National Parks

mudumalai national park

Posted by thirumal ram on October 18, 2010

Forum Post
i have visited the mudumalai national park in Nilgris of tamilnadu
on the way in to the forest i have watched man extinct species of birds and other mammals such as
indian gaur ,elephant with their calves and many spotted deers with a group of nearly100-150
i have also spotted an extinct species named sambar
while we r on return i spotted two tigers  fighting with a common sloth bear
that looked so awesome so dont fail to visit mudumalai the nilgris

Any other

Environmental News and Information

Posted by Neil on October 09, 2010

Forum Post
EcoEarth.Info is a one of a kind Environment Portal - with genuine
Internet search, cutting biocentric commentary, social network &
constant news and link tracking - all dedicated to achieving global
environmental sustainability

You may access EcoEarth at: www.EcoEarth.Info

You might also be interested in seeing New Earth Rising a

biocentric e-zine dedicated to knowing Earth's crises, to pursue social change and personal transformation sufficient to achieve global ecological sustainability.

New Earth Rising may be found at: http://www.newearthrising.org/

Bio-Diversity

Stopping a Mass Extinction

Posted by Dr.Susan Sharma on October 07, 2010

Forum Post
......We, Homo sapiens, are an inextricable part of this complex web of life. It’s both presumptuous and silly to ask what biodiversity does for us—a little like asking what the rest of the body and organs do for the bones...............

We don’t, and never will, actually understand all the intricacies of this complex web. Rigorous scientific research has given us many insights, among the most powerful being that the more biodiverse a system, the more stable it is. .........

Read the whole article at
http://www.livemint.com/2010/10/06222637/Stopping-a-mass-extinction.html

Little Known Destinations

Purna WildLife Sanctuary

Posted by Palak Thakor on September 13, 2010

Forum Post
      I live in Surat City which is 130 Kms away from Purna Wildlife Sanctuary.I many time visit that place just to observe the changes in the biodiversity of the forest.I am going there since last 4 years once every two months.Now a days the NGO workers around the Forest area means from Surat & Navsari visit that places every Sunday just to watch night life of jungle.On seeing their regularly visit in particular area i saw quite changes in biodiversity of that area.There were Leopards, Hyenas & Wild Boars were found in that area but due to the Constant interference of the NGOs in that area now leopards & Hyenas are spotted less & quantity of the wild boar increased.

    Even forest Dept are not stopping NGO workers to come 7 stay in that area.Even they Catch the snakes from there & bring them to Surat to show them to others 7 then release that snake in outskirts
of Surat & which is a different habitat from the natural area needed for the survival of that snake.I had told them to mend their ways but they are doing it & Forest dept doesn't say anything to them as they are paid money for not taking steps against them.

    What can be done now?The Nature savior are destroying it.

Little Known Destinations

Trip to Pangot.Near Nainital,Uttarakhand

Posted by KAAJAL DASGUPTA on September 02, 2010

Forum Post
I visited Pangot on 27th August 2010 to capture some shots of the Himalayan species which are available in plenty in this area.I reached the place at around 7.30 pm and stayed at Janardan cottage which is located atop a small hillock at the zero point crossing.The time is not right for birdwatching as it is raining heavily in North India this year including the hills of Uttarakhand but the proximity of this place from my city (Bareilly)made me impatient!
Next morning I woke up to find that it is raining but around 7.30 am it cleared up and I set out to look for the birds.There are two roads ,one leading high up to the mountains (To Vinayak) and one down to the valleys.
Some famous birding resorts like Jungle Lore is situated at the lower road .
On my trek to the top I could watch Yellow Naped Woodpecker ,Yellow cheeked Tit,Black headed jay,White throated laughing thrush,Blue Whistling thrush , Nuthatch and Eurasian jay.
after breakfast while scouting the valley side I spotted Streaked thrush ,Grey tit,Oriental dove,Himalayan Bulbul,Yellow breasted green finch,spotted munia,blue drongo,sparrows,black headed tit,prinia,brown fonted woodpecker,lesser spotted woodpecker and many other small birds which could not be identified.
I will go back in winter to spot the Khalij pheasant ,Koklass and other Himalayan varieties.
It rained every now and then till evening but I managed to click many shots.

