Chikkala Siddappa Jaatre, 06 and 070114

January 14, 2015

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 BANYAN trees: IMG_8781 Roads on which colourful buses ran: IMG_8782 The forest gave us scenes of beauty: IMG_8800 IMG_8789 We came to the Kaveri: IMG_8848 IMG_8847 Our base of operations: IMG_8815 with some goof-up opportunity too: IMG_8828 We gathered, all ready to be assigned our duties IMG_8819 Mr Dinesh, RFO (Range Forest Officer), came and briefed us. IMG_8931 We went off to our various assigned points.Kiran and I were at the ferry point, where pilgrims waded into the Kaveri, IMG_8939 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. IMG_8941 Some returning pilgrims called these grain-pounding implements, called "dhenki" or onakE", which are blessed, and to be kept in the house. IMG_8942 IMG_8945 Women really did use their heads! IMG_8948 I learnt why these sandals are called "floaters"! IMG_9143 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. IMG_8997 IMG_8998 Here's a banner about using life jackets (alas, there were only one or two on each coracle and not everyone used them, either) IMG_8950 IMG_9006 Here's another banner: IMG_8951 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. IMG_9003 Either the goats were scared of the water...or they knew the fate awaiting them on the other side. IMG_9004 After the boatmen dragged their boats on shore at the end of the day, they melted tar to waterproof the boat bottoms. IMG_9007 I felt that the owner of these jeans had climbed the tree and then turned into a spirit, leaving the jeans behind! IMG_9008 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. BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK: IMG_8826 LONG-TAILED SHRIKE: IMG_8794 WHITE-BROWED WAGTAIL: IMG_8833 JERDON'S LEAFBIRD: IMG_8989 GREEN BEE-EATER: IMG_8822 ORIENTAL DARTER: IMG_8876 BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE: IMG_8934 we also looked at some insects. GRASS YELLOW: IMG_8824 RUDDY MARSH SKIMMER: IMG_8844 The POMPILIID WASP that was arranging food for her children-to-be: IMG_8863 I have made a post about it here (with a video, too) There were many mammal sightings, too; the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, about which I have made a post here The Mongoose, some cute monkeys, IMG_8918 this one drinking the waters of the Kaveri: IMG_8993 You can see more photos on my FB album here

Let me close with this beautiful little


that was nectaring in the bushes!