Sahyadrica was created in June of 2008 with an intention to keep a log of excursions, expeditions, and nature trails I have been a part of. The idea was to create a journal of all the observations related to biodiversity made during monsoon months, and to catalog them according to date, place, photographs, and information. Since Sahyadrica’s inception (formerly Wanderer’s Eye), it has grown to encompass a number of articles from personal notes pertaining to nature, to documenting man’s role in shaping the course of the environment, to the natural history of all things big and small, and little adventures exploring the natural heritage of the places visited.
Sahyadrica is a Latinized word literally meaning of or belonging to the Sahyadri. It is widely used to describe a species first discovered in, or endemic to, the Sahyadri region, more specifically the Western Ghats region from Karnataka to Maharashtra.
: [Noun] a mountain range along the western coast of India.
: [Suffix] a collection of things that relate to a specific place, person, theme, etc.
Sahyadrica’s symbol is adapted from an artifact commonly found on forts in the Sahyadri and the Konkan. It is a common feature near the great stony doors. Its historic origins however are unknown. It is an ancient monument of the forgotten realm of rock-art diversity of Sahyadri that needs to be studied if one is to save one’s cultural history.
It roughly appears to be a version of the Navagunjara, a composite of nine animals, the avatar of Vishnu, more common in eastern India than the west. It symbolizes the diversity of not only the Sahyadri but the entire subcontinent of India, and its mystery represents the larger unknowns of the natural world. Its adaptation as a symbol for Sahyadrica is the celebration of the diversity and the mysterious unknowns it represents.
The accompanying symbols compliment the Navagunjara. On the left is Ouroboros, originating in ancient Egypt depicting primarily the cycle of life and death, or periodic renewal. To the right is Sahasrāra the thousand petaled chakra, one of the seven wheels depicting human body in the Vedas, symbolizing pure consciousness. Both these stand for two strong forces, of the way of the universe and of the human mind. The extended arm of God from Michelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam' in the background parallels the same arm in place of man's, symbolizing the image of man in man's eye, and the quest of mankind to attain the unattainable.
I have been fascinated by the natural world since I was a kid. I believe that studying the biochemical mechanism that drives metamorphosis is more magical, and worthy of studying, when one has witnessed this phenomenal transformation by their own eyes. Nature’s wonders are more than just science, it is pure art. Earlier, my studies were mere bare-eyed observations such as “a-green-coloured-fly-with-black-wings” that kept me engaged at the kitchen table, but then I realize there’s more than meets the eye. Today, it’s “a-green-coloured-fly-with-black-wings-for-a-purpose” or, more correctly, “a-Dolichopodid-male-fly-with-black-wings-for-coutrship-display”.
I use words and photography as a medium of expression, and I use the platform of Sahyadrica to convey my interactions with the natural world. I believe that it is the responsibility of every dweller of this planet to open their ears and eyes and feel the world around – to see the little ants and the bees, birds and beasts, the trees, the mountains and the oceans – to see the world through their eyes – and realise that we are not above them, but a part of them.
My photo-documentaries can be viewed on Slideshare.