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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Visit to Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary

During my visit to Mysore during the first week of November i made it a point to visit Ranganthittu bird sanctuary which is near the historic town Sriranganpatana about 18 kms from Mysore city. During this period there were hardly any migratory birds which normally come around mid December to January, however was able to see considerable numbers of White Ibis, black headed Ibis, egrets, bats, crocodiles. Here are few pictures of the same

Crocodile basking in the sun

Bats having their nap

Crocodile in the river just beside the boat

 Black headed Ibis

Greater Thick Knee or the Stone plover or Great Stone curlew

Open billed Stork

Black Cormorant

Group of Cormorants, Black headed Ibis

The sanctuary consists of six islets which are lush with vegetation where there water birds nest and whenever  excess water is being released from the KRS dam these islets are generally flooded and during these times there is no boating and you would be forced to view these birds from the river bank only. The main attraction of this sanctuary is the boating ( row boats only) which is operated throughout the day by Karnataka Forest department staff depending on the crowd and you get to be up close with these birds. An interesting news is that this sanctuary came into existence in 1940 due to Dr Salim Ali the famous ornithologist when he requested the king of Mysore to declare this area as a sanctuary. A great place to be for bird watchers and lovers.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mysore Zoo ... a colorful time spent there

Mysore trip is incomplete if you have not visited the Zoo that is located in the center of the city. Mysore zoo is one of the oldest and well maintained zoo of India and during my recent trip visited the zoo with an aim of capturing few good photographs. here are few colorful photographs of the inmates

Mandarin Duck (normal photography)

Mandarin Duck photographed with Vivid color setting




African Elephant

Variety of Parrots

Lot more pictures have been captured but am sure i am the millionth guy posting them here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Turkeys !!!

Recently had been to a jungle lodge where the management has couple of turkeys moving about the camp

Looks great !!!

Indicators of rains !!!

It is said that if you see a dragonfly in the surrounding then it means that rains are on the way !!! I really do not know if its true but then photographs of these dragonfly is quite beautiful. Here is couple of photos taken in Chennai just before the onset of monsoon few days back

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grand old Langur !!!

The road from Masinagudi to Mysore passes through Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Bandipur Tiger Reserve and if you are traveling early morning or late evening the chances of seeing various wild animals are much more than in the other times of the day. Here is a picture of Langur relaxing majestically enjoying the early afternoon sunlight at Bandipur forest

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dog day afternoon

I am not talking of the 1970’s movie here but about the incident that occurred with me and Tazzo, my sister’s pet dog at their place this afternoon. Reached their place to hand over my father’s medical report and as I opened the gate Tazzo as usual barked but on hearing my voice subdued and once my father opened the door he was wagging his tail and wanted to be petted , which I did. Then as I followed my dad to his room Tazzo also was walking beside me and I patted him and suddenly he bit my hand and for a moment I did not understand anything for the pain was intense. I saw that I was bleeding profusely and also something was hanging out of the bite wound. To stop the bleeding I immediately put my hand under the running tap in the sink and with one hand was trying to call my sister who was away from the house on errands. After some time the bleeding abated considerably I took leave of my father and drove down to local clinic where I was informed that the wound is pretty deep with artery sticking out and it needs to be stitched, also I need to be vaccinated for dog bite even though Tazzo is a pet and has been immunized. So an ATS injection plus anti rabbis vaccination in addition to 3 stitches on the back of my right hand …..between the middle and ring finger was administered .

I believe pet animals also have moments of craziness and it is my misfortune that I was around Tazzo today. I only hope that it not become any more serious than this for reading about a dog bite on the net does send a shiver down my spine !!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nature pictures

Three days within the Mudumalai reserve forest was total bliss. No TV, no mobile network and just nature all around. The climate there had been wet and it had been raining continuously the whole day on the first day of the stay. With no other things to do went off to bed pretty early at about 8 pm and was up the next day at 5 am and these are the scenes i captured during the early morning with vivid camera settings.

Hue of colors at horizon during sunrise

Double rainbow

Am i missing anything !!!!

