkeys playing about.We also saw cormorants and painted storks.
Nature’s great masterpiece; an elephant, the only harmless great thing.
In the morning we went on a safari and as we reached the entrance of the jungle our jeep breaks down. What luck i must say! so we waited an finally the next jeep comes. a little ahead we saw a mother elephant with her calf. They were busily eating.
The mother elephant crosses the road with her calf. Suddenly she turns and heads straight at our jeep. She didn't look too pleased i must say. The jeep guy didn't move and went a little forward, she stopped and turned away taking her calf along. A little nerve racking for sure.
We got to hear an alarm call of a sambar and stopped to see if a predator was close by. It was a lovely drive through the jungle and we saw the chitals, sambars , a few more elephants and the same tusker near the bank. We also came across a leopard pug mark. On reaching the lodges, we went on the coracle boat ride. It was so much fun as he made it go round an round at the center of the lake.
This is one of the most eventful trips i v had. I saw so much of wildlife and enjoyed being around it.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when the tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity. ~George Bernard Shaw.
No one in the world needs a mink coat but a mink. ~Murray Banks
When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of god we call him a sportsman. ~Joseph Wood Krutch
It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. ~Mark Twain
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The perfect holiday : Whats better than a good group of friends, wildlife at its best and the back drop of the nilgiris? that's my weekend get away trip for you. Bandipur-Mudumalai has always had a special place in my heart. I v travelled a great deal to these jungles ever since i was a kid and never seem to get enough. My passion lies in these jungles and i feel the blood rushing through my veins in sheer excitement as i think of the journey ahead. The distance by road to Bandipur is 220 kms. So setting out early is a good option. We left by two cars early on Saturday morning and made good progress. We stopped over for breakfast at a restaurant just off the main road. A good South-Indian breakfast and we took off towards bandipur. The road after Mysore en route to bandipur is quit bad as they are repairing it. As we were reaching Bandipur the clouds opened up and there was a slight drizzle. We all were excited as we entered the forest gate. The feeling off being out in the wild is truly amazing,you can feel the air coursing through your lungs. The chilly air breezes on your skin adding to the excitement of the day ahead. We saw a wild boar and a few spotted deers resting and foraging as we reached bandipur just before 12. We headed to our lodge, Country classics. A fairly new place adding to the list of the other countless resorts at Masinagudi. On our arrival the owner greeted us and showed us to our room. It was a nice big room were we all could fit. The cottage was warm and comfortable.
The owner warned us that an elephant was roaming in the area and there were reports it was causing a lot of disturbance. He also showed us where it had visited the cottage area the previous night. The big foot print of the elephant was visible.
We had a chalked out what we might do for the day. We freshened up and waited for lunch, in that time we indulged ourselves in a game of cricket while acting like little children running around :) .The food was very homely with dal, chicken curry, chappathis, rice,sabji and dessert. We ate to our hearts content and then set out for the safari at theppakadu. The bus was waiting as we got there so we got in and headed in the jungle. I've honestly seen more wildlife on the roads than going in the safari. Since it was the first time for a few others we took it. We saw wildlife like elephants, spotted deer and peacocks. It was a short drive in the forest and we were out in half and hour. It was rather disappointing. One of my close buddies who is also an avid wildlife lover told me to take a road of masinagudi and drive through. We got in our cars and headed to the road to spot some more wildlife. As we were a little away from the small town i just looked out of my window and was shocked to see a wild dog. I was so excited as I've been dying to see one in the wild. We backed up and the Dhole was hiding behind a tree so i couldn't get a good shot of him. ( WITH MY camera) :) We admired him for awhile and set off down the road. We didn't see much otherwise except for spotted deers. After a short drive we came up to a dam. The sight was quite beautiful. The hills are always a beautiful back drop. We got out and took a few pictures and then headed back to the cottage. It was after six in the evening as we got onto the road towards the stay we saw a few elephants at the side of the road eating, we stopped a little further ahead and i took out my camera to get a few good shots. Sadly the elephant was
behind the bushes. A jeep came along and the locals seated in it warned us the elephants were quite aggressive. We were at a safe distance so we enjoyed watching him(elephant) eat. A car comes along and asks a friend of mine what we were admiring so he mentioned that there was a tusker and not to get out. The man nods and drives ahead with his family. This man drives a little ahead stops and gets down from his car. He walks towards the elephant, we were shocked at his behaviour. As he peeps the elephant spots him and charges towards him, luckily the elephant didn't pursue and the man ran. As he reaches his car he laughs and heads in his car. This behaviour of people i have seen many a times in these forest. When we do not respect the animals boundaries we are asking for trouble. We all watched it and wished that man could have got a good beating for his stupidity.
