Showing posts from July, 2009


We (Wife, daughter and I) had been planning a break from the monotony of daily routines for quite a while and we had decided to do this at Parambikulam, which kind of met all our interests – ornithology interest of my wife and daughter, wildlife and photography interest of mine.

The first 3 days of the break was spent at Tented and Tree Top accomodations at Parambikulam with the family (a bonus where my brother and his family joined us in the last minute) and this included, daily Safari’s, long treks into the Jungle, Birdwatching tours, Bamboo rafting on the dams / reservoirs, Tribal fusion dances etc, which were organized by the management of Parambikulam wild life Sanctuary.

The second part of the holiday, was a stint at Bird and animal Photography, roughing it out with the forest folks inside the deep jungle, cut off from civilazation . . .

Tucked away in the valley between the Anaimalai Ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy Ranges of Kerala on the majestic Western Ghats is the…

Orange County - Kabini

Some of the best holidays are unplanned and simply those that happen out of the blues. It was one of those warm evenings at Chennai, when my wife and I decided to take and unplanned break at one of our favourite locations - Kabini.

We heard rave reviews from our friends on Orange County Kabini, right on the edges of the Nagarhole national park and decided to give it a try.The Nagarhole national park, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere, is where the Nagarhole River meets the Kabini river and creates a lake right in the midst of the park, after a Dam was built on the Kabini river. This lake splits the Nagarhole National Park from Bandipur Tiger Reserve and the famous Mudumalai national park of Tamil Nadu. To the south-east of the park lies the famed Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala, while to the west, coffee plantations separate the park from Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. In short, Nagarhole is the heart of the wildlife belt of South India.

The exclusive hunting ground of the Maharajas…

Lakshwadeep Islands

Lakshadweep, in an archipelago of over 35 little islands, coral reefs and atols, peppering the Arabian sea, lining the West coast of Kerala by almost around 300 KMS into the Arabian sea. About 10 of these islands are inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population and the cute little airstrip (see my photo) forms the northern tip of the Agatti island. An entry permit is a basic necessacity for anyone visiting here, which can be obtained at Cochin.

The air and sea routes are the two options to get to Lakshadweep. The air options are Indian Airlines - a little Dornier (around 20 seats) and Kingfisher - an ATR (around 45 seats) while the Sea options are a fleet of 3 to 4 ships from Cochin - it is supposed to take anything between 20 to 26 hours depending on the weather.

We took the air route - Kingfisher bothways and literally were on a charter flight on the onward route.Accomodation options are at Bangaram Islands, Agatti Island Beach Resort, Kadamat resort and a few others. The best of t…

Top Slip

The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the Annamalai hill range of the Western Ghats is the setting for one of the most beautiful nature preserves of Tamil Nadu. The nearest airport to this pristine surrounding is Coimbatore and the closest town to this sanctuary is Pollachi. Top slip is about 2.5 hours from Coimbatore by Road. The one & a half hour drive from Pollachi to Annamalai hills is an eventful experience in itself, passing through villages like Vettaikaranpudur and the likes (especially on market days which are called Sandhai).

For families, especially those traveling with kids, it would be a good idea to stock up on Milk Powder, Snacks, biscuits, water bottles etc at Pollachi, for there are not many options in terms of shops or department stores amidst the villages or at Top Slip (more so, if you are reaching Top Slip late in the evening).

The forest check-post at Sethumadai is the entry point into the tourism zone of the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary. Entry…

Kumarakom Experience

Kumarakom, a cozy little hamlet, is situated on the banks of the great lakeVembanad. The lake itself is a huge expanse of water which is estimated to be about 45 miles long, and over a few dozen feet in depth, during high tides. It has a fascinating history: a long time ago a massive earthquake is supposed to have pushed the seabed up a few feet above what had been sea level, trapping an enormous body of water inland in the process. Lake Vembanad is part of that legacy, and it is almost totally land locked apart from a narrow strip of water to the sea at its most northerly point.

During the long monsoon period, three hundred centimeters of rain fall in Kerala and a lot of this ends up in the rivers, and thence into LakeVembanad. So Vembanad becomes a freshwater lake at that time, as the rain waters push the seawater out. Then, when the monsoon ends, the lake water is drawn upon, predominantly to flood the paddy-fields, dropping the water level and allowing the sea to flood back into t…

Orange County - Coorg

Number 10 often finds a pride of a place amongst numerals. 10 Downing street symbolizes the seat of power, a Perfect 10 defines the zenith of performance in gymnastics. Jersey numbers of sports legends (Pele, Maradona, Beckam to our own genius - Sachin) have been Number 10.

Naturally, our 10th wedding anniversary demanded a perfectly planned holiday.

Like typical Indian PC Buffs, Gallons of midnight oil was burnt, surfing through hordes of holiday planning sites, and the decision was ORANGE COUNTY five-time winner of the RCI Resort of International Distinction.

The Shatabdhi express took my family (wife, daughter and me) from Chennai to Mysore and a car ride through meandering roads (around 100 KMS from Mysore) past lush coffee plantations and a dense reserve forest lead us to Orange County.

This fairy tale place is set in the midst of a 300 acre Coffee Plantation bordered on one side by River Cauvery and the other side by the Great Dubare Reserve Forest complemented by a 4 acre priva…