January 23, 2015
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November 24, 2014
When I was a kid nothing fascinated me more than flying high so much so that I was an inch close from becoming an air hostess thinking that she gets to fly for free. But then I landed into medical profession out of nowhere but that’s another long story.
I have been dreaming of the Malabar Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros
coronatus) the day I stepped into their area, the Malabar region. I came to study in the Manipal University around three years back which lies along the beautiful Southern coasts or the Malabar coasts. Malabar is derived from the Malayalam word Mala for
hill and vaaram for range. Malabar, as we all know it today was changed due to the British-East Company governance.
Female and Male Malabar Pied Hornbills
The Malabar pied hornbill is a bird endemic in the region. Though some are as well found along the central belt of Maharashtra. This large black and white stunning bird has an enormous yellow bill
with a large hollow bony extension over it, which is known as casque. Due to its resemblance to a crown, the bird is also called as the “crowned hornbill”. In spite of the male and female looking similar few differences are noted. While the female has a white
eye liner around her eyes the males have a larger casque. The casque bills make these birds look unique, comical though gorgeous at the same time.
The Crowned beauties on a berry tree…
The striking hornbill has not escaped our funny Indian superstitions. It used to be called as “Dhanchidiya”
as the earlier tribes believed that hanging the hornbill’s skull brought wealth. Funny!
Another fascinating feature of this bird is its nesting. The female traps herself into a hollow of a tree while the male walls the hollow with mud and cement. This is so that only a small hole is left for the male to feed the female. The female lays two to
three eggs and incubates. Once the chicks have grown a little older leaving no space in the hollow the wall is broken and rebuilt. These birds mainly feed on fruits and play a major role in seed dispersal.
I must say that I was very lucky to have these beauties here in my small educational hub Manipal, a visit in the winters may give you an opportunity to see them. But, I am worried about the massive deforestation, human development and the ever-increasing need
of human accommodation. Thus taking away their rights to live and breed. Today the status of these birds is near threatened and it won’t take much time to title them as endangered.
It is never too late to change and bring about a change. As human beings it’s our responsibility to give a chance to every creature to survive. Roger Tory and many others have aptly quoted that birds are indicators of the planet’s health, if they are in danger,
you are indeed in danger!
Save the Environment, birds furthermore hold on to our green planet. Happy Birding!
November 14, 2014
Janahit bahu uddeshiya gramin vikas sanstha, Telang Takali
Nisarg Mitra Manch, Pandharkawada from 4 years we have worked on slogan of "Protection of water,land & forest" we one devoted for the protection
in yavatmal districts there is one villege Tipeshwar sanctury. in that to survival all animals, plants & other activity done by theme.
we have to plant the plant & also we have to survive it. by celebrating Environmental Day, Welfare day, forest & life weekend , world water day earth day etc.we have to celebrates all these days by surviving forest & to have
to spread to all villages to survive forest by all means.
to deny the problems of environment, we have eco friend ganesha, eco friend dipawali, environment news paper are also giving to our villages friends. in cities & towns many posters are also there for survival of environment.
September 18, 2014
We are working on a wildlife resort in one of the national parks in North India, and looking for some one who can manage the complete operations for the property (viz. Accommodation & Activity Management)
IN THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY WAY. It is one of the Best forests in India. If interested, Please call on 9999 456 589
PS: We are in the process of acquiring hence can not mention the details of the properties on a public forum.
September 18, 2014
We are working on a wildlife resort in one of thenational parks in North India, and looking for some one who can manage thecomplete operations for the property (viz. Accommodation & Activity Management)
IN THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY WAY. Itis one of the Best forests in India. If interested, Please call on 9999 456 589
PS: We are in the process of acquiring hence can not mention the details of the properties on a public forum.
August 13, 2014
"Pervasive algal blooms and invasive bryozoans. Bedrock collapsing from excessive dredging. A mountain of debt for the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water).
A host of problems are emerging with the Four Major Rivers Project, the massive effort pushed under the administration of former president Lee Myung-bak (2003-08). But the politicians, officials, and experts who pushed for the project, which started out as
an idea for a “Grand Korean Waterway,” are showing no sign of regret or reflection.
Most of the major proponents of the project under the Lee administration were tight-lipped or evasive when the Hankyoreh contacted them on July 8 and 9. Some argued
for waiting before coming to a final judgment on the project; others argued for channeling even more money into it."
July 11, 2014
Leh -Ladakh , wonderful experience, not a merely tourist spot, heaven for nature lover.
Pangong lake, god's marvelous creation, appearance of waves, clarity of elixir of life, richness of avifauna non forgettable moment of life.
Richness of medicinal plants, tree species, wildlife, makes western himalayan region hotspot of biodiversity. Forest of betula, Juniperus, Deodar, Pinus, Chinar, Maple a very very large green belt ensure we are in safe hands of nature.
