Tag Archives: Rare flowers

Tons River Trek

Kasiga School is lucky to have a river (or more of a roaring stream) running around the campus. Sunday saw us take a day trek to this ‘Tons river’

The Tons is the largest tributary of the Yamuna and flows through Garhwal region in Uttarakhand, touching Himachal Pradesh. The Tons valley is a remote area and has a culture unlike any other in the region. The villagers in the Tons valley are believed to be descendents of the Pandavas and Kauravas from the epic Mahabharata.

This river boasts of adventure sports in river rafting… however, we had a different kind of adrenaline rush when we explored some of the undiscovered parts of this river

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Ground Realities – Torangatti

A much awaited break was waiting for us on the long weekend of 13 – 15 August. And thanks to the planning of a good friend, Jimmy, we were off to our neighbouring state, Karnataka to a place called Torangatti.

The journey had its fine share of scenic waterfalls, landslides and dense fog.

and the hard to miss macaques that lined up the climb towards Amboli.

But Amboli was not our destination. We had to hit the Belgaum – Hyderabad highway to a surprise like I had never experienced before.

This highway is a born temptation for those who want to stretch the speed limits of their vehicles (both bikes and cars)… I am not going to mention the high speed I touched on this stretch… for fear of retribution on the home front 😉

This was our destination. It is a Jesuit Mission station in a village called Torangatti. Please note: Most of these pictures are clicked on day 2. We were lucky on day 1 to reach the right place in the pitch darkness!

The mission station of Torangatti boasts of a beautiful church which incorporates elements of Indian tradition.

The pictures will speak for themselves

There were lots of plans that we had chalked out, but faced with the enthusiasm of Fr Prakash SJ, the priest in Torangatti, everything else had to wait.

Fr Prakash, took us around the farm which he has cultivated and supervises. Vast stretches of maize fields are indeed a sight to behold

But looking closely there was a tiny world of its own in each leaf and under each stone

Besides maize there are also plots for vegetables, like the corriander below

This may appear to be a wild flower, but out there, everything had either a commercial or medicinal value !

This was one of the marvels of nature… a pumpkin growing on a papaya plant… or is it? 😉This is a “closer look” into the pumpkin flower…

Fr Prakash proudly showed us his organic farming techniques with large vermiculture pits that provide manure for the farm. There is a big difference between merely learning about organic farming and actually holding one of those red wrigglers in your hand!

These newly hatched birds were another one of those star attractions that we attempted to capture… through the camera lens of course..Karnataka is famous for sandalwood…. and I guess the trip would not be complete without a picture of that tree

This is one of those pictures I always wanted to take…

And on our way back, I attempted a bit of “street photography” and this shepherd was kind enough to strike a pose for the lens. Apparently, every herd of sheep has goats intermingled which actually lead the way for the sheep… thus quoted our expert on the area of shepherding 😉

The place is beginning to show signs of development… a new bridge is being constructed, but until then, the traffic has to follow the road less travelled 😉

450 kilometres of memories… Goa – Amboli – Belgaum – Torangatti and back. The tiny bug on my hand which refused to fly off for a long time was indeed a constant reminder of this grand journey!

Ajara via Anmod

There are some places where a single visit is not enough. You have to return to it again and again and discover it anew. Ajara is one such place for me.

Paradise on earth - Ajara

Located just beyond the Amboli ghat it promises a relaxing drive and a weekend photo op. However, this time there was a roadblock in the plan! Amboli, was sealed off because of a landslide. There had to be another way.

Road to Anmod

Anmod! A ghat that I am not too familiar with loomed ahead. Challenge accepted!

Khandepar Bridge, Ponda

So we went through Ponda, crossed the ridiculously narrow Khandepar bridge (which mind you is still NH 4A!) and gasped at the breathtaking sight before us!

Anmod Ghat clouds

Anmod! (literally translates as ‘the place with innumberable turns’)

Misty roads

The clouds look majestic and welcoming from a distance, but once you drive in them, it’s an altogether different story. With visibility just a few meters there was no option but to drive at a cautious 10 kmph.

Waterfalls - Anmod

Anmod comes alive in the monsoon with its range of waterfalls. Here was one such… that was free from the infestation of beer bottle wielding “tourists”… (I fail to understand why these hordes of tourists travel all the way up here only to create a drunken ruckus!)

