The Wild

When I go back to the wild
I will have on, in my tiny back pack
Some salt
A knife
Tricks to light

When I go back to the wild
I will have my will to survive
With love in my heart
A song on my lips
Tricks, tricks and some more tricks

Now, I am in the wild
I think nothing

I sit in the cave
I sleep under the sun

I eat bugs for lunch
Hate the taste
But love the crunch

At dusk, I see her kiss him
Like he was never there
And then, they disappear

Barking dogs, at a distance
I feel like prey

My little will to survive
Sings to me a song,
“Oh blossom wild
You are the sun
You are the tide
You are the windy night
Drop your fear here
And ride, gallop as the wind is high”.bagheera Camp together

Open Secret

The future is now
Where are you looking
The fairiesbagheera Camp fields watching you,
think before you speak.

The past is dead,
Nothing but memories
My head is calm
As I see,
The future is now
No where else to be.

Drunk in love
Some stay stoned in guilt
And then there are those
Who live in now
The future holds me

Numb is the place to be
Or is it nothing I want?
My heart speaks.

Often wondering, who am I
Where do we go
Directions are many
I demand, destination unfold.

There are choices to makes
Nothing comes easy
Well, thats what he says
You have always got a price to pay.

Pay me, I will make it effortless
Its a trick, I teach.

Pay me nothing, you will know
The only open secret.

The future is now
The choice is mine
Destination known
Fallow the open secret.

Eco tourism in India

Ecotourism in India

India is known for its large ecosystems including the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. India has 661 protected areas with 100 national parks, 514 wildlife sanctuaries, 43 conservation reserves and four community reserves in different geographic zones, extending to nearly five per cent of the geographical area of the country (MoEF 2011).

Capitalising on these resources, ecotourism operations in India have substantially increased community participation, involvement of indigenous groups, forest dwelling communities and women, local level resource sharing with locally designed frameworks, and the use of indigenous technologies. The income generated is used to ensure quality tourism services as well as to improve the living standards of destination communities.

Based on Ecotourism Policy and Guidelines developed by the Indian Ministry of Tourism in 1998, the Ministry of Environment and Forest in June 2011, called on state governments to frame ecotourism policies to facilitate tourism programmes in protected areas of the country. In addition, the Indian Government’s National 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) targets to increase the net benefit of tourism activities for the poor, emphasising also that the revenue generated from tourism operations should be utilised for protected area management (India Tourism 2011).
Opportunities and challenges: Trade opportunities and relevant employment options under ecotourism are broadly classified into two categories: ecotourism services and ecotourism enterprises. Ecotourism services include guiding and interpretation, sightseeing, destination cleaning forest protection and anti- poaching services. Ecotourism enterprises include honey processing, paper bag production, bamboo handicraft production, organic farming, indigenous medicine production and sales outlets (eco-shops).

Government action at both the national and local levels has enhanced ecotourism operations to ecologically sensitive areas where attention has been given to conservation and development with the support of the local community.

For instance, in 2007 at the Kumarakom bird sanctuary in Kerala, hotels established linkages to local communities for the supply of seven types of local products. By 2010, the number of items had increased to 45 including some Argo-based industrial products like coconut oil, souvenirs and handicrafts. The economic linkages encouraged partnerships between the community and the industry, thereby helping the community to develop a sustainable market with fair prices for the local produce and increased production.

The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, another example, is the second largest tiger reserve in Kerala, India. Its activities include the elephant song trail, forest tramway trekking and eco-meditation. In order to ensure participative management of ecotourism resources, ecotourism programmes are operationalised through specific economic development committees. Of the committee members, 88 per cent belong to indigenous communities. Destination sustainability is maintained through community management of resources.

Emphasis is given to livelihood improvements, conservation of natural and cultural resources and reducing the dependency on forest-based, unsustainable resource consumption. These activities have helped to substantially increase the average number of visitors and revenue.

Though numerous opportunities exist, the sector is not without challenges. These include energy consumption for tourism services, usage of water, waste management issues, and loss of biodiversity as a result of outside interference and cultural erosion.

