Day 3 – Final
After a lazy and expensive lunch at the Poonj International, which we both did not like, we proceeded to Nisargadhaama. The day had turned very hectic and I was wondering if we should take a break – of course, the Arien disagreed. Anyways, forward march to Pilikula Nisaraga Dhaama. Pilikula Nisarga dhaama consisted of four parts: biological reserve, regional science centre, heritage valley and boating.
I entered the biological reserve, very sure that we were going to walk for a loooong time and I was not going to like it at all. The Kaveri Nisargadhaama at Mysore was honestly, a complete waste of time. However, I held my tongue as we entered this one. Firstly, this was a wildlife enclosure and totally unlike the Mysore Nisargadhaama. Secondly, I could hear some roars 😀 We started walking towards the cages that housed smaller animals – most of which had a board that said “Under repair – animals moved to another cage” or something akin to that. I was beginning to lose patience.. what kind of biological reserve was this – no animals at all. Grrrr… Suddenly, we heard another Grrr.. lions roaring at a distance. I was tempted to rush where they were as they sounded angry and hungry.
At last, we would see some animals. However, we saw the tigers, first. There was a huge crowd waiting to watch the tigers who were so far off that we needed the Zoom lens of the camera to actually see them clearly. People moved off in search of the noisy lions and we stood there waiting to see the tigers come closer. I guess that the tigers decided to reward us for our patience. We soon found them frolicking, and fighting among themselves. They also looked very cute – more like beeg kittens – ob. they are from the same family! I was soon yelling “Take tht shot – This one – one more of that – That one – look how it is standing – so majestic- and so on… ” till the Arien told me that I was scaring the tigers away… Grrrr..
They had this unique trick which for a non-Discovery watcher like me, was more than a lil amazing. They would suddenly go totally still for a loooong time and while you are wondering Wassup? – they suddenly charge with so much force – that you feel breathless.. they did the whole “statue and then charge” pretty often after that – and even though I was watching for it – the sheer speed with which they charged made me re-think my “beeg kittens” name for them.
They also hit each other on the head in a playful
manner – they seem to enjoy that quite a bit – you can kinda figure out that they are having fun. They hit each other in so many ways – swatting the annoying companion kinda hit, the slap, the stop that – hahahaha – you stop – no you kinda hit, and oh so many more. I felt like a total kid as I stared at them in awe. Btw, you can get very badly hurt if you happen to be at the receiving end of any of those punches 😛
Anyways, we spent a lot of time with the tigers. After they slowly moved away,
we moved on to the next location. We saw the lioness sitting majestically atop a stone bench and the lion was skulking somewhere – not venturing close to the lioness at all – me thinks it was one of those Miya-Biwi fights 😉
She looked so angry that I really did feel that the Lion had done something foolish. We cud vaguely make out that the lion was around – but it did not come anywhere close to the lioness.. no sign of any cubs either and so we moved on.
The reserve had an amazing snake farm – the Arien, fully impressed, starts shooting and sharing information which honestly, I, was too terrified to assimilate. The only thing I do remember is that there are spectacle snakes and non-spectacle snakes. By spectacle, I am referring to the “V” symbol on the snakes that can be seen when they raise their hood to attack. The “spectacle” on the snake is associated with Hindu religious symbolism in India and so it took me a while to understand what the Arien was trying to say.
We also saw quite a few pythons – coiled amongst themselves – looking drowsy and menacing at the same time. We saw the amazing King Cobra as well.
It was black in colour and though it did not really blend with the background – it took me a while to figure out where it was – I was sure it wud land on me frm smwhere above and so I kept looking up. The Arien laughingly remarked that I have watched way too many scary movies… Grrr.. where, he continued, animals, villains, and dragons jump at you frm behind or above to a scary music note. I had no response for that one – seeing so many snakes – one after the other – either hanging on a branch – or coiled around each other – or blending very well with the surroundings – had made me all twitchy and tense. The Arien was happily shooting away, identifying dead snakes, and trying to make me feel comfortable – I was happy when we moved away from them all.
