Monks Diaries

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Om-Mani-Padme-Hum: The Tibetan Prayer Flag

icon time18-Jun-2019

icon location Kochi

icon profile TreeMonks

Travellers to the Himalayas have an emotional connection with multicolour Tibetan Prayer Flags! This rectangular flag has deep meanings and rich connections with the Tibetan and Chinese Cultures! 


Each colour of the flag symbolizes an element. The red, blue, yellow, white and green Buddhist prayer flags represent elements like air, fire, water and earth. White symbolizes air, red is fire. Green is water, yellow is earth, and blue is wind. They also represent directions – North, South, East, West and Center. The sacred mantra inscribed on the flag - ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ has a very deep meaning. 'Om' is the sacred syllable, 'Mani' means the Jewel while Padme refers to the sacred Lotus and Hum is the Spirit of enlightenment.


The mantra doesn't carry any particular meaning, but the mantra encompasses a combination of values like compassion, ethics, patience, diligence, renunciation and wisdom. It is said that if you recite the mantra during meditation, it can cure pride, jealousy, ignorance, greed and aggression. 
It's a good omen to receive the Tibetan Flag as a gift or have the flags in your belongings like House, Vehicles etc.

Other Blog Posts

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The Neelakurinji Days are here!

18-Jun-2019

Post by Naveen Mathew

It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical. It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical. It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical.

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land. Don’t miss the visual extravaganza – it comes once in 12 years! The monsoons are here in Kerala, with all its uncertainty, downpouring on every nook and corner of the state. In the hills of Munnar, the beauty and the beast-like traits of the rainy season keeps beating upon the region with silver liquid drops

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It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical. It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical. It’s time for nature’s wizardry over the hills over Munnar. Neelakurinji is all set to bloom – Yes, the purplish-blue shade shall cover the valleys of the mountains, turning it into a magical

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The Picturesque Peechi-Vazhani Belt!

13-Jun-2019

Post by TreeMonks

Ever imagined about the picturesque scenes that a dam can create at its collection areas? If you cannot imagine, then witness it for real at the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary!

The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is the best pick for someone looking to lurk into the beauty of nature! It is a destination that is enamoured with the intrinsic beauty of nature.

The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1985 and sprawls over a complex 125 sq.km towards the eastern side of Thrissur in the premises of the Peechi and Vazhani Dam. To be exact, the Sanctuary is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani Dams. The Sanctuary happens to be the integral part of the Palapilli-Nelliampathy forests and forms the northern boundary of the Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary in Thrissur.

The place is blessed with many a picnic spot along with an astounding location with rejuvenating boating options. The highest point here is the 923 m high peak which offers an excellent view of the underlying valley. There are more than 50 different kinds of orchids, exotic medicinal plants, teak and rosewood here. Tourist can find more than 25 different species of mammals like the Tiger, Deer, Sambar, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Indian Bison and Asian Elephant etc. here. There are more than a hundred species of birds, of which many are unique to the Western Ghats. The belt also has several snake and lizard species.

The reservoirs turn into beautiful lakes inside the wildlife sanctuary. Time spent in the place are tremendously relaxing, often a cool breeze melts down your hard thought and make you feel lighter!

For anyone heading to the Sanctuary, they shall arrive at the village of Peechi. Peechi village is the entry point to the sanctuary. Kerala’s Department of Forest organize exciting and adventurous trekking trails into the sanctuary. The trekking is recommended only for the experienced trekkers as it could get hectic on normal people. Unfortunately, unlike the other places, there are no Jeep Safaris arranged at this sanctuary.

Tourists find the place to be best visited during the months between October to March, when the surroundings of the jungle are ideal for animal spotting and trekking. The park has many accommodation options at the information centre in Peechi, available in the form of rest houses.

So this weekend, let’s run away from the madding crowds of Cochin and escape to the magic of Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary, and spend some wonderful time among majestic hills, lush green forests and silvery lakes.

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Eravikulam Wildlife Diaries

13-Jun-2019

Post by TreeMonks

 

In the series of Wildlife Hotspots of Kerala, next comes Eravikulam National Park in Idukki. This is a hero amongst the wildlife spots as it is world renowned for various uniqueness in it.

Idukki is one of the precious crown jewels of God’s Own Country and has attracted visitors from around the world for centuries due to its natural splendour.

The Eravikulam National Park lies hidden inside the wilderness of Idukki near Munnar.

The Park is home to the world famous Nilgiri Tahrs. This sacred haven for this exotic animal is a relief in a time when different species are disappearing off the face of the planet. Some rare animals and endangered species of butterflies can be spotted here. The park is also famous for great view of tea plantation, rolling hills and Neelakurinji.  Situated in the Devikulam Taluk of Idukki district, people also flock to this park to view the special Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once every 12 years. The next sighting is expected to be in 2030.