General

Relive a Earth full of Life

Posted by Relivearth on August 25, 2010

Forum Post
There was a planet full of diversified lively species abiding by all natural laws. A planet of peace where only nature ruled. But the days are gone. The planet is now becoming home to only one species swiping out all other poor species. The intelligent species has challenged every natural laws, spread across every corner of this planet, killing and burning each and every other species. it is cleaning up and consuming every natural resources so fast that the poor planet will shortly have hardly anything to supply this species. With a population about 7 billion and growing at unstopping rate every moment,  it is nothing but Human species and the planet is our lovely earth. Humans are growing every second at such a faster rate that many of the species have total of less individuals compared to number of human births every secs. We are at war with Nature and there is none to stop us. It's only our intelligence that can show us the right path and save the whole planet along with us. It is high time to generate awareness among everyone about those species fighting for extinctions, places that are facing threats due to pollutions. We should start learning the importance other lives and beauty of Nature. Relivearth is such an effort to help anyone to bring any species, places to front line and create awareness. Then why don't you join this movement?

Eco-tour

Taman Negara

Posted by Anjan K das on August 20, 2010

Forum Post

Occupying a huge swath of territory in the centre of Malaysia is one of the world’s largest areas of protected rain forest. This is the Taman Negara (Malaysian for “ National Park”). It occupies 4343 sq km of land spread over three states, Kelantan, Pahang and Terengannu. It is claimed that the landscape here has remained unchanged for the past 130 million years, event eh recurrent Ice Ages made no impression on it. Originally named after King George V, it received its new name after independence.
We approached Taman Negara from Kuala Lumpur driving east past the Genting Highlands. Later we left the tolled Highway system to enter the “Normal Highway”, not fenced off, with crossings regulated by traffic lights and still at least four lanes. No highway in this country has even a passing resemblance to ours in West Bengal.
We stopped for lunch in Jerantut, where we had the most marvelous lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Even here in the heart of Malaysia, all the workers were from Indonesia. I talked briefly to one of them using our driver, Mahendran as an interpreter. She had arrived just the day before, referred by an agent from her home village who had sent workers here earlier. She expected to earn at least three times what she earned at home and be able to send money home. Her situation is the same as ours, at just another level!
From Jerantut, the road became a little more quiet, traffic thinned down. Small patches of jungle appeared, giving us a brief idea of what lay in wait. Once Mahendran had to break sharply to avoid running over a water monitor which was about to cross the road. This is a familiar figure from the Bengal countryside, though not so common nowadays. We soon turned into a smaller two lane road. Now the jungle began to close in, interspersed by plantations. After about 4 hours driving we were at the Kuala Tahan. This is one of the principal entry points to the National Park and here the road ends. You have to cross the Tahan River to enter the forest proper.
Standing on its banks we began to get an idea of what Malaysia must have been like before the advent of the Europeans. The local population now called the Orang Asli were the sole inhabitants of these jungles, sharing their space with tigers, the Sumatran rhino, Malayan Gaur and the Elephant. Even today small number of these large predators adnd their prey persist together with uncountable numbers and species of birds, smaller animals and a profusion of reptiles and insects in numbers that boggle the imagination.
We crossed the river to our resort. The Mutiara resort is on the other side of the river adjacent to the forest. There are lovely chalets, with all the mod cons and if you leave the compound you are immediately engulfed by the forest which lies adjacent ready to devour these puny creations at the earliest opportunity. We were here; at other entry points it is possible to go for long treks as well as to climb the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Tahan.
The resort organizes all sorts of activities; these included a jungle night walk. It is extremely thrilling to walk along the jungle trails, seeing myriad forms of wildlife, mainly insects and snakes, sambar deer and something I did not know existed, a mushroom that glows in the dark! We ended with a marvelous dinner at their restaurant. Overlooking the Tahan River, this restaurant serves cuisine from all over the world. It is also possible to get a much cheaper meal at restaurants on barges moored on the river, but tonight luxury seemed to be the way to go!
Next day we went for a canopy walk. The world’s longest canopy walk has been constructed a stiff 3 km walk from the resort, its height soaring to 150 feet over the ground. It was a revealing experience as we walked from stage to stage, once coming face to face with a flock of parakeets and then seeing the Tahan river flow muddily into the distance. The trees were unbelievable, their size and girth larger than anything I have ever seen before.
The resort itself is also extremely relaxing. You can simply sit on the verandah watching the world go by, as birds flit through the trees that dot the campus. That is what Susmita did, refusing to tramp through the sweaty rain forest. We saw among others, a pair of racket tailed drongos, one of my favourite birds.
We had only the weekend there, but it is ideally suited for a long stay, when you can sit and watch the birds, walk the trails and raft lazily down the river. Staying here gave us an insight to why it is that rainforests are best approached from the river. Trying to force a way through the undergrowth is madness .It is also dangerous, It is much more comfortable to approach deep into it by Nature’s highways and that is what many tourists do. We have done the same in many occasions in the Sunderbans.
We drove back even faster, in about three hours. As we entered the lights and traffic of Kuala Lumpur, it seemed a dream that just three hours away, the primeval forest lay, ready to awe us as it has our ancestors throughout human history.

