Sunday, September 28, 2014


Abstracts are beautiful! Some may disagree!

Often the formations and patterns that are found in various elements of nature evoke different emotions in us. The extent to which they touch depends on ones array of emotions and their life experiences! Its hard to ignore such instances when something around us has struck a chord of our emotion and made us think beyond just what is there in front. Such patterns and formations take our thoughts away from the scene quite instantly and within no time we would be immersed in the thoughts caused by the chain of emotions that has been triggered by the scene in front!

Different elements exhibit different patterns. The patterns that we see on the bark of a tree are completely different from the patterns that we see on a granite rock surface! The patterns of waves on a beach is different from the patterns of waves formed on the surface of a river by the breeze! The patterns of lichens on a tree bark are different from the patterns of moss on a rock surface beside a stream. They all are different from each other! Yet sometimes we feel they all are connected! Sometimes we feel they all are hinting something! Evoking certain feelings inside us and incepting certain thoughts in our mind!

The world of abstract is amazing!

Hope some of you are able to connect with at least few of these!


Sunday, August 24, 2014


One of the sad things (one of many? :-)) about city life is that we miss the enjoyment of watching sunset everyday. That is especially true in Bangalore since neither we have West facing beach nor we have many high rise apartments (compared to other metros in India).

Until I moved to my apartment last year, the only time I was enjoying sunset was while coming back from office of my previous company, when I was sitting in the bus and the driver used to take a route that is on the very outskirts of Bangalore and hence the vast expanse of empty land was giving way to the spectacular view of the sunset. But again, not everyday I had that pleasure, thanks to the work at office which often made me to stare at the monitor while the Sun was preparing to pack his things for the day with the vibrant sky and sometimes thin line of beautiful clouds. I was missing that badly.

But fortunately, at my home now I can witness the Sunset every evening from my balcony as long as I am there at home! Since I spend most of my weekend evenings at home I am thoroughly enjoying the Sunset these days.

Here I have made a compilation of some of the images that I made from my balcony over the last one year.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

An encounter with the Fan Throated Lizard!

It was a nice sunny day on a winter morning and myself and my wife were heading to
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Though we knew that we were little early with respect to the arrival of the winter migrants there, we had decided to take a chance
and see if we can find any interesting species.

When we reached the place, as expected the lake was dry and there is no sign of an
migrants anywhere around, except for a couple of Blue Tailed BeeEaters. As I was
scouting the place via my binocular, my wife called me in a hurry to show me something
which she had seen for the first time! It was a Fan Throated Lizard and it was a first
sighting for me too! It was a male and the guy was in full display mode.

It was going to the edge of a small rock and displaying its colorful gular flap in full vigor! I
had seen colorful rock agamas in and around Banglore but this colorful display was first
time for me! As I went onto my knees to shoot this fella I noticed that it was going back
and forth to a place nearby and coming back to the rock.

It was doing it often and when I looked at the place where it was going, from a distance, I could see anything much there. But on the second look and carefully observing I saw another lizard that was almost completely camouflaged in the vicinity of the tiny rocks and dust around. The pattern on
its dorsal side was so much deceiving that it was almost impossible to distinguish the
female from its surroundings.

The male was going near to the female and coming back. It was desperately attempting
to divert our attention away from the place where female was lying, by exhibiting the
threatening display from another point.

We observed the whole drama from a safe distance so that the duo is not disturbed. After some time, when they both felt that we are no more threats, the female started to move and it is then we saw what she was up to until we came there. She was digging small hole underneath a small rock, may be to lye
eggs! The male was fiercely protecting the female.

Once they became comfortable with our presence, the female started to dig further. The male was constantly vigilant about the activities happening around was always very attentive.

I searched for the presence of any more males around but couldn't find one anywhere
around. The process of digging continued for another 15 min or so with lot of intermittent
breaks in between. We decided to make some images of male and head back as we
didn't want to disturb them. We hope that the female might have laid eggs and the
hatchlings might have come to the world safely.
It was an amazing encounter over all!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eager to see the glow again!

The phenomena of Bioluminescence is relatively common in insects where it is exhibited by glow worms and fireflies. But the same Bioluminescence is exhibited by another form of living beings on the land - Fungi! Bioluminescent fungi are present in Indian jungles. But to see them is a challenge. 

It requires coming out of our comfort zone where we are used to have bright light in night and venture into the dark forest with minimal light and look for the glow by switching off the light source completely. 

Notice the twig in the center in the above image. That contains glowing fungi on its surface which glows at night. Below image of the same twig made at night would give you an idea.

The way these Bioluminescent fungi lit up the forest floor is really amazing! 
These twigs and stems look perfectly normal in the day light and by looking at them during the day one cannot make out which ones glow at night and which ones are not. So the only way to figure that out is to actually go out at night :).

The forest of the region where I went last year was teeming with various life forms. The color of the jungle was vibrant and so are the creatures!  

CLICK HERE for a detailed experience along with a video log of our experience last year.

And, we are planning for this year too! 

CLICK HERE for the link to know more about how you can also be a part of it!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Melukote - A timeless beauty!

If I need to pick a handful of places around Bangalore that I feel worth visiting then this place - Melukote would be among the top three!

