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Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nature. Show all posts

Sunday 31 March 2024

Twin Rocks of Morrice Dera Beach, Rangat, Middle Andaman islands

Limestone Caves of Baratang, Andaman islands - Nature's Hidden Wonders


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

Thursday 30 December 2021

Bhutan - The Spiritual Land

Our journey to Thimphu, the quaint capital city of Bhutan was quite interesting but tiring. We zipped through the sub-tropical and alpine zones of this amazing country in a winding and twisted manner. It is a long journey as one has to cross three beautiful dzongkhags (districts) while the scenery changes from stark to ornate to verdant.

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Bhutan - Green & Happy

 As I traveled across the mountainous royal kingdom of Bhutan, the one thing that left its imprint in my mind was how these people were happy with what they had and did not crave for the moon. Leading a simple life, people across the kingdom were either involved in farming or forestry while others were into meditation and prayers. Since most parts of the country are woodlands, it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits. 

Monday 29 November 2021

Shivamogga-Tirthahalli Road – A Bird Haven

After spending some time at the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary which is now an idyllic place for landscape shooting, I decided to explore other places on these breathtaking and sylvan surroundings of Shivamogga-Tirthahalli highway. Making my way back to Shivamogga town, I spotted many openings with spectacular viewpoints on the Tunga riverfront after crossing the Mandagadde village.

Friday 19 November 2021

Mandagadde Sanctuary – A Lost World

Imagine yourself amid mist-laden forests, a meandering river, and the melodious calls of blue, black, scarlet, and white-winged creatures, then you are definitely in the midst of Malenad, the heart of Western Ghats. On a personal trip to Shivamogga town, I could not resist taking an early morning break and traversing the mesmerizing green route from Shivamogga to Tirthahalli.



Monday 9 November 2020


- The Mighty And Magical Journey Across Eastern Himalayas

By Meera

As we drove down from Bagdogra in India to Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan, crossing Siliguri, Darjeeling and the eastern periphery of West Bengal - dusty plains followed by terraced fields in the bordering district, the journey did not seem laborious or difficult.  On the way, we passed through the beginning of the eastern Himalayas while it was a pleasure to watch the meandering Teesta River, the Dooars forest and innumerable tea estates.

Sunday 27 September 2020


– A Tranquil, Soothing Time On The Paradise Island

Just like Goa, the French styled city of Pondicherry too is known for its pristine and crystal-clear beaches. But one does not see the same jostling crowds on its golden white sands and beaches.

Therefore, a visit to Paradise Island should not be missed if you want to forget the world. The beach is in fact, located right at the mouth of the Chunnambar backwaters. This place is considered a paradise as it is flanked by a creek on one side and dark mangroves on the other side.

View from ferry
View from ferry


– The Amazing Ride On The Chunnambar Backwaters

There is something magical when one goes on a winding journey from a river to the endless expanse of a sea. Traveling in a steamer and enjoying the windy, choppy journey, I ask you to visualize my thrilling experience in just three minutes. It is not just the Arabian Sea but even on the Bay of Bengal and the eastern coast of India, one gets such moments to take up such escapades once in a while. 

 As we were winding up our visit to Pondicherry,  Loganathan, our guide-cum-driver who took us to most of the sights in this old French colonial town, was insistent that we should not miss this incredible experience. Although we had hardly any time at our disposal since we were taking the night bus back to Bengaluru, he dropped us off at the Chunnambar Boat office by 3 pm. I was already exhausted as it was a hot Tuesday afternoon and pretty sticky and sweltering even in the month of January.

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Tungabhadra Backwaters

- A Home Away From Home For Winter Visitors

Thank you for joining me from Part I.

A couple of young guys announced that the boat was ready. I looked around and did not see anything. Then they asked us to leave our footwear and walk up to the boat. It was just getting more and more curious. 

As we walked, the ground looked deceptively dry and cracked from the lack of moisture. One step in and the underlying clay announced its presence in the most slippery way. Slipping and sliding along we reached the boat. This was no place to make a splash in life. 

The multipurpose boat was used for both fishing and birding. I was not even remotely mentally prepared for this kind of ride. As five of us sat balanced on the rim, hanging on to the boat and the camera was quite a challenge. There were no life jackets and while others boasted about their swimming skills, I held on tighter to the rim.  Even as flocks and flocks of spoonbills, openbills, ibis, terns and ducks flew by, there was little I could do other than gawk.

Ibis and terns flying together
Ibis and terns flying together

Tungabhadra Backwaters

- A Winter Paradise for Birds 

Earlier in the Otter story, I had spoken about the morning adventure in Tungabhadra backwaters.This, in an attempt to see the long-legged beauties that come to these backwaters for some lodging and boarding during the winter months.Yes, the flamingos.  

