On our holiday, we went to The Nagarhole forest in Karnataka. It is now called Rajiv Gandhi forest sanctuary. I have a huge issue with Indian politicians changing names of everyplace in India including streets and chowks and now forests too. The Sanjay Gandhi national park whose original name I do not know, in Mumbai, is being sold by the government all the time to make buildings. Then they talk of encroachment. Encroachment is not by hutment dwellers but by the Builders mafia. Every week a leopard is caught or shot at.The builders are like sharks and will gobble up every piece of our land. They have the muscle power thru the underworld and the black money thru the politicians and underworld. Priyanka gandhi is making a bungalow,12 km outside Shimla near the President s house. I thought buying land in Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir by non residents of the state was difficult.The newspapers mentioned how the President s prior permission was sought before the razing of the old bungalow and the new construction of her two storied house. Why am I resisting a small piece of land which she owns, when one hears the acres in her family name. The same name which is the last on the VIP list at all our airports.
If the British named an area Fort, we will change it to some politician s name. We will just change the name and it can defy all logic. To catch a public transport BEST bus in Mumbai has now become a task as all destinations names are the politicians names. So you will never know where is Prabhondkar Udyan. You can go on figuring for yourself. I went to get an Ac bus ride for my children and the bus depot/ counter near Shivaji park did not know the time table. They had no clue. People will say check it on the internet. Tell me how many of us in India are computer savvy or have computers at home or have internet connections on our mobile phones. Most people who travel by buses may not have these facilities or the knowledge.But this is not so in Karnataka and Bekal where we went on our holiday. Road signs were clear. People were helpful and our car driver knew all the routes.
So coming back to Nagarhole, it is a name derived from the kannadiga language. Nagar means naag or snake and hole is river. So this river kapila, later merges with river Kabini and then merges with river Kaveri. The river moves like a snake on the land. The Nagarhole forest is protected area, the forest spreads across Karnataka and Kerala. It has a huge population of tigers and elephants. Lot is been done by the forest reserves to save the tigers. This is also the forest where poaching happens. Veerappan,the dreaded dacoit and poacher lived in these forests. There are a lot of sandalwood and teak trees. While I read there about how there is a huge lot of people with unlicensed guns living inside the forests and they kill elephants with it. The man is encroaching the forest and then they call the animals encroaching their coffee and tea plantations. The vegetation is cleared and plantations are made, the animals has no place to go and find his food and water. Ever since the dam has been constructed, large number of people were displaced and animals were killed. The so called scenic tree trunks in the middle of the river are a result of the dam water which flooded another area and drowned all plant and animal life. The river has a large number of crocodiles.
Since morning I have been making attempts to write about my vacation and share all the beautiful places. Did want to paint a pretty picture, which it truly was. As yet I have been unable to translate the beauty of Nagarhole in words. Feeble attempts at making this like a travelogue have also failed.I will get there slowly but surely. Please bear with me. Thank you for your sharing and feedback:)