Thursday 25 June 2020

A jeep ride into the jungle

[Contd. from The journey begins...]

After a sumptuous lunch, we were just in time for a jungle safari in an open jeep with the official guide of the resort, Baiju, who was a local and knew the jungle like the back of his hand. As we learnt a few hours into the afternoon, he knew every tribal that we chanced upon on our safari by name and, as it turned out, he could not only converse with the tribals in their own sing-song dialect, he could also make some sense out of the twitters and chirps of the birds and the grunts and groans of the animals!

Off and on, we stopped the jeep and wandered on foot. Baiju pointed out to us many species of exotic flora – the exciting herbs that the nature here is blessed with! A small blade of lemon grass that I casually plucked, kept the air around me unbelievably fresh and pleasantly fragrant through the entire journey!

About 5 km higher up from the resort, we reached Vazhachal – a part of the same river and a smaller waterfall. Here, I found the entire river mass languishing in such careless abandon that I felt the country girl who welcomed us into the forest earlier was now more like a young voluptuous woman captivating in her seductiveness! The vegetation around this area is full of large sturdy trees. There is a man-made garden here that is maintained for growing medicinal herbs.

During this excursion, we came across many jungle fowls trotting elegantly by the side of the
road or even crossing them oblivious to the presence of tourists let alone being fearful of them! Hornbills were also found, engrossed in their intricate architecture, busy building their nests. Baiju revealed a disturbing fact as regards the hornbills – the global warming can become detrimental for the survival of this species! It seems these birds were found in pairs even in the month of February, which means they had not mated yet, though it was well past their mating season. This shocking fact is true for several animals of the jungle as well!

Huge dark squirrels, the malayannans or the Malabar Giant Squirrels, were found swinging playfully by their tails on branches of trees. The ones we saw swinging on the trees farther away in the woods were not really squirrels though, as we realised thanks to Baiju’s informatively profuse commentary – they were black monkeys or Nilgiri Langurs. The hooting calls of these monkeys could be heard clearly from amongst the trees as they were calling out to other members of their species. The langur-like hoots that you hear could also be bird calls by the wood pigeons interacting with their family!


  1. Wonderful narration! Waiting to read more on this.

    1. Thank you, Sindhoor. Nice to know you enjoyed the journey. Will post the next part soon.