Posted in Locations, tagged forest, Forest Brigand, Great Escapes, Karnataka, Karnataka Tourism, South India, Terror Tourism, Travel, Trekking, Veerappan on April 14, 2010|
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The tourism and forest departments of BJP-governed Karnataka plans to launch terror tourism, based on the life and trails of forest brigand Veerappan, shot down by a special police team in 2004.
Veerappan with his band of men Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Tourism Director K Vishwanatha Reddy said construction of ecotourism facilities, including solar electrification, is at an advanced stage in Veer-appan’s village, Gopinatham, 200 km from Bangalore.
A trekking scheme, called Mystery Trails, will be part of the package for high-end and mid-rung tourists.
“Mystery Trails aims to explore the myths surrounding the brigand, his hideouts, escape routes and harsh living conditions,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests Narayan Swamy. “People would surely like to know what were the incidents that took place.
The “incidents” during Veerappan’s 20-year reign of terror across 6,000 sq km of forests in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, included the killing of 184 people, many of them police and forest officials, smuggling of sandalwood worth Rs 103 crore, and poaching of at least 200 elephants.
Western Ghats bordering Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu was dominated by Veerappan until his death
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Posted in Locations, Wildlife, tagged Agumbe, Amoghavarsha, Gowrishankar, Jungle Trek, King cobras, Photography Camp, Photography Club, Photography Expedition, Photography Workshop, Pixetra Club, Rainforest, Trekking on May 1, 2009|
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GreatEscapes launches exclusive Photography Expedition to the Agumbe Rainforest this May with experienced wildlife photgrapher Amoghavarsha. This 2 day workshop will take you to the heart of the rainforest to spot some of the rare species found only in this region. The expedition starts from Bangalore on the 29th of May.
Agumbe is a small town located in Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka, India. Agumbe is among the few places in India that receive very heavy rainfall earning it the title, “Cherrapunji of the South”. It receives a mean annual rainfall of 7640 mm. Agumbe is today, fast gaining recognition world over for being home to a large number of King Cobras and other rare species that have recently been discovered.
As a part of the small team (max 15 people) that would travel to Agumbe, you would be based at The Agumbe Rainforest Research Station and would learn the nuances of photographing wildlife and key tips on how to get the best out of your camera, when in the wild. Ace researcher Gowrishankar would walk you through Agumbe, its topography, unique endemic species found here and most importantly – Radio Telemetry Tracking of King Cobras. You would interact with trackers and would go on trekking trails with guides, while periodically stopping to exercise your cameras!
To be part of this limited group of enthusiast, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ajay on +91-9844161733 / 9886101005
or visit our website www.greatescapes.co.in
Day 1 – Saturday 30th May
Depart from Bangalore previous nite to reach Agumbe in the morning and have breakfast at the Rainforest Research Station. A brief introduction to ARRS would be presented by Researcher Gowrishankar followed by a tour of the base camp. Relax for a short while, have lunch and then head to the King Cobra tracking site, after which head to the famous Kundadri hills to photograph in the lovely evening light. Return to base camp, have tea followed by a photo review session and talk by Amoghavarsha. Have dinner and head out on a night trail to photograph some interesting nocturnal animals.
Day 2 – Sunday 31st May
Wake up early in the morning and embark on a bird trail. Return to base camp for breakfast and head to shoot Jogigundi waterfalls. Lunch at base camp and relax for a while. Head to the famous sunset point after tea. Depart from Agumbe on the same night to reach Bangalore on Monday morning.
*This schedule is tentative and might change depending on weather and other conditions. Higher enthusiasm levels would help in packing in more activities!
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Chikmagalur is a fantastic weekend getaway from Bangalore – far from the madding crowd and a perfect refuge from the hustle bustle of the city. A couple of old friends and I wanted to experience a ‘good drive’ and spend the night at a place with ‘no mobile range’, a little bit of monsoon showers and nature.
We left Bangalore by 7AM. Taking the “NICE road’ – Kanakpura road – Mysore road route and finally connecting to Tumkur road, we beat the traffic and saved a good 45 min. By 7:45, we were really hungry and ready for breakfast. 20 minutes after taking a left turn at the Nelamangala junction we stopped at a ‘open air dosa restaurant’. The food was fantastic and well rested, we took off again….
I’ve driven around most of South India and I can say that the road we took was arguably one of the nicest stretches to drive on. As you near Hassan and then Chikamagalur, what will strike you is the number of water bodies – lake after lake on both sides made this drive doubly pleasant.
We finally reached our destination – a coffee estate -cum- home stay tucked away in the mountain ranges on the slopes of Mullayanagiri hill (highest peak in Karnataka). Reaching this estate (15 km from Chikamagalur town) was a challenge as we needed to pass through three other estates on slippery monsoon-hit roads. However, the Maruti Swift we were in stood up to the challenge…
The estate is basically an ancestral bungalow that belongs to a family staying in Chikamagalur town. Having travelled extensively, I am accustomed to the ‘star-hotel-service’ – but the experience here was a class apart! There was this ‘caretaker-cum-cook-cum-guide-cum-everything’ who welcomed us with a glass of fresh lemonade and got a heavenly 7-course South-Indian meal ready in no time. A heavy nap followed and evening saw us enjoy estate walks, fresh coffee from the estate, more snacks and a quiet drink. The dinner we had (again a 7 course!) was definitely the best I’ve had till date and the pepper chicken was to die for!
We were off to sleep after a couple of games of carrom. The ever smiling caretaker made masala dosas in the morning and we took leave after thanking him for his wonderful hospitality. I dare say that no 7 star hotel can match up to the warm and honest hospitality displayed by these unassuming mountain folk.
On the way back we stopped near a lake where we saw a couple of water snakes. We also stopped at Belur and Halebidu – another fascinating experience (more about that in another post!). Lunch at Hassan and back to Bangalore by 7:30 PM. This was a perfect 1 night – 2 day getaway. The stay at the estate cost us Rs. 1500 per head, which included 3 meals, coffee and snacks fit for a king and a smiling host, on the house!
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