Showing posts from May, 2013

Vattathotti – Palliyanpaara : The Border Line – 2

If the previous chapter was on the expedition to Venniar, a border section of Periyar Tiger Reserve, through the Tamil Nadu Hills of Meghamala, here I would present a report on the day, in and around Venniar, after a cold night’s stay at the Forest station of Venniar.

        The day started with a delicious dish of Tapioca, topped with a lavish pour of lemoned black tea, at the mercy of Karikalan, a forest watcher and the delegation set out for the exploration, heavily armed against leeches – and not tigers.

               Though the morning was misty and cloudy, nothing hindered us, if not for the intermittent light drizzle. The woods in the morning light and mist, was all the more charming and the shutter bugs enjoyed the opportunity to the best.

       We were heading west, towards Vattathotti – a ridge overlooking the Mullaperiyar reservoir – and in just about 200 metres, had an exciting stop at the fresh footprints of the big cat.

        The grass sprouts stamped to mud w…

Meghamala – Venniar : The Border Line

   Venniar aka Eravangalar is one of the remote sections of East Division of Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala, which was recently declared as the best managed protected area in India, by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Though Venniar is about 15 km, aerially, to the east of Thekkadi ( head quarters of the East Division), access to the region is only through Chinnamannur of Tamilnadu - if not for the jungle track - and its about 100 kms from Thekkadi. The track to Venniar passes through the picturesque tea plantations of Meghamalai of Tamilnadu and thus decided to set apart three days, for this venture from Kerala to Kerala, through Tamilnadu.
        Reached Kumili by night, so as to start the onward journey, early morning, next day. Boarded the vehicle, of course equipped with four wheel drive, by around 7 in the morning. Went past the vineyards of Cumbum and of course had a short stop, to have a bite of some farm fresh grapes, well soaked in pesticides – I preferr…