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Showing posts from June, 2010

Experiencing Kanha's first monsoon showers

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The first monsoons are always special, more so if they happen in a wilderness. I experienced this year's first while travelling to Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve, in mid-June. It so happened that we were the last to enter the park and all of the tourists we encountered were scurrying back to their resorts and leaving the park in a hurry to beat the rains. But we were there to enjoy the rains and it was a soul-stirring feeling. The dark monsoon clouds changed the shades of the skies and the earth from light to dark grey. The parched earth laughed with joy as it welcomed the rain drops. The animals looked undisturbed by the frequent lightening around. And only we were there to witness this and no one else around us for miles...
Below are some images (with captions) of this visit of mine, particularly of the first rains...







A date with rural Kathmandu

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I visited Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, for the first time ever in early June, to attend a WWF workshop. We stayed at Godavari resort in rural Kathmandu. There were interesting things learnt at the workshop and experiences shared by fellow WWF folks from India, Nepal and Bhutan. The bonus was the sights and scenery of Himalayas from the resort, post the early monsoon rains while we were there. I particularly composed the following on the evening the workshop ended. "Workshop done. Sitting in the patio overlooking a small fertile valley. Looking at the farmer women and men making using of the monsoon rains. Gently sloping Himalayan foothills on the three sides. An old Nepali man in conversation with his wife to the backdrop of slow, soothing old Nepali and Hindi songs. Alternatively working on the notebook and sipping chai. Birds singing all around and cool air caressing face. The sun slowly travelling to another part of the world. Wish she was here too...Enjoying an evening a Satu…

Dhanaulti - A quaint, enchanting hill station in the Himalayan foothills

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------------------------ ------------------------ ------------------------ May, 2010: Delhi has been terribly hot of late, as it usually does in summer. This mid-May there were a couple of days where the temperature crossed 48 degrees centigrade. I could find no better reasons to drive my wife and her siblings who were visiting us from Bangalore, up the Himalayas.
I had many options. Among the thoughts was to take a week off from work and drive up to Khardung La pass from Kulu-Manali and then into Ladakh. But work load and the fear of snow blocking the passes into Ladakh made me change my mind and hence the thought of driving up some where more near.

I had a long pending invitation from my friend Santhosh Gubbi, an IFS officer at Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun to visit him. I also had a long time desire to Mussoorie, which lies above Dehra Dun. When asked, my colleague Samir Sinha, an upright and experienced IFS officer of Uttarakhand cadre advised me to visit Dhanaulti as it w…