Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tiger Trace

Tiger Pug-mark
It has been only 14 days at my new home. KAAV Kabini is literally at the edge of the nagarahole national park. Unlike my previous posts I do not need to give any introduction to this post. It was around 3 pm there were forest officers wondering at my fence.

I got to know there has been a fresh kill and they were waiting for gunman to come first before anybody go to check out the scene because of ambush. I requested the forest ranger if I may come along, fortunately he was pleased with my humble request and allowed me to come along.

From that moment onwards for next 4 hours nobody's has been able to control my excitement. I walked out of the gate, crossed the forest fence and immediately we saw tiger droppings. There was few inches bone pieces in the fresh dump.
Tiger Dump - notice bones
Sambar killed by Tiger
I followed the gunmen and officers and found pug marks, I by that time was in a state of illusion not aware of my surroundings. We followed the tiger trial - the pug marks, dump and he had dragged his kill all along and trace of blood and bones. As we got closer the pungent odour was too strong. I almost puked so I took this snap holding my mouth in one hand and ran away from the spot. Dr. Shivkumar (CC warden) was kind enough to explain me the surroundings and showed me the picture of massive tiger which he had photographed couple of days before.
Tiger pug mark

The officers continued following the trial but my journey ended after looking at tiger's den. There was other animal left over and he has left me with excitement to spot him now which I can do from my balcony. The deer was not completely eaten, there were flies everywhere and by evening I could get the stink upto my home.

So close to wilderness my room has 15 feet French windows (without grills) and 10 feet from the tiger terrine. This whole experience has  made me feel super special every second of my life.

On my way notice elephant dump and beautiful peacocks which is quiet common in Kabini (Rajiv Ghandi national park) also called Nagarhole national park.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mahadeshwara Temple

This amavasya night is also auspicious night; after Mahalaya Amavasya which followed after Durga pooja now comes Deepavali(Narakachaturthi) night . In kabini I got to know there would be special prayers organised at the near by temple. So I planned to take my Jeep and drive along with the 2 of my coworkers to the other side of the Kabini river. Although it takes just about an hour on boat to cross, I didn't want to go on coracle and decided a 3 hour ride a long detour to reach temple.

Kabini reservoir
Road to the end of the begining
A lot of villagers were gathering today for the occasion. We enjoyed scenic beauty throughout the journey from N.Belathur to Antharasanthe to HD Kote to Kabini dam to Bhimanakolli . Truly the clouds seems to touch down driving on the peaks and world doesn't appear flat from those landscapes. The temple is located at river basin and it is peninsular land i.e both sides of land is covered by river

The villagers were migrated from this town to other sides of Kabini river about 40 years ago to avoid human interference in the forest. I felt there is a lot of HELP required interms of educating these tribal families after relocating them from their base.

Sky touching down

Tribal  women Dance in front of Temple for Lord Mahadeshwara

These women dancing in front of temple before falling to gods feet, a very ethnic form of worshipping and it is indeed sheer devotional dance to lord Mahadeshwara.

Also you can see in below pics the tiger is worshipped which is carrier (his vehicle) of Lord Mahadeshwara. In february I heard there would 3 days fair where they build sand stage in front of temple and that night, tiger comes to pay respect to his master by circling around temple and you can find the pug marks on the sand every year.

Lord Mahadeshwara's Tiger worshipped before temple parade
Ninna poojege bande mahadeshwara....

Temple crowd
Almighty himself, below flower covered with original Linga formation
Beautiful spiritual connections...

Come visit the traditional temple of Hindu heritage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Local communities

It had been a quiet day until we planned to take a ride to river basin by around 5pm. It was hardly few minutes on bike we reached beautiful sunset point. Malthadi village near Kabini (Karapura) which belong to kuruba community. This place is surrounded by major resorts who make thousands for similar spot from other side of river whereas these villagers do not even have basic necessity. I hope someday travellers come and stay in these village houses like a home stay and help improve local community economy.

Chida happy moment

I would have paid over 10k if I had come as a visitor to stay at this place for a night. Now all I have to do is take 10 minutes ride from my new home. Well, we don't account this for our savings when we get it without paying :). The dark nimbus clouds literally chased us out, within few minutes the clouds came running after us. We got caught in rain and ran into nearby government school for shelter. There were few puppies closely sleeping one top of the other to survive cold weather. I don't think that school has any students sadly.

Lets help local communities in remote places during your visit to resorts or lodges or safari. We are making an effort to employ local community in our home stay.

Waiting for summer, elephants come inside the village for water.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An evening with staff

I have been moving slowly, one day at a time. I don''t have any worry as such. The first 5 days has been slowly unlocking every bit of my new life, one thing at a time. Have gone to nearby villages, resorts and towns, all has been basically smooth exploration, giving me a lot of confidence learning my surroundings.

Just couple of hours ago, there was elephant loud trumpet which has left fear in my mind. The closest house is tribal thatched roof huts who are shouting and beating up vessels to chase away the elephant. My fellow staff left me alone at night 30 feet from the park border, confirming to me; its nothing for an elephant to knock down the fence and crash down the pillar and enter my house.

That's not it, while we(my fellow colleague Chida and me) were returning back in dark night from our usual walk, the local stray dog "pinto" which guards our home jumped from no where scaring us to death. When we closely observed, the dog right eye was bleeding. My first thought was it could be by wild animal like a leopard, tiger, wild dogs etc. We just rushed through with our walk and hit straight to bed.

A lot of things has been happening newly and I truly relish the absolute sacred feeling. Life is beautiful and praise the lord.


Friday, October 14, 2011

My first thoughts of new home

Stopped at the gate, before entering my new home. My first glimpse gave me tremors unsure what's coming ahead. The incomplete compound and dug up black-mud really gave me stomach pain. We drove inside ( was accompanied by Chief Naturalist Sarath and friend) and got down, felt better observing the thick natural habitat and descent home. I finally got connected to the place, although the feel was actually quiet good throughout the journey.
my next steps only kept getting better,  the beautiful architect imagination had come alive in this building. The nice view from balcony was just icing in the cake. By evening it started drizzling and we went up the roof for the best view of forest. I could slow down the time there for next 2 hours. You are exposed to the forest weather unlimited. The thick Deciduous forest was at smelling distance with luxurious house to live, what more can you ask for...

Next morning again was only getting better, I woke up to beautiful view from my bedroom window that I have ever in my life woken up to and then moved curtains for ecstatic movement. It was breath taking. The chirping of birds was my alarm, peafowls calling me and many other birds that I will document in my next few weeks. We took a walk and could feel the nature so close like forest was breathing inside us.

All this has been offered for "not" working 10 years in corporate life but for  descent passion towards nature, being local and environmental science student.I have been picked up by group of entrepreneurs investing on home-stay next to National park.

I finally did go on the safari and then drove inside national park (Rajiv Gandhi and Nagarhole national park ) went passed midst of Jungle to reach Western Ghats. The road trip from Bangalore  to Kabini to Waynad to Calicut to Bangalore has been best experience of my life.