This keeps us discussing about animals and humans alike on our way back. We reached, freshened up and arranged for a bon fire. The night was chilly and the hills were covered with mist, the sky was cloudy. We hurdled up in the warmth of the fire and sang songs and ate yummy starters. We sat around enjoying each others company and the different smells of the jungle. Nikhil was apprehensive about the elephant paying us a visit at night so he kept a watchful eye :) I'm sure he secretly dreamed it would. We had a good meal and played a few games of uno. I dozed off as i cant stay up after my bed time :)
We got up early in the morning and got ready to trek in the jungle. We had a guide ( local) and the owner also joined us. Along our trek we spotted a few birds. I also heard the changeable hawk eagle. We saw a lovely tree house high up in the trees apparently abandoned. We continued trekking and saw lots of Malabar parakeets flying about. As we were climbing up a small hill the owner found a pug mark of a tiger. It was a huge paw print. We also saw a deer
hoofs paw print near it. It didn't leave much to imagine as to what might have happened. It was exciting to feel that a tiger would have roamed there earlier. A little further ahead i spotted a tiny frog. He was rather still and camouflaged well with the area. On the hill the guide spotted a sloth bear on the hill further away. I couldn't find the spot. A few of my friend's spotted it. They were excited with the sightings. We headed back as it was getting late since we were leaving back to bangalore. We climbed back and were waiting to have a good breakfast. Breakfast was of dosa and chutney, omelet and bread.
We packed our stuff and with a light heart set out for Bangalore. Each one thinking of the week ahead in the city filled with noise, pollution and work. Right now we were so far from all this so we wanted to enjoy our last drive through the jungle. On our way i remembered from a trip about 2 years ago i had spotted a leopard in a particular area just before u hit theppakadu. You wont believe it at the same place we spotted a leopard majestically sitting on a rock. We saw him for only a minute and he jumped into the bushes away from our eyes. It was nevertheless an exciting moment :D We also spotted a herd of Gaurs, the largest bovine in the world along with the langaurs, mongoose and peacocks.
The trip back was mostly filled with sleep, i for one slept pretty much the whole way. We stopped at about 5.30 in Mysore and had a good meal. Then the next stop was Bangalore. The ending of a journey is always the beginning of another :) Cheers to my pals for sharing these moments with me.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Rose Ringed Parakeet (oUt side my window)
The sunset at Ranthambhore
My travel to Ranthambhore was exhilarating and a cherished trip. Its the place where i saw my first ever sighting of the most beloved Cat ,The Tiger. It was also my first time travel to a national park in the north. I v travelled a great deal to Bandipur and Nagarhole, several times in a year ever since i was ten. I guess it bought out my love for wildlife. People visiting the south know how difficult it is to spot the tiger. Its an elusive hunter here in the south. It amazed me on how easily i could see them in the north as the forests are ideal to spot wildlife. It isnt dense like the south. Each forest is unique in this aspect an we see how adaptable the tiger is in different terrains and temperatures. These forests are one of the best reserves to spot wildlife. During my short trip i spotted a variety of birds like the shikra, OHB, spotted owlet, vulture and plenty more. To the famous chinkara, Blue bull, leopard, tiger, monitor lizards, to the soft shelled turtle and the mugger. Truly a delight to photograph these animals.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The tiger is the largest and heaviest of the cat family and much feared by other animals and humans alike. The Bengal tiger has the classic orange and black tigers coat.The stripes provide brilliant camouflage against dappled light and shade.It has excellent eyesight and earing ,which helps it track animals in the dark.Tigers kill their prey by biting the back of its neck or throat, and then dragging it into the thick cover to feed.They hunt at night and rest during the day.
Male tigers find females by their roars and scent marks .The females give birth to her cubs( 2 -4) in a den. She rears them on her own and once they are about 2 months they are ready to brave the world.They usually stay with their mothers till their the age of 2.
Tigers love water and often bathe or cool off in rivers and pools during the day.tigers mark their territory with scent markings, droppoings and scratch marks on trees or rocks.. these signals tell other tigers about its sex and size as well as its territory. Tigers also communicate by moaning and roaring. They defend their territory fiercerly.
TAIL: 60 CM-1M
WEIGHT:UPTO 220 KG
SEXUAL MATURITY: FEMALE -3-4 YRS
MALE :4-5 YRS.
BREEDING SEASON : NOV-APRIL.
GESTATION PERIOD: 95-112 DAYS.
-DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PEOPLE IN SUNDARBANDS DETER TIGER ATTACKS BY WEARING A MASK DEPICTING A FACE ON THE BACK OF THEIR HEADS ,AS TIGERS NORMALLY ATTACK FROM BEHIND.
-In the hindu religion the godess durga rides a tiger.
The latest updates on the wildlife front are very upsetting and shocking. The second deadly blow to the tigers in the wild. Panna Tiger Reserve has gone the sariska way. All the tigers have been poached. Apparantly a healthy tiger from the banipur/nagarhole range was relocated to Bhadra and in the absence of proper wildlife vets she was given an extra dosage of anesthesia and died. It is shocking and terribly upsetting because even though there has been such publicity on conserving our last few tigers their numbers are still falling. POaching is the main threat in these cases. read the following links.
