Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bandipur–December 2013

Images taken during our stay at Karnataka Forest Department cottages, Bandipur – December 2013. Photos by Neelima & Rohan Bimalraj.
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Deer spotting's near our cottage: Most commonly seen & abundant in and around the cottages which is in the midst of  Bandipur forest.
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Gray Langurs at Bandipur Forest Cottages: They inhabit this surroundings-sharing space with the

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bandipur to Mananthavadi via Nagarhole – December 2013

There are two routes running through Nagarhole National Park to Mananthavadi.
IMG_0821Bison Herd, Bandipur.
These are two options described as “Route A” and “Route B” in the map below for getting to Manandavadi from Bandipur via Nagarhole. For both routes the road up to Handpost Jn. and from Kattikkulam to Mananthavady are same. Even I did not know there are two routes existed through Nagarhole National Park to Manandavady, although I searched the internet before the journey. That is why I made this detailed route map & published here for those who want to take this course. Bandipur_Nagarhole_Mananthavady Some cautions before you decide on which route to take: For both routes, traffic not allowed between 6 pm and 6 am. “Route A” is more liberalized allowing two wheelers and lorry, bus traffic. Through “Route B”, no two wheelers allowed. It is mandatory to write details about your name vehicle reg. no., destination and time of

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Canon EOS 60D Sample - 20.11.2013

My neighborhood cat shot with Canon EOS 60D & Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens. JPEG capture (no RAW) and some minor Photoshop enhancements.IMG_0015

Full Image Specs:

Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM @ 200mm
Shutter speed: 1/400 sec
Aperture: 3.5
Exposure mode: Program
Metering mode: Multi-segment
ISO: 400

About Kerala

Cocooned in blissful isolation between the verdurous Ghat mountains in the east and the azure Arabian sea in the west, the tropical coast of Kerala, nurtured by the benevolent monsoon showers, is the dreamland of tourism in South India.The history of the region stretches back to ancient times when the scent of its spices attracted to its silver shores traders from all over the world: Phoenicians, Romans, the Chinese, Arabs and Jews.The same scent of seduction brought in later centuries the Dutch, the Portuguese, the French and the British. All these races were received with warm oriental hospitality by the people of Kerala.The fabulous Chinese nets at Fort Cochin, trapped in the nostalgia of this ancient trade tradition, and the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Synagogue at Mattanchery are a few of the evidences of Kerala’s assimilation and integration of alien cultures.

Even in the midst of these diverse influences, Kerala has retained, in all these centuries, its ethnic identity. Its strongest flavour is felt in the Festival of Onam, celebrated in honour of the Demon King Mahabali who returns from the Underworld every year to visit his loving subjects.In major cities of Kerala, Tourist Fairs are organized during Onam, an integral item of which is the carnival of Snake Boat Races in the exotic Back Waters.

The festivals of Kerala are in fact a proof of her long and proud tradition of interreligious tolerance and friendship. Kerala has the longest history of Christianity, commencing from the arrival of St. Thomas himself in AD 52. The first Muslim Mosque in India was built in Kerala in 8c. AD. The Jews built their Synagogue in Cochin in 1567. Kerala is also the proud birthplace of sage Adi Sankara, one of the greatest exponents of Advaita Vedanta.

The cultural ethos of the people of Kerala finds its finest expression in their performing arts. Kathakali is a very sophisticated indigenous dance drama which can claim a tradition of more than 1500 years.However, the earliest theatrical art forms of Kerala are Koothu and Koodiyattam, whose cast had included actresses, centuries before they were introduced in European theatre. Other distinctive performing art forms of Kerala are Mohiniyattam, Ottan Thullal, Parayan Thullal and Seethankan Thullal.

Parallel to these classical forms, Kerala has preserved her ancient folk rituals which embody the collective aspirations of the community in colourful performances. Theyyam, Thira, Thiyyattam, Mudiyettu and Padayani are a few of these cult-oriented dance forms.

Behind the energetics of Kerala’s classical or folk performing arts may be seen the body culture nurtured rigorously by Kalarippayattu, one of the oldest and most comprehensive martial art forms now extant in the world.Its comprehensiveness is evident in its specialization of the indigenous medical practice collectively called the Ayurveda, which, with its vast herbal repertoire and highly skilled oil massage techniques, attracts a large influx of tourists every year to the various health centres of the state.

The growth of Ayurveda as a potent system of medicine owes itself to the vast stretches of forest land on the Ghat mountains, home of very rare and valuable plants.The flora and fauna of the virgin rain forests like the Silent Valley are so innumerable that most of them are yet to be documented.The wild life sanctuaries of Thekkadi, Wynadu and Parambikkulam and the bird sanctuary of Thattekkadu serve as havens of soothing solitude to eco-friendly tourists who dream of an escape from the dinand bustle of oppressive urban settings.In the solidified silence of these natural habitat one can easily relate oneself to the vast elemental forces of Mother Nature.

Tourism in Kerala

Kerala, the God's Own Country has the distinction of having been declared as one of the 50 world's top destinations, places that every curious traveler should visit in a lifetime for tourists by The National Geographic Traveler and the UNESCO has recently recognized Kodiyattom as one of the original heritage dance forms in the world. Kerala have a number of angles to tourism such as cultural tourism, historical tourism, pilgrimage tourism, intellectual tourism, eco-tourism, hydel-tourism, farm tourism, business tourism, etc. There is every thing in Kerala - beautiful beaches, wonderful waterways, serene mountains, historic monuments, pilgrim centers of all the major religions of the world, vast stretches of all type of plantations, fantastic art forms and crafts and so on and so forth.

Kerala's culture is very unique. The State has some fantastic products that would be a major tourist attraction. For example, Aranmula metal mirrors making, kasavu weaving, mat-weaving, handicrafts etc. In Kerala, one finds a lot of temples, forts, caves and other pre historic structures in the mountain ranges. For example, we have the most neglected Managaladevi Kshetram in Thekkady, the least-bothered Pulayanar Kotta near Trivandrum, the remotely placed Marayur caves and stone structures etc. Kerala has so far been showcased as a beautiful tourist destination from the point of view of its enchanting backwaters, serene beaches, fantastic mountain ranges etc.

Kerala's tribes are various, some of whom are supposed to be the aborigines of India. Their culture, their products, etc. are of unique nature. The Kuruchias and Paniyas of Wyanad, the Muthuvans of Munnar, the Kanis of Trivandrum and others in the State are a potential subject for study for the anthropologists and geneticists around the world. As modernism is taking hold of many cultures it becomes very important to preserve these tribal cultures lest they will one day vanish from the State. Hence an effective tribal tourism could be worked out to attract scholars and promoters inland and abroad to Kerala. In Kerala eco-tourism packages have drawn more flak than appreciation.