This is a 3 year old story- rather my first stint with the forest with a scientific interest.
MM hills as we all know is a hill range in the border of Tamil nadu and Karnataka close to the forest of Satyamangalam which was the strong hold of the Dreaded poacher and smuggler- Veerappan.
The reason why i was there was to look for tigers! yes tigers and not veerappan as he was long gone by that time! :)
I finished my first internal test in college and took the packed bags which i had got with me and left directly to MM hills from college with other fellow volunteers who had decided to spend some of their quality time in search of tigers.
We all took the Much famed "GYPSY" from bangalore and drove down to kollegala where we spent the night in a hotel and early next morning, we started off at 5am to reach MM hills to breakfast.
It was only the next day that i got a true essence of what the forest was- Went with a senior on a 10km trail through the dry forest and up and down the hilly terrain in the scroching heat of the sun which was beating down your backs!
sambars, chitals leopards and what not all of it were being identified by my seniors and frankly speaking all of it was drving me crazy!
soon after having endured the overdose of survey we came to a stream to have lunch- A stupendous meal of "ಚಿತ್ರಾನ್ನ" .
Soon it became evening and we came close to where we were supposed to be picked up and as per plan we were picked up and we got back to the hotel where we had put up... with this, I stepped into the world of "wildlife research and monitoring" and contributed my time doing the work as a volunteer for three long years before calling it quits for reasons which i do not wish to explain!