Between April 2019 and Nov 2020, much water has flown under the bridge. Even though I did not get down to writing about my trips. Its just that sheer laziness. Nevertheless, exploring the wild and wonderful, has continued unabated except for a few months since the SARS-COVID outbreak in Feb 2020. We traveled to Bharatpur and Chambal in India (Oct 2019); visited Sri Lanka (Dec 2019), sailed upstream on Brahmaputra (Feb 2020), made a short trip to Kazirangha (Mar 2020), a quick trip down south to the western ghats to Coorg (March 2020). And now finally in the lap of nature at Pandavapura.
As COVID continued, unabated, in Oct 2020, we decided to drive down from Kolkata to our new abode at Pandavapura (Mandya District), Karnataka. We were desperate to break free from the confines of COVID isolation. One of the prime drivers behind this move has been the lure of 'Western Ghats'.
The Western Ghats, though internationally recognized as a region of immense global importance for the conservation of biological diversity it also plays a huge role in India’s climate; over the past few decades it has been facing severe threats, due to deforestation and fragmentation on account of growing population and development.
In Nov 2020,
Runa and I, made a trip to visited Agumbe, amongst the thickly forested Malnad region of
the Western Ghats in Shimoga district of Karnataka. It is known for its
rainforest, amazing landscapes and perhaps amongst one of the best habitat of King
Cobra. The idea was to explore the rainforest at Kalinga Mane the field station
of “Kalinga Center for Rainforest Ecology” being run by Gowri Shankar and his
team, who have dedicated their professional career towards conservation, rescue
and rehabilitation of snakes. While we have had the opportunity to visit quite a few locations across Western Ghats, this visit was special. Not only did I meet some great personalities at KCRE field station, about which I have writtten in my facebook post, we got to realize how fragile this ecosystem is and how it could lead to total devastation, if the Western Ghats along with its biodiversity is not saved. The crux of the trip is captured in this video. Hope you like it!