Eco-tour

Ranthambhore

Posted by Anjan K das on August 20, 2010

Forum Post
In medieval times the route to Central India from the North lay through a gap in the Aravalli mountains, south of Jaipur, or rather, Amber. To guard this route developed the fort of Ranthambhore. It got its name from its situation above the Tambhore hill. This combined with the adjoining Rann Hill gave it its name. It was built by the Chauhan Rajputs in the tenth century and became their refuge after Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated in the battle for Delhi in 1192. It was lost to Muslim invaders and then recovered by the Rajputs and has had a chequered history since. The last major siege took place in the last year of the sixteenth century by none other than Emperor Akbar. Later it was taken over by the Jaipur throne after the heydays of the Mughals and was with them till independence.
Today it occupies pride of place in the Ranthambhore wildlife sanctuary which it overlooks. Ranthambhore is one of the important Tiger Project Parks in India and it is one of the last remaining bastions of the Royal Bengal tiger. About 40 of the remaining 1411 (wonder where we got the figure) live here.
We reached Ranthambhore by train from Jaipur. There is a convenient Intercity Express that leaves Jaipur at around 11 am and reaches there by lunchtime. The station is built like a Rajathani haveli, the turrets a reminder of the martial traditions of the Rajputs. We caught an auto and were transported to the Tiger Den where we were staying. The road skirts the park and we could see several hotels which had encroached on the buffer zone. I remember reading about a controversy that rocked this place some years ago when prominent hoteliers were accused of encroaching on Forest Department land. They included some prominent wild life experts and conservationists, who, in keeping with Indian tradition felt that rules were for other people.
Be that as it may, the Tiger Den is a collection of cottages grouped in clusters, all fronting on a lush green lawn. One group of cottages fronts the swimming pool. The compound has been planted with trees and it backs onto a lovely guava orchard which alas was separated form it by a barbed wire fence. There is a bare plain in front of the resort and this ends on the road that leads to Madhya Pradesh, and beyond this the jungle starts. The vegetation s mainly dry deciduous, but the principal trees in the forest are the Dhok trees. These trees which make up the majority of the vegetation in this park, remains ostensibly dry and lifeless throughout most of the year. It bursts into life at the onset of the Monsoons and stays green for about two or three months before reverting to their dry condition again. There are also plenty of palash, some palm trees and of course the babool. The advantage of this is that animal viewing is easy, infinitely easier than in the green vegetation of the Eastern Indian forests.
You can visit the forest at two times, early morning and late afternoon, using either jeeps or canters, Canters are large vehicles. Seating up to 30 odd people, it is surprisingly maneuverable. However jeeps are much better in that they travel faster and can reach areas where the canter can’t. We went for three safaris, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. Game viewing is not the only reason I visit a forest. Forests are for enjoying the trees, the topography, the water bodies, the birds and then the animals. There is a huge thrill in seeing the tiger and other large carnivores, but it is a mistake to suborn the whole experience of entering the forest to seeing the tiger. This prevents one from enjoying many other things that are an integral part of the forest experience. For the record we saw a huge leopard, but no tiger.
But we did see a vast variety of birdlife both inside and outside the park. These included water birds and forest birds. The tree pies here are astonishingly tame and come easily to ones outstretched palm in order to pick up crumbs from them. On one occasion as many as three tree pies sat on Susmita’s palm pecking at biscuit pieces!
The Ranthambhore Fort is now a magnificent ruin, a Ganesh temple inside it is the focus of local piety every chaturthi. About 50000 people circumambulate the Fort before climbing the 250 oddd steps to the temple to pay homage. We were there during Chaturthi and I was amazed to see old men and young, flighty girls and portly maidens all walking barefoot in the forest to cover the 6 km distance around the fort. The wildlife however makes itself scarce during this time, so that is a disadvantage for the tourists.
The weather specially was so very comfortable. This is the best time to visit North India. The skies were clear and the sun reasonably tolerable even at high noon. The nights were crisp and cool and Tiger Den fed us very well, so that we were really sorry to have to return to Delhi on the way home. Till we come again, may the Dhok trees bloom every monsoon!

