Prince Charles takes a royal ride through Vazhachal reserve forest
Published: 13th November 2013 01:04 PM | Last Updated: 13th November 2013 01:04 PM | A+A A-
Britain’s Prince Charles had a memorable taste of the wildlife in the state during his visit to the rain-soaked interiors of the reserve forest at Vazhachal here on Tuesday.
Immersed in the wild beauty of Vazhchal, the Prince enjoyed the harmony of the unexpected rain that lashed the hilly terrain in the afternoon as if to accord a grand traditional reception to the visiting guest.
There is a belief among the tribals living in the area that rain on an auspicious day, whether it is one’s wedding or starting of a new project, will bring good luck for the venture he looks for.
Since his knot with the hilly terrain has become wet, the tribals believe that his connection with the forest and wildlife will also be a lasting one.
The heavens opened up heavily at one moment. But there was no thunder or lightning as is normal during the north-east monsoon. And it was smooth ride for the Prince through the wilderness.
According to Abdul Nazerkunju, divisional forest officer, the prince and his entourage reached Vazhachal by 1.40 pm in a specially arranged vehicle from Kochi. After a short stay at the inspection bungalow at Vazhachal, the forest officials took him to the elephant corridor inside the forest, nearly 5 km away from the bungalow. However, no elephant could be spotted at that time, he said.
The Prince spent around 40 minutes in the elephant corridor enquiring about the flora and fauna of the region. Soon he returned to the inspection bungalow and interacted with five selected tribal people.
During the interaction, he mainly sought the details of their vocation, the forest produces they collect, their food habit and the geographical and climate- related specialities of the area, Abdul Nazerkunju said.
His meeting with the tribals was followed by another interaction with the officials posted at the forest range office at Vazhachal and senior officials of the Wildlife Trust of India and various organisations connected with forest conservation.
He also enquired about the wild animals in the forests of Kerala, details of poaching and the flora and fauna of the region. The authorities also introduced snake charmer Vava Suresh, elephant lover Thadikannan, traditional botanist Mari and wildlife expert S Guruvayurappan to him.
Later at 4.40 pm he returned to Kochi. Before returning, he once again caught a glimpse of the roaring waterfall at Vazhachal.
The whole village also accorded a rousing reception to the visiting Prince in a typical and conventional rural style when his convoy passed through the area.