Monday, July 10, 2006

Wild flowers in the forests near Mhow (MP), India

I love this photograph of wild flowers I clicked in the forests near Mhow on a full moon night of April 1998. I and two teenagers had accompanied a group of trekkers from the Indore branch of the Youth Hostels Association of India on a night trek to a fort named Kushalgarh. We joined the main group, which had left Indore on a Khandwa bound train, at Mhow. From Mhow the train went past a station named Patalpani which is famous for a huge waterfall. We got down at a station named Kalakund. The trek started around midnight and we walked through the forest till the fort and then walked to another railway station named Patalpani. We reached Patalpani just before dawn. It was a beautiful experience watching the sunrise. A train ride on a train from Khandwa brought us back to Mhow. The main group continued towards Indore. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It is almost as if I were dreaming. I have been to this area on three occassions - 1994, 1997 and 1998 - and it has always been on a night trek. The group I usually go with chooses a full moon night in April. They make this their last local trek before the onset of the harsh summer. Enthusiasts from this group then head towards Himachal Pradesh for the summer trekking progam.

I should take a trip there during the daytime. It is green and beautiful now - thanks to the rains.

We see many trees all our lives but very often we do not know their names. I do not know what the name of this tree is. Maybe I can ask a forest official or a villager or tribal who lives in this area. Or a tree lover like Pradip Krishen whose well researched book on the trees of Delhi has become a bestseller.


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