Posts Tagged ‘Biking Kerala’

Kurinji Paints the Anamalais 2014: A Photo Essay

// October 17th, 2014 // No Comments » // Culture and Ecology, Eco Watch

Nila Kurinji blossoms on Munnar mountains near Lockheart Gap beneath Chakra Mudi

Neela Kurinji (Strobilantus Kuntianus) blossoms on Munnar mountains near Lockheart Gap at the base of Chakra Mudi overlooking the Bodhi Medu towards east. Early September 2014

 

Color Purple and waving lilac on the grasslands of Munnar near Lockheart Gap near Chakra Mudi. Sept 2014.

Color Purple and waving lilac wash on the grasslands of Munnar near Lockheart Gap near Chakra Mudi overlooking the Bodhi mountains in the east. Kurinji has inspired Sangham or Chankam poetry and ancient Tamil Pun Ragas like Kurinji and Nattai Kurinji.  Sept 2014.

 

Riding to the Anamalais to see the Kurinji bloom by the Gap road on Munnar - Bodhi Medu road.

Riding to the Anamalais to see the Kurinji bloom by the Gap road on Munnar – Bodhi Medu road. Sept 2014

 

Youth from the plains amidst the sea of Kurinji colors near Lockheart Gap, Munnar. Sept 2014.

Youth from the plains amidst the sea of Kurinji colors near Lockheart Gap, Munnar. Sept 2014.  Anamalais were home to numerous monasteries and Buddhist Viharas or Pallys till early middle ages.  Ana or elephant is a key Buddhist cultural icon of conservation and amity.

 

Gap road connecting Munnar with Bodhi Medu and Bodhi Nayakanur in Tamil country.  Kurinji invokes the present and past in south Indian cultural history.

Gap road connecting Munnar with Bodhi Medu and Bodhi Nayakanur in Tamil country. Kurinji invokes the present and past in south Indian cultural and natural history; a view from a high vantage by the Cochin-Madurai National Highway.

 

Before the mist-caped Chokramudi or Chakra Mudi near Lockheart Gap on Munnar - Bodhi Nayakanur highway

Before the mist-caped Chokramudi or Chakra Mudi the second highest peak in the Anamalais after Ana Mudi, near Lockheart Gap on Munnar – Bodhi Nayakanur highway around 2000 m above sea level. Early Sept 2014. Photo: Muzafir Manjeri

 

Nilgiris and Kotagiri: Langurs, Gaurs and Birds

// March 23rd, 2013 // No Comments » // Eco Watch

Indian Gaur crossing the Ooty-Kotagiri road near Dodabeta peak, early March 2013.

Indian Gaur crossing the Ooty-Kotagiri road near Dodabeta peak, early March 2013.

Otakalmand or Ooty in glorious summer morning light, early March 2013.

Otakalmand or Ooty in glorious summer morning light, early March 2013.

 

A White-eye near Gudalur, early March 2013.

A White-eye near Gudalur, early March 2013.

A Nilgiri Langur near Needle Rock, early March 13.

A Nilgiri Langur near Needle Rock, early March 2013.

 

Naduvattam lake in the Nilgiri plateau.

Naduvattam lake in the Nilgiri plateau.

Grey Wagtail near the Frog Rock on the gateway to the Nilgiris from Gudalur.  A migrant from distant lands, early March 2013.

Grey Wagtail near the Frog Rock on the gateway to the Nilgiris from Gudalur. A migrant from distant lands, early March 2013.

 

A local ritual procession in Naduvattam.  The place name Nadu Vattam literally means the Vattam or Kottam or Kuti at the centre of the region.  It once housed the Vattam or Vihara or Pally in the ancient days.

A local ritual procession in Naduvattam. The place name Nadu Vattam literally means the Vattam or Kottam or Kuti at the centre of the region. It once housed the Vattam or Vihara or Jain/ Buddhist Pally in the ancient days.

A Swallow at Naduvattam, early March 2013.

A Pacific Swallow at Naduvattam, early March 2013.

 

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta in a crisscrossed shola patch near the road between Gudalur and Naduvattam, early March 2013.

Brown-cheeked Fulvetta in a crisscrossed shola patch near the road between Gudalur and Naduvattam, early March 2013.

Pykara falls, Nilgiris, early March 2013.

Pykara falls, Nilgiris, early March 2013.  Pykara means the land of the cattle. This grassland sholas and Pykara river were most sacred to the Toda tribe the early inhabitants of the Nilgiri plateau.  The river Pykara originates from Mukurti peak and flows north west through the Nilgiri plateu.

 

The Toda buffaloes grazing in the pastures in Pykara.  The buffaloes are central to their cosmology and myths.  The sacred buffalo only found in the Nilgirri Toda Munds or villages were created first along with the first Toda man according to their creation myth.  The Toda buffaloes have close similarity to the water buffaloes of Assam.

The Toda buffaloes grazing in the pastures in Pykara. The buffaloes are central to their cosmology and myths. The sacred buffalo only found in the Nilgiri Toda Munds or villages were created first along with the first Toda man according to their creation myth. The Toda buffaloes have close similarity to the water buffaloes of Assam.

A Coot in Ooty lake, early March 2013.

A Coot in Ooty lake, early March 2013.

 

Stopped by the bisons/gaur on the way to Kotagiri the hills of the Kota tribe near Dodabetta, south india's second highest peak after Anamudi in the south.

Stopped by the bison/ gaur on the way to Kotagiri the hills of the Kota tribe near Dodabetta, south india’s second highest peak after Anamudi in the south.

A resort in a tea estate near Naduvattam, Nilgiri district.

A resort in a tea estate near Naduvattam, Nilgiri district.

 

A Barn Swallow trying to nest inside a building under construction in Naduvattam, Nilgiris.

A Barn Swallow trying to nest inside a building under construction in Naduvattam, Nilgiris.

Black-lored Tit in Longwood Shola near Kotagiri, early March 2013.

Black-lored Tit in Longwood Shola near Kotagiri, early March 2013.

 

A sudden summer cloud formation above Pykara in the Nilgrirs, early march 2013.

A sudden summer cloud formation above Pykara in the Nilgrirs, early march 2013.

Beguiled by the dim light a Grey Jungle fowl comes to the open near Pykara falls.

Beguiled by the dim light a Grey Jungle fowl comes to the open near Pykara falls.

 

A Kestrel flying above Pykara falls, early march 2013.

A Kestrel flying above Pykara falls, early march 2013.

Indian Gaur bull just above the road near Dodabetta, Ooty, early march 2013.

Indian Gaur bull just above the road near Dodabetta, Ooty, early march 2013.

 

The unique flora and fauna in a roadside shola on the way to Kotagiri.

The unique flora and fauna in a roadside shola on the way to Kotagiri.

At Pykara falls with Jaime, early march 2013.

At Pykara falls with Jaime, early march 2013.

 

A Pied Bushchat singing in full throat near Longwood Shola, Kotagiri.

A Pied Bushchat singing in full throat near Longwood Shola, Kotagiri.

Longwood Shola.  It has become a small patch of the earlier micro climatic ecosystem.

Longwood Shola, Kotagiri. It has become a small patch of the earlier micro climatic ecosystem.