Into the Wilds
There is so much beauty around us; all we need are eyes to see the beauty, ears to listen to their musical symphony and the heart to appreciate the same. Mostly on my trips I enjoy the variety and diversity of a place, which could be culture, food, people or behaviour. There are beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, jungle terrains and architecture which are easily visible from naked eyes and we appreciate the nature’s gift to us everyday. But in my recent trip to Kalinga Center of Rainforest Ecology (KCRE) Agumbe, Karnataka, I was stunned to see the variety in the vast world of little creatures which we fail to see as we pass by those roads, grasslands and jungles. Though these beauties are found everywhere if you kneel down , Agumbe Rainforest provides habitat to a variety of reptiles, mammals, serpents and crawlies. The forest is alive with myriad of species throughout the year. I spent days chasing colourful butterflies and nights sighting blue eyed bush frogs on leaves of plants and water bodies. In between we sighted flying lizards- Draco Dussumieri, Giant wood spiders, snakes, blue dragon fly, exotic birds, slugs and moths. I encountered beautiful camouflages, shy mud crabs, attentive lizards and frogs jumping on my camera as I tried to capture them.
It was my first experience staying in middle of a jungle, where I woke up to misty mornings greeted by the songs of whistling birds and slept staring at the clear starry sky along with the musical orchestra of frogs and crickets. I discovered a new world here which was magical, musical, and mesmerizingly colourful. Three days weren’t enough to know about the vast variety of species, their names or behaviours but it was a perfect introduction to a unique world of creatures. I could manage to capture a few in my camera –
Blue Eyed Bush Frog -Philautus Neelanethrus The beautiful prints of nature Comfortably Asleep-Roux’s Forest Calotes Camouflaged when awake Tree Frog The best Silhouette I ever captured.. Camouflage at it’s best- Praying Mantis The Flora- endless beauties.. The deep blue eyes Funnel Web Spider
Kalinga Center for Rainforest Ecology (KCRE) is an excellent platform for those students who wish to conduct research on different species and learn about the ecology of rainforests. They make arrangements for your stay and help you explore the jungle terrains for sightings as well for short trips. There are experts available to teach you about these species, their behaviour and even help you sight them and capture in the camera. So make a trip to stay with these little creatures and enjoy nature at its best.
- The base station to reach Agumbe is Shimoga (20 Kms away)or Udupi ( approx 60 kms away). You can take a direct bus from Bangalore to reach here or a train from Mumbai to Udupi/Mangalore and then there is good connectivity by bus to Agumbe. The exact place to get down from bus to reach KCRE is Guddukere almost 10 km from Agumbe.
- You would receive expert assistance in identifying wildlife and in understanding the rainforest ecology at Research Station. So don’t worry if you are an amateur!
- The forest is sensitive and we need to be cautious about our behaviour, clothes and activities so that we don’t cause any harm to the forest or its inhabitants.
- You need to have torch light, trekking shoes, full sleeves and covered legs to go inside the jungles terrain.
- The basic facilities are available at Camp site but use of electricity is limited so keep your camera/ phone battery back-up.