Jan 15, 2017

lakshadweep, India

Lakshadweep, formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy, and Aminidivi Islands is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 kilometres (120 to 270 mi) off the south western coast of India. The archipelago is a Union Territory and is governed by the Union Government of India. They were also known as Laccadive Islands, although geographically this is only the name of the central subgroup of the group. Lakshadweep comes from "Lakshadweepa", which means "one hundred thousand islands" in Sanskrit. The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India: their total surface area is just 32 km2 (12 sq mi). The lagoon area covers about 4,200 km2 (1,600 sq mi), the territorial waters area 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi) and the exclusive economic zone area 400,000 km2 (150,000 sq mi). The region forms a single Indian district with ten sub divisions. Kavaratti serves as the capital of the Union Territory and the region comes under the jurisdiction of Kerala High Court. The islands are the northernmost of the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge.

As the islands do not have any aboriginal groups, different views have been postulated by the scholars about the history of habitation on these islands. Archaeological evidence support the existence of human settlement in the region around 1500 BC. The islands have long been known to sailors, as indicated by an anonymous reference from the first century AD to the region in Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. The islands were referenced also in the Buddhist Jataka stories of the 6th century BC. The arrival of Muslim missionaries around 7th century led to the advent of Islam in the region. During the medieval period the region was ruled by the Chola dynasty and Kingdom of Cannanore. The Portuguese arrived around 1498 and were upstaged by 1545. The region was then ruled by the Muslim house of Arakkal, followed by Tipu Sultan. On his death in 1799 most of the region passed on to the British and with their departure the Union Territory was formed in 1956.

Ten of the islands are inhabited. At the 2011 Indian census the population of the Union Territory was 64,473. The majority of the indigenous population is Muslim and most of them belong to the Shafi School of the Sunni Sect. The islanders are ethnically similar to the Malayali people of the nearest Indian state of Kerala. Most of the population speaks Malayalam with Mahi (or Mahl) being the most spoken language in Minicoy island. The islands are served by an airport on the Agatti island. The main occupation of the people is fishing and coconut cultivation, with tuna being the main item of export.












Lakshadweep is an archipelago of twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks, with a total of about thirty-nine islands and islets. The reefs are in fact also atolls, although mostly submerged, with only small unvegetated sand cays above the high-water mark. The submerged banks are sunken atolls. Almost all the atolls have a northeast-southwest orientation with the islands lying on the eastern rim, and a mostly submerged reef on the western rim, enclosing a lagoon. It has 10 inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands, attached islets, 4 newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs.

The main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy, and Amini. The total population of the territory is 60,595 according to the 2001 census. Agatti has an airport with direct flights from Kochi.

Due to its isolation and scenic appeal, Lakshadweep was already known as a tourist attraction for Indians since 1974. This brings in significant revenue, which is likely to increase. Since such a small region cannot support industries, the government is actively promoting tourism as a means of income in Bangaram and Kadmat islands. Bangaram is projected as a major destination for international tourism. Marine fauna are plentiful. Water sports activities such as scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, sportfishing, yachting and night-voyages into the sea are quite popular activities among tourists. Tourists flock to these islands throughout the year except during the South-west monsoon months when seas are extremely rough. Government has also proposed to set up two customs clearance check-in offices so that tourists can directly enter these islands instead of getting permission from nearest customs office in Kochi, which is 260 nautical miles (300 mi; 480 km) from these islands. These will be the smallest customs offices in India. Tourism is expected to get big boost after this as these islands lie on one of the busiest cruise way.

for more details - Lakshadweep

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the seven union territories of India, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

The territory is 150 km (93 mi) north of Aceh in Indonesia and separated from Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) by the Andaman Sea. It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10°N parallel, with the Andamans to the north of this latitude, and the Nicobars to the south (or by 179 km). The Andaman Sea lies to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west.

The territory's capital is the Andamanese town of Port Blair. The total land area of these islands is approximately 8,249 km2 (3,185 sq mi). The capital of Nicobar Islands is Car Nicobar. The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.

The Andaman Islands are home to the only known Paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people, who have no contact with any other people.










The Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a tropical rainforest canopy, made of a mixed flora with elements from Indian, Myanmar, Malaysian and endemic floral strains. So far, about 2,200 varieties of plants have been recorded, out of which 200 are endemic and 1,300 do not occur in mainland India

The present forest coverage is claimed to be 86.2% of the total land area.This atypical forest coverage is made up of twelve types, namely:

    Giant evergreen forest
    Andamans tropical evergreen forest
    Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forest
    Cane brakes
    Wet bamboo brakes
    Andamans semi-evergreen forest
    Andamans moist deciduous forest
    Andamans secondary moist deciduous forest
    Littoral forest
    Mangrove forest
    Brackish water mixed forest
    Submontane forest
 
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are developing into a major tourism hub with exotic-looking beaches and pristine islands having equally exotic names, wonderful opportunities for adventure sports like snorkelling and sea-walking.

In Port Blair, the main places to visit are the Cellular Jail, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman Water sports complex, Chatham Saw Mill, Mini Zoo, Corbyn's cove, Chidiya Tapu, Wandoor Beach, Forest Museum, Anthropological Museum, Fisheries Museum, Naval Museum (Samudrika), Ross Island and Viper Island. Other places include Havelock island famous for Radhanagar Beach, Neil Island for Scuba diving/snorkelling, Cinque island, Saddle peak, Mt Harriet and Mud Volcano. The southern group (Nicobar islands) is mostly inaccessible to tourists.

Indian tourists do not require a permit to visit the Andaman islands but if they wish to visit any tribal areas they need a special permit from the Deputy Commissioner, Port Blair. Permits are required for foreign nationals. For foreign nationals arriving by air, these are granted upon arrival at Port Blair.

According to official estimates, the flow of tourists doubled to nearly 300,000 in 2012 from 130,000 in 2008–09. The Radha Nagar beach of Andamans was chosen as Asia’s best Beach in 2004

for more details - Andaman and Nicobar Islands
 

Jan 14, 2017

Manikaran, India

Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley on river Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the  Kullu  District of Himachal Pradesh. It is at an altitude of 1760 m and is located about 35 km from Kullu.

This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs  and  pilgrim centres. An experimental geothermal energy plant has also been set up here.

Manikaran is a pilgrimage centre  for  Hindus and Sikhs. The  Hindus  believe  that  Manu  recreated  human  life  in  Manikaran  after the  flood, making  it  a  area. It has  many temples and a gurudwara. There are temples of the Hindu deities Rama, Krishna, and Vishnu. The area is well known for its hot springs and its beautiful landscape.










According to legend, when the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati were walking in the valley, Parvati dropped one of her earrings. The jewel was seized by Shesha, the serpent deity, who then disappeared into the earth with it. Shesha only surrendered the jewel when Shiva performed the cosmic dance, the Tandava and shot the jewel up through the water. Apparently, jewels continued to be thrown up in the waters at Manikaran until the earthquake of 1905

Jan 13, 2017

Dudhsagar Falls

Dudhsagar Falls (literally Sea of Milk ) is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the border of the Indian state of Karnataka, India. It is 60 km from Panaji by road and is located on the Madgaon-Belgaum rail route about 46 km east of Madgaon and 80 km south of Belgaum. Dudhsagar Falls is amongst India's tallest waterfalls with a height of 310 m(1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet).

The falls is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among the Western Ghats. The waterfall forms the border between Karnataka and Goa states. The area is surrounded by a deciduous forests with a rich bio diversity. The falls are not particularly spectacular during the dry season but during the monsoon season however, the falls are fed by rains and form a huge force of water.









The nearest rail station accessible by road to the falls is Castle Rock station. Visitors could get in a train from here and disembark at the Dudhsagar stop. It is to be noted that the Dudhsagar rail stop is not a station where passengers can expect a platform. Passengers and visitors have to climb down the steep ladder of the rail compartment in a short 1-2 minute unscheduled stop. From this rail stop, visitors have to walk about a kilometer on the tracks to arrive at the falls. While the walk itself is something unexpected for a popular tourist destination, there is a 200 m train tunnel that is totally dark which makes the walk a bit tougher. Recently Indian Railways has banned people from boarding/deboarding passengers at Dudhsagar railway. There is no availability of fresh drinking water nor clean rest room facilities anywhere in the vicinity of the falls including at the rail stop. There is absolutely no access to power or cellular signal at this location just as there is no access to road transportation.

