Like Lao Tzu said, a good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. That was how we travelled over the end. Of course Kittur was our destination; all the same we did not have a deadline to meet. After Sanquelim, we went interior to Parieyen and then the Chorla Ghat.
As we climb up the Ghat terrain, there is a strange feeling of driving away from people, they recede on the plain till they become specks that disperse—it’s a huge world vaulting us, and then it’s good-bye. But there is also a call forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.
Then a sudden lone peak of high point as if a natural focal point in the landscape something by which both travellers and the mountain dwellers orient themselves. Continuity in the landscape, yet the mountains is discontinuous—culminating in the high points, natural barriers, and unearthly earth.
As it was cloudy, tall, grey spiky edged shadows seem to creep out of a green carpet, at first scarce, discernible gradually deepened and defined like formidable guardian. The emerald slopes became so tall they touched clouds, and showers painted diamond waterfalls that sluice down sides. This to me is the most impressive of the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt religious consciousness, and stood hushed like a devout worshipper waiting to be blessed.
Negotiating the curves, the road-hogs, the drunken drivers, the trucks, we made up the hill, the heat of the plains, a lingering memory. Over the week without clouds to veil the scorching sun we had been overwhelmed by the information of the sunlight and discomfort that came with excess of it. suddenly we drove into a cloud, and rain, the richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; for me rains have been healers, a blanket the comfort of a friend. I wonder if the rains that joins the sky and earth which would otherwise never touch, could join two hearts as well.
Chorla ghats is a nature destination on the north-east of Panaji, and part of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. It is in the intersection of the borders of Karnataka,Goa and Maharashtra. The range is at an elevation of 800 meters. It is believed to be the habitat of rare species of wildlife like Lycodon Striatus or the Barred Wolf Snake.
A nature conservation facility has been established here to facilitate research and long-term monitoring of the Western Ghats of the Sahyadri region and its biodiversity.
photographs courtesy: Jahnavi Koushik.
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