I had been harping about seeing these birds forever. Pompayya Sir had put together a fine little itinerary for the day to ensure that I would not have to leave without seeing them during this visit.The day started pretty early, still not bright outside as we drove towards Ankasamudra for a brief stop. Any bird lover in and around Karnataka would be well aware of the haven this place is for birds from all over.

We were there to meet Vijay Ittigi and Raju, who were among the key players in getting this place declared as a bird sanctuary. Since most newspapers have that story, I'll just stick to my experience here. Most of which was fascinating enough for me to keep scooping my jaw off the floor.

Pelicans at Ankasamudra
Pelicans at  Ankasamudra

Monday 14 September 2020

Prayagraj – The Gutsy Siberian Seagulls At The Sangam

Their sounds and numbers make their distinctive presence and lifts the very mood of a person visiting Prayagraj. If people throng and crowd the Triveni Sangam every year from across the world - not to be left behind, the gusty seagulls from Siberia come calling for their winter halt in Prayagraj, the holiest city of India.

Prayagraj : A Confluence Of Himalayan Rivers

For once in my life, I was pretty excited as I was going with a group of friends and relatives to one of the holiest cities in India, Prayagraj. Although my visit had nothing to do with anything holy, I had always wanted to see the Yamuna as she is here a major partner compared to the Ganga. Although everyone dissuaded me not to travel during the Ardh Kumb time, my mind was made up and I was pretty curious to see the biggest gathering of humans in one city, therefore, nothing could stop me, cholera or the crowds.

Monday 17 August 2020

The Walls of Hampi

- Where More Than History Flourishes 

Thank you for joining me from part I

Painted Spurfowls
Painted Spurfowls

My first view of the Painted Spurfowl was after we had huffed and puffed all the way to the top of the Mathanga hill to see the sunrise, which conveniently got obscured by the clouds. But just before we began our descent we saw the Painted Spurfowl pair effortlessly sauntering  around the top, oblivious to the inhuman efforts needed by a human carrying a giant camera bag on the back. The male is true to the name with the most spectacular plumage while the female tends to merge into the background more effortlessly.  Almost always seen together, they are like an epitome of compatibility. What is their secret?

The Walls of Hampi

- Nurturing Nature Amidst The Ruins

For over eight years Hampi has enticed and woven its web of magic, mysteries and enchantment spellbindingly around me. The addiction has me craving for more and more, as each year I find myself yet again in this place, to be intoxicated with its never ending surprises. 

As much as the ruins have me under their inescapable spell,  equally enthralling is the variety of life that hides, breeds and thrives on these walls. The walls that protected empires centuries ago continue to diligently carry on their duties of protecting and safe-guarding various life forms that now call these walls a home.

Generations of  men, beasts, flora and fauna have come and gone, yet the timeless wall remains - a silent spectator  to the stories from across time. 

As a tribute, here are just a few fleeting glances at the walls that are very much alive even today with the very different kinds of lives within them. 

Hoopoe Pair

Friday 7 August 2020

Smooth Coated Otters - Journey To Their Abode

The morning was already well spent watching flamingos from the most scientifically and delicately balanced boat. Our weights were equally distributed and even a single untoward movement would have sent the entire boatload for a nice dip in the Tungabhadra backwaters. As the only one of the entire lot, whose swimming skills had not progressed much beyond the doggy style paddling, I think I was the bravest to undertake this adventure. But that is a story for another day.

Flamingos in Tungabhadra Backwaters

Smooth Coated Otters - The Adventure And The Sighting

Thanks for joining me here from Part I.

We were barely a few meters away from the shore when a crocodile gently broke the shimmering water and announced its presence. Its eyes and snout glimmered through the liquid gold texture surrounding it.  Bracing myself, I just managed to get a shot when I felt my feet get wet.

A Crocodile in the waters of Tungabhadta

Sunday 31 May 2020

Le Jardin Botanique - French Connection And More

Walking amid the quiet solitude of the Le Jardin botanique, I wondered why is that a Botanical garden was developed in Pondicherry and for what purpose? Also,  I don't how many of you are aware that the famous Hollywood production "Life of Pi" was shot in this very garden but there is no tangible evidence of the movie' shooting here.

Saturday 23 May 2020

Le Jardin Botanique

A Mesmerising Walk Amid Ancient Trees Of The French Era

It was not a planned visit but roaming around the quaint colonial city of Pondicherry.  I thought of taking a peek into a garden that had literally no tourists or visitors. Now imagine my surprise of a scenario where a landmark natural heritage saw just a few local people drop in the evenings to take rest or chat with their friends without realizing the worth of the botanical garden.