Thursday, June 29, 2006

a trek(trip) to biLigiri Ranganatha Hills

The first thing that samiT ( the six-foot sloth of our trek team :) ) asks before we flag off any trek is, "do we get to see any elephants there" ?.. I remember the moment in MM Hills forest, when samiT was ahead of us all and we heard an excited shout "come here !!..soon.."..We were convinced that he had spotted an elephant..moments later, we were standing around a fresh elephant dropping !!

it's a different fun to see the wildlife in the real their natural habitat..and though we haunt many jungles, the most we get to see is pug-marks, droppings, remnants of kills..
Kaushik keeps telling me about his wild experiences in some core reserve forests..I am not so fortunate to be a part of the camera-trap mission from IISc, nor am I a relative of an IFS officer..Most of the times, we are not allowed to enter some areas of the forest and even if we are, not beyond certain times..that's when the wildlife comes out of hiding..

This sunday was special for me and mithun..We got to shoot ( photograph !! ) some wild animals in the real wild !.. I had seen a lot of wild animals up-close when i used to go for jeep ride with my uncle in Kudremukh..But, never got a chance to photograph 'em.. Mithun had arranged for a trek with his cousins and i agreed to join seemed more of a trip and less of a trek..all our treks so far have been rusty..we never had the comforts of being dropped at the base and being picked up at the end by a tempo-traveller..Our treks usually begin on Friday nights..considering the fact that travelling in KSRTC buses is itself a kinda trek..

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We ( 9 of us ) reached BRT ( Biligiri Ranganatha Temple ) sanctuary early morn..For the first time i was unaware of the route we were taking, for we had ample entertainment going on in the van..The folded seat besides the driver was the stage for us act out the movies..and we had 3 hours of non stop fun..

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When we hit the beautiful ghat of BRT, our first spotting was a beautiful peacock.. my cam, which i've inherited from nagu, couldn't capture ( not to blame the cam a novice myself :) )...
I was looking like a desperate idiot with a cam around my neck, desperately waiting for an animal to pass by..Something which u can relate to the japanese photographer in the hindi movie "munnabhai MBBS" who says "i want to shoot people..poor people"...i wanted to shoot too.."animals..wild animals.."...finally, i got to shoot a pair of wild boars !!..

The trek began from the BRT peak and the weather was just was long before i had seen a misty noon..I had to suffice with some macro shots and shooting the wild flora..

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There were some excitements about hearing some trumphet and noises mid way, but no animal was spotted..the trek had no ascent, and within 2 hours, we saw the base !..may be the quickest of all..

Though the trek was short and not very exciting, we had a great time in the wild..the right kind of relaxation one would need after a boring week in bangalore.. The van took us back to BRT hill..picturesque views and funny monkeys kept me occupied with the cam..Mith, kishore and me went to the IB to get permission to visit some nearby place..a movie was being shot there..the scene : the hero, dressed as a policeman rolls and shoots at the camera ..hero : namma saikumar !!..i was relieved..for, i finally got something wild to shoot :) ..sai agreed to have a photo with us and we handed over the cam to a decent looking guy..gave him fundae and instructions..only to realize later that he was a MLA !!

On the way back, the van suddenly stopped and everyone was "shhh..shhh....bison ..bison !!"...i remember snatching the cam from sonal, who was browsing the pics..and rush to the window..we saw a herd of bisons drinking water !! was a great sight..we came out of the van and tried to get closer, but none of our cams were equipped enough to fight the distance and poor light..But, it was a kinda satisfaction just to see them..

minutes later we spotted a lone bison..he was huge and masculine !..the van stopped in the proximity and he grew conscious..When, he started sharpening the horns by rubbing against a tree, obvious signs of charging, the driver cried "sir..if it bangs the vehicle, u must pay for the tinkering costs..!!"..very soon, we saw one more herd of bisons..this time the lighting was better and we got a couple of shots..

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the sight of these animals gave us a sense of contentment...
My mind went wandering over the thoughts about their survival in the coming years..human encroachment continues to take toll of these innocent beings..the guard narrated a story of a lioness, who died after falling from a rock, and that she was carrying 6 cubs !!.. It's a solace
that the forest dept. is doing a good job by identifying reserve forests, anti poaching camps and stopping encroachment..We, as civilians can atleast help in small ways like not littering the forest trails with non biodegradable waste and more importantly, discouraging articles manufactured from animal hides and tusks..instead, admire their beauty and charm in the jungles, which is their habitat, their home...

I was woken up from these rumbling thoughts when the singing session in the van had heated up..We kept singing old songs on the way..was reminded of our singing session in rajasthan trip from delhi to pilani..mith, kishore and me sang in our high pitch - which nandita found very difficult to cope with..sonal kept prompting me the lyrics, while sindhu was still staring out of the window ( the bison hangover - she calls it )...shiri, kaushiki and the king solomon slept off in glory...

we reached bangalore faster than i had thought....for, in good times, time flies only faster....

Reaching BRT :
BRT is around 210 kms from bangalore. can be easily reached by KSRTC bus from Bangalore.
The route is Bangalore to Maddur ( on mysore road ). then reach Kollegal en route malavalli. A right from Kollegal leads you to Yellandur. BRT from Yellandur is about 30 km.
for more info on trekking in this place
click here
or contact Chamrajnagar DCF @ 08226-222059 and get the permission...

see more pics
and here


At 4:06 AM, Blogger ~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

nice pics .... :)

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Krishna said...

Coool pics maga !!!

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Bulla_ki_jaana said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! i wanted to be there

At 9:22 PM, Blogger praveen chavan said...

i'm still learning to use the cam :) ..kee3, we miss u on every trek man !

At 1:53 AM, Blogger balsu said...

Nice one! Makes me want to be there on your next trek...
- Aishwarya

At 8:57 AM, Blogger born_in_the_woods said...

Nice to see your blog!

Me going for a trek to sakleshpur next week..

Keep Riding! and trekking too..

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