Eravikulam National Park is the first of its kind in Kerala. Yes - it is Kerala’s first national park. This park is famous for its collection of tahr. Nilgiri tahr is a goat like species that is endangered.

Munnar wildlife division and the Forest and wildlife division of Kerala runs the park. The park is a heritage site. The Eravikulam national park’s terrain includes hill plateau, grasslands, sholas, mountain peak, perennial streams that merge with Periyar River or Pamba River, waterfalls and others

The park also boasts of hosting South India's highest peak, Anamudi (2695 m), in its southern area. This park is spread over an area of 97 square kilometres and packs tons of fun spots for people to have a good time in. One can see the crowds around the Echo Point, where the natural view and unique setting adds to the eponymous phenomenon. The Rajamalai region of the park is open to the public and from here; the exotic Nilgiri Tahr can be viewed.

The Rajamalai region falls under the tourism zone of the area. The other two are the Core area and Buffer area which are both not open to the public. There is a host of trekking options as well in the area.

The rare flora and fauna present in the park also attract visitors. Official vehicles take people on trips where one can experience the biodiversity of a high elevation shola-grassland system. One can view rare terrestrial and epiphytic orchids and beautiful wild balsams along with the Nilgiri Langur, leopards and the Indian Bison as well. The early months of the year are the only time when the park is closed as this when the Tahrs are calving. The rare habitat and sanctuary is open to everyone throughout the year.

Except for the calving times, the visit hours of the park are between 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary – the Nature’s Trove

08-Jun-2019

Post by TreeMonks

The song from the famous Malayalam Movie Flick ‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’ rightly describes the beauty of Idukki. The land of Idukki was metaphoric with a girl of utmost charm in the song. The lyricist did no boasting as Idukki is, in fact, Midukki – a smart-young girl!

Yes, young! Idukki was only created in the 26th January of 1972. At that time, the district headquarters was at Kottayam. Later, in June 1976 it was moved to Painavu – the present headquarters. Idukki is world famous for the tea plantation hub of Munnar.

Munnar, in fact, was the summer resort of the British Colonial Government of the Madras Presidency. The town of Munnar is situated at the convergence of three mountain streams namely Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala – hence the name Munnar.

Munnar has some of the highest-largest and most beautiful tea plantations in the world. This hill station, which is more than 5000 feet above sea level, is a tourist attraction noted for its scenic landscapes as well.

But Idukki is not just the beauty of Munnar. It is more of a wilderness – the wild beauty!

A vast region of Idukki is covered with forest reserve area; more than half of the district is covered by forests. Idukki is among the most naturally endowed districts in Kerala.

These areas of Idukki are declared as Reserve Forests and Wildlife Sanctuaries of under names. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is one amongst them. The Idukki wildlife sanctuary is filled with steep mountains, majestic hills and valleys. It covers the forest land between the Cheruthoni River and Mighty Periyar River. The world famous Idukki arch dam is located in the forests. The forest here is similar to that of Periyar Reserve Forest. Most forests are evergreen and semi-evergreen. One may also come across patches of Shola forests and grasslands.

There is a plethora of flora and fauna found in this wildlife-rich sanctuary. Elephants, Porcupine, Sambar Deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Wild boar etc. can be seen here. One of the best ways to sight animals is boating in the reservoir. Herds of elephants and other animals are seen at the banks as it is the major water source within the sanctuary. Venomous Snakes such as the Cobra, Viper, Krait and a large number of non- poisonous snakes are also found in Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is located near the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is contiguous with Eravikulam National Park. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is to the northwest and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary is to the east.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. The Western Ghats, under the Anamalai sub-cluster, including all of all mentioned Wildlife Sanctuaries, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Best time to visit Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is from December to April. In Idukki, the temperature is in between 13 degrees C to 29 degrees C. March and April is the hottest period of the year. Except in the month of January to April the climate is usually cool and humid with the heavy rainfall. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is open throughout the year for the visitors. Wildlife lovers may avail Trekking Packages to watch the animals and birds in the sanctuary. Entry timings are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Although, Kerala – the Gods Own Country has a different and fascinating flavour for tourists during all seasons and every season offers a new experience like no other.

No accommodation facilities are provided at the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. The best and nearest option for accommodation will be in Munnar. Most visitors to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary hire a cab and take day trips from Munnar or other nearby towns.

 

The nearest Airport to Idukki International Airport is Madurai in Tamil Nadu which is about 140 k.m from the place. The Cochin International Airport is around 190 k.m drive from Idukki. The nearest railway station is located around 140 k.m. in Kottayam.

Tourists can contact TreeMonks for trips to the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary from Munnar and for a stay in Munnar Town at best rates. Call us at +91 9447960022.