This picture of the peacock was taken while traveling on the national highway passing through the Mudumalai Tiger reserve. It just peeked out off the bushes along the way

I am here !!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

INN THE WILD – an awesome place to be in the wild

At the onset I need to explain as to why I was a walk in guest at Inn the Wild .  Once the family functions were over I made it a point to travel into the lap of nature and accordingly planned the entire trip , completed my booking at Deep Jungle Home which is about 20 km enroute to Gudalur from Theppakadu Wildlife reception office. Reached the camp site and found it to be deserted except for couple of room boys who showed me the accommodation I had booked and the moment I saw it …thought flashed that I have been conned by the photographs I saw on their portal… Bamboo hut is a bunk bed style accommodation with common toilet which is a big no for me…I was categorically informed that each hut has toilets by the sales person but then it was my mistake that I did not read the reviews of the place before reaching the place. Anyway just moved around the camp site viewing the facilities offered by them and also taking pictures of the two turkey they had inside..came to a decision that this is not the place for me to stay. Browsed the net on my mobile for some other place of stay within the forest and the first name that popped up was “Inn the Wild “ near Masinagudi …called them and I was talking to Mr Shibu Varghese the manager of the property who informed me that there are rooms available and I immediately said that I am coming there for the stay.

The drive from Mysore to Masinagudi itself is an safari as the national highway traverses through two national park i.e. first the Bandipur Tiger reserve and then the Mudumalai Tiger reserve . You can see scores of wild animals during the drive through the forest and for a safe trip please do not get out of your vehicles as informed by the forest department on the placards along the route…yet few people make it a point to do so without worrying about their safety. On 19th September a British national was trampled to death by a tusker as he got down from the vehicle and ventured to close to the elephant for taking photographs. 

Inn the Wild   is a 65 acre property within the 2000 acre coffee plantation in the Mudumalai reserve forest between the upper reaches and the lower reaches of the forest. Normal cars cannot traverse to the resort because of the rugged off road conditions after Singara check post and in the event you are travelling in your car then the suggestion is to park your car at the Singara check post which is about 10 km from Masinagudi town and call the resort so that they can send their Gypsy jeeps to pick you up and take you to the resort. Route map can be seen here  Singara Check post .

Reaching the resort I was greeted by the manager Mr Shibu and Mr Sinu Prakash...guest relations executive and was shown the type of accommodations available with them. They have four types of accommodations One Tree house, Two Tree tops with common balcony, Tribal home and Jungle shacks. I liked the tree house the moment I saw it for it has a balcony face the grass plains, forest and the water body and i immediately booked for 3 nights without giving a second thought..and I must say that it has been a amazing 3 days stay in the forest and I am sure that I would keep coming when ever time permits to the same place over and over. The management and staff of the resort are courteous and well mannered and with the resort almost empty I was the pampered guest.

The highlight of my stay was the Jeep safari into the Mudumalai forest arranged by the resort in their Gypsy vehicles. I started for the safari accompanied by tribal spotter cum driver Michael, Subish Sabestain the naturalist at 5.30 pm and entered the forest through the rear end of the property travelling through extremely rugged pathway that had twists and turns, steep rise and drops. With continuous rains the whole day the track was slippery and in spite of driving in 4 wheel drive the vehicle was skidding on either side. After having travelled for about 25 minutes we came on to a straight stretch of track and suddenly we found ourselves looking at a mother elephant and its male off spring crossing the path. The mother elephant just stopped in the center of the path and was look at us and suddenly its ears went rigid …I immediately informed the driver to be careful as the elephant was displaying anger…suddenly the elephant charged at the jeep and Michael reversed the jeep about 50 feet and stopped…the elephant went on to the side of the track not taking its eyes off us. It again started its charge on to us thereby forcing us to reverse the jeep further back to avoid the confrontation with the elephant which would surely have a better advantage over us with no place to maneuver   in reverse the rugged forest pathway. During this excitement I forgot to even switch on the camera to take pictures or capture the video as I was standing behind along with the naturalist clinging on the hold bars in the event we had to beat a hasty retreat. After few moments the mother elephant lost interest in us since its offspring had crossed the path and entered the bushes.

