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Showing posts with label People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People. Show all posts

Sunday 24 December 2023

Andaman Islands - Nature At Its Best

As our flight gracefully circled the Andaman Islands for approximately 15 minutes, the breathtaking sight of the lush, azure landmass invoked a sense of tranquility and serenity within me. Isolated patches of vibrant green islands stood silent, as if harboring untold stories.

Nestled in the cerulean waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman archipelago attracts a multitude of visitors from the Indian mainland between November and April each year. Following a 2 1/2-hour journey from Bengaluru, the undulating capital city of Port Blair (located in the southern Andaman Islands) serves as the embarkation point for any planned exploration.

Port Blair
In Port Blair, the offerings for exploration are relatively limited. Spending two days here allows for a somber visit to the Cellular Jail, where the dark tales of our freedom fighters unfold. Subsequently, a ferry ride from the capital grants access to Ross Island, which served as a Prisoner of War site for the Japanese during World War II.

View of Andaman sea from the cruise steamer

Wednesday 3 March 2021

The Soligas - Lifestyle, Worship and Rituals

Thanks for joining me from the previous part. Let's continue with Mahadevagowda's narration of the Soligas' lifestyle..


Life in the forest
Life inside the forest needed a lot of skills, to survive and stay alive. The staple diet consisted of various tubers and the leafy greens that grew there. Despite living amongst so many animals, the Soligas never hunted and they knew how to keep themselves from being hunted too. Apart from this, they knew how to identify the various forest fruits that were safe for consumption. The Soligas are also experts in collecting forest honey, which was also a part of their diet.  

BR Hills - The Land Of The Soligas

The trip to BR Hills was delayed by almost five years. For some or rather multiple reasons, the place I used to visit with enviable frequency seemed to stay so close yet so far all this while. So this year when the plan finally formed to visit my favorite haunt, I was cautiously optimistic. I am glad that despite a few hurdles during the planning, the minute I was in the embrace of the beautiful hills, I felt I was never away. 

This was the first time I was traveling with Meera to BR Hills and staying in Giridarshini Homestay. After having hyped up so much about the homestay over the last year, I kept my fingers and toes crossed that she would equally feel at home here as much as I had felt during all my previous visits. 

Gold and green mix
Gold and green mix in the hills

Thursday 10 December 2020

Chikkamagaluru - A 100-Year-Old Unique Heritage

Belavadi is a tiny and quaint village and is just 10 kilometres from the world-famous Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebeedu in Hassan district.

In the aftermath of visiting the famous Hoysala style architectural marvel, the Veeranarayana Swamy Temple at Belavadi in Chikkamagaluru district, we took a stroll around the village which once had about 400 Brahmin families living around the temple. 

It was a hot and sunny day and to walk around the village made us thirsty and hungry but this village has neither any tourist facility nor any hotels or restaurants. Despite our rumbling stomach, we decided to take a peek around this ancient village.

Front view of the house
Front view of the house

Sunday 22 December 2019

Lambani Women

- A Memorable Noon With Their Colorful Culture

It was nearing 12 noon. We had been on the road since 6 am, after just a cup of tea. There was a distinct and collective growl in our stomachs indicating it was way past breakfast time and almost nearing lunchtime. Durganna and Suraj, who were both educating and introducing us to the flora and fauna of the terrain, Pompayya Sir, Meera and myself were just heading back from Talur lake towards Hagedhal, almost dreaming of a hearty meal . The dull December warmth was a soothing and welcome break from the cloudy skies of Bangalore.

Lambani woman in traditional attire
Mirrors, coins and all the paraphernalia of the traditional Lambani women costume 

Saturday 7 December 2019

Inspirational Women - The New Life Of Tribal Super Farmers

A bountiful of chilli cultivated  on unfriendly lands
A bountiful of chilli cultivated  on unfriendly lands

Albeit a harsh and dry land hidden amid scrub forests, a few women have strived to grow chilly, chia, tomatoes, beans and pumpkins which jostle with another relating the tale of their success in small parcels of land. Thanks to dedicated help from a wildlife conservation organization, a group of tribal farmers at Sollepura have reaped the benefits of their hard work after many years of toil. Once living amid the jungles of Nagarhole, they were relocated outside by the government but it took them many years to adapt to a new life.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Kuruba Hospitality

- One Amazing Afternoon With The Nomadic Shepherds 

The Kuruba tending goats

It was a lazy afternoon one October when my friends and me had a chance to experience the hospitality of the amazing Kurubas - the nomadic shepherds of North Karnataka. They are a very interesting group of people, we were told and we were not disappointed. The sun shone lazily and the whole atmosphere was languid when we wandered into their camp. Goats and lambs were bleating away,  some feeding and some looking at us with drowsy eyes. I tried to step gingerly between piles of droppings trying to avoid them but soon realized with numbers on their side, it was an unwinnable situation for me.

Friday 22 November 2019

The Gadia Lohar Community Women - A Strength To Reckon With...

It was in late winter one year when we were returning after spending the morning observing the migratory birds near Magadi lake in Gadag district, Karnataka, that a group of people gathered around and watching something intently caught our attention. 

Lohar woman waiting for the iron to warm up
A breather before the next hit, while her husband
adjusted the piece of iron.