Archive for April, 2010

Kaziranga National Park: Nature’s Best Wild Utterance

Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park

As a member of Environment Preservation Group I have to visit several destinations which are abundant in flora and fauna. The Environment Preservation Group is divided into several groups and each group has its own function. I am a part of the Monitoring group who takes report from the Survey group. Recently our team went to Kaziranga National Park which is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam. This is a World Heritage Site which cradles two-thirds of the world’s Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. And our project was based on tracking the exact number of Rhinos and causes of their decreasing number. So our team stayed here for many days. As I am in the monitoring team so I stayed here for one day because I had to take all the details which were gathered by our Survey Team.

I reached here from its nearest airport at Guwahati which is located about 200 km from this place. It was late night when I entered this land of natural panorama teeming with exotic collection of flora and fauna. The air was fresh, atmosphere was refreshing and the cacophony of wild animals captivated me soon after I entered this wild land.

I went to Bonoshree Tourist Lodge which is government maintained resort where I met my colleagues who briefed me about this place and progress of the project. While taking dinner at the rooftop I got a distant view of this park which was glistering due to moonlight. This panoramic view engrossed me completely and reminded me of my childhood days when I used to watch the Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book on television.

The foundation of this national park was laid by the Mary Victoria Leiter Curzon, the wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. She was impressed by the exotic collections of flora, fauna and avifauna of this park in general and giant one horned rhinoceros in specific. She was fascinated with this place which insisted her to persuade her husband Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India to declare this park as a protected area. Finally on 1 June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created encompassing an area of 232 sq. km.

Today this national park spreads over an area of approximately 430-sq-kms with its swamps and tall elephant grass scattered everywhere. The topographical elevation of this park varies from 131 feet to 262 feet which is circumscribed by the river Brahmaputra along with two other rivers. Kaziranga is one of the largest tracts of protected land in the sub-Himalayan belt and due to the presence of highly diverse and visible species it has been described as a ‘biodiversity hotspot’.

We opted for a Jeep Safari as we had to cover long distance. I spent many hours in the park observing the abundant wildlife which fascinated me the most. The riverine plains of Kaziranga are framed by 14-foot-tall elephant grass making it a rich habitat for many endangered animals such as Rhinos, swamp deer, Asian elephants, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic water buffalo, Deer, Bear, Python, and many more. When I was inspecting some of the marked jungle trails many species of birds passed overhead which included the endangered Greater Indian Hornbill.

Some of the other most famous bird species of this place are Junglele fowl, Bengal florican and water fowl, goose, serpent eagle, Pella’s fishing eagle and Grey headed fishing Eagle and a large number of pelicans, Black naked stork, Snake Bird.

As we are not bound by the safari time so we stayed till late noon in the national park. Usually morning and evening Kaziranga National Park safari time is 06:30 am and 14:30 pm. I stayed in the midst of this bountiful jungle for more than 6 hours. During my safari the close encounter with the wild animals in their natural habitat fascinated me the most. I saw many animals and birds but the sight of Mother Rhino with her children moving slowly to the river basin touched me a lot. The care showed by mother Rhino almost touched our whole team which forced us to watch their activities for a long time.

I with my teammate returned to the Jungle Lodge after collecting relevant data and information. During our lunch we discussed some important issues that came out after survey along with the bite and taste of traditional Assamese food.

After taking all the relevant data, files and documents from my colleagues I left this place and returned to Guwahati. It was truly an overwhelming experience for me which I will remember for long.

 

Kovalam Beach: Perfect Destination to Discover Exotic Charm of Nature

Kovalam Beach Kerala
Kovalam Beach Kerala

Beaches are one of the marvels of natural wonders which are known for their perfect juxtaposition of dazzling white sands and azure blue sea. This romantic combination makes it a high flying destination where one can stimulate their sense of imagination. The amalgamated beauty of sun, sand and sea fringed by coconut trees make beaches a romantic destination where one can get relief from their weary thoughts and life.

Three day weekend holidays provided me an opportunity to spend a memorable holiday at beachside, as I was in Thiruvananthapuram Capital City of Kerala for my official work. This plan was in my mind so I wrapped up my work by Thursday and extended my guest house booking for two more days.

On early Friday morning I went to Kovalam Beach which is located around 13 km downtown from this place. The name of Kovalam Beach conjures up the images of boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf along with stalwart palms trees and the rocky terrains. It is one of the most famous and most sought after Beach destinations of India which is visited by large number of tourists from various parts of the globe. The ambiance of blue sea, silvery sands and unending rows of palm makes it an enchanting destination and popular beach hangout in India.

When I reached near the beach I felt the magical charm of this place which I had only read in the magazines till now. The charming spell of this place is too overwhelming to be quoted in words. The bewitching feature of this place is enhanced by the rocky terrain that separates this crescent shaped beach into three parts. I took coconut water to quench my thirst and went atop the rock to have a bird’s eye view of the entire surroundings.

The views of entire beach at one go mesmerized me and helped me to identify the place where I can spend my maximum time in solitude, watching the natural panorama of rising and falling sea waves.

After enjoying my binocular vision from the cliff I went near the sea to enjoy its coming and going blue waves lapping the shore. For the first time in my life I stepped in the sea and the joy that I felt is beyond description. I was standing and sea waves lapped my feet which enthralled me and made me laugh as I felt as if someone is tickling me.

Every time I had to maintain my balance because of the thrust of sea waves and loose sand beneath my legs. Despite of being completely wet I enjoyed myself at my best. After spending an hour at this place I went to the nearby sea-restaurant to taste lip smacking Kerala Sea food for my lunch. The lunch was really good as it was made from the fresh sea fish and original spices from the backyard of the restaurant.

This internationally renowned bow shaped beach is made up of three beaches which are separated from each other by a rocky terrain. The largest beach is known as Light House Beach because of its 35 meter high lighthouse, situated on Kurumkal hillock. The second one is Hawah Beach. It was the first topless beach in India but now topless bathing has been banned here. And the third is Samudra Beach which is famous among the local fishermen of Kovalam as it is a center for fishing.

After satisfying my appetite I felt lazy and decided to rest for sometime in the shadow of palm tress. I purchased a plastic mat from a nearby hawker and climbed the cliff. In the shadow of palm trees I lied down facing sea. The cool sea breeze lapped me and its sound was like a lullaby which made me sleep.

The birds chirping woke me from my sleep, I saw the time it was 5 p.m. I slept for more than 4 hours, but it was one of the pleasant experiences of sleeping in the lap of nature. Even after I was awake I stayed here for more than an hour watching sea. I was captivated by the beauty of scenic ambiances which prompted several thoughts in my mind based on various subjects. I analyzed some of my thoughts which calmed down my mental anxiety because I pressed down the right issue with reasonable arguments. It is because of some issues related to my personal life I stayed here for two more days even after completing my official work. I got the answers of those issues which I was looking for a long time.

After unleashing my mental burden I walked down to enjoy the evening beauty of this place. The taste of lunch was so tempting that I headed to the same restaurant to fill my stomach. This time I took fried Crab with chilled beer and enjoyed the delighted evening from the rooftop of the restaurant.

As the night fell the beauty of darkness had its own romantic panorama to reveal. I strolled around the beach watching star studded sky flanked over the vastness of Arabian Sea. The whimsical sound of sea waves molded with sea breeze hypnotized me like a black magic. I rested on the seaside till midnight and then I headed for my guest house.