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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Magical Kabini – Stress buster




Disclaimer: This write up is my personal opinion and it does not endorse or market trips to this forest


The normal sounds of the forest is suddenly shattered by the alarm call of the forest watcher “Langurs” and the chorus taken up by the spotted deer’s indicating movement of a predator within the thick bushes along the path and suddenly there seems to be flurry of activities breaking the tranquility that was prevailing till then. The herd of deer’s all of them alert with their tails up looking toward the possible predator movement.
It could be the big cats Leopard or the Tiger moving about the forest. If Sambar deer gives out an alarm call then we can be sure it is a Tiger in most cases. If the naturalist is able to pinpoint the exact spot of the alarm call then we will be able to sight the predator as it comes out in open. Many a times we have been concentrating on the herd of the deers and the predators have circled and crossed the safari path behind the vehicle thereby missing head on images. The adrenaline that rushes through your body during such times and the thrill you get is something to be experienced and I would be doing injustice describing it in words. Once you are hooked on then you would want to get this feeling time and again. You can experience such feelings and thrills only at Kabini unlike other reserves in India and this is the reason why I keep going to Kabini on a regular basis and not to any other reserves or sanctuary in North India where  tiger sightings are quite common and that too in large numbers.
During the recent trip to Nagarhole forest one of my face book friend whom I met there asked if I have visited other wildlife reserves in other parts of India and my response was no since I visit only Kabini, Bandipur and Mudumalai reserves in addition to Nilgiris biosphere in all my trysts into the nature for last so many years.  He was pretty surprised with my response for he was under the impression that we visit the forests for capturing the images of wildlife. Yes that is collateral but that is not the only reason!!!! 

Currently this forest has a Black leopard or melanistic leopard or two residing in the tourism area and there has been high influx of wildlife photographer to sight and capture image of this black beauty. Recently it has been sighted quite often though the first sighting of this was nearly 18 months back.. In addition we do have the tigers, leopards, elephants in large herds, wild dogs or the dholes and other wildlife to make your tryst into the forest a real interesting experience. It is said that you have to be at the right place at the right time to catch the action as it unfolds and all of us try to be there when it happens.
So my friends this is why i keep going there time and again to Nagarhole

Friday, May 6, 2016

Prophet Nabi Ayoub or Prophet Job




Browsing through my old photographs taken during my stay at Salalah I came across the images I had captured at the tomb of Prophet Nabi Ayoub or Job (English name). I did write of this tomb briefly in another blog about 3 years back but did not delve into the background then. Prophet Job or Ayoub has been mentioned in the Old Testament as well as the Quran. Christians often refer to “Patience of Job and Muslims refer to Ayoub’s Patience and try to emulate him in the face of adversities. 


Ibn Kathir, a famous Islamic scholar has written about Prophet Ayoub and the story is based on the Quran. As the story goes Ayoub was a descendant of Noah and he was steadfast in devotion of God and was considered as the best man of the generation. He was very rich with two wives and 15 sons living a humble life and Satan’s heart was filled with jealousy. Satan attempted to distract Ayoub from his prayers to god & the righteous path he was following but Ayoub remained resolute and remained as he was before. Satan rage grew and he then complained to the God that Ayoub is so devoted worshipper because the God had given him wealth, health, happiness and processions. God then allowed Satan and his helpers to destroy Ayoub’s wealth and possessions. Satan and his helpers then went on to destroy Ayoub’s wealth, children and his health and yet the Satan could not destroy the steady fast devotion of God in Ayoub’s heart. Ayoub endured the ordeal without any complains and he became frail and weak with maggots on his body. Because of his conditions he had to leave the place of his birth since he was unwanted and unwelcome there. He then came to Dhofar region and it was when his wife who accompanied him through this ordeal left him and went elsewhere he called upon God begging for mercy. Pleased with the unflinching devotion God told him to stamp his foot down on earth and Lo when Ayoub did that a small spring of water pour out from that spot and this water cured Ayoub of his illness and he recovered to once again to be healthy and his possession slowly came back including his wife. He went on to live for a very long time after that in the similar fashion as he was throughout his earlier life. (This story is pieced together with help of Google and I apologize if I have made errors in the story

The spot where Prophet Ayoub stamped down by his foot is imprinted and is still visible just outside the tomb where the remains of the Prophet rests on top of Jebel Ittin, about 30Kms off Salalah. The first thing you would notice is that the foot print is quite huge and as you enter the building housing the tomb you can visualize that Prophet Ayoub was a big man around 12 to 13 feet in height and about 4- 5 feet wide by seeing the burial spot. I have not comments of this since I was not able to find physical attributes of Prophet Ayoub. The walls of this building is adorned with sacred writings as seen in the images shared




Today this spot is a tourist attraction and during Khareef seasons tourist’s throng to this place in thousands. Beautiful road to the top of the mountain is filled with mist and is very scenic and I am sure most of you would enjoy this spot.