It was indeed sheer pleasure that I experienced when I visited this place few months back for the first time! But I dont know why I felt very much connected to the place as I entered and walked into its old small path ways of the small town. The whole place - its temples, kalyani (pond), houses, shops and almost everything is old structured and at one point or the other you feel that you are walking around the place  which is still in 1960s or before! I was really amazed by the way the city was still having the traditional charm to it.

(Click on the image to view bigger)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time and here are few images that made from my short visit.

Hope you enjoy.


Monday, April 7, 2014

As the Spring makes way to the Summer...

Days are getting hotter and the scorching heat of the Sun is making the afternoon walks a tough call.

After a lovely and bloomy spring its time now to face the heat!

Leaves of Kusum Tree

But I thoroughly enjoyed the blooming season this time. I enjoyed my everyday drive through the avenues of Jayanagar while I was on the way to my office. I have witnessed blooming of Pink Poui (Tabebuia rosea) around Jayanagar Shopping Complex and the transition of a complete avenue containing African Tulip Trees from complete brown to wonderful soft green and then to dense dark green. Now it is the time of Jacaranda! As I am writing this blog there is still a blooming Jacaranda tree right in front of Maiyas Restaurant in Jayanagar. 

Last month we had been to Dharma Reservoir when we visited Yellapur. We took a shorter road which goes via few villages and through jungle. To our pleasure, we saw an entire tree with red bloom. It was a Kusum tree (Schleichera oleosa). Seeing the shiny red new leaves was a treat to our eyes.

 Kusum Tree

Flowers of Coral Tree

The forest was teeming with flowing trees and as the production was high so were the consumers! Tall and dry trees were having huge number of bee hives! In the time when the global population of wild bees is reducing at an alarming rate seeing such colonies of bees was a real treat! 

I am seeing bee hives not just in the rural jungles but in the urban concrete jungles as well! At my office on Brunton Road, every year when the Rain Tree (Albizia saman), which is in front of our office blooms we are having Bee hives to the structural blocks of the building. This is the third year now! 
After enjoying the bloom all across the city and outside, now it is time to face the Sun! Dry deciduous forest region in Dandeli gave us the glimpse already few weeks back!

Now when I visit Sirsi in the end of April, I know what can expect!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Birds, Boats and Bagheera! - An experience in Dandeli

Any nature lover would be thrilled to hear the news of sighting a Black Panther!
Any avid birder would be thrilled to hear the sighting of Great Hornbills!
Any adventure lover would be thrilled to hear about amazing experience of white water rafting in river Kali!

Last weekend we experienced all the three!

That was in Dandeli!

I never thought that accepting an offer to experience Dandeli for two days would turn out to be so exciting and fruitful! It is not that I was going there for the first time. I had a nice time in 2006 when I attended the first meet if India Nature Watch at Kulgi Nature Camp, very near to Dandeli.

Dandeli is arguably one of the most bird rich areas of Karnataka. It is a paradise for birders and it doesn't take much to fall in love with birds after seeing the big birds like Malabar Pied Hornbill and its bigger brother Great Hornbill! If you want to see Malabar Pied Hornbills then Dandeli is THE place to be! You will find them almost everywhere!

Great Hornbill on a fruiting tree

Plum Headed Parakeet on a flowering tree

Summer has set in and the dry deciduous forest region of Dandeli-Anashi Tiger Reserve is embracing the pale brown color all over its canopy! Our visit to the Sunset point inside the National Park in the morning gave us a nice glimpse of the summer attire of this portion of the Western Ghats! The occasional flight of Malabar Pied Hornbills and the sightings of Malabar Giant Squirrels dwelling the canopies are treat to watch standing on the Sunset point.

The view of the vista combined with the flight of the hornbills over the canopy will offset the disappointment of relatively scarce wildlife in the park.

Barking Deer, inside the National Park

White water rafting in river Kali is another experience that is a must if you visit Dandeli. The rafting is conducted by the folks of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR). The total distance of rafting is about 10kms and it takes a good 60-90 min to complete all the eight rapids. We had a wonderful time watching hornbills fly across the river on many occasions and at one point in time one bird came and sat on a low hanging branch while our raft was just under it! That was thrilling. It was my closest encounter with the bird.  

 Malabar Pied Hornbill over the forest canopy

Sighting of Black Panther in the dawn was an experience of my lifetime! As we were all talking in the jeep about possibility of sighting wild cats in the wee hours of the morning and our jeep was hardly 100 meters from the resort this fella was walking on the road gracefully! It took us quite sometime to realize what we were seeing is true! Our driver had initially thought that it was a sloth bear and I was so excited that I couldn't utter a single word! I slowly went near his ears and ushered that 'My boy, it is a Black Panther!'. By that time he had also realised that and was equally shocked! It was the first encounter with the most elusive cat for him as well!
Murphy ruled again! It was very early light at all...our jeep's head light was quite dim....and...the panther was Black! My camera started hunting to focus and my 300mm lens was of little use given the distance between us and the cat. By the time my camera caught something to focus the fella had happily left the scene by leaving all the thrill behind! So in the end it was just the memories of the encounter and the thrill of its sightings which remained.

There are many places around Dandeli for tourists. We visited Syntheri Rocks, a small falls beside a very huge rock! A very nice place to spend the evening. But it is not advisable to get into the water here as there are lots of casualties reported from past several years of people getting drowned in the water.

Overall, Dandeli is a fantastic place to be if you are a nature lover and the place will not disappoint you be it any season!

My stay in Dandeli Jungle Camp was arranged by