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Destination Nagarahole – Shining jewel of India's jungles

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Driving away from the remote Kutta village in south Kodagu district, our SUV occupied by members of my family crawled silently through the dense early morning fog on this winding Western Ghats' road. The powerful headlights lit up the signboard on which a tigress and cub were painted neatly, with "Welcome" etched in English and Kannada, the languages that a majority of the people of Karnataka state speak. Across the signboard was a check post of Rajiv Gandhi or Nagarahole National Park, among India's richest and deservedly the best known. The check post was manned by personal from the wildlife wing of the Karnataka Forest Department. Rubbing my hands to warm myself against the cool breeze that hit me as I stepped out of the vehicle, I approached one of the forest guards manning the check-post. Dressed in khaki field uniform, complete with a pair of anti-leech boots, "Saar" he said, "10 more minutes before I can let you into the park". A therm

Super drive: Delhi by car from Bangalore

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Summary:  I drove to Delhi from Bangalore from 15 to 18 April 2009 in our family's compact car. There were many interesting experiences that I had during the course of the four day drive. My feeling was reinforced that India is big and truly amazing; a nation for which we all should join hands to make it a much better place to dwell. The big picture of this drive was that Indian roads are still not meant for driving pan-nation, they seem to primarily cater to local traffic - vehicles moving between two adjoining cities. The roads along the borders of the states are orphaned with hardly any one caring for them. As for infrastructure that is in place,  the best stretch of road was the one leading into the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secundarabad and the road leading out of it for a couple of hundred kilometres. As a nature lover I think the best part was driving through the length of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. I could see different landscapes ranging from the gent

Himalayas from air: Mother Earth is worth every attempt to save her

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I just can't stop admiring the tallest mountains standing above the oceans, each time I get a chance to fly near them. At the moment of making some of these images, I could see the rivers flowing through the fertile plains almost at sea level and at the other spectrum some peaks as high as our aeroplane's flying altitude - over 8km above mean sea level! And I have read about mountains nearly twice the height of the Everest rising from the Oceans' surface but still buried in them. Surely mother earth is worth every attempt to save it from her childrens' greed. ------------- As some one following Islam I need to believe that the earth was created in 7 days. I have a strong feeling Allah created the rest of the world in 6 days but took one full day to create the Kashmir Valley. The three pics below are of the flight from Jammu to Srinagar.  ------------- Among the best domestic flights in India to enjoy the Himalayas is the Delhi to Guwahati via Bagdogra.

Sultanpur sanctuary, Haryana - A kingdom welcomes its sultans

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Sultan  in Hindi/ Urdu means a Prince and  Pur  is used to refer to a habitation/ village. Sultanpur, south-west of the NCR (National Capital Region), is the jewel of Haryana state's wildlife sanctuaries. This year's rains have broken records of the past few years resulting in nature blessing the wetland with the most precious of its bounties - water. The birds' kingdom is more than ready this year to welcome its winged princes & princesses.  Above:  A view of the seasonal jheel (wetland) in Sultanpur Park in August 2009 A google earth map screenshot of Sultanpur bird sanctuary, Gurgaon, Haryana, dated 16 July 2014 Here are some images from my recent and last year's visits to the place: Breeding waterfowl on one of the islands in September 2010. A flock of Comb Ducks in Sep 2010. Boards like these help common man understand the different birds inhabiting or visiting this place.  Haryana Tourism has its tourist complexes

Available for free download 'Highlands of Central India'

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Dear nature lovers, The bio-geographic region Central Indian Highlands covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra states. This region is home to some of India's best known forests and tiger habitats like Pench and Kanha, among others. These forests are the catchment for some of India's well-known rivers like Narmada, Chambal and Tapti. The Maikal hills here bridge the Satpura and the Vindhya ranges. It is here that the natural teak ( Tectona grandis ) forests from southern Peninsular India give way to natural sal ( Shorea robusta ) forests that are predominant in north India.   One of the earliest books to detail the region's wildlife was   'Highlands of Central India: Notes on their forests and wild tribes, natural history and sports .' It was penned by Captain J Forsyth of Bengal Staff Corps, who was the ACF (Asst Conservator of Forests) and acting CF of erstwhile Central Provinces. The book describes the region's various forests and thei

For the love of mangoes

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Kids from Baiga , an indigenous tribe in Central India, enjoying wild mangoes fallen due to winds of the first monsoon rains in Seoni District. Engrained in childhood For a vast majority of Indians, both urban and rural, mango is an integral part of their growing years. The fruit flowers in spring and is harvested in summer, which coincides with the summer holidays for kids  in India. These holidays for many kids in India are a time to break free from the bondage of formal schooling. A time to holiday with fellows from their mohallas , go to vegetable markets with their parents,  play (and fight) over sports like cricket as well as enjoy street side edibles. For the nearly 80% of these who live in non-urban and semi-urban areas, it also means exploring nearby woods, throw stones to bring down fruits from avenue mango trees and for some (mis)adventurous souls, even stealing from some body else's orchard. Every year when the cold winds wane and the sun gets harsher abo