Sunday, August 17, 2008

Paradise, Happy to Stay lost

I am not sure if it was the exhaustion of the ten kilometer hike in the rain-shadowed wilderness of Chinnar, or the love for the rainforests that made us take off that night on a drive a few hundred kilometers long into The Periyar tiger reserve.

The guard at the check-post was a burly middle aged man, who wouldn’t let us in. It took us three hours and nearly one hundred phone calls to get him to open the park gates for us.

(Tourist information: Kerala Forest Development Corporation charges Eight hundred rupees per person for entry into the jungle, which is allowed only in their all terrain vehicles. It is OK to not love nature, but at the minimum what you can be is respectful of life out there.
The chances of spotting a tiger here as a tourist is next to non-existent, so please don’t go in on a casual Safari - It is not worth the money that you pay, and the jungle will not like you. And for goodness’s sake, please don’t smoke!)


The mist was a both a surprise and a disappointment. We had a few hours of light still remaining in the day, and the musky odor of elephants hung in the air, only that the visibility was reduced to a few feet.
Not too far from a tribal settlement, a man herding his cattle back home took us deeper into the jungle where he said there would be elephants.
A few meters into the slush, my shoes were wet and swarming with leeches. The socks were soaked in blood, and rest of the walk had to be done barefoot. All through out the trail, there were fresh hoof-prints in the sludge - even an occasional pug mark or two, just no animal in sight. And so when we turned off the slushy grass on to a little patch of rocky land, the beauty that struck me was just too sudden to be let in.
What lay ahead, was a little piece of tropical paradise. We were suddenly left standing on a rock-face engulfed by green overhangs on three sides, and the deepest of jungles on the other. The valley below was at least a kilometer deep, and there were springs gushing out of cracks in the rocks. We were standing above the clouds, where even the wind did not stir. If the place were any more beautiful, it would have been a sin.
Do not go by the picture, I just couldn’t do any justice to the scene.


Cuckoo said...

Oh both the pictures and your narration makes me go there. But more than that scares me... for leaches.

Have linked your post to blogbharti.
Keep watching. :-)


Anonymous said...

nice pictures dude..and the "bloody" write up about the jungle walk. Nice that you warned the smokers.

ND said...

If there are more good photos pls mail me @

Khanaz said...

hai.. i am a friend of nirmal (kesu). i've been reading (looking) through a few of ur blogs and i just had to complement you. nice work! i am a photo-enthusiast as well, but hardly ever did anything commentable... guess if theres anything i want to know, i can contact you?

usha said...

seems like someone's been having a fun fun time out there! awesome pics.
btw, I envy you. :|

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

cuckoo: Not being a male chauvanist here, but not a place for women, really - certainly not alone. :)
Thanks for the blogbharti link.
good stuff in there!

lash: as long as you do not smoke in there, i am sure you can find some grade one stuff to harvest if you look closely.
herbs grown in someone's backyard is not half as good as the jungle material, they say. ;)

nd: kesu, there is not much that i'll call exceptional, but I will send you a link with whatever little i have.

khanaz: flatered, I am!
you sure can contact me and I will be happy to help with whatever little I know.

usha: yay!! someone envies me..
girl I had run away because i was sure to die if i stayed here one more day.
my life sucks!

Anonymous said...

Photo looks wonderful. It's like the island forest from the King Kong movie.

pRicky said...

Are you a new age Inidana Jones or what??
What lens are you using??
Thats real wide and details arent out either Bloody Brilliant!

arykko said...

love your photography!! O_O

lost optimist..^!^ said...

Absolutely awesome!! thx for sharing with the less fortunate souls :) .. im doing good..sorry for the ate reply!! wanna come back to this wonderful world.. but just not able to take tht first step.. all is never well :).. tc.. keep up the good work.. ur lensational :)

Prude said...

Your pictures are simply beautiful! Each speaks so much. Could you tell me what kind of camera you or a normal one?

Moi said...

Lush Life!!!
Tropical forests have their own charms..while they scare me, they fascinate me too.... :)

Serendipity said...


Cant see your pictures at work anymore :( they dont open

Moi said...

havent you been gone for too long???? how are you doing????

Moi said...

in hibernation mode????? hope all's well with you..take care and do drop a line when u find time!

pj said...

amazing photography!

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