An NGO called Tiger Watch has done remarkable work in saving the tigers of Ranthambhore. It truely shows us how one mans will and passion can make such a difference.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Dandeli city is located in UttaraKannda District. It is very famous for wild sanctuary, Paper Mill, Syntheri Rock and Forest resorts. Kali River is the main water source.
Dandeli has got a curious history behind its name. Once upon a time there was a person named Dandelappa, who was working as servant in a Mirashi land Lord's house. One fine day Mirashi's family lady proposed Dandelappa. But as he was very innocent and obedient to his lord he rejected her proposal. She grew wild. She went to her brothers and lied that Dandelappa behaved very rudely with her. They got anger and decided to finish him. One sad day her brothers went to Dandelappa and with fine edged sword they cut his head. Dandelappa's head and body part went and placed in different places. At present there are two temples at two different places to memorize his existence. As his name was Dandelappa, people named that place as "Dandeli".
How Anshi came into being
The people who reside in Anshi, migrated years ago from Goa when the Portuguese attacked Goa. The locals of a village called Anshu, fearing them fled to the Hills to hide. Since they came from a place called Anshu, they named it Anshi. The local language usually spoken is Konkani.
As the local legend goes, a tribe of Brahmin’s consisting of about 60 came into the jungles of Anshi. The Brahmins settled down and started to make canals to aggregate their fields. They were into agriculture. The canals can be seen even today. The locals of Anshi especially the leaders were weary and worried that the Brahmin’s would take over them. Fearing this, the locals killed the head of the Brahmin tribe and buried his body. Then put a stone on top of his grave. It is believed that the rock has increased in size since then and is growing.
It is believed that Lord Bhima from his journeys walked through the jungles of Anshi carrying a huge rock. As darkness approached, Bhima rested and left without the rock in the morning. Footprints are seen near the rock even to this day.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We took a batch of MBA students from ISBR to The Dandeli and Anshi wildlife sanctuary. I was part of the faculty in the nature camp as a naturalist. The other members were Mr. Manjunath, Mr Venkatesh, Prajna and Mr Venkat. We left Bangalore with the students by train. The train journey was exciting for the student as they had finished their exams the very same afternoon. They had a good time on the train keeping us entertained as well. We reached haliyal the next morning and the bus we had hired was waiting for us. We settled in and took off to Dandeli which is about an hour’s journey. We headed to a farmhouse run by a local named Narasimha. The place is 13 km from the Dandeli city and is nestled in the forest. We reached and headed to freshen up. The students were given a hearty breakfast of south Indian cuisine. The locals had prepared us this lovely breakfast. After everyone had finished we went trekking near by to a hill called Bison hill. The trek was exciting as well as strenuous as the hill was very steep. We spotted lots of wildlife evidences like the claw marks of a sloth bear and feces of a bison. Along the trail we found ourselves in the presence of elephants’ nearby. We went the other way and trekked back down. The students got to work as a team as they helped each other during the trek. The trail leads to a lake and the students went boating and also swam in the lake. After this everyone was hungry and headed to the farmhouse. The food was hot and ready to eat as the cooks had prepared a lovely south Indian lunch. The students enjoyed the meal. Narasimha spoke about apiculture and showed them the bees in his farm. They got first hand experience in Apiculture. We organized a game on nature and then left to visit the Supa dam. Its like a sour thumb in the forest and surely the impacts of this dam is great. After the visit we headed to Anshi to camp for the next two days. Anshi is home to rare flora and fauna having evergreen forests. The camp site at Anshi has tents and the students were put up in them. Anshi is one of the only places were you don’t get network and there is only solar powered lights. This sets the mood of being deep in the jungle. For many of the students this was a first time experience. The students settled in and after dinner went for a small night trek. The next morning we took them birding. Anshi is a birders paradise as you find endemic birds in this region. But it is difficult to spot the birds in these evergreen forests. After a late breakfast we left to the Kaiga power plant. It’s about and hour from Anshi. The security checking was tight and after being thoroughly checked we were allowed in. The place is surrounded by lush forests. We were taken on a tour of the plant and given a brief insight on the working of the plant. We were taken to a view point. The trek was quite strenuous as the humidity is very high here. But the trek was worth it as the sight was breathtaking, the Kali River in her glory with lush pristine forests on the sides. There is great need to conserve these forests as they are threatened. After the visit to the plant we were taken to the quarters of the Kaiga employees were we had our snacks. From there we left back to camp. The sky opened up and it poured on our way back. We had dinner under the stars and headed to bed as we had to get up early. The next morning I heard the cackling of the hornbills but couldn’t spot them. The languars were right above the tent eating the fruits. I did a small ppt on the reptiles seen around Anshi and spoke about the reptiles. We also found a Green Vine snake in the camp.