Bagheera Camp » September 2014

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Run through

Mangoli | The Scared Princess

Disappears in a flash
The perfect camouflage
We still looking to find her
Cubs no where in sight

Our heads turn 180* left and right
She sits on a small rock
Not too far away

Amused and in command
Her body oozing grace,
Spell bound;
She smells us in the air.

Stretching her muscles
She rises
Massive head
Toned body
Eight feet plus female
Mongoli, she was called

Walking towards us
She prints our very souls
With a scar on her right eye
No male stands, her way
Her power is beyond description
Her vast territory explains it all

Her eyes , intense with passion
Her walk, perfectly placed
Her tail turned up
She sniffs the wheels of the jeep

Motionless , we looked
Short breaths
Sweet mouth
And she disappears
Into the thorns

Here next glimpse is on the hill
Our heads facing where we started
She calls her cubs,
Running, they appear from the thorn bush, before us.

Mangoli, then gets them out in the open
Sits for a while looking at us
As the sun changes colour in the west horizon
Deep orange , crimson and blue
They disappear into the night.

We sat direction east, in love for ever with the wild
Waiting for the sun to rise.

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Heart in ever rock

There is a heart in ever rock
one simply need to listen,

My work place is a playground, we are all under training, our basic skills are put to use. All of us communicate in Hindi, local languages and English. We don’t speak either of them right. We enjoy being in this environment of learning and development.

The nature is our principle, others teachers. We serve every traveller who passes by, from the herdsman and his thirsty herd to a family with children on play. The birds are busy with their lives yet they know the gossip of the forest wild. The monkeys just know how to have fun and the python has the coolest spot, away from the blazing sun, he curls up under the water tank, comfortably numb.

The seeds from the Palaas trees have sprouted perfectly under, some dared to travel a mile. The dry hot winds blowing through the leaves big and small, over rocks and through cracks. Temperatures rising above 50 degree Celsius , yet they sing for herds, “taarr tarrr and with the lips bhrr bhrr”. Walking the lake dry, not a drop to drink. The crocodiles hibernate and the wolf trots along his regular path, not looking back he is too quick for words. The afternoons, be quite as the dead and then suddenly a soul sings, joined my others and that’s how the day turns it’s day.
Skill training and practice is what every living creature lives for and death is what we walk towards. Here is where we stand, now in the present moment. As I am typing my thoughts down, I am feeling the present moment. Like we all know the minute the flow breaks. What we call as I am distracted, is nothing but our monkey mind taking a leap on another branch…. And our present moment becomes another.

So when I am distracted, I stop and observe. Is what I am thinking or doing of any use to me, can it be done later? If no and yes happen together it means , I must go back to what I was doing, typing my thoughts down.

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As close as I could get to them

Gallery

It was in that still moment i realized, nature is the true mother in every form.

 

The night was very still, very silent till we heard the monkeys hoot in hysteria and the night came to life.

 

We walked towards the darkness from the comfort of our tents to get a closer look at the story playing outside.

 

With nothing but a chargeable spotlight, which i may add was very powerful. We tiptoed are way around the bamboo plantation.

 

It was then when I saw my first black bear cubs in the wild , sitting under a small thorn-bush , on an ant hunt I presume and putting ‘teddy’ to shame , the little guy went on grunting and digging , but the mother was still not in sight , believe me when i say that’s not a very good sign . The cry of the monkeys went louder and seemed closer. My insides felt a frozen shiver, “dogs!” oh thank god just dogs. Before i could take a sigh of relief the image of what i just saw came flashing back. I had definitely seen the dogs but they were running, running for their lives. We sat still not letting a breath escape and then we all went cold with fear and in that very moment between fear I felt such an extreme jolt of excitement it confused me.

 

Their eyes shone when they caught the light, lifting their camouflage they came walking right into the open. “This is our land”

With perfect spots and a perfect rhythm the panthers walked towards the waterhole.

This magnificent beauty and the now dead silence made me feel truly blessed, there is no place else i would have wished to be at.

My solo thoughts were broken by the sound of cracking twigs followed by something that sounded like thunder. “The mummy had arrived”. In all this fast and slow action the bear cub went out of sight. We were all in the middle of what was turning out to be a war between the panthers and an angry mama bear. They hissed and sneered then roared with thunder strength. It all looked to me like a well-directed play with perfect sound effects and spotlight focus. My father poked me with his finger and pointed towards a burrow. “So that’s where the cub is thought aloud and got a clot on my head. The very first rule of the jungle, ‘observe with absolute silence’. With my words causing no harm we went back to watching this act of nature.

