Karthik B (Srinath)

A sojourn to Valparai! The Ghat Section, I adore !!

The traveler in me craved for a much needed short, simple, and a worthy trip… that’s how I just decided to go to Valparai in the month of August, 2016 with my friends. An interesting little hill station specked with tea plantations all over was the ideal getaway. The pleasant place overpowers you with its unpolluted appeal and it feels like you have entered the realms of heaven.

With mountains covered with lush green fauna, and hazy drapes of fog and mist hanging all over, I never wanted to wake up from the fantastic dreamscape that we were in for 2 entire days. In one of the winding turns, we came across the State Animal of Tamil Nadu, The Nilgiri Tahr. This endemic wild goat is also known as Varaiaadu in the local Language.

Awakening early to the singing birds, my heart slurped up all the enchanting shades of the morning sky even as the sun was just ascending in the skyline. As far back as my youth, at whatever point I got an opportunity to go on a holidaying trip with my family on the roads of Western Ghats, I took it….

The Nilgiri Tahr
(Varaiaadu – endemic wild goat) Nilgiritragus hylocrius
Lion-Tailed Macaque – Macaca Silenus

There are signboards in the ghat roads, with a silhouette painting of creatures, forewarning us of their presence, saying “Leopard crossing, go slow”. I had always giggled insidiously at those boards thinking all these were only for name purpose.

But It occurred in August, 2016, where we, namely Merlin, Anand, and I wandered into the side of

Western Ghats unexplored by us before. The trip was such a strange affair to us, who always loved to see wild creatures in open, just in front of our vehicle, barely 20 to 30 steps from us, strolling in front of us was a Gorgeous Leopard!

That was one moment where the three of us, lost ourselves totally and were looking at each other’s eyes. A Leopard!!! Sitting majestically in the middle of the busy Ghats section road!! That night we wanted to spend all our time on these roads which are usually busy during the day time. It wasn’t one leopard which we witnessed; it was 5 leopards we encountered on the trip! The highlight of the trip was, we could see a leopard stalking and trying to make a kill on porcupines.

With the Lion Tailed Macaque’s giving us some dazzling sights, the Malabar Whistling Thrush invited us to Ghat areas with their trademark whistles, the elephants charging at us and the Indian Gaur was likewise one of the creatures who welcomed us quietly with their kind gaze…. Wild encounters!! Many memories of the Lands of Mountains, with carpeted with Lush greenery!! The Trip to Valparai through the ghats was worth it…

Karthik B (Srinath)

Karthik, fondly known as Srinath in the wildlife fraternity. Wildlife photography started as his passion 5 years ago but now the passion has made him to be a part of conservation programmes in and around Wildlife Reserves.

Freelancing Content Writer and a Badminton coach by profession.

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