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Old 12th March 2011, 12:02   #1
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Default Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

It was July. I was getting bored, its been long since we drove anywhere. Our college buddy was in Hyderabad on deputation, so I need't tell you it was the best time for a drive. One day while I was sitting in office it suddenly occurred to me that I should visit Shimoga during monsoons. And as I told, I had the perfect company- college buddies. Since I did my engg at Surathkal, I am pretty familiar with places around. quickly I made a check of Aagumbe Rain forests. I read a lot about this place. Saw on Nat Geo, so it was not big task zeroing on it.

I checked with friends and we all plans were finalized. We decided that we will bunk two days from office Friday and Monday. Well this was my friend's logic, if you split the two days to fall on two different weeks your supervisor would not feel the pinch of it. I bet you it works, even you would realize this.

Whatever we made the plans, and as always I was one of the drivers and the other was myfriend Murali. I was the navigator. I made all the plans and conveyed it to Murali and once he was ok, I called up other two guys and informed them.So it was decided 4 Guys, my waggy ( coz it has some elements to make noise), Aagumbe,4 days trip, approx 1700 kms round trip.

As always yours truly funda was the navigator. Thanks to Google/ bing maps you get the exact feel of the road. Its very easy.

We all were ready except for my friend who was on deputation, his manager was not an easy guy. So the only option left was to fall sick, Food poisioning.

Pics coming soon.
Contd...
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Old 12th March 2011, 12:31   #2
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

Ah! Falling sick. I don't know why, but usually I tend to fall sick only on fridays and/or mondays, I guess the bug is spreading everywhere. If I ever took leaves on a friday and a monday, my previous employer would have counted that as 4 days leave.

Coming back to the topic, the name 'King Cobra' in the title made my eyes light up. I am fascinated by the King Cobra and am always hoping for a sighting in the wild. I guess you went to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. Waiting for more.
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Old 12th March 2011, 12:44   #3
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

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Originally Posted by Funda View Post
It was July. I was getting bored, its been long since we drove anywhere. Our college buddy was in Hyderabad on deputation, so I need't tell you it was the best time for a drive. One day while I was sitting in office it suddenly occurred to me that I should visit Shimoga during monsoons. And as I told, I had the perfect company- college buddies. Since I did my engg at Surathkal, I am pretty familiar with places around. quickly I made a check of Aagumbe Rain forests. I read a lot about this place. Saw on Nat Geo, so it was not big task zeroing on it.

I checked with friends and we all plans were finalized. We decided that we will bunk two days from office Friday and Monday. Well this was my friend's logic, if you split the two days to fall on two different weeks your supervisor would not feel the pinch of it. I bet you it works, even you would realize this.

Whatever we made the plans, and as always I was one of the drivers and the other was myfriend Murali. I was the navigator. I made all the plans and conveyed it to Murali and once he was ok, I called up other two guys and informed them.So it was decided 4 Guys, my waggy ( coz it has some elements to make noise), Aagumbe,4 days trip, approx 1700 kms round trip.

As always yours truly funda was the navigator. Thanks to Google/ bing maps you get the exact feel of the road. Its very easy.

We all were ready except for my friend who was on deputation, his manager was not an easy guy. So the only option left was to fall sick, Food poisioning.

Pics coming soon.
Contd...
Nice to see your interest in exploring wildlife and rain forests buddy. I have never been to Aagumbe till now but I have been to Borneo a few years back. I also heard that Valparai is pretty good. Stay safe
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Old 12th March 2011, 12:57   #4
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

Interesting title Funda. Could you give detailed information about the route and places of stay in the area.

Looking forward for the pictures. King cobra is a very shy animal. Hope you were able to see it in its kingdom !
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:21   #5
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

The trespasser is back and is back with stories for you. Here are some more details

Eat out: we saw two - Hotel Taj for Non-Veg. No electricity at night and Hotel Kamath for Veg.

Shops: we found a few general stores, One STD /ISD shop which did not have ISD facilities, a cloth store...were we bought Munde and umbrellas.

Accomodation: Hotel Malya residency. Good people. Please do not expect star facilities in aagumbe. Malya is a good place, clean toilets. Well this is something I look for the moment I check into a hotel. The price was just Rs 400 for a double bed+ sleeping arrangements for two more people for 2 days. So I cannot crib about anything, my mouth is shut.

