Trek to Thengumarahada & Mangalapatti.
Dates: 24 & 25 November, 2007.
Team: Karthikeyan, Senthil & 3 Chennai friends.
Lifers: White rumped Vulture, Crested Hawk eagle, Feral buffalo, Eurasian Dove, another Eagle, Green bee eater, Black buck and a fly catcher type bird.
Interesting trip: Jeep - Per day charge only Rs.1,200 (inclding driver bata & fuel). This old Mahindra crosses Moyar river, which has flowing water for a width of 30 mtrs, depth of 2 -3 feet. Jeep gets stuck in the mid way - driver gives a Mobile call - Tractor comes and pulls it out. Diesel tank found full after crosssing the river- `No problem‘ says Driver - drains out Diesel + Water, refills Diesel from can. No starting trouble- the journey continues!
While crossing the river, water enters into the jeep, shoes turn wet. It is like travelling in a boat!
Only old model Mahindras can do this miracle. New, electronic models wont start after such sturdy tests.
Fisherman Selvam was another interesting character. He works, treks full day, has an assistant, gets only Rs. 150 as his wage.
We spotted atleast 50 elephants in the Thengumarahada - Mangalapatty route. Sad story is nothing has a tusk. For next 3 months elephant lovers can visit this place.
After returning home, felt excited to find the White Rumped Vulture as a CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES. Hence posting 3 pictures of it in crjayaprakash.com.
Missed to capture: Though we could site more than 25 Black bucks at 5 spots, no clear picture could be taken because of the crowd in the jeep. Noise of the Jeep was too high. Crocodile and a 3 feet Monitor lizard was spotted by fisherman Selvam (again a big miss).
STAY: COMFORTABLE AT Gulithuraipatty anti poaching shed near GEJALATTY which is 15 kms away from Bhavani sagar (Sathy forest, Erode District).
Moyar is the lifeline for this shrub jungle and dry decidious forest.
Filed a news item with picture for Weekend of The New Indian Express. Published on Dec. 1, 2007.