Showing posts from October, 2012


Dear friends,                  Wanderer’s Eye is now Sahyadrica. A name I closely relate with. Sahyadrica is derived from two words: Sahyadri·ica Sahyādri                 : [ Noun ] a mountain range along the western coast of India. - ica                 : [ Suffix ] a collection of things that relate to a specific place, person, theme, etc.                 Kalidasa identifies Western Ghats as a maiden, ever so young and beautiful, draped in a green sari. Her sari is now slowly faded of its colour. Man is ripping her to pieces. The solution is not of building walls around her for keeping men at bay. The question is, how can we both coexist. How can man – her son and daughter – save her at the same time serving his self. There have been solutions proposed but I guess they’re not to everyone’s liking so far.                 Sahyadrica is widely used to describe a species first discovered in, or endemic to the Sahyadri region, sometimes more specifically to the re

On a few wonders of Sahyadri

Sahyadri’s tabletop mountains are famous for their mighty cliffs. Some are tough to climb, some are too long to tread. Add to it the climatic variation, and they provide a different challenge in the dry and wet seasons. Monsoon is over now, but the wonderful results of the season can be felt everywhere. I’m glad to say we trekkers get to see all the avatars of Sahyadri as and when we get the opportunity. And yet, after all the peaks and passes and forts trekked in all the seasons, there are many cues and hints to things extraordinary and sometimes supernatural, that many of us miss. Sahyadri Plateau from Lonavala Let me take you on a walk to witness a few wonders of life in Sahyadri, which I believe are lesser known albeit being a phenomenon commonly experienced by many, but missed by chance, on a climb uphill on crumbling rocks. Trekking in October has its own merits and demerits. For one, it is extremely sultry, and therefore one must carry all the necessary provisions, l

Tracing Monsoon: Part IV: An Ode to Graminoids

Their birth is marked by very few, yet we all eagerly await them. They are one of the few organisms that, if I may use the phrase, carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But they lack shoulders, or bones. Scientists studying them call it agrostology, taxonomists identify them as Graminoids, but we all call them grass. A carpet of grass in Western Ghats We’re talking about grass which we all ignore simply because we’re too used to seeing it. In fact it is there right now not more than five meters from your home, unless you live in Antartica – but there too grows grass. Graminoid is a term used for three types of monocotyledonous plants with peculiar behavioural and growth pattern: the true grass (Poaceae), the sedges (Cyperaceae), and the rushes (Juncaceae). So what we call grass may either really be grass or it may be a sedge or a rush. That’s just one of the secrets of grasses (More on Graminoids and how to distinguish them can be read here ). I only recently start