June 21, 2014
Kanha is World’s finest tiger conservation unit and a National Park. Situated in the cradle of Satpura Range,Kanha National Park is in a part known as Maikal Hills. The forest received early protection during the Raj whence wildlife all over India was on brink
Post independence era the park received status of National Park and subsequently it became a Tiger Reserve under the aegis of Project Tiger Program. In earlier times Kanha was a contiguous part of Central Indian Highlands which are now fragmented. The fragmentation
came about by conversion of forest into agricultural lands,settlements and denudation.
Tourism at Kanha
In the contemporary era of protected area concept many of the viable ecosystems in the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges have been converted into National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. The protected areas offer varying degree of protection and seclusion depending
upon the status granted.
Since the seventies Kanha National Park is receiving tourists from all over the World. During the seventies the safari was conducted in private cars and the forest staff acted as park guides.Most of the tourism took place in Kanha and Kisli Ranges. Elephant
rides were freely available and the tiger sighting was good. This was the era whence the park was recovering from land use and settlements that had been trans-located -leaving few.
The park enclosure had been created for Hard Ground Barasingha and about twenty heads or more where kept inside a place devoid of predators. The rest is history of a highly successful conservation program. There are more than five hundred swamp deer now from
a critical figure of sixty six in the seventies. Some where in nineteen seventy six bison population suffered from an outbreak of rinderpest disease that reduced the numbers subsequently.
In the seventies the major problem for tourism was lack of accommodation and bad highways that lead to the park.There was no hotel in Kanha at that time albeit a canteen sold regular stuff including vegetables did exist. The first accommodation which could
be described as basic was established by Kissu Chacha a relative of the canteen owner. I remember the shortage of food stuff at the canteen that nearly marred our excursions in the park.
Bob Wright was the first to establish a hotel in the early eighties. This was then followed by Nilesh Agrawal who established jungle resort with twelve rooms. I began frequenting this hotel during my excursions in the park. The resort went on to be the most
successful venture and was later sold for profit around 2012. Today there are more than 30 hotel resorts in the periphery conforming to all grades.
Subsequently more rules were incorporated and tiger safari and tourism became well organized. The conservation efforts paid heed and the ecosystem flourished with increase in tiger numbers. Other forms of life also increased in numbers and the populations became
I could see bison and swamp deer inhabiting areas which they vacated due to population decline. This was a welcome comeback and I was thrilled.
Stricter implementation of tourism rules made life much less stressful for the wild denizens and their numbers are constantly increasing to reach the carrying capacity.
The park is now divided into four zones for tourism, Kanha being the prime zone. The other zones are Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki. All zones can be entered from Khatia Gate which is reachable from Mandla Township. The number of vehicle entry is now regulated in all
four zones except in the buffer where safaris are being conducted. Total area reserved for tourism is 22 percent as per NTCA guidelines.
Kanha Tourism Zone comprises of large grasslands or meadows interspersed with many water bodies and streams. Itis the center of the critical tiger habitat. This area is most frequented by tigress with cubs as the open grasslands provide them with prey and security
cover due to high visibility. Other animals sighted here are Leopard, Sloth Bear, Bison, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Langur and Wild Boar.
The zone also contains an interpretation museum and cafeteria and most important of all a well equipped set of toilets for the tourists.
Kisli Zone comprises of rugged hills which are low lying and table top. These hills are covered with dense forests of Sal, Bamboo and Mixed.The hills give rise to deep glens which contain numerous water bodies and perennial streams. These are the lifeline of
the ecosystem. The ecosystem supports tigers, leopards,sloth bear, bison, sambar, wild dog, wild boar, spotted deer and langurs. The zone encompasses diverse habitats. It offers good sightings of tigers and other animals to tourists on jeep safari.
Sarhi Zone comprises mixed forests, bamboo along the Sulkum river, and it is the most picturesque as well. This is the best place to seethe tiger besides four horned antelope, Nigai antelope and sambar deer.
Mukki Zone comprises of midsized grasslands and large swampy lakes which are home to the Hard Ground Barasingha. The low lying region is surrounded by tabletop mountains which are home to many tigers. There is a separate entrance for this zone called Mukki
Gate. The zone can also be assessed from Khatia Gate towards Mandla. There are many luxury hotels near the Mukki Gate.
Buffer Zone Tourism
Kanha Tiger Reserve is divided into two management zones. One is the core zone or the critical tiger habitat while the other is the buffer zone which cushions the core zone. In the core zone no human habitation is allowed while this takes place in between the
buffer forests subject to some regulations. The gate fee for excursion in the designated buffer zone is less and there is no limit on the number of vehicle entry. This is booked by the tourists whence no entry is available in the four prime zones. The buffer
zone ride yields sight of many deer and with luck one can see the tiger, leopard, bison and the sloth bear.