Just one picture of this elephant after the excitement. We continued further into the jungle spotting only few spotted deer’s (cheetals) here and there till we reach an open space of grass land within the forest. It is said that most tiger sightings have taken place here for most of the spotted deer’s, gaur (Indian bison) come to graze here and a source of meal for the tiger.
We did see a huge herd of Gaurs numbering 20 towards the other end of the grass land and I was fortunate to take few pictures. By this time the darkness was creeping in and it was completely pitch black within the forest. We traveled along the path with spot light shining either side of the path and also on the tree tops hoping to see a leopard and other nocturnal animals… nothing was seen however we did see rabbits along the way to the highway. The highway that runs from Masinagudi to Singara is running through the forest and in all possibilities there is a chance of spotting Leopard or elephants. The safari was so good the first day that I opted for another one the next day and the second trip into the forest was with Albert the spotter cum driver and Pandian, the accounts manager of the property. During this trip what we saw a just a single bison within the forest and a herd of elephant on the highway. During the safari we were able to here the growl of tiger quite close to us and we spent over an hour trying to locate the tiger in the bushes but of no avail. Hope that in my next trip I will be able to spot the big cats. The jungle safari is chargeable and it is Rs 3500 per jeep and in the event you have more than one guest in the vehicle then the amount is shared accordingly.

Finally I need to say about the private machan (balcony of tree house) overlooking the water body and the grass plains …it is quite a treat to sit quietly there and observe the happenings around and you might get lucky to see the wild dogs chasing the spotted deers, or the elephants /bisons coming for a drink at the lake or sloth bear searching for termites and wild boars. I was relaxing on the bed at about 10 am and suddenly I heard the continuous distress call of the spotted deers just below the tree house and I rushed to the balcony to see the reason… and I saw the deers running for their lives which I captured a video but am unable to upload the same here. I could not see which animal made them to run but then was told by the resort people it could have been the wild dogs !!! but you never know it could have been leopard also !!!

In all I had a amazing time at Inn the Wild ….literally in the wild.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Common garden Lizard (Gecko(

With the sun coming after couple of days rain, the garden lizard peeks out of the bushes in our garden

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What else is Life but a dance of choices?

Rant of the day …It has nothing to do with anyone but me... !!!!

Been a silent spectator in the blog sphere for quite a long time for it has been ages since I wrote any post. All I used to do was to upload few photographs and that is it! Been trying to introspect myself as to why I hardly get the urge to write these days. May be it is the stress that is prevailing in my life at this point of time ….not being too happy with the kind of job I do, health issues and coupled with the fact that I am alone in a distant land having to fend for myself …cooking, dish washing and so forth. So what do I do in the evenings or the weekends when I have sufficient free time…nothing worthwhile at all except that read books in snatches of few pages at a time. During one such moments while reading a book by Eric Van Lustbader I came across this “What else is life but a dance of choice” and it struck a chord in me for this is how life is for each one of us... choice  does define the way you are leading your life. 

I do keep venting out my frustrations every couple of months like a pressure cooker and resign to the fact that I made the choice of being alone due to the commitments and for few days I feel revitalized but then go back into the shell again. I need to set aside the feelings of remorse of having made the choice that defines my present life and make hard choices that would change my life for better. I am not young that I can just dump the assignment and move back to India and be sure that I can pick up another job in a jiffy… at the age of 55 it does make difference since most employers are not looking for people in this range !!!

Real predicament isn’t it!!! Well need to cross this hurdle too ASAP as it is telling on my performance at the current position.I really need to find the right path now and not at the end !!! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Random Click 20 - Birds at Kabini

Here are few pictures of bird i snapped during the kabini trip

Plum headed Parakeet

Cormorant drying its wings

Osprey with a fish in its claw

Darter and the dead wood

Friday, February 15, 2013

Random Clicks 19 - Elephants of Nagarhole / Bandipur National park

Largest congregation of Asiatic Elephants occurs on the banks of Kabini reservoir but then the largest herd i saw was just with 9 elephants that too very far away. Here are some of the elephant photographs 

Random Clicks 18 - Kabini river

Here is couple of snaps of sunset at Kabini which is between Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Random Click 17 - Dolphin Watch

One touristic attraction at Muscat is the Dolphin Watch. A power boat takes you about 15 kms into the sea and you are among the school of Dolphins gliding along the boat. Occasionally if you are lucky you would be among thousands of dolphins. Couple of pictures taken during the trip today