A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in it's entirety. . . I believe in photography as one means of achieving an ultimate happiness and faith! - Ansel Adams

Sunday, 26 February 2012

On the Leopards' Trail in Marwar

Alert Leopard on a boulder
Alert Leopard on a boulder in Bera

Trying to sight a Leopard (Panthera Pardus) in a jungle is perhaps no different than trying to find a needle in a haystack. On the many trips to the jungles of India, with some patience and luck, one can have excellent sightings of tigers, lions, even the shy sloth bear, and other mammals. But the leopard is an elusive beast. It can hide itself in any nook & cranny of the jungle, is smaller than the other carnivores, enjoys excellent camouflage, prefers hunting in the night, and with its acrobatic skills can perch itself on trees and boulders. Even if sightings occur, they are more in the nature of blink and you miss it. Though, we have heard stories of people seeing a leopard, sitting nonchalantly in plain view of the human eye, in the jungles of South India, such reports have been fewer from those of North India.
Despite several trips in the wild, we had thus far been unlucky in the matter of leopard sighting. The closest we ever came to sighting it was when we spotted a leopard’s kill but, not the perpetrator himself!
No longer wanting to leave things to a chance, we decided to take matters in our own hands and headed straight to Bera, a dusty village in southern Rajasthan amidst the Aravalli mountains and surrounded by water bodies. Here our abode was Thakur Devi Singhji’s orchard or rather the Leopard’s Lair Resort as it is officially called.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Shilonda Trail (Sanjay Gandhi National Park): Update

Morning rituals! (B&W version)

Here is an update to my previous post on Shilonda Trail in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Mumbai).

Last Sunday I traversed the Shilonda Trail again with few of my friends. Here is a bit of dope for those wanting to go on this trail. This trail is closed for the general public and requires special permission from the forest department to go. Good news is that the Nature Interpretation Centre inside SGNP provides this permission for a nominal fee of Rs. 50 per head, albeit for a group size of 10 people. In case you are fewer than 10, then a lumpsum amount of Rs. 500/- needs to be paid. The department issues a receipt so everything is above board. 

This time around our focus was on birds and we managed to sight around 30 species of birds (fewer than we expected - but that's luck). Our prize catch was a pair of Indian Grey Hornbill. However, we didn't get any good bird photographs... but got some decent nature and street photography images.

Check out the images here.
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This work by Maneesh Goal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.