At 6:30 am the next day, we were up and ready to go boating. It felt too crowded at first at the boarding point, but once on the boat and into the river, it appeared like we were the only humans chasing wildlife.
Bless the man who came highly prepared with multiple cameras, lenses and other equipment. He handed over the binoculars to me—an act that I am eternally grateful for—because now, I can differentiate between an Indian shag and a cormorant. Over the next 45 mins, we spotted some extraordinary creatures.
If there was a plan of action after all the exposure we received, it was in this bit—Group discussions. It was an intense discussion on whether small steps by people can bring the necessary change in attitude. TK Sajeev highlighted on how motivated individuals can take part in various projects undertaken by Periyar Tiger Reserve as volunteers. He also mentioned that their website-http://periyartigerreserve.org/home.php has regular updates on upcoming projects.
Though still an amateur—considering my knowledge in wildlife, I have gained some insight that makes me feel much closer to nature now, than I already was.
Note: An activity at Periyar Tiger Reserve that does not include trekking, spotting, clicking and guessing is…Shopping! ‘Eco shop’ at the entrance of Bamboo groove is your place to buy good quality honey, collected and bottled by native tribes. For those of you wanting to enhance your knowledge on the flora and fauna of PTR, in the same shop, there is a book on Periyar Tiger Reserve that you can buy released by the Forest Department, Kerala.