We went to the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS) for a volunteer initiative…crowd management at the Chikkala Siddappa Jaatre (pilgrimmage). This is the largest jaatre in the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS).
The relationship between a wildlife volunteer and the forests is like that between Anjaneya and his God, Rama:
We drove through roads shaded by majestic
Roads on which colourful buses ran:
The forest gave us scenes of beauty:
We came to the Kaveri:
Our base of operations:
with some goof-up opportunity too:
We gathered, all ready to be assigned our duties
Mr Dinesh, RFO (Range Forest Officer), came and briefed us.
We went off to our various assigned points.Kiran and I were at the ferry point, where pilgrims waded into the Kaveri,
Got into coracles (called “dONi” in Kannada and “parishal” in Tamizh) ane were ferried across to the island, where, in the village of Siddalur, the temple of Chikkala Siddappa stands.
Some returning pilgrims called these grain-pounding implements, called “dhenki” or onakE”, which are blessed, and to be kept in the house.
Women really did use their heads!
I learnt why these sandals are called “floaters”!
For these 3 days, 2-wheelers were not allowed, but one man still managed it. We always like to break rules if we can! Subsequently, we ensured that other vehicles were not allowed on the boats.
Here’s a banner about using life jackets (alas, there were only one or two on each coracle and not everyone used them, either)
Here’s another banner:
I was not happy to see so many pilgrims with peacock feathers which they said they’d bought at Rs.30 apiece, at the jaatre.
Either the goats were scared of the water…or they knew the fate awaiting them on the other side.
After the boatmen dragged their boats on shore at the end of the day, they melted tar to waterproof the boat bottoms.
I felt that the owner of these jeans had climbed the tree and then turned into a spirit, leaving the jeans behind!
On the first days, while we waited to be assigned our duties, and early on the second day before reporting for duty (our time was 9am), we did some birding, too.
we also looked at some insects.
RUDDY MARSH SKIMMER:
that was arranging food for her children-to-be:
I have made a post about it
(with a video, too)
There were many mammal sightings, too; the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, about which I have made a post
some cute monkeys,
this one drinking the waters of the Kaveri:
You can see more photos on my FB album
Let me close with this beautiful little
that was nectaring in the bushes!