Saturday, 8 September 2012

A day in Western Ghat...

(Science Express - Biodiversity special is having dedicated coach for " The Western Ghats" of India. Some of the Science Communicator explore this region by their own way during the journey. Their experience in their own words.)

Konkan Railways is one of the greatest creations by humans. Even God would have felt jealous at this marvelous creation of the man. The 760-kilometre line connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka States — a region of serpentine rivers, plunging valleys and mountains that soar into the clouds. This is one of the most beautiful and scenic Indian railway networks. It passes through 91 tunnels and more than 2000 bridges. I woke up early morning travelling to Goa and enjoyed the natural beauty sitting on the door of the train. This nature watching went on for three hours. I saw a variety of birds; clouds shrouding the mountains and rivers brimming with rain water. The beauty of India is way beyond my imagination.

The train reached Goa unexpectedly much before time. Usually people like to visit the Goa beaches. But we took a detour. We, a group of seven science communicators, went to Pushkar’s (Pushkar is my team mate and a good friend) village which was across the Western Ghats on the beaches washed by Arabian Sea. Indian mythology has something to do in each place. It is believed that Lord Parashuram threw his “farsa” into the Arabian Sea and landmass rose up which is known as Western Ghats today. It was an amazing road journey amidst heavy rainfall. We saw lot of rivers and small ponds on the way. The road was undulating like a sinusoidal wave. On both sides, we could see fresh greenery which charmed the eyes. The real journey started when we rode uphill to the Western Ghats. I cannot describe the scenic beauty of Western Ghats in words. Here the linguistic brilliance of man loses the battle with the brilliance of the nature. But I would still try to describe the natural beauty. The roads were curvaceous and narrow. There were valleys and huge swathes of greenery. Amidst the greenery, we could easily spot some beautiful birds, small streams of water which originated because of the rain. There came the most beautiful scene which etched on my mind for ever. 

It was a sharp turn which took us round the mountain in clock wise direction. The very moment we took the turn, we had a glance of ferocious waves of Arabian Sea. This view first appeared, etched its effect on our mind and went away in no time.  At that moment, I could not stop myself from screaming at nature’s stunning beauty. It was hard to believe that there was actually a sea beyond the mountains we are driving up. We could not observe the sea again until we finished our downward journey and reached the lonely beach in our friend’s village. On the way down to the coastal land, we stopped at a Surya temple which is considered to be family God by our friend’s family. Standing on the sea shore, we saw the tidal waves hitting the mountains of Western Ghats mercilessly. That was a scene to behold. I never imagined that two most powerful creation of God (The Sea and The Mountain) will come together.

Pushkar's uncle is a humble man. He lives alone in a small house on the beach. Every step towards the house released the worldly pressure. It was calm air dotted with the sounds of unknown birds and purified by rain. The house had a wooden hedge around it. The entrance gate was made up of wood crisscrossed, possibly to make the structure strong. The rain water was dripping from the canopy of the coconut trees. These little drops seeped deep into my soul. Just besides the coconut trees, the steps on hill were going towards mango trees. We entered into his house which was dark because of rain outside. He welcomed us with a warm smile and offered us delicious food. He also loves music which was apparent from the harmonium lying nearby. We shared some light moments from our journey with the uncle. Pushkar lost into the past memories of his village and sat on the steps outside the house. The time had almost stopped. It was as if we are living here for a long time.

Although it was raining and the sea water was dirty, we still wanted to venture into the sea water. Some fishermen were busy catching the fishes and we were standing in the waters looking into the distant sea. As I looked into the sea, two black dots appeared and disappeared time and again as the tidal waves came and receded. I think that these two dots were some rocky islands. I tried to take the panoramic view of the sea. On the left hand side, it was some rocks where some fishermen were standing and then rotated my eyes clockwise; I could see the sea dotted with two rocky islands. A lush green island appeared after that. Immediately after the island, it was the invincible mountains diving into the sea. Then it was an isolated beach and the mountains reaching the sky. The black muddy water from nearby villages was meeting the sea. The sea never objected with the quality of the water. It embraced everything.

I could see birds sitting on the rocks beside the sea. They were waiting to catch the fishes and I was crawling like a child towards them to catch a glimpse. I spotted Egret, tern, kingfisher, sandpiper, common heron and few others. The journey to a village in Western Ghats will always be alive in my memories.

- Ankit Kapoor

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