On All Things - big & small...

Rama Warrier's Blog

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Tricky terrain

A tribute to Border Roads Organisation (BRO)

Ladakh is slowly recovering from the devastation which it suffered from the recent natural catastrophe. It is a painful period of rebuilding for the people of Ladakh. The toughest task would probably be for the BRO to rebuild roads.

One needs to visit the Himalayan region to really appreciate the work done by BRO. Ladakh is a cold desert up in the Himalayas posing a terrible challenge to engineers working on developing road networks. The terrain is unfriendly and has extreme weather conditions. These areas would be fully snow covered for almost nine months a year. However, they are of high strategic importance – being the supply route to many defence positions like Siachen.

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Anderson and Corbett

Nine man-eaters and one rogue is the first person account of the captivating adventures of the famed hunter Kenneth Anderson. The stories are set in the 30’s and 40’s when Anderson was active chasing and eliminating man eating tigers and leopards in the erstwhile State of Mysore and Presidency of Madras. This book has not caught the attention of the world as much as Man Eaters of Kumaon written by Anderson’s more well-known counterpart Jim Corbett, whose hunting ground was the Kumaon region on the Himalayan slopes.

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Marine National Park – Narara

The word “National Park” brings to mind pictures of large mammals and tropical forests for most of us. At best it may extend to a bird sanctuary. What we usually forget it that India has a mainland coastline of 6000 km. If we add islands as well it will stretch much more. Coastal regions contribute significantly to India’s bio diversity.

Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kutch is one of the very few of its kind in India. It is located in the southern part of Gulf of Kutch in Jamnagar district (Gujarat). It consists of several islands and is filled with sandy beaches, coral reefs and mangroves. Pirotan island is the best known (relatively speaking !) of the lot.

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Remembering Porbandar

October is the right time to recollect a trip to Porbandar, a small port town in the Kathiawar region. Kathiawar is a peninsula in the Saurashtra Region of Gujarat. The only reason why we had a stop there was that it was the birthplace of Gandhiji. Later I realised that Sudama – famous friend of Krishna was also from this place.

We reached Porbandar by road from Dwaraka. It was a nice 3 hour drive in the morning. This little town stands frozen in history. One gets the feeling that the time is somewhere in the early 20th century when you look around. A quick drive through the narrow, dusty lanes brought us in front of an entrance – the gateway to the Gandhi museum and the house where Gandhiji was born.

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wild ass

Asses on the Rann

Our first stop in Gujarat was the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), a wild life sanctuary about two and a half hours to the north east of Ahmedabad.

The resort : There are a few resorts available in LRK. We decided to opt for the Eco Tour camp run by a local conservationist – Devjibhai Dhamecha – on the edge of LRK (Dhangadhra). The accommodation on offer is ‘kooba’ (huts). These huts have circular mud walls with a thatched roof. Each hut has a veranda. Around the main door we can see beautiful patterns painted in different colours. Eco Tour camp had five huts at the time of our visit. Huts have electricity and neat, attached bathrooms. You could enjoy local delicacies prepared by the friendly team headed by Premjibhai. The resort does not serve or permit alcohol and non-vegetarian dishes.

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Gujarat – an unlikely destination

This is a travel note which has been a prisoner of lethargy for the better part of this year. I am attempting to write it down mainly for the reason that Gujarat does not find a place in the usual tourist map – the space there is usually reserved for Rajasthan, Kerala, Kashmir….

When we decided to move around Gujarat last Dec – Jan, it was more of a choice by elimination than by selection. The whole of North India was reeling under a cold wave and all the places we shortlisted were under its grip. Gujarat seemed more moderate in comparison. So, Gujarat emerged as a compromise candidate and like all compromise candidates it did well !

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