We went during peak rainy season and spend some time in the clouds. During this season no one is allowed inside the rain forests because of the King's mating season. We respect that and we did not enter any forest. So we did not sight any Cobra. Disturbing a mother when she is guarding eggs could be very Harmful.

The highlight of the trip was the snaky roads with greenary and orange lining on either sides and the Kundadri peak. will talk about the pains as I progress with the travelogues.
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:36   #6
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

A great start buddy. For the general information of everybody the best time to visit is monsoons. I was there for 3 days last monsoon volunteering for the King Cobra telemetry project at the Rainforest Research Station run by Romulus Whittaker. One of the great places to stay - actually the only I prefer is right inside the rainforest research station. They have a basic guesthouse which you can book on pre intimation. Costs next to nothing.

Let the pics start. I will also contribute.

Dr A Ghosh

Last edited by abheekg : 13th March 2011 at 11:41.
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:48   #7
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A great start buddy. For the general information of everybody the best time to visit is monsoons. I was there for 3 days last monsoon volunteering for the King Cobra telemetry project at the Rainforest Research Station run by Romulus Whittaker. One of the great places to stay - actually the only I prefer is right inside the rainforest research station. They have a basic guesthouse which you can book on pre intimation. Costs next to nothing.

Let the pics start. I will also contribute.

Dr A Ghosh

Thanks a lot. Yep my friend who is from Shimoga told me about it. It will be a pleasure for me to have you contribute. Most of our trips are decided just because we have't traveled for sometime. Instantaneous decisions and we bunk office and drive. Our aim was to wander in the clouds and venturing into the jungles during rains needs experience.

The next post will start the pics.
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:52   #8
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

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Originally Posted by abheekg View Post
A great start buddy. For the general information of everybody the best time to visit is monsoons. I was there for 3 days last monsoon volunteering for the King Cobra telemetry project at the Rainforest Research Station run by Romulus Whittaker. One of the great places to stay - actually the only I prefer is right inside the rainforest research station. They have a basic guesthouse which you can book on pre intimation. Costs next to nothing.

Let the pics start. I will also contribute.

Dr A Ghosh

Is this open to general visitors who want to learn something about snakes?

I would love to spend a few days there. Can you post a contact number or email?

Thanks
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Old 13th March 2011, 12:20   #9
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

@ragul: absolutely sir. The ARSS (agumbe rainforest research station) regularly needs volunteers (who can be anybody with interest in snakes).

I will get you in touch with the concerned authorities. Pm me your contact details.

But mind you, it can get very boring at times. In my last visit, my cobra didn't move from his position for 3 days

Dr. A Ghosh
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Old 13th March 2011, 12:32   #10
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Default Re: Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra

When we decided to start. Some of my friends and colleagues made fun of me, that I am going all the way to see snakes. What people dont understand is I dont drive to see places. i drive to get out of the city go somewhere spend some time with myself and my fiends / family. whatever I could see is fine. I need not see all the places. I need not hurry to cover all of them. That's exactly what we all do in our busy city lives.

We start early morning from Hyderabad like all of our trips. I dont drive at nights neither my friends. Early morning drives are different fun. While I was driving My friend was making use of his DSLR. We Fill the tank at the petrol bunk outside the Hyd international airport and zoom of on the high way. Reaching kurnool took us no time as the highway was 6 lanes till then. FYI the travel was in July 2009.

We had food at the Gol Ghar dhaba outside kurnool. Gol Ghar dhabas are my favorite for the cleanliness. A1 Plazas used to be better until they were shut down by the Ambani family.

We headed towards Gooty. Reached Gooty by around 10 AM or so. Guntakal was our next destination. Near around Guntakal we decided to stop by and take some photos. We found the first snake of our trip at this Place.

I knew Chitradurga which falls en route falls in one of the high wind zones of the country. So we were expecting it to be windy. but windy at guntakal? Thats great.

Feel the wind
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-001.jpg

Not enough wind to blow him off
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-002.jpg

This guy needs to be chained
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-003.jpg

As we crossed Guntakal, and headed towards the Andhra-Karnataka border the roads became worse. NH 63 is one of the worse roads I have ever been. There was road in between truck holes ( the big daddy of pot holes). There were axle repair shops all the way. break down was a common sight. The Waggy body got hit so many times that we decided to shift positions alternately to balance weight. I was driving ..next to me was a fat guy. behind the fat guy was my lean friend and behind me was a heavy guy. but inspite of all the brilliant minds the waggy still got hit. There was only One Car behind us a white fiesta. The othe rcar was far behind us.

