Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ranipuram
























Ranipuram




Location of Ranipuram

in Kerala


Country India
StateKerala
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
Area

Elevation


750 m (2,461 ft)

Coordinates: 12°31′05″N 74°56′37″E / 12.518033°N 74.943749°E / 12.518033; 74.943749


Ranipuram is a small place located within Kasargode district of Kerala state, south India. It is located about 48 km east of Kanhangad on the Panathoor road branching off at Panathady and lies 750 m (2,461 ft) above sea level adjacent to Bhagamandala forest range.








Contents







[edit] History


Evidence of pre-settlement traditions exist in the form of 'Theyyam', a folk dance to please the mother goddess held in the month of May. Presently Marathis form a good number of the local population, probably the remnants of an earlier settlement from the north.


This place was formerly known as Madathumala until the 1970s, when it was purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Kottayam for the purpose of settlement. Settlers renamed it as Ranipuram in memory of the virgin mother.



[edit] Geography


There are two trekking routes available through the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests. Part of the way the climb is assisted by cut steps. The ambiance of the forest trail is remarkable and once you reach the "Mani" (grass covered hilltop) the view is superb. The undulating cloud-topped hills stretch up to the plains and ocean on the horizon.






A grassy hill in Ranipuram



This is unexplored territory for the nature enthusiast and birdwatcher. Butterflies are in abundance and birds of the evergreen biotope like the black eagle,crested serpent eagle and little spider hunter common. Elephants pay visits in the summer months and leopards have been sighted in the not-too-distant past. The Ranipuram forest should be declared as a wild life sanctuary by Kerala forest department to merge with borders of Thalakavery wild life sanctuary in Karnataka. The proposed Ranipuram Wildlife Sanctuary may protect and maintain overall biodiversity of the area in a better way. The place holds immense potential for ecotourism and may develop into a premier hill station in Kerala with the judicious development of amenities. Tourist cottages are available here provided by the KTDC and some private players have entered the scene. The proposed Ranipuram Wildlife sanctuary will be a boon to tourism development in Kasaragod district.



[edit] Transport


Jeep services to Ranipuram are readily available from Panathady, linked to Kanhangad by frequent bus services.



[edit] Ranipuram Shola National park / wildlife sanctuary (60 km2, Proposed)


The proposed Ranipuram Wildlife sanctuary / National park consists of various Flora and Fauna which are endemic to Westernghat and yet to studied biodiversity hotspot. It merges with Talacauvery wildlife sanctaury in karanata. The Ranipuram hill station which falls in Panathady reserve forest is an ideal area to convert in to a National park/wild life sanctuary. The evergreen and shola forest seen only here in this district. Elephants, Leopard, wild dogs, Deer, wild boar, macaques, jungle cats, Leopard cats slender loris, porcupine, malabar giant squirrels, malabar civet and rare butterflies and medicinal plants are found in these forest. Most of these highly endangered animals are killed by people due to lack of conservational awareness or to protect their crops. Ranipuram wild life sanctuary will be in contiguous to Talakaveri wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka.


For this purpose, nearby reserve forests such as Panathady, eleri and konnakad can be encompassed to an area of 80 km2 of forest. If it is declared as a wild life sanctuary, it may enhance the tourism industry of this district along with Ranipuram hill station. Declaring it as a Biodiversity/ wildlife sanctuary is the only way to protect this Westernghat biodiversity hotspot and to ensure its survival for future generation. Illegal country liquor are made deep in the jungle. Poaching of wild boar, porcupine, hares, deers and even monkeys for their meat taking place mostly in the night time. It is never reported outside and unaccessable due to hilly and remote area. For that reason, Kerala Forest&wild life department, KFRI, TBGRI, ZSI officials negleted this area and most of the central and other fund have been diverted to their nearby district instead of setting up the park here. They should immediately take up a study for setting up of the park here.