Little Known Destinations

Myth, Mist and Munnar

Posted by Anirban Dey on August 06, 2010

Forum Post

 

Since quite a few days, I’ve been noticing that, Chennai weather is changing. Not sure whether it is an effect of global warming. But,since past few days, the climate is quite pleasant and this was enough to make my mood for my next trip.

My luck generally favours during these kinds of suddenly planned trips, as Maitry, my better-half, is always kind of ‘on her toes’, when it comes to traveling. So, mentally we were all set; the only question was….where?

I always have a psychological inclination towards hills, but reaching out to the great Himalayas is quite an effort from this part of the country, both in terms of time…as well as money. So, it looked like a better idea to try any nearby hill station, during any weekend.

Munnar had always been in my list as a kind of less crowded hill station. It did not take much time to get my thoughts frozen for booking the tickets. It was a Friday evening (Aug 8, 2008), when we started from Chennai Central Station, heading towards Madurai.

We reached Madura iat around 6 in the morning. This was the first time I was in Madurai. In India, this place is quite famous since historic ages and renowned for its temples of great architectural beauty.Honestly, I was quite impressed to find the town to be such neat and clean,despite its thousands of pilgrims. In short, I liked the town, its morning, its people, its traffic…everything. But, as we both were quite eager to reach Munnar as soon, so we decided not to spend time there. We simply hired a cab and “Munnar….here we come!!”

Munnar can be reached from Madurai, via a plus/minus 4 hours smooth drive, and trust me, the road is quite bounce free and scenic too. In first two hours, you get to enjoy the beauty of green rural Tamil Nadu, with lots of coconut trees and huts around. We really enjoyed the drive and some soothing old romantic numbers added more flavors to it. We were so engrossed, that it took both of us some time to realize that, we’ve started climbing uphill. We took a small break on Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, had a nice hot coffee, put our warm clothes on, and pushed the accelerator again to reach the ‘Mystic Heaven’.

