Bandipur diaries 5

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, at about 1450 m, is the highest hill located within the Bandipur National Park, and filled with fog through the year. It gets its name from the fog (Himavad in Kannada) and the Gopalaswamy temple that is located on the top of the hill (Betta in Kannada).

Those visiting the national park to see the wildlife usually make the trip up the hill, to see the temple. If one stays at Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR) for a two-day package, a trip to the temple is included and you will be taken in the government safari Bolero or bus. If you prefer to go in your own vehicle, you will be allowed till the foothills after which you will be put onto a government bus to take you to the top.

It is a nice drive up the hill, and if you are lucky, you may see elephants or other animals of the forest. Along the way, there are points from which one can get lovely views of the area around the forest.

View from the hill
Lots of trees, water bodies, and we spotted an elephant also
A view of the hills in Bandipur
A view of the hills in Bandipur
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Bandipur diaries 4

While driving through the forest, we spend a lot of time in seeing just trees and grass and mud and water. The bouncy ride can rock you to sleep, especially if you haven’t had a good night’s rest. Sometimes one can only hear the whirring of the Bolero engine, and when it goes off there is just silence. Seeing and hearing no “active” life is also soothing. It’s the feel of the wild.

Ant hills
Ant hills
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Open wells in the city

Open well to be dug? Recharge well? Desilting for your well?
Call Muniraju at 9620008709.

Muniraju and his team of well-diggers in Bangalore
Muniraju and his team of well-diggers, March 2022

In my earlier post Woes of suction pumps on BWSSB water lines I wrote about how humans can create water shortage problems for other humans, through selfishness and greed. We have experienced living in the city with uncertainty about water. We have encountered situations of no water, even if we are willing to pay the sky for it.

Currently we are fortunate to be getting a good supply of corporation water (from the Cauvery River), but often reminded about the stories of how cities can go dry in the foreseeable future.

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Rashtriya Military School (King George’s School) jubilee celebrations

The President of India is in town (Bangalore), and he is here specifically for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Rashtriya Military School located in our neighbourhood Hosur Road-Langford Town.

Welcome hoarding for President Kovind at Rashtriya Military School Bangalore
Entrance gate of Rashtriya Military School Bangalore
School entrance
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Glasgow and climate change

The world’s eyes are on Glasgow, the city of James Watt, where the future will be decided.

It was in Glasgow, in 1776, that James Watt introduced the world’s first* steam engine, an engineering marvel that set the ball of industrialisation rolling, leading to the current pollution woes we are all hoping to fix.

[* Watt’s engine was really an improvement on the Newcomen engine that was already invented.]

From Berlin 1995, our leaders and the United Nations have been trying to save the world. The climate change conferences held almost every year since then (twice in some years) are great occasions to be seen and make plans. As we have realised, things have only got worse, and today we need a dinosaur to make us think about how we should live our lives so that there is a future for the human race.

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Navratri Colours of Nature

Happy Dasara / Dussehra and may good win over all the evil in this world.

(Received on Whatsapp)

Leading upto Dasara is Navratri, where people worship different forms of Goddess Durga over 9 nights (hence “Nav ratri”). At the start of Navratri, everyone looks out for the colour that signifies each day of the 9 days.

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Purple pursuits

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated twice a year, on the second weekend of May and October, to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. So today, 9th October, is the day. Migratory birds are a clear example of how the world is so closely connected and how everyone plays a role in conserving our ecosystems. Something happening in the harsh cold of Europe can affect us here in India, through the passage of these resilient creatures. We currently haven’t encountered any of the migratory birds in our limited urban space in Kandivali East, but realise that our local resident birds are very important too, and we must ensure that we do not destroy their habitats.

When you think purple, which birds come to mind? Having lived near a lake in Bangalore, the Purple Heron and Purple Swamphen are the ones I immediately used to think of. These days, it’s the Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeyonica), found only in the Indian sub-continent, and a resident of our park.

Distribution of purple-rumped sunbird
(Source: Wikipedia)

Tiny at just about 10 cm, and very light, weighing about 10 grams, the sunbirds are delight to watch – if you can keep track of them.

Purple-rumped Sunbird
The male is very colourful, appearing in different shades as the sun shines on it – purple above the tail (which is how it gets its name), maroon, red, brown, green, blue, black, yellow, white.
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Butterflies in our complex

[This post was updated with new sightings till December 2021. A total of 38 species were identified.]

All of us have surely encountered butterflies at some point in time (apart from the butterflies in our stomachs!). We learn about them in primary school. Sometimes they fly into us and make us jump. Often we see them just flutter by, so quick that we can’t even give them a second glance.

Ever since lockdown, we haven’t really been anywhere in Mumbai. No restaurants, no malls, no parks – except for the park in our Whispering Palms Complex, that is usually quite empty. Over the last few months during our daily walks, we looked forward to seeing the different birds in our backyard. More recently though, we noticed the many different butterflies – not surprising, given the sprawling gardens with abundance of trees and flowers, some wild and some nurtured.

Great Eggfly butterfly
Great Eggfly male sucking out nectar
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Remembering grandma at 101

Our grandma Kalyani would have turned 101 today. Always in our thoughts.

1920-2018

The Badminton ball tree grandma planted at Puttenahalli Lake in 2010 is growing well and laden with “badminton balls” during season. The birds love the fruit.

Badminton ball tree with fruit
Grandma’s Badminton ball tree with fruit

My 100th anniversary post has many pictures and can be seen here.