The park safaris are well organized and conducted by the Kanha Management with some strictures from NTCA or National Tiger Conservation Authority. All safaris are conducted on open jeeps registered with the Kanha Office. There are two safari conducted in a
day one s in the morning which begins at predawn and ends at 11 AM. The second one begins at 4.30 AM and ends at 6.30 PM. The safari timings keep on changing as per the day light available.
The entry for park safaris is from the Khatia Gate and the Mukki Gate. The entry is booked in advance albeit on spot booking is also available. Advance booking is done on the MP Online Portal. The jeeps for safaris are available at the Khatia & Mukki Gate.
You can also use the resort jeep if available or request the resort to book one for you. Six guests are allowed to sit for the safari in the park.
The zone is allotted during the time of gate entry booking and the excursion is limited to the allotted zone.All zones have different rates which keep on changing but the guide fee is fixed at Rs.300.00 which has to be paid at the time of entry. It is compulsory
to hire a park guide registered with the department. Recently full day safaris have been introduced for which a greater charge has to be paid.
Tiger Tracking & Animal Watching
This has in recent time become a well developed mechanism. The guides and naturalists are expert at locating tigers using a number of signs that includes alarm cries of the prey species. Their knowledge enhances visitor experience by their interpretation of
the ecosystem and morphological descriptions. Some of the naturalists are also good at birding which is very useful for the bird enthusiasts.
Tiger Show: Elephant Joy Rides
Though joy rides on park elephants are still available tiger show has been banned. It is no more possible to see tigers from elephant back. This recreation is banned in all Central Indian Tiger Reserves. Elephants are also available for filming wildlife at
Kanha but this is subject to a set of procedures.
How to Reach?
Reaching Kanha: From New Delhi& Mumbai by flight to Jabalpur and then drive 165 km.
Best reached From New Delhi &Mumbai by overnight train and then drive 165 km.
Notes: The Park is closed from Julyto October 16th every year. It is also closed on evening of every Wednesday.
About The Author
Uday works as freelance naturalist guide for Courtyard House a
luxury resort at Kanha National Park. He also organizes and operates
Kanha package tours for inbound groups. Uday loves to write on wildlife safaris and travel in India.
June 18, 2014
My first visit to Kanha was in the seventies whence I saw a beautiful tigress. The tiger reserve lies in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat. The landscape is the most striking feature of Kanha National Park in MP.
As you cross over the Indri Village the picturesque settings begins to enthrall you. The magical paradise appears as patches of forests alongside and table top mountains on far left. The drive encompasses through many tribal hamlets hanging listlessly in a
bygone era. The tribal subsist of small fields around the villages which are not at all fit for agriculture. Nevertheless the quaint hamlets are part of the enchanting landscape and it is pleasing to see them around.
The village bazaars accord life to the sleepy surroundings and the colors are fascinating. Ensembles of modern appendages appear as government offices of local level, dispensaries and schools. Some over bloated kirana
shops or general stores supply urban products and food grains. The ever zigzagging rickety buses connect the interiors with Mandla and a larger agglomeration at Jabalpur City.
As you proceed towards the Mochha village the scenic splendor begins to unfold. You can come across common animals like langur, spotted dear and often the barking deer. Leopards and tigers can appear during the night
and so do the sloth bear in the buffer. Even the shy gaur venture out sometimes to the neighboring villages to forage on the fields.
Mocha is the hub of hotel accommodations on the Khatia Gate. On the way you cross over the Kanhar Rivulet, Ghangar Nala and the Banjar River. These waterways are still ensconced in the prehistoric era with forests on shores laden with stones of dazzling hues
The urbanity at Mochha takes you by surprise thanks to a large number of hotels and resorts, tea shops, stores, schools and the governing infrastructure. The accommodations range from budget to star properties that
cater to upscale tourists.
During the seventies Moccha was a sleepy little village but no more as tourism grew I could see the transformation. All the villages in the buffer zone and periphery are engulfed with patches of forests that are home
to wild animals and amazing birds.
The buffer forests offer excellent birding on foot which is a boon for the enthusiastic birders. The place I regularly visit for bird watching is the lake at Boda Chhapri. Along with my guests I visit this enchanting
water body without fail. The stillness of the place and the pristine forests accord tranquility and peace much wanted succor after hectic tiger safaris.
The village walks washes away the leftover weariness. The small friendly tribal active in their daily routine offer a smoothing experience for those entrapped in the rat race of major towns.
I work in one of the
resorts in Kanha as naturalist and bird guide. This is a rare opportunity of combining work with pleasure. The Courtyard House is surrounded by Kanha Forests, water body and tribal fields. The hamlets are a little distance away. The evening sun downers
under the Kanha starry night are often accompanied by the thrilling roar of the resident tiger. Besides many jungle sounds this is the most exciting event at Courtyard House.
June 11, 2014
I have taken this photo in surrounding of Krishna river in Srisailam Nallamala forest.