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      The very Intention of going to Maidenahalli Reserve to Photograph Black bucks was not fruitful inspite of long wait.Disappointed we were about leave in the evening. At the outer fringes of park to our dismay we were blessed to sight a pair of Chameleons in the bushes.We were mesmerised by the colour and the movement of these tiny creatures.My friend resident of Tumkur and a frequent visitor here told that he was sighting these creatures for the first time.        The Indian Chameleon, locally in Kannada is known as Usaravalli or Gosumbe and is scientifically referred as Chamaeleo Zeylanicus. This species of chameleon is found across Indian Peninsula, Sri Lanka, and other parts of South Asia.Like other chameleons, this species has a long tongue, feet that are shaped into bifid claspers, a prehensile tail, independent eye movement and the ability to change skin colour. They…
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     Although the yatra season had begun and the train was packed to the core, I somehow managed to reach Trivandrum in the wee hours of that chilly morning. After munching a few appams for breakfast I headed straight away to a place called Kottur and after a bumpy jeep ride reached a small sleepy hamlet of Kanni tribe settlement called Podium in the afternoon. It is cozily tucked away inside the Peppara wildlife sanctuary about 70 kms from the capital city. Refreshing under a perennial waterfall nearby I reclined over a rock overlooking the hill. The monolithic giant rock face of Agasthya Mala rising above 6300ft was looming in the distance dominating the landscape. I was on an adventurous trek to that sacred hill situated in the heart of the sanctuary.       My friend and guide Surendranan, for the next few days, narrated a few of the…
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      Hills and mountains have a special significance in the himalayan region. Mountains have traditionally been regarded as abodes of gods. Mountains are also held sacred due to their association with deities, mythology and legends.             It is believed that there are total seven Kailash mountains. The well known Mansarovar Kailash in Tibet, Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district of Uttrakhand, Amarnath Kailash in J&K, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Mani Mahesh Kailash in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh,Sri Khand Kailash in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The seventh one is believed to be Boorha Kailash and is yet to be located.Sri Khand Mahadev is one such revered mountain peak in Himachal Pradesh about which not much has been written. The Yatra season had began and the very thought of proceeding to Sri Khand Kailash is a call from within. It is…
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     Leaving behind the bustling temple town of Tiruvannamalai I boarded the local bus to Gingee about 38 km away. The scorching heat of the sun had made me tired.     In front of me stood Rajagiri, the most spectacular of the three boulder strewn hills of Chakkilidurg and Krishnagiri comprising the fort complex of Gingee – described as ‘ Troy of the East ‘ by Father Pimenta, a Portuguese Jeuit priest visiting in 1597. It is such a catchy epithet that I was determined to visit it when the opportunity came. Come it did. The beginnings of Gingee are steeped in mythology. According to a local legend, Senjii Amman was one of the seven, virgin guardian deities of the village and the place derives its name from her. Recorded history goes back to the 16 th century when Gingee became the seat of Nayaka rulers as a part…
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     In addition to the paradise She shares with Siva on Kailas, Parvati has her abode on a number of other mountains. As Nanda Devi, the "Goddess of Bliss," She dwells in beauty on the lovely peak of that name in the Himalayas. The highest mountain in India outside the principality of Sikkim. Nanda Devi soars in alluring curves of rock and ice to culminate in a delicate summit, poised at 25,645 feet above a ring of snow peaks that form a sanctuary protecting the Goddess from all but Her most determined admirers. The only break in their otherwise impregnable wall of rock and snow is the terrifying gorge of the Rishi Ganga, one of the sources of the sacred Ganga, named after seven sages of Hindu stories, who fled the oppression of demons to seek refuge with the Goddess before departing this world to become enshrined as seven…
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     There is something really striking about the hill fort at Bandallidurga. It is probably one of the most evocative forts you would have ever seen.      Bandalli is a small village situated about 25 km from Kollegal taluk in Chamarajanagar district. Very little is known about the history of the fort. The initial path is through paddy fields and after wading through lantana and thorny bushes, one reaches the foothills. The final path to the fort is precariously steep.
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Western Ghats or Plains hilly regions has a cool and generally humid climate. Much of Trail is above traversing hills, Under the canopy. Therefore, you can expect warm to hot days in the summer and coolnights. As the season advances toward fall expect cool days and chill nights . You will most likely encounter some precipitation either as rain in rainy season .Descending slopes , climbing hills and wading through bushes. Things to carry on a weekend/Western Ghats trek. Backpack 30 ltrs. with Plastic liner. Torch or Headlamp. Dry fruits/Energy bars. Personal medicine if any and a basic first aid kit (though Summiters Adventures do carry a First aid kit, it is always recommended you too carry it) Toilet kit. Id proof. (Ex. Driver's License, PAN card etc), Medical Report Form Trekking shoes upto ankle well broken/used, Socks(3 pairs). Cap or Hat. Water bottle 32 Oz or 01 litre. Trekking…
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Essentials things to Carry for a Himalayan Trek Himalayan region has a cool and generally dry mountain climate. Much of Trail is above 8,000 feet. Therefore, you can expect warm to hot days in the summer and cool nights. As the season advances toward fall expect cool days and cold nights (below freezing). You will most likely encounter some precipitation either as rain in summer or snow across the higher passes any time of the year, but mostly in the spring and fall. Wind can also be a significant factor in alpine terrain. Be prepared for high levels of ultraviolet (UV) light, due to the clean, high altitude air. Sunburn potential is high throughout the year. On the trail:Essentials in the pack: A Rucksack 50 ltrs capacity with plastic bag liner Well broken in trekking boots upto Ankle. Stream crossing sandals – e.g. Teva’s or reef runners A medium sized day pack, with plastic bag liner Water…

Preparing for a Hike

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     One of the most frequent questions I am asked by people who are planning to trek in Himalayas is how to prepare for a Himalayan trek, particularly a longer one at high altitudes (above 3000 meters/10,000 feet).. Assuming that you have the basic physical conditioning equal to the trek that you have chosen to do, preparing for the trek is fairly straightforward. There are three basic components of preparation - aerobic, strength, and mental. Aerobic conditioning is important primarily because you will trekking in thin air, up to 40% less than at sea level.       With good aerobic conditioning you will be able to better metabolize whatever oxygen is available to you, not only bringing energy to your leg muscles, but minimizing the potential effects of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS). You should plan on doing at least one hour of aerobic conditioning at least 4 times per…
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     Nature enthusists trek to high-altitude every year for recreation. Twenty percent of those traveling to altitudes below 5500 m/18,000 ft are affected by some form of altitude illness. This number rises to fifty percent above 18,000 ft. While most cases of altitude illness are mild and self limiting, some cases can become life threatening. If you are planning a trip to altitudes above 1500 m/5000 ft. knowledge is the best prevention for altitude illness. This brief outline serves as merely an introduction to this important topic. Additional resources available at the end of this page (or links provided elsewhere in this website) are highly recommended reading for those traveling to high altitude. Altitude Related Illnesses      High Altitude Illnesses (HAI) include Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), and High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). The symptoms of AMS are typically felt by most people when they arrive…
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