One can reach the Doodhsagar Water falls with the help of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary Taxi near a Goan Village called Molem. This Association will take you through lush green forest and some heavy  flowing  streams  and  get  back  to  you  same  place. Currently  this  is  the  only access to the Waterfall. The plus point of going through Association is One can see the full view of Doodhsagar Waterfall were as if you go by Indian Railway you will see half of waterfall view only.

Jan 12, 2017

Nohkalikai Falls

Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. Its height is 1115 feet (340 metres), making it as the highest waterfall in India. The waterfall is located near Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on Earth. Nohkalikai Falls are fed by the rainwater collected on the summit of comparatively small plateau and decrease in power during the dry season in December - February. Below the falls there has formed a plunge pool with unusual green colored water.
Nohkalikai Falls

The name of the falls in Khasi language meaning "Jump of Ka Likai" is linked to a legend about local women Likai who jumped off the cliff next to the falls; According to legends, in a village called Rangjyrteh, upstream from Nohkalikai Falls, a woman named Likai resided but had to remarry after her husband died. Ka Likai (Ka is the prefix given for the female gender in Khasi) was left with her infant girl with no means of income. So she had to become a porter herself. Her work required her to leave her daughter unattended for long intervals but when she would be at home she would spend most of her time taking care of her infant. Ka Likai, who married a second time, couldn’t pay attention to her second husband. The jealous husband killed the infant and cooked her meat after throwing away her head and bones. When Ka Likai returned home, she saw nobody in the house but except for a meal that had been prepared. She wanted to go look for her daughter but she ate the meat as she was tired from work.



Ka Likai usually had a betel leaf after her meals but she found a severed finger near the place where she usually cut betel nuts and betel leaves. Ka Likai realized what had happened in her absence and went mad with anger and grief and started running as she swung a hatchet in her hand. She ran off the edge of the plateau and the waterfall where she jumped from was named Nohkalikai Falls after her

Jan 11, 2017

Krem Liat Prah Cave, Meghalaya, India

Krem Liat Prah is the longest natural cave in India. Prah (Krem is the Khasi word for "cave") is one of approximately 150 known caves in the Shnongrim Ridge of the East Jaintia Hills district in the state of Meghalaya, northeast India. Explored and surveyed as part of the ongoing Abode of the Clouds Expedition project, its current length of about 34 kilometers will likely be increased as nearby caves continue to be connected. Liat Prah's dominant feature is its enormous trunk passage, the Aircraft Hangar.

Monsoon rains have given way to a mind-boggling system of caves that are found on the limestone plateau of Meghalaya. The discovery of this cave goes back to the time when the cave was discovered by the Shillong-based Meghalaya Adventurer Association which was formed in 1990. That means, you literally get to explore the unexplored, and meet the wild unknowingness of this North Eastern Cave land of India.

Jan 10, 2017

Monarch Butterfly Migration


Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) perform annual migrations across North America which have been called "one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world".

Starting in September and October, eastern/northeastern populations migrate from southern Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in central Mexico where they arrive around November. They start the return trip in March, arriving around July. No individual butterfly completes the entire round trip; female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation during the northward migration and at least four generations are involved in the annual cycle.

Similarly, the western populations migrate annually between regions west of the Rocky Mountains including northern Canada and overwintering sites at the coast of California.

Monarchs also perform small distance migrations in Australia and New Zealand. There are also some populations, for instance in Florida and the Caribbean, that do not migrate. Recently discovered overwintering sites have been identified in Arizona and northern Florida






 
Not all monarchs migrate. Migrating populations and non-migrating populations coexist in many areas. Monarchs are year-round residents in Florida and monarchs migrate to Florida and Gulf coast areas, and can often continue to breed and survive the winter. The monarch population in Florida may be a result from migratory butterflies that do not to migrate north in the spring. These locations provide access to nectar plants. If there is a hard frost in these areas they do not survive. Asclepias curassavica, an introduced annual ornamental, provides larval food if native species are unavailable, although because of the risks to monarchs from the spread of the parasite, OE, this plant is not recommended for planting. Year-round breeding of resident monarch populations exist in the Caribbean, and in Mexico as far south as the Yucatán peninsula. Surprisingly, monarchs do not migrate over most of their global range. Tagging records demonstrate that the eastern and western populations are not entirely separate. Arizona butterflies have been captured at overwintering sites in both California and Michoacan, Mexico.[10]In some instances monarchs from Arizona and New Mexico were found overwintering in California and in Mexico.
 
For more details - Monarch Butterfly Migration