 

Looking Back:

 

In countries like India, it’s like, wherever you go,some history follows. It holds true for Munnar as well. The actual owner of this little peace of green beauty was the Royal Family of Poonjar. During British rule in India, the brits identified this place as one of the summer getaways of Southern India. But, it seems, the natural beauty of this place was not the only point of attraction for the Queen’s company, they had some bigger/better plans for this piece of hilly land.

 

The entire land (+/- 580 Sq. KM) was later leased from the Poonjar King for 99 years by a European, Mr. J.D Munro. Identifying the immense agricultural potential of the place, Munro formed a co-operative named “North Travancore Land Planting and Agricultural Society”. It was 1964, when TATA-Finlay group was established and till date, despite its virgin beauty,Munnar is equally famous for its acres of tea plantation, mostly setup by the TATA group.

 

Landed Up:

 

Along with lush green tea gardens, Munnar is also blessed with three beautiful river streams called Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala.The name ‘Munnar’ is actually a Tamil word. In Tamil, ‘Mune’ (pronounced as‘m-oo-n-e’) means three, and ‘ar’ means river. So, on the lap of lush green hills, where three beautiful hilly rivers joins their hands, no wonder th eplace would be called…Mune-ar….Munnar. This simple, beautiful yet logical naming convention of rural people often amazes my thinking. In 21stcentury, I believe the most affected part of human nature is simplicity. My personal feelings say that we should learn a lesson from these rural and tribal people.

Once reached, my first job was to find a place to stay and this time I decided to go a little offbeat, I took a ‘home stay’. This was the first time I was trying a home stay, and I liked the concept. It’s like somebody would hand you over his own house, along with all the necessities like grocery, kitchen equipments, a good cook, a caretaker, a driver…almost everything. But the best part is, it does not make a big hole in your pocket,unlike other so-called star hotels. The only caution is, one should carefully check the home stay and its facilities before checking in. 

August is a month, when it rains in most of the southern parts of India.Munnar was no exception. This trip was important to me because it was basically a trip to test my new SLR and associated lenses. But continuous rain disappointed me to some extent, despite the sight-snatching beauty of the place. Anaimudi is the highest peak in this circuit (around 1800 Mts), but we could not reach out because the peak got covered with thick, dense cloud and accompanying rain. We could hardly see each other from half-a-meter distance. Though I love to, but still I could not afford to get drenched in that rain as I had to save my camera. Hence, the first day was mostly a leisurely pass time with some coffee, in the back yard garden of our home stay, sitting beside the river, watching variety of birds, listening to the untold whispers of the after-shower silence, romancing the freshly drenched nature.

Any tourist place generally has a list of sight-seeing spots,which one can avail mostly from the local cab drivers/travel agents. Same happened to us as well. So the second day was quite an active day. Though it was cloudy all the time, but those clouds did not disturb us much on that day.We hired a cab and took a tour of in and around Munnar. Echo Point, Highestpoint, Eraviculum National Park are some of those places. Beside these, one should also visit the tea gardens, tea museum, tea factory, numerous waterfalls, damns, boating etc. I take quite an interest in mixing and interactingwith local people and exploring the place, the market, the culture and so on.Munnar main market is decent, big and clean enough. Like other tourist spots,here also the prices are quite high and people are expected to bargain properly to get their best deal.

The food at our home stay was quite ecstatic. Especially the semi-thick chicken soup was our favorite. It was more palatable due to the climate with heavy rain and unending heavy breeze. In the evening, while sitting in the backyard with a coffee, I saw a kid trying hard to concentrate in her studies. I could make out that, she was not doing it quite willingly;rather, it was her mom, who was more concerned. They were quite a sweet couple,all the way from US. The man was French and the lady was an American. This lady actually reminded me of my sister. She also shares a similar nature like this.She will also insist her six year old kid to study during holidays. These two ladies, though they belong to two different corners of the globe, still the characteristics of motherhood shares many common flavors like this….and many others. Perhaps, this is called the beauty of human nature.

