In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the people sleep tonight..
Thengumarahada, Nilgiris East, Tamil Nadu - An introduction, finally!
ThengumarahaDa is a beautiful, remote place with a small village (given as a forest lease by British 100 years ago) that lies at the foothills of "KoDanaDu". The residents of the village are considered as lower caste people by the locals, collectively known as BaDagas. It's around 105 Kms from Ooty, and about 23 Kms from MeTTupaLyam. Although not very far from MeTTupaLyam, it's accessibility is restricted by the transport facilities to the village. One Govt. bus that does 2 rounds a day, and the journey is like a safari, right through the middle of the forest [border of Erode (Satyamangal forest) and Nilgiri East Slope].
After reaching the last stop, you take a small boat to cross the Moyar river, only after which you get to go to the village. The other alternative is to walk inside the forest, provided you know the route, which is highly risky (due to it being a restricted area for people other than locals, and wild animals). There is no private stay available as of now, and the only way to peacefully visit the place is to get permission from the forest department at Ooty, so they could provide you the Govt. Guest house for shelter.
This place is home to wild animals such as Elephants, Tigers, Leopards, Bears, Deers, Blackbucks, Porcupines, etc., that aren't supposedly hard to sight. However, during the dry season, it's extremely hard to spot any of the animals there. Best time to visit is between / around September and October when the place usually receives heavy rainfall, and looks splendid!
One of my best Tiger Census experiences with this place:
As though a bunch of us guys standing on the open trailer of a 4x4 vehicle in the mid-night, travelling inside the forest to reach the govt. guest house wasn't the most amazing experience already, we found out that there was a river we had to cross in order to reach our destination. When we got to the river, we found out that the only way to cross the river was with the vehicle we were standing on!
What happened next? Here is the action you don't want to miss!
No species on this photo
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