Finally we decided to get down and asked my friend murali to drive the car. We were forced to get down from the highway and take the fields with a few ridges. while we were walking my friend Sabya started taking pictures of the great highway and the other two of us walking aimlessly.

Suddenly when my friend turns around. There was a guy smiling at him. Immediately they started shouting and calling us - me and my photographer friend. Guess what this guy smiling at my friend turns out to be a classmate of ours. Infact he was my roomie during my engineering days in Surathkal.

The world is definitely very small. In a deserted place where we dont see anyone as far as we could see. we see this one car behind us and the person traveling turns out to be a friend of ours. The world is Small is all i can say. The stretch of 3Kms or so took us more than 3 hrs.

Finally we reach Chitradurga by around 4 PM. We stop by wowing at the Windmills. Non of us had seen windmill farms earlier.


First view of Windmills
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-004.jpg

Windmills close Up - All Thanks to Digital Zoom
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-005.jpg

More Windmills
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-006.jpg

Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-007.jpg

The Cloud Cover
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-008.jpg

Windy aka Ghostly Tree
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-011.jpg

We were so excited seeing so many windmills, I could not help my self clicking
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-aagumbe-012.jpg
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Old 13th March 2011, 12:35   #11
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For all those interested in visiting Aagumbe - the Land of Clouds, The Kingdom of the Cobra and the place with most rainfall after Cherrapunji / Mausam gram ( as I was told - no official records with me). Watch out for the documentary on Nat Geo they keep airing it every now and then.
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Old 13th March 2011, 18:29   #12
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For all those interested in visiting Aagumbe - the Land of Clouds, The Kingdom of the Cobra and the place with most rainfall after Cherrapunji / Mausam gram ( as I was told - no official records with me). Watch out for the documentary on Nat Geo they keep airing it every now and then.
Agumbe in the monsoon is Heaven. I don't know if it is the second highest rainfall receiving place in India after Cherrapunji/Mawsynram, but it is for sure in Karnataka. According to newspaper reports, Off late the highest rainfall tag (in Karnataka) is held by another place called Hulikal which is few kilometers north of Agumbe.

@Dr.Abheek, how much were you charged during your stay at ARRS?
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Old 13th March 2011, 23:47   #13
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@ragul: absolutely sir. The ARSS (agumbe rainforest research station) regularly needs volunteers (who can be anybody with interest in snakes).

I will get you in touch with the concerned authorities. Pm me your contact details.

But mind you, it can get very boring at times. In my last visit, my cobra didn't move from his position for 3 days

Dr. A Ghosh
09960332228
dr.abheek@gmail.com
I can manage times without any action. PM'ed you.

BTW I had a narrow escape with a K.C strike a couple of years back, but the story is best told in another thread ... someday.

--Ragul
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:12   #14
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BTW I had a narrow escape with a K.C strike a couple of years back, but the story is best told in another thread ... someday.

--Ragul
Now this is interesting. Please share your experience
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Old 15th March 2011, 00:51   #15
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@Dr.Abheek, how much were you charged during your stay at ARRS?
Rs.250/- per day including meals and accomodation.
You have to help the team do whatever they are doing on the days of your visit.
Will post more details about the activities they carry out and what exactly is ARSS.

Here are some pics from my archives :

Sunrise at Agumbe
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-sunrise-agumbe.jpg

Monsoon at Agumbe
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-monsoon-agumbe.jpg

A Glimpse of the rainforest explored
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-glimpse-rainforest-explored.jpg

Crab on the road
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-crab.jpg

Leeches spare none
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-leeches-spare-noone.jpg

Ripples
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-ripples.jpg

Malabar Pit Viper - Pose
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-malabar-pit-viper-pose.jpg

King Cobra Hatchling
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-king-cobra-hatchling.jpg

Killer Lurks in the shadows
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-killer-lurks-shadows.jpg

Indomitable Hannah
Hannah, my friend treks a river bed with field notes and camera in hand as we hiked through Agumbe Rain Forest, a stunning world.
Tresspassing into the capital of King Cobra-hannah.jpg


Enjoy these.
@Funda : sorry to Hijack your thread with my images.


regards,
Dr. A Ghosh

Last edited by abheekg : 15th March 2011 at 01:01.
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