Finding our way

Despite the ‘experienced’ navigator travelling with us, we did manage to lose our way… but it only meant cruising through idyllic villages such as these

Ramtirth - Ajara

Our first destination…

Ramtirth Waterfall

Ramtirth, is not much of a waterfall… but I like to call it the ‘Niagra’ of Ajara..;)

Ramtirth - Ajara

True to the definition of ‘water’ plant!

Ramtirth downstream

The river flows on bringing life and prosperity to the vast township around.

Birds at Ramtirth

A very amusing set of crows, who braved the rain on this weather-worn tree.

The return trip had its own share of exciting sights! Take this rock for instance…

Boulder - Anmod

I wonder how long it will take for it to shift a little 😉

Rock flowers - Anmod

This was another sight that called for a closer inspection. The entire rock was strewn with flowers. Here today, gone tomorrow.

The weekend was over… the memories remain.

Watangi way

Will I make another visit to this place? Anytime!

Fields and Flowers

Once an idea gets into your head, it remains there… and pushes you to do something about it.

This time it was the idea to get out somewhere on the weekend… anywhere… But when a variety of factors coalesce together on the work-family-home front, from domestic chores to incomplete assignments, there were only a couple of hours before the mind begins to panic at the dawn of another Monday!

So with the breeze in our face (and a bit of drizzle), and the wind in our hair, we decided to explore the territory closest to home—around Porvorim! The plan was to detour off the Mandovi bridge, ride along the river and make our way to the other side of the Chorao island.

Wasteland-Succoro

These marshy regions are home to a number of migratory birds once the rains have past. (Note to self: Have to visit these places around Oct-Nov again). Some chose to call it ‘wastelands’ (being non-agricultural), I choose to call it ‘home’

Flowers in the fields

Every part of the fields were filled with flowers!

Flowers-Pods

From a distance they look unattractive, but move in closer and you will find beauty beyond compare!

Backwaters

The place is a labyrinth of interconnected waterways.

Clouds-Hills

Any place that you stop offers a serene and calm view.

senenity-calm water

The mind was refreshed. It was time to head back.

Spring in the air!

Looked out of the window and saw these amazing flowers in full bloom. I agree, they are not uncommon, but with the deep blue sky as a background it was a picture I couldn’t resist capturing.

Spring in the air!

The flowers brought back childhood memories of times when I would collect these flowers (especially the ones just fallen to the ground), curl the petals backwards onto the stalks and pin them in. The result was a tiny ornament which I could wear in a button hole. And so I called these flowers “button-hole flowers.”

Disco Ants

Disco Ants

This is a season where there are flowers… everywhere.
Happened to spot a rare flower when I went to visit my sister. And when I went to take a closer look, there were two ants doing a very odd dance all over one of the ‘petals’. I couldn’t say if that was some kind of message/sign, but it did look a lot like ‘ant disco’ 😉

Spring time

i think this would rank as the closest trek i have undertaken… it’s so miniscule that there is only one reference to this place on the internet!
Kuntla spring / Xelpem spring / Cunchelim spring are the names it is known by – the waters of which are believed to be medicinal.
Camera in hand, my scouting around attracted the attention of this group of boys who were all too proud to guide me around the place. Taking me for a reporter, they wanted their picture in the paper too! (sorry guys!)
This place was novel because of the wild flowers around.
These are extremely tiny, which yo would never notice.
No pics of the spring this time… probably I need to get back there once again

I guess this ranks as the closest trek I have undertaken. Kuntla spring / Xelpem spring / Cunchelim spring are the names it is known by –  the waters of which are believed to be medicinal…

Berries and Flowers

Berries and Flowers

Light through the trees

Light through the trees

Off the main road, amidst a grove of thick trees, the spring is quite a find.

Company indeed!

Trekking guides!

Camera in hand, my scouting around attracted the attention of this group of boys who were all too proud to guide me around the place. Taking me for a reporter, they wanted their picture in the paper too! (sorry guys!)

Three is company

Three is company

This place was novel because of the wild flowers around.

Shades of pink

Shades of pink

These are extremely tiny, which you might not even notice.

No pics of the spring waters this time… probably I need to get back there once again 😉