Additionally, there are a number of destination specific issues that hamper the sustainable use of resources. Service quality sectors like green production, ecological benchmarking, environmental management systems and voluntary standards like Green Leaf, Blue Flag, Green Globe would, with the required investments and labour, help generate income and trade opportunities in the local communities.

Ways forward:

Adherence to sustainability standards in the operations of ecotourism in India can be initiated in protected areas, rural and village settings, forest areas and conservation areas of the country. Various innovative forms of ecotourism activities like rural ecotourism, farm and wetland tourism, mangrove tourism, coastal tourism, plantation tourism, horticulture activities, minor forest produce tourism, wilderness camps, eco-parks, caves exploration, bamboo raft cruise, and water based activities like regulated angling can be promoted. In this context, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has supported India’s eco-development programme, where ecotourism has been identified as a means of livelihood for tribal and forest dwelling communities.

Source: Case study prepared by A. Vinodan, Nodal Officer, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, Andhra Pradesh, and James Manalel, Professor, School of Management Studies Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India

Thieves in my chamber

I woke up to sounds, frightening thunder.
Darkness was the hour
Revolver loaded.

Freeze, a voice came from my left
One shot and he was down.

The rest surrendered
There and then
Name yourselves,
And then, you are free to leave.

One by one they uttered,
Anger, Pride, Ill Will, Envy, Jealousy, infatuation, hypocrisy

Who did I kill?
Passion, you killed Passion.

For a long time I felt sick
No tears, I smiled.
Ooh Passion.
Thankyou God, I am Compassion.

The chamber of my heart
Sets them free,
With love I sleep.

Aside

Burning! Yet high on the last green western virgin frontier of India.

Rabaran Welcome

Rabaran Welcome

25years of travelling India, has brought me to say unity in diversity is India. Extreme cultural difference, social wars and ignorance is what we are becoming. My passionate wanderings have made me open my eyes to reality. Different for all, from a civilised wild man the compassionate farmer and beyond.

Camping with leoprads in Rajasthan at bagheera's camp Godwad

Camping with Leopards in Rajasthan at bagheera’s camp Godwad

One observation makes my heart burn. We the people of India don’t respect our wildlife. Kind people give food to the holiday cow and the loyal black dog of lord Bherou Naath Ji, who is believed to take trouble away. Respecting all beliefs, one which supports all is of planting trees and respecting other beings.

Godwad

Godwad

Bringing us to the main topic Godwad, the last green western virgin frontier of India. Godwad is the tribal belt of the Ancient Aravalli Range, Rajasthan India. This is where animal and man live in harmony free in the wild. Small hamlets of villages between hills and huge granite rocks. The landscape is grey granite hills with native trees and thorns of all sizes. Caves and fields running for kilometres, playing hide and seek. A perfect camouflage for the nocturnal wild. Sloth Bear, leopard, Indian wolf, hyena, several birds, crocodile and others make territory in Godwad free.

Old School Hunting tents (Shikar Tents)

Old School Hunting tents (Shikar Tents)

 

Vibrating in colour Godwad is rich in culture and history. Being the tribal belt , there is a lot of mystery is every pocket. The Rabari (herdsman) and the Grasiya (forest dweller) being the dominating population with others such as the Jogi, Meena and Lohar. Stay tuned for Jewellery, Fashion, lifestyle and wildlife gossip from Godwad.Bagheera's Camp leo.2

 

 

 

Love Bagheera

From Bagheera’s Camp, Godwad

🙂

Chapter 1

There is a heart in a rock one simply need to listen, I have been living in Godwad the last green western frontier of India for the past 19 years. We have grown up understand the law of nature and the law of the civilised wild. The urge to save and create has always been lingering in my soul, in fact the seed was grown by my guru and father Maharaj RK Rajendra Singh of Jodhpur. He has a vision, he calls it Frontier Horizon.

Skill training and practice is what every living creature lives for and death is what we walk towards. Here is where we stand, now in the present moment. As I am typing my thoughts down, I am feeling the present moment. Like we all know the minute the flow breaks. What we call as I am distracted, is nothing but our monkey mind taking a leap on another branch…. And our present moment becomes another.

