Agumbe is called the Cherapunji of South India & receives nearly 7,800 mm of rainfall in a year. The journey to Agumbe is exciting in itself. Getting off at Udupi station and taking the 2 hour bus ride through some real beautiful plantations and forests was a feast for the eyes. The last part of the journey was a step climb with breathtaking scenery. The monsoon had not yet retreated from this part of the country & as a result some interesting flora & fauna could be seen (including leeches of course). Agumbe is part of the Bio-diversity hot-spot of the Western Ghats and boasts of a large number of endemic flora and fauna. A must visit for a nature enthusiast. For more details including map & links, pls go to the oldest post of this blog (page 3)
ARRS is an amazing camp situated in the reserve forest of Agumbe in Karnataka. Set up in 2005 by the legendry snake-man of India, Romulus Whitaker, it is the only centre in the world that is conducting extensive research on the King Cobra. The centre attracts young researchers and volunteers from all over the world who are desirous of studying various flora and fauna in the region.
To add to the excitement were a few warnings. Warning no 1 - do not wear anything that is olive green, khaki or camouflage as this is a Naxal area; you should be wearing neutral colours. Well we did follow that to a T. However, no Naxals or anti naxal forces came within our view - apparently naturalists are worthy enough to be doused with Maoist propaganda! Naxals are an ultra leftist group that are waging war against the Indian government & in recent times have stepped up their activity.
Warning no.2 - Be ready for leeches - get leach socks. Some of us were ready with our leach socks & tobacco which did help to some extent. But the Leeches sure enjoyed some novel cuisine and we all came back with some souvenirs on our body!
This blog contains photographs of this paradise on earth! do visit all 3 pages to see all photographs