It all fell silent again the panthers took their time to get a fill of their drink. The mama bear seemed to be at ease. She went and sat at the mouth of the burrow which conformed that the cub was in there somewhere, she watched the cats play then finally retreat. After the big cats have gone and other small animals came to the waterhole the cub came out followed by very small pu<span style=”line-height:1.5;”>ppies. I was beyond amazed at how nature worked. The dogs that have come running from nowhere were near the burrow too. Mama bear was digging at the same spot we had spotted the bear cub at first “ant hill”, this time i said it in my head and grinned. The puppies went back into what I’m sure is their home followed by their mummy and the bear cub stayed very close to his mother. </span>

 

<img style=”line-height:1.5;” alt=”Bagheera’s Camp leo.2″ src=”https://elementwild.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/18.jpg?w=300″ width=”300″ height=”200″ />.

 

We sat there for a while watching then walked back to our tents</blockquote>

<strong>Encountered By – RUDHRANI SINGH JODHPUR</strong><br /><br />

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The wild

When I go back to the wild
I will have on, in my tiny back pack
Some salt
A knife
Tricks to light

When I go back to the wild
I will have my will to survive
With love in my heart
A song on my lips
Tricks, tricks and some more tricks

Now, I am in the wild
I think nothing

I sit in the cave
I sleep under the sun

I eat bugs for lunch
Hate the taste
But love the crunch

At dusk, I see her kiss him
Like he was never there
And then, they disappear

Barking dogs, at a distance
I feel like prey

My little will to survive
Sings to me a song,
“Oh blossom wild
You are the sun
You are the tide
You are the windy night
Drop your fear here
And ride, gallop as the wind is high”.

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Ecotourism in India

India is known for its large ecosystems including the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. India has 661 protected areas with 100 national parks, 514 wildlife sanctuaries, 43 conservation reserves and four community reserves in different geographic zones, extending to nearly five per cent of the geographical area of the country (MoEF 2011).

Capitalising on these resources, ecotourism operations in India have substantially increased community participation, involvement of indigenous groups, forest dwelling communities and women, local level resource sharing with locally designed frameworks, and the use of indigenous technologies. The income generated is used to ensure quality tourism services as well as to improve the living standards of destination communities.

Based on Ecotourism Policy and Guidelines developed by the Indian Ministry of Tourism in 1998, the Ministry of Environment and Forest in June 2011, called on state governments to frame ecotourism policies to facilitate tourism programmes in protected areas of the country. In addition, the Indian Government’s National 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) targets to increase the net benefit of tourism activities for the poor, emphasising also that the revenue generated from tourism operations should be utilised for protected area management (India Tourism 2011).
Opportunities and challenges: Trade opportunities and relevant employment options under ecotourism are broadly classified into two categories: ecotourism services and ecotourism enterprises. Ecotourism services include guiding and interpretation, sightseeing, destination cleaning forest protection and anti- poaching services. Ecotourism enterprises include honey processing, paper bag production, bamboo handicraft production, organic farming, indigenous medicine production and sales outlets (eco-shops).

Government action at both the national and local levels has enhanced ecotourism operations to ecologically sensitive areas where attention has been given to conservation and development with the support of the local community.

For instance, in 2007 at the Kumarakom bird sanctuary in Kerala, hotels established linkages to local communities for the supply of seven types of local products. By 2010, the number of items had increased to 45 including some Argo-based industrial products like coconut oil, souvenirs and handicrafts. The economic linkages encouraged partnerships between the community and the industry, thereby helping the community to develop a sustainable market with fair prices for the local produce and increased production.

The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, another example, is the second largest tiger reserve in Kerala, India. Its activities include the elephant song trail, forest tramway trekking and eco-meditation. In order to ensure participative management of ecotourism resources, ecotourism programmes are operationalised through specific economic development committees. Of the committee members, 88 per cent belong to indigenous communities. Destination sustainability is maintained through community management of resources.

Emphasis is given to livelihood improvements, conservation of natural and cultural resources and reducing the dependency on forest-based, unsustainable resource consumption. These activities have helped to substantially increase the average number of visitors and revenue.

Though numerous opportunities exist, the sector is not without challenges. These include energy consumption for tourism services, usage of water, waste management issues, and loss of biodiversity as a result of outside interference and cultural erosion.

Additionally, there are a number of destination specific issues that hamper the sustainable use of resources. Service quality sectors like green production, ecological benchmarking, environmental management systems and voluntary standards like Green Leaf, Blue Flag, Green Globe would, with the required investments and labour, help generate income and trade opportunities in the local communities.

Ways forward:

Adherence to sustainability standards in the operations of ecotourism in India can be initiated in protected areas, rural and village settings, forest areas and conservation areas of the country. Various innovative forms of ecotourism activities like rural ecotourism, farm and wetland tourism, mangrove tourism, coastal tourism, plantation tourism, horticulture activities, minor forest produce tourism, wilderness camps, eco-parks, caves exploration, bamboo raft cruise, and water based activities like regulated angling can be promoted. In this context, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has supported India’s eco-development programme, where ecotourism has been identified as a means of livelihood for tribal and forest dwelling communities.

Source: Case study prepared by A. Vinodan, Nodal Officer, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Andhra Pradesh, and James Manalel, Professor, School of Management Studies Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India

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