Kasaragod district surrounded by three forest district, North by Dakshin kannada (one NP and 2 wildlife sanctuaries), kodagu in east (one NP and two wildlife sancturaies) south by kannur (one wildlfe sanctuary and one elephant corridor). Till today, forest officials of this district never sent any proposal to state forest dept or central govt.for setting up sanctuary here, although shola, evergreen and mangrove forests are seen here.


Frequent visits of elephants from the nearby reserve forest suggests that it once was an elephant migratory route. Take action now before it too late. It can be successfully converted without any rehabilitation process as in the case of Malabar wildlife sanctuary of kozhikode district.


The proposed Munnamkadavu Dam and Irrigation project may very useful to create fresh water ecosystem and later a wetland ecosystem to home for wild crocodile, otter, endangered fish and other water birds. Afforestation around the catchment area of dam reservoir will help to create another new wildlife sanctuary here in future and recreate lost wild elephant corridor. It is also an integral part of Brahmagiri biosphere.


Flora': Evergreen monsoon forest, shola, orchids, medicinal plants, grass lands etc


Mammals: about 24 species mainly Elephants, wild bison, Leopard, wild dogs, mongoose, pangolin,, Jungle cats, Malabar giant squirrels, Flying squirrels, fox, porcupine, bonnet macaques, Langur, Leopard cats, Deer, wild boar, slender loris, hares, squirrels, bats etc..


Birds: About 200 species mainly Great Indian horn bill, Paradise flying catcher, green barbet, peacock, trogon, wood pigeon, malabar grey horn bill, white bellied tree pie, heart spotted wood pecker etc...


Reptiles: King cobra, kraits, viper, rat snakes, Indian cobras, green whip snakes, monitor lizards etc..


Amphibians: About 19 species, Thousands of insects and spiders




About 100 species of butterflies including sword tail, forest nymph, malabar bird wing etc...





[edit] Ranipuram Forest as a Permanent habitate for wild elephants?


Wild Elephants can be seen throughout the year in Ranipuram if we make necessary water holes and good migratory route here. Now wild elephants are visiting in summer only. Karnataka Forest department doing necessary water holes for thirsty wild elpahnts. Our MLA's did not raise any voice for declaration of Ranipuram / Panathady RF as a wildlife sanctuary, which might boost up ecotourism project of this district. So we must make necessary arrangements for staying of wild elephants throughout the year. Otherwise encroachment, deforestation and quarrying may intensify in future.



[edit] Ranipuram and Greater Talacaveri National Park/ Biosphere Reserve


Panathady reserve forest and kottancheri forests contiguous to Talacaveri wildlife sanctuary of Karanataka is to be included in the new Greater Talacaveri biosphere / NP. Reserve forests of this range of kasaragod district should be included in new NP for better protection of wildlife. Currently illegel hunting and deforestation widely reported from these reserve forest. Kerala forest department immedeately step into this matter. District panchayath , block panchayath and local panchayath should be discussed about this matter to save the forest and wildlife of kasaragod. Recently Panathady reserved forest included in the tentative list for nomination of Natural properties of World Heritage site under UNESCO.



[edit] Reintroduction of Nilgiri Tahr in Ranipuram


Another dream Project for kasaragod district is the Reintroduction of endangered Nilgir Tahr here in Ranipuram biodiversty park. Nilgiri Tahr was once found all over the western Ghat of kasaragod now locally extinct. Population of this wild goat increased in southern part of the state, especially Eravikulam National park. so Relocation of some of the Nilgiri Tahrs in Ranipuram can be done with help of Kerala Forest Department, District Tourism Promation council, and Wildlife Institute of India. This may lead to a Tremendous progress in Tourism in the district and also enhance the biodiversity of Ranipuram. Grassy hill slopes with vegetation, shola forests, cool climate are Ideal for relocation of Nilgiri tahr here in Ranipuram.



[edit] Getting there


Nearest major railway station: Kasaragod, about 85 km from Ranipuram, on the Kozhikode-Mangalore-Mumbai route.


Nearest airports: Mangalore, about 50 km from Kasaragod; Karipur International Airport, Kozhikode, about 200 km from Kasaragod.



[edit] References








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