Chinmayisk's Weblog

{September 6, 2009}   bandipur march 2009

I can easily tell this to be one of the turning points in my life.It all started with emails of camp being held and a hazy confirmation of letting new commers to joing the camp.Finally , i was informed one week before the camp that i could go.This was my first real trip to a forest until then all i had was interest but never really was exposed much .The travel plans were confirmed one day before  😀 thats how planned it was.But nevertheless it was one of those camps i can never forget because i earned a lot of friends from various backgrounds all with the similar cause.This was my first proper understanding of wildlife.

It started with me,sahana,prakash,anoop and anand pooling in anands jeep to head to our destination .The journey itself was an experience with prakash and anand spotting birds (trust me it was greek and latin to me )on the way.On reaching we met amit and poornesh.we spent a great deal of time on the stream where anoop tried to frighten me with the possibilty of an elephant and leopard little did he know that it excited me more. we had kunal who had come all the way from mumbai and spent 6000 on a taxi to reach bandipur(lol!!!) ..we ended up spending the remainder of the day the stream since the jeep that was supposed to transport us went away for repair !!!

Though i dont regret it cos we ended up studying birds getting entertained hearing their calls from anoop and then observing  malabar gaint squirells like for 2 hours caught all possible shots of them jumping,eating,fighting and even named them 😛 .The jeep finally came in the evening where atleast 10 of us plus our luggage had to fit in.prakash and kunal had a great time sticking there  necks out of the jeep the rest ous were almost dead with that 20 mins ride with luggage all over us and amit try to put ur hopes up on seeing the tiger while all that we saw was hare :P.Once we reached the camp the first thing i saw was my boyfriend the tusker jaiprakash .wow he was so magnificant it was love at first sight . The first night was a sure surprise with alarm calls and these so called bavehearts flashing their torch lights everywhere like the would find a predator 😛 .

The subsequent morning was worst cos i did not get to walk as a punishment to getting up late after 4:( ..The evening line was good though had first encounters with sambar,gaur(which i almost called bison ) and the lantana(which i called thorns :D) .The  camp was fun with ppl exciting at sighting animal from so ppl were lucky to spot dhol , elephants( which somehow never crossed my path even thought i went into elephant infested line 😦 ) where as other ppl like amit got to see loads of them .sahana was probably the luckiest to spot leopard,tiger,dhol,fha,mating bears(which even i got to see  🙂 ). I enjoyed the camp the most i got to see the proper moon set and the sun rise (the way i had never seen before).i even got hear ghost stories from bhiswanath ( who apparently sleeps after getting dropped at the start point in the forest until its time to start really terrifying for new comers who are scared of elephants 😀 ). we also had the episode of  amit showing us a chital and making us believe it was a tiger for which 15 us went in search 😀 .and  btw i also got time to have two dates with jai prakash who was very patient enough to listen to me and all blabber while prakash was trying to click snaps of us together 🙂

one other memorable thing i will never forget is i got enjoy the hospitality of forest gaurds who cooked the best ever lemon rice and the lemon tea in a anti poaching camp which was just a elephant proof trench and a small house (i seriously salute these ppl they put their life in danger and stay away from human habitation with no defense except a stic to gaurd these animals there hardly get any good salary or even facilities we talk about the armed forces but these gaurds are also the unsung warriors of our country and our planet).

This the first time the understood in full scale the importance of conservation and got to learn about a lot of ppl who have dedicated their life to it .like   x who headed the bandipur camp his diligence ,sincerity put all of us to shame.he single handedlt worked the equivalent for 5 ous.i seriously fell more of us should start working for the cause that concerns each one us cos without these forests and animals we wont exist for long .

I wish to play an active part in thi s goal .


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