Mudhumalai Forest

Mudhumalai which means ‘old hills,’ is on the northwest of the Nilgiri. It is an important corridor for various animals, this forest is a continuum of Bandipur and Nagarhole forests in the north, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on the west, forests of Silent Valley in the south, to the east is Sigur plateau that leads to Sathyamangalam forest. It is  home for tigers, leopards, elephants, hyenas, bisons, monkeys and various other animals, reptiles, birds and insects.

River Moyar, a tributary of River Bhavani, flows through the forest. The forest is a mix of several vegetation  – the tropical moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous, thorn forest or scrub jungle patches; this variety in flora gives a rich colour to the forest.   


Bhavani Amman Temple

Bhavani is the second largest river in Tamilnadu. Beyond Avalanche Forest Reserve where thick Shola trees give way to grasslands, there is a temple for Bhavani Amman. The temple is small and simple with the image of the goddess in black stone. This place is believed to be one of the origins of River Bhavani. The river races down the rocks on which this beautiful temple is balanced, it  falls down the hills into the broad valley. Bhavani gathers girth with rain water as it flows downstream into the plains beyond on the east of the Nilgiri. 



Nilgiri: Pine Trees

About 40 kms from Ooty, on the way to Upper Bhavani, we drove through dense forest that was rich with Shola trees . As we climbed higher the wind swept mountain gave way to pine trees, and further up to tall grasses. Pine trees are sturdy, and at the same time very flexible; they have graceful branches that drape down, submitting to the high velocity of wind at that height.



Nilgiri Mountains: Ooty

Nilgiri is a mountain range that spreads across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It is part of the larger chain of mountains, the Western Ghats. We stayed at Ooty, and drove to several places around. The three paintings that I present here are parts of the hills close to Ooty. I discovered this blue house in my walk, it was hidden under a foliage of trees; I had to climb up a hill, stand on a jutting rock to have a clear glimpse of the house. It was drizzling, my son held an umbrella for me as I sketched and painted the house. The other two paintings are also close to Ooty town, on the way to Doddabetta, the highest point of the Nilgiri mountain range.