From out of the blue, one of the workers from the Reserve decided that he was going to be our guide and happily led us to various cages which had some really weird animals that were nocturnal – hid away from light during the day – and some mutations (Ok – I mean, hybrid animals).
This is a picture of a Jungle Wild Cat – which looks like a hugeee chubby cat – reminds you of Garfield – looks more like an overweight cat, to be honest. All these animals shy away from light and all the cages are hidden inside a tent made of black tarpaulin kinda material. You have to kinda watch your step as it is more or less a makeshift option. Most of the animals are sleeping – some are hyper – we saw a huge squirrel – the size of the jungle cat – running up and down the glass enclosure – till we kinda felt giddy – we took so many snaps – but it kept running and so all we had was a blur – it wud wait exactly a second and while we thot – lets take the snap – it wud dash to the opposite side. I guess it thot we had got food for it and when it realized there was no food – it jes ran to the opposite end.
We also saw quite a few members of the deer family: Sambhars, Bucks (including the famous Black Buck) and mouse deer.
The moment the guide said “Black Buck” – we both said “Salman Khan” and smiled – The Guide laughed too and said “Nowadays – whenever I mention Black Buck – ppl are instantly reminded of the Salman Khan case – it is an endangered species – which is why the case caused so much hullaboo”. Most deers look terrified when you move closer to them – the Black Buck however, looked terrified while we shot this snap, from quite a distance. Something I did not know- not all Bucks are black – there are the normal brown coloured buck as well. We took snaps of both – the brown buck looks like a regular deer – what makes it different is the horn.
We also saw a rather fat Sambhar deer which totally ignored us – did that stop us frm taking the pic – NO!! 🙂
The Arien believes the Sambhar is pregnant – I am not so sure – I do not watch Discovery, you see 😛 We saw quite a few spotted deer – thts kinda expected – any zoo, reserve that you visit – you will end up seeing lots of spotted deer and so this was no exception. I was introduced to a unique type of deer known as the Mouse Deer. In this picture, the deer that is closer to the clump of trees – farther away frm the camera is the mouse deer – watch the snout or nose – that is a dead giveaway! Somehow, deer always look terrified – that makes me feel guilty ’bout taking their pics or watching them for too looong.
I was tired from walking sooo much – I needed something cold to drink and while I was dreaming of fresh fruit juice – I started initiating the “Lets get going – we may miss the best part” kinda discussion which never fails with the Arien. And then, I saw these lovely birds in a cage and screamed “Wow! Eagles”. I think it is a mark of the Arien’s weariness that he did not Roll on the Floor Laughing (ROFL) and instead remarked that those lovely birds were Kites. I went “uhhh..” and then turned away so the Arien did not notice my face going red 😦 Must watch more of Discovery and Animal Planet when I go home – this was way too embarrassing. Thankfully, the guide had left to feed the lions, after collecting his fees for the guide services rendered.
Thank God for small mercies!!!
On our way out, we saw the porcupine. I decided not to scream the name out loud to be told that that was sm other animal and instead when to check the board that was in front of the cage – I smhw thought the porcupine wud look like a cactus and not really like this at all… Lessons 😦 It was a porcupine that was camera shy – after attempting various shots – we were left with this sad shot – at least you can figure out that it is a porcupine 😀
After all the walking, I was hoping they had sm refreshments – I was not disappointed – we got sm amazing musumbi juice at the very sad looking juice counter – the Arien was re-charged and I was also feeling very relaxed and happy. As we went to the Boating section, it was late evening and we could hear as well as feel the numerous mosquitoes and so we decided to opt out 🙂
We shopped for a few cute looking accessories (clay ear-rings n pendants) and then decided it was time to head back. We had a hectic day ahead – we had to check out of the hotel – visit Panamboor beach, if poss – travel to Udipi – hectic day ahead.
By the time we reached the hotel – we were dead beat – the Arien was fit to be carried to his room – he was that tired 😦 We managed to lug ourselves to the room and ordered room service – Ah!! Life’s little luxuries 😀 End of Day 3!