Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘Mysore’

Shed a tear for Mysore’s disappearing scrublands

Posted by Admin on May 18, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/blogs/traveler/shed-tear-mysore-disappearing-scrublands-034344420.html;_ylt=AjXYtrlOTszuc8w2.zwSdpNgmeh_;_ylu=X3oDMTRlZWRvb2w3BG1pdANIZXJpdGFnZSBNaW51cyBTdG9yeSBMaXN0BHBrZwMzYTU4NDM0OS04ZDkxLTM5ODQtYTU4NS05ZTE3N2ViMzI2OTMEcG9zAzQEc2VjA01lZGlhU3RvcnlMaXN0TFBUZW1wBHZlcgM1YTIzOTJmYS04NzgwLTExZTEtYjZjNy04MWU5MDZkNDBiMmE-;_ylg=X3oDMTI2MDBoMXA1BGludGwDaW4EbGFuZwNlbi1pbgRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN0cmF2ZWx8c2F5c29tZXRoaW5nZnVubnkEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

Shed a tear for Mysore’s disappearing scrublands

By Yahoo! India Travel | Traveler – Mon 16 Apr, 2012 9:13 AM IST

By Sandeep Somasekharan

Sprawled around Mysore are hectares of land known to naturalists as scrublands. To real estate developers, however, they are ‘wastelands’, fit for nothing but ‘development’. These important natural ecosystems, which support rich biodiversity and maintain the health of the water table, are being turned into residential layouts, industrial estates and software parks. Before long, they will be wiped out without a trace, and without measure of what has been lost.

A lark in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsTo a layperson, scrublands connote territory that is laid to waste. Dead, deserted places to stay away from. But that impression deserves to be tested. Scrublands, in fact, are dry, open spaces with a thin layer of surface grass, occasional shrubs and small, hardy trees such as acacias. Visit one such landscape after a shower, and the green grass has a carpeted appearance. A few months later, everything turns golden-yellow and then brown. But the terrain still looks deserted and inhospitable, until you stop for a while and look keenly around you. Prepare to be surprised by the abundance of life.

Larks rise up with a series of whistles and float down on outspread wings. Flocks of pipits erupt like clouds of undulating dust. Mornings and evenings, grey francolins rend the air with crescendos of “katri chor …katri chor”. And if you make yourself invisible, you can see them emerge and dawdle about. Your slightest movement is enough to make them scamper away, shaking their heavy posteriors, and take cover.

Calotes lizards soak up the sun, sitting on rocks with their heads raised. Spotting them, Black-shouldered Kites, Shikras and Short-toed Snake Eagles swoop down for the kill. A few steps on the grass disturb tiny blue butterflies, which take off and settle a few paces away.

A female Kestrel looks out for prey in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsBlack ibises dig their curved bills deep into the earth, looking for grubs, worms and insects. Quails wait until you almost step on them before whirring up in a startling escape flight. Winter beckons harriers, kestrels and Booted Eagles to take refuge in these habitats, as they take flight from the cold of the northern territories. Jackals, foxes and hares can be spotted, often with stray dogs in hot pursuit.

A Grey Francolin calls in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsOutside Mysore’s Ring Road, there used to be a continuous, uninterrupted belt of scrublands. These have slowly started getting converted to residential layouts. Earthmovers scour the soil and roads are laid. Electric poles are erected. Drains are dug. And it’s not long before the buildings come up.

An earthmover excavates in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsStill, some life persists amidst this chaos, only to be driven further away. At times they are cornered from all directions with no place to go. Each year, the number of birds seen in these scrublands has declined. So have the scrublands themselves.

A section of Mysore scrublands after excavationNext year, maybe the birds coming this side from the north might be in for a rude surprise… It really seems to be sunset for Mysore’s scrublands.

Sandeep Somasekharan is a software professional and photographer based in Thiruvananthapuram. He spent the better part of the last decade in Mysore, Karnataka, where he used his spare time to document the city’s nature, birds, trees and urban wildlife in photographs. He writes at The Green Ogre.

Advertisements

Posted in India Forgotten, Pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Shed a tear for Mysore’s disappearing scrublands

A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/bellary-fort.html?page=all

Photo-editor AZHAR MOHAMED ALI spent a day among the ruins of the historic Bellary Fort in Karnataka, taking in their various moods. Enjoy this pictorial tour.

Situated 300 km from Bangalore is the spectacular and historic Bellary Fort, which sits atop Ballari Gudda, otherwise known as the Fort Hill. During the Vijayanagara era this fort was built by Hanumappa Nayaka. In 1769, Hyder Ali of Mysore stormed the fort and occupied it.  The fort was then renovated by a French engineer who, according to legend, was executed because he miscalculated its height, making it visible from a hill called Kumbara Gudda, and thus compromised its military location. The French engineer’s grave can still be found at the east gate of the fort. The Bellary Fort is home to an Upper Fort or Fort Hill (constructed by Nayak) and a Lower Fort or Face Hill (constructed by Ali), symbolizing the two rulers. The only way to get to the Upper Fort is to navigate a rocky, winding path over boulders. This polygonal walled site has no garrison room.  On the other hand, the lower fort is easily accessible from two gates from the western and eastern sides respectively.  A Hanuman temple, the Kote Anjaneya Temple, is located at the eastern side of the fort. The lower fort housed barracks and arsenals.  The British added their own structures in the Lower Fort including stores, a post office, a church, an orphanage and private homes. Today, one can find a number of public buildings and other institutions.

Click through the numbered links to enjoy these dramatic images.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

A cloudy day at Bellary Fort

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/bellary-fort.html

Photo-editor AZHAR MOHAMED ALI spent a day among the ruins of the historic Bellary Fort in Karnataka, taking in their various moods. Enjoy this pictorial tour.

Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Wed 15 Feb, 2012 4:50 PM IST

Situated 300 km from Bangalore is the spectacular and historic Bellary Fort, which sits atop Ballari Gudda, otherwise known asthe Fort Hill. During the Vijayanagara era this fort was built by Hanumappa Nayaka. In 1769, Hyder Ali of Mysore stormed the fort and occupied it.  The fort was then renovated by a French engineer who, according to legend, was executed because he miscalculated its height, making it visible from a hill called Kumbara Gudda, and thus compromised its military location. The French engineer’s grave can still be found at the east gate of the fort. The Bellary Fort is home to an Upper Fort or Fort Hill(constructed by Nayak) and a Lower Fort or Face Hill (constructed by Ali), symbolizing the two rulers. The only way to get to the Upper Fort is to navigate a rocky, winding path over boulders. This polygonal walled site has no garrison room.  On the other hand, the lower fort is easily accessible from two gates from the western and eastern sides respectively.  A Hanuman temple, the Kote Anjaneya Temple, is located at the eastern side of the fort. The lower fort housed barracks and arsenals.  The British added their own structures in the Lower Fort including stores, a post office, a church, an orphanage and private homes. Today, one can find a number of public buildings and other institutions.

Click through the numbered links to enjoy these dramatic images.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A cloudy day at Bellary Fort