 

 

Chinnar WildlifeSanctuary:

 

The next day, was the day to return back and I was trying out options to make the most out of it, before we finally leave. Munnar can be reached from many different routes. Most popular are from Thekkady (Kerala), Madurai and Coimbatore.As I’ve already seen the Madurai route, I booked my return through Coimbatore.Both are equally far from Munnar (+/- 145 KM). But there is an advantage in returning via Coimbatore, that is, one can stopover at various beautiful water falls on the way and more importantly, try out a very interesting jungle trek in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, which comes on the way back to Coimbatore.As expected, I did not miss any of these chances.

There are many known/unknown wildlife sanctuaries in India. Most of them have got some conventional tours to attract the tourists. These include elephant safari, jeep safari etc. Some of them even run battery operated bus for tourists. If somebody is interested to spot more of wildlife, jeep/bus safari should not be a preferred option. At least my experience does not recommend that, as these jeeps/buses drive through a defined route everyday and over a period of time, most of the animals start avoiding places nearby to those routes. An elephant safari can prove to be more effective here. Anyways,in chinnar, we opted for trekking. This was almost 8 KM of trek, deep inside the jungle. The nature was breathtakingly beautiful. We could see the range of hills from distance and cloud floating over there. I am not a kind of person who visits jungle just to spot tigers. Even if I don’t see any single animal, I believe the nature itself is equally enjoyable.

There were some formalities for entering the forest with a trekking permission and the trekking needs to be done under the supervision of a forest guide. Once the formalities are finished, one can hire a binocular from the forest dept. We had a local guide, Manikanandan (Mani), who works for the forest dept. and belongs to the local tribe. This guy was quite energetic,decent person with a welcome smile on face.

We started making our way through the jungle, clearing the weeds, breaking the dead branches of unknown trees. Mani was surprisingly extra cautious in terms of his senses. Be it a new sound, smell or color… he was extremely quick to sense it. I could feel that this jungle is in the bloodstream of him, and so it is, for the local tribal people. Mani kept on trying his best to spot some animals. His, as well as our luck favored when we could spot some sambars, peacocks, langurs etc.

There were lots of cactus in this jungle. I was as usual trying to focus a bee sitting on a cactus flower. Finding me interested on the flower, Mani asked me whether we were interested to taste a cactus fruit too.This was the first time I could try a cactus fruit. It is difficult for people like me, to spot the fruit in a cactus. The fruit contains a cover full of thorns and looks like its many other branches. Hence, the process of extracting the fruit was even more interesting than the fruit itself.  But, trust me, I liked it so much that I had almost three.

Finally we reached near the Chinnar River.The cold stream, flowing through the jungle, splitting it into two halves. Like all other hilly stream, it also has its own chorus, the sweet and silent roar,the roar which keeps the jungle awake. Simple adjectives would not be enough to describe the beauty of this river. Tired, exhausted we finally sat beside the river, the cool breeze, the melodious chirping of unknown birds and the cold ever flowing stream of water was soothing enough for our nerves.

The trek was over and evening was approaching, we started back towards Coimbatore.The hills, the trees, the nature, the silence…everything was moving away soon. I packed my dinner from Coimbatore station. The train was quite on time. I was hurriedly finishing my dinner.

After a long exciting day, it was time to sleep. The pillow on the berth was calling me like anything. But, I could feel that Munnar is not going to leave me so soon. The train started moving. From the window, I could see the station, vendors, lights…all started moving backwards. I closed my eyes…I saw those falls, the hilly streams, the mist, the cloud, the tea garden,the innocent face of that tribal guide…all were gathering one by one….to appear in my dream….the train is gaining speed…lights are off…and me, all alone…waiting eagerly for that mist covered dream, to take control of my sleep.

Photography

Blooms, Fruits and Others

Posted by Saraswati Nayar on July 31, 2010

Forum Post
This a peek into the treasure chest of my garden..hope you enjoy it.



Copyright © 2001 - 2018 Indian Wildlife Club. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use

Website developed and managed by Alok Kaushik