So when I am distracted, I stop and observe. Is what I am thinking or doing of any use to me, can it be done later? If no and yes happen together it means , I must go back to what I was doing, typing my thoughts down.

My work place is a playground, we are all under training, our basic skills are put to use. All of us communicate in Hindi, local languages and English. We don’t speak either of them right. We enjoy being in this environment of learning and development.

The nature is our principle, others teachers. We serve every traveller who passes by, from the herdsman and his thirsty herd to a family with children on play. The birds are busy with their lives yet they know the gossip of the forest wild. The monkeys just know how to have fun and the python has the coolest spot, away from the blazing sun, he curls up under the water tank, comfortably numb.

The seeds from the Palaas trees have sprouted perfectly under, some dared to travel a mile. The dry hot winds blowing through the leaves big and small, over rocks and through cracks. Temperatures rising above 50 degree Celsius , yet they sing for herds, “taarr tarrr and with the lips bhrr bhrr”. Walking the lake dry, not a drop to drink. The crocodiles hibernate and the wolf trots along his regular path, not looking back he is too quick for words. The afternoons, be quite as the dead and then suddenly a soul sings, joined my others and that’s how the day turns it’s page.

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Have you been ‘Leopard Spotting’ on your trip to Jodhpur ? Surprised, don’t be. On my recent visit to Jodhpur RIFF which by the way was awesome, I was whisked away by a close friend to Bagheera’s Camp. A comfortable three and a half hours drive from Jodhpur, passing the famous Bullet Baba’s Temple (look it up on Google if you don’t know about it); it’s a serene place in the rural heartland of Rajasthan.

We drove through semi-arid terrain and closer to the camp the panorama included unusual rock formations which are the Aravallis, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. If you are lucky enough to be driving down on a moonlit night, the entire scene is bathed in soft light reflecting off these granite mountains.

The campsite is spread over a vast area which includes two lakes, few villages and of course interesting wind eroded hills. I was promised leopard sighting when we went on our early morning safari. Being unlucky with games throughout my life I was pessimistic. We woke up before dawn, fitted our vehicle with a spot light and within twenty minutes reached a hill where there were supposedly leopard with cubs. We passed another vehicle coming from the opposite direction and its passengers, by the look on their faces had been just as unlucky as I was with all my previous game drives. Suddenly we stopped. My tracker standing with me at the back of the pick-up truck was pointing somewhere near the top of the hill. For the love of god I couldn’t figure out what he had got so excited about. Then after thirty-second of staring into black space, I saw a head move. There were not one but three leopards sitting on the rocky precipitate. These beautiful animals were gracious enough to sit in plain sight for nearly half an hour before getting bored with us and moving on. I unfortunately don’t have a telephoto wildlife lens, so my capture wasn’t world-class. On the rest of the drive we passed through villages and villagers going about their daily lives. The villagers are friendly, know your host, and welcome you into their homes. Saw the dam, which supplies water to most parts Western Rajasthan and at the lake spotted birds and crocodiles basking in the early morning sun.

I would be lying if I said that leopard spotting isn’t going to be the biggest draw for the camp. But the camp is so much more. The permanent structures on the camp site are the typical olden day’s hunter’s lodge. Right in front is the smaller of the two lakes, a protected breeding ground for birds as well as crocodiles. The tented camps (Shikari Tents- not pitched on my sudden whirlwind trip) are on the other side of this water body. Water is life and scares in this part of the world. The two lakes make sure that this region is an annual stop for migratory birds, the first flock of which I saw on my return back to Jodhpur. Don’t expect a swimming pool or a Jacuzzi, it’s not possible here. But expect complete relaxation, good food (vegetable are grown either on the campsite or nearby village farmland), wildlife spotting and great hospitality. I would suggest spending at least two nights here to enjoy the tranquility of the place.

So why not put a little adventure in your next trip to Jodhpur…

Experienced by Soumya Mukherji