May 31st, 2014


Volunteer Training Program(VTP) , Kudremukh, Day 2-190514 (Monday)

Here's my account of day 2:

Monday, 190514, Day 2

Dr Ramesh, the RFO of the Kudremukh range, made a presentation which started with the general concepts of Protected Areas, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Reserves, such as Community., Tiger, Biosphere and Elephant, and then talked specifically of the Kudremukh, which he lauded as one of the best forest regions in Karnataka, as well as being grassland habitat.


VMR gave a presentation to illustrate the value of photography in wildlife conservation:


Post-lunch, S. Karthikeyan, Chief Naturalist, JLR, introduced the participants to “Lesser” life forms, and showed how interesting they could be. Heavy rain repeatedly interrupted his presentation but it was still an eye-opener to the participants.

The pouring rain brought down the temperature as well as the sheets of rain, and it was beautiful to see this



This ladybird isn't alive; she's been predated by a spider, but what remains of her is covered by raindrops:


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click here

for my FB album of Day 2.

click here

for my overall account, list of birds and others.

Off we went for a good rest, to be fresh on Day 3....

Day 3, VTP, Kudremukh: Tue, 200514

Day 3..My official account:

Tuesday, 200514, Day 3

Participants were taken on a drive to see the shola and grassland habitats, and visited Ganapathi Katte, a high point amongst the hills. Post-lunch, Sarath talked about “Tools of the Trade” that a volunteer would require, such as a field notebook, a pair of binoculars, a field guide, and so on. A small explanation about binoculars was also given.

The Managing Director of JLR, Mr Sanjai Mohan, IFS, visited the camp along with Mr Avatar Singh, Executive Director. He also welcomed the participants and spoke of their privileges and responsibilities in the field. He also spoke of the history of the region, with the eventual closure of the Karnataka Iron Ore Corporation Ltd (KIOCL).

Sarath made a presentation about birds, touching on the various ways of identifying them and observing their behaviour.


The first sight that met our eyes as we came back from our walk for brefus:


Of course, that had everyone exclaiming, and pointing, and Prathap clicked them doing that, and I clicked him clicking them doing that...

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It was another productive and enjoyable day.

For my overall account,

click here .

Click here for my Day 3 FB album

Here's a leech lying (in fact, standing!) in wait for us!


Meanwhile, in STL....

I'm busy posting about my Kudremukh program, but when The Boods intervene, they take priority.

So here's The Booda, who was given this sleeveless tee (it's called a wife-beater, no doubt after the 'macho' hunks who wear it and indulge in that particular pastime!):

a booda banian 280514

And AM writes that she and her daughter are usually basket cases in the morning:

a bskt cases 300514

Oh, I agree! The primary basket case is sitting here, enjoying the photographs!

Bhagavathi Nature Camp, Kudremukh, Karnataka, 18-240514


Bhagavathi Nature Camp

in Kudremukh, Karnataka, is situated about 23 km from the nearest town of Kalasa. This was our base for a week during our Volunteer Training Program, run by the Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board (KEDB) and Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) along with the help of the Karnataka Forest Department personnel.

The camp comprises several tents with delta-roofs, on cement bases, which are very comfortably appointed, with 3 beds in each tent, an attached toiled (mine was a Western toilet), and hot water provided between 8am and 10am each day.



The generator is run from 7pm to 10pm each evening, enabling visitors to charge their various gadget and camera batteries.

Here's how the tent looks from the front, as some of us gather for a photo:


There is a large dormitory (no separate accommodation for men and women) here. There is, however, only one toilet for 14 beds. The rates are proportionally lower:


Here's the entrance gate; the camp itself is at a distance of 1km from here.


At a distance of 0.7 km from the camp and 0.3 km from the gate, is a point where BSNL mobiles work. As of now (May 2014) no other mobile networks are in operation here.


The watch tower, about 0.5 km from the camp, is a great feature, offering good views and sometimes a great birding experience at canopy level in the large trees nearby. It is opposite the nursery maintained by the Camp.


The classroom shamiana from the watchtower. Our classroom sessions were held in a shamiana specially put up for the occasion; though we joked that it looked like a festive wedding "pandal", it provided the necessary space for all of us to gather, and a dark area for screening of slides. It did get a little stuffy during the very hot weather, but it was very useful indeed.


The shamiana was powered by this generator:


There is also a Guest House, at a different area:


A board indicates places of interest nearby:


Another indicates trekking "rutes":


Many of us used the shamiana to get our gadgets charged during the daytime (this was a special occasion, generators may not be run during the day).


The kitchen was run full-time for us; for other visitors, meals can be ordered and paid for. The staff were very efficient and the food excellent. Here is a rainbow vegetables of fruits to feed all of us:


Here are the cooks, who really worked hard during our stay:


Breakfast and dinner was served in the "gol ghar" area, like other resorts in Karnataka. Lunch was served in the porch of the dormitory, and tea in the shamiana itself.


The camp is right alongside a checkdam of the Bhadra river, and it's a great place to cool off and have fun. We only managed this, though, after our program was over, on the last day, while we waited for transportation back to Kalasa and home!


I have provided a checklist of birds, mammals and others seen during our stay, on my post,


A wonderful place to visit, especially if you have your own transportation!