Showing posts from March, 2006

Bisle/ Gundia: When it pours in the rainforest...

This story is based on a real adventure in June 1997 on a trek to Bisle hanging bridge and nature camp built over Addahole stream (tributary of Kumaradhara/ Netravathi river) in Bisle Reserve Forest (Yesalur Range, Hassan District, Karnataka). This is located deep inside the evergreen forests of Western Ghats.  (An edited version of this article ' When it pours in the rainforest... ' , was published in Bangalore Times, The Times of India, on 21 July 2001) Bisle hanging bridge over Addahole stream (Pic from Jun 1997). What began as a small drizzle turned into a torrential downpour within minutes. The bio mass rich ground sunk in a few inches, on being stepped upon every time. From the high canopy to the leaves on the under storey through which we were trekking, there was water pouring down everywhere. To reach back to our four-wheeler, we had to cross a swollen tributary of the virgin Kumaradhara over a narrow hanging bridge and climb the steep slopes of this deep va

Bhadra sanctuary: Wildlifing in India’s youngest Tiger Reserve

(This article was originally published in Sunday Herald (Deccan Herald), Bangalore, 'Wildlifing in Bhadra' on 1st July 2001) A view of the forest covered Jagara Valley View Larger Map

Nethravathi Project/ Diversion Scheme: Sapping lifelines

(This story 'Sapping Lifelines' , on the proposed diversion of Nethravathi River away from Arabian Sea into the Peninsular India heartland was published in Spectrum, Deccan Herald, Bangalore, 20th July 2001) A view of the Pushpagiri massif from Bisle rainforests, Netravathi River basin Any diversion of the Nethravathi waters will massively disturb the breeding cycles of millions of species of organisms in the Arabian Sea. After Kali, Sharavathi, Chakra and other river valleys of Western Ghats in Karnataka, the so called 'developers' backed by sympathy gaining politicians are now targeting Nethravathi and Kumaradhara rivers, among the last remnant virgin rivers of Karnataka and home to some of the most spectacular rainforests in the entire Western Ghats. Two major projects have been planned to tame these wild flowing rivers. While the first one is a 18 MW Hydro-electric project at Doddahalla near Sakleshpur, the second one is a ecologically and economically

Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka: The fascinating Brahmagiris

(This story 'Fascinating Brahmagiris' was originally published in Sanctuary Asia magazine, August 2002 issue) “Hulidu, Saar” , said Jobiah, the forest guard, pointing to a two-day-old tiger scat on the leaf litter, deep in the Brahmagiri Sanctuary in Karnataka. After a hard trek through hills and shola grasslands near the Kerala State border, we forgot our weariness when confronted with this evidence of tiger presence. Earlier that day, we had parked our four-wheel drive vehicle at the Range Forest Officer’s (RFO) quarters at Srimangala town and departed for the Iruppu temple, at the eastern edge of the Brahmagiri Sanctuary. View Larger Map It was Christmas Eve, 2001 and a panoramic view of the Brahmagiris unfolded before us as we moved through densely wooded coffee plantations. Our walk to the Iruppu falls behind the Iruppu temple brought back teenage memories, when I would regularly visit this tropical paradise, wading knee-deep through lush green

Wilderness of Shimoga district - A trip report from 1999

It was about 6:00 am and we were at Tumkur town, 70 km away from Bangalore on theroad to Shimoga which was a further 205 km away. It had not rained for the past few days and the sky was clear. I was accompanied by four of my family members. We traveled in our car to Tiptur, Arsikere and one kilometre after Tarikere, we took a left deviation towards Lakvalli, Bhadra river project. To our left were the Baba budain (BB) Giri hills and in the foreground were the densely forested foothills of the Lakvalli wildlife range (Bhadra wildlife sanctuary / Project Tiger). Route taken for the drive as seen on google maps. Click here for a larger map. We reached Lakvalli at 9:15 am and walked to the dam site of Bhadra river. The water was about 6 feet short of the full level. The sight was very picturesque. The waters of Bhadra gently lapped its shores with forested islands and blue coloured hills of the nearby BB Giri ranges forming the scenically beautiful backdrop. Bhadra dam situated

Pushpagiri Kumara Parvata trek: A trail in the rainforests

This story 'A trail in the Rainforests' , was published in Sunday Herald, Deccan Herald, January 26, 2003) With over 35 % of its total geographical area under evergreen forest cover, Kodagu or Coorg is counted among the greenest districts in India. The forests here are comparatively safe from the ‘developmental’ projects that have ripped most forests of other Western Ghats districts. Much of these rainforest-clothed ghats, sprinkled with an array of waterfalls, are still pristine eternally inviting nature lovers and trekkers to get mesmerised by them. Among the many challenging forest peaks to scale here are Pushpagiri and Kumaraparvat, at the district’s northern edge near its tri-junction with Hassan and Dakshina Kannada districts. At the entrance of the narrow metalled road that leads from Beedehalli to Heggademane temple, is a check post of Somavarpet wildlife range, Madikeri wildlife sub-division. The personnel here strictly implement the Wildlife Protection