Nilgiri Tahr

After a long time, we went on drive up the hills of the western ghat  mountains. Anaimalai wildlife sanctuary, near Pollachi, is the part of western ghats closest to home.

To our surprise, we found many Nilgiri Tahr right on the curvy mountain roads. We have previously seen a couple of goats along the hair pin bends close to Akkamalai… but this was the first time we saw them in many groups.

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A few years back, when we spotted a Tahr, it was very shy and stepped down a deep mountain slope as soon as it spotted us. But with the increasing number of tourists, it looks like these shy goats have become used to humans and their cameras.

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This one did not mind us as we approached closer trying to zoom in on its famous curved horns. It was busy munching away at peace.

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Exploring Top Slip

Another trip to Top Slip.. bang in the middle of the rainy season. Top Slip is a forest reserve on the Anamalai Mountain Ranges of Tamil Nadu in South India. Here is the link to my previous post on Top Slip.

 

This is the Tamil Nadu Tourism office at Top Slip. They offer animal sighting tours, cottage accommodations, a small hotel and an eco-friendly shoppe for tourists.

 

 

There are guided safari tours in to the Forest in a mini bus. Animal sightings are frequently reported on these tours. We too signed up for it… And off we went into the forest.

First view of the forest are the sky high Bamboo clusters:

 

 

Out first sighting was a herd of wild Asian Buffaloes… They were huge and massive compared to the buffalos I had seen on the plains.

 

 

There were black monkeys, but I could not take a clear picture of them. They hardly sit in a place letting people observe them. So it was very difficult to identify what type of monkeys they were.

We also saw large flying squirrels perched high up on the tall trees:

 

This is a tribal settlement in the middle of the forest. The only way to this settlement is through a narrow winding path through mountains and the thick forest. People in this photo are not tribals 🙂 They are crowds of tourists enjoying the light drizzle and cold climate.

 

A view of the mountains and forests, as the light drizzle became a heavy downpour:

 

 

It started raining very heavily on our way back. The green beautiful winding mountain paths now looked dangerous and slippery in the heavy rains. My interest in taking photos kind of lulled as I was totally occupied in praying for safety 🙂

 

I saw this elephant back at the tourism office. She was thoroughly enjoying herself, munching away happily without bothering about the rain. She sure taught me a lesson on how to enjoy a heavy downpour 🙂

Green Feast

Amidst the sweltering summer heat, here comes green and refreshing scapes.  These are from the photos I took last year.

This is a view of the Kovai Coutrallam falls, taken on a serene and peaceful morning:

The gushing water brings back memories of a wet evening caught in a heavy downpour. This photo was taken near vettaikaranpudur, a village near Pollachi famous for coconuts.

A stone carved mandap near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. This is near a temple built by the Chola kings. Green plants, trees and grasses have taken over this tall mandap.

Lush green paddy fields, on way from Kumbakonam to Alangudi. This is part of the rice belt in Cauvery delta region of Tamil Nadu.

And this last photo is for all chai lovers. Freshly brewn tea sold outside a tea estate in Valparai, on the western ghat mountains.

Refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating green… and it should be cherished, protected and enjoyed by all.

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