WORDS FROM EXPERTS
INTERVIEW WITH BALAMAHESH P
Balamahesh P from Mysore – the culture capital of India is a Nature & wildlife Photographer. His aim is to bring the conservation to next generation so that he could educate school children about wildlife and nature. He shares his memories and experiences through his website Wildlife Dairies. This Diary is completely dedicated to Nature and conservation also portraying his passion towards it. He believes that the eyes are the best camera so enjoying the nature is more of the essence than photographing them.
He is with us to share his expertise and experience with us.
When did you start your photography? What inspired you to get into it?
I started photography in 1995. I was always fascinated by nature and wildlife during my college days. During those days, I used to go for trekking in forest areas with my friends. This activity made me fall in love with the beauty of flora and fauna. Upon studying & understanding the behavior of birds and animals, I started liking wildlife photography in depth.
How did you learn this art? Do you have a Mentor? Who has been the biggest inspiration?
I would say, it’s god gift for me. I learned this art by observing images from various magazines and books. Every image of mine is the inspiration to click better next time. I just kept going!
What is your area of specialization in Photography? What inspired you to do specialization in that stream?
Wildlife. I love to capture species from small insect to the big elephant. Blending with nature and meeting various wildlife experts on the field inspired me to take wildlife as specialization. People started recognizing my images and published in various magazines. This motivates me to do more work in the interest of wildlife. DCP expeditions give me a good platform to show my skills and talent in photography.
What were some of your most exciting and adventurous moments on the field and in your photography life?
I had experienced several exciting moments in the jungle. Staying with tribal people and discussing with them about the species for the whole night in the forest. Trekking during night time in search of frogs and snakes in western ghat areas is always adventurous. Once in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, female tigress attacked our gypsy during safari time. Still, the tiger growling reverberate in my ears!
What are your goals and future plans?
My goal and future plan is to educate school children and spreading awareness on wildlife and nature conservation to them.
Can you write a few lines on the forests in South India?
Balamahesh: Kabini, also called Kapila, is a river in southern India, originates in the Wayanad District, Kerala state. It flows eastward to join the Kaveri River at T Narasipura in Karnataka. The Kaveri river then empties into the Bay of Bengal. Close to the town of Sargur, it forms the huge Kabini Reservoir. The backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are very rich in wildlife especially in summer when the water level recedes to form rich grassy meadows.
The Kabini Forest Reserve is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka, probably because of its accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding a large lake, and sightings of herds of elephants, tigers, leopards, wild dogs etc. It is just 80 km away from Mysore and 205 km from Bangalore and comprises the south-eastern part of Nagarahole National Park. Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka.
Bandipur National Park established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Mysore but has now been upgraded to Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Bandipur forest is dominated by dry deciduous forest. The park spans an area of 874 square kilometers. This forest is adjoining to Nagarhole National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve making it the largest protected area in southern India and largest habitat of wild elephants in south Asia. The highest density of leopards and tigers are found in these forests.
Important ecological regions of South India are the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the Anamalai Hills in the Western Ghats. Bird sanctuaries including Vedanthangal, Ranganathittu, Kumarakom, Neelapattu and Pulicat are home to numerous migratory and local birds. The most endemic macaque – Lion-tailed macaque is found only in Valparia forest, Tamil Nadu. It is believed that people have seen god in the forest. Hence it is called “God Seen Place”.
Can you share your experiences in Kabini and Bandipur forests and also about the attraction factors of these places?
As mentioned earlier, both the forests are rich in biodiversity and are extremely beautiful jungles. The jungle lodges resorts are the best place to stay and enjoy the wildlife. I had spent a lot of time in both the locations. Captured many images of a tiger with I ndian gaur kill, wild dogs attacking spotted deer, Osprey eagle with fish and much more. Must visit place!
Special Thanks to Balamahesh P for sharing his experiences.
With Love & Passion
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