The Hebbal lake was created by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, in 1537. It is one of the three lakes that were created by him. Over the passage of time, the lake had lost its glory owing to water pollution and the lack of proper maintenance. During that period of restoration, major changes were incorporated in the ecosystem of the lake. Two artificial islands were created on the lake. The islands were developed in order to enhance the beauty of the lake and to attract more birds. Today these two vegetated islands have turned into the roost sites for several species of water-birds.
Gear: Canon 7D
Focal Length: 57 mm
F Number: 5.6
Exposure time: 1/16000
Looking at the image, one can imagine a deep sense of serenity, but beneath these giants, there are heart wrenching horrors of unreported climate change.
The glaciers of the Himalaya are the Third Pole. They feed the giant rivers of Asia, and support half of humanity. Presently 10% of the earth’s landmass is covered with snow, with 84.16% of the Antarctic, 13.9% in Greenland, 0.77% in the Himalaya, 0.51% in North America, 0.37% in Africa, 0.15% in South America, 0.06% in Europe. Outside the polar region, Himalaya has the maximum concentration of glaciers. 9.04% of the Himalaya is covered with glaciers, with 30-40% additional area being covered with snow. The melting of snow in the Arctic and Antarctic due to global warming and climate change is reported frequently. However, the melting of the Himalayan glaciers goes largely unreported, even though more people are impacted.
Ladakh and Climate Change:
Ladakh, the northern most region of India at the height of more than 3000 metres (9800 feet), all life depends on snow. Ladakh is a high altitude desert with only 50mm of rainfall. Ladakh’s water comes from the snow melt – both the snow that falls on the land and provides the moisture for farming and pastures, as well as the snow of the glaciers that gently melts and feeds the streams that are the lifeline of the tiny settlements.
For centuries snow has supported human survival in Ladakh. Climate change is changing this relationship with nature. Less snow is falling, so there is less moisture for growing crops. In village after village, we are witnessing the end of farming, since snow melt on the fields was the only source of moisture. Reduced snowfall also means less snow in glaciers, and less stream flow. The shorter period of snowfall prevents the snow from turning into hard ice crystals. Therefore more of the glacier is liable to melt when the summer comes. Climate change has also led to rain, rather than snow, falling even at higher altitudes. This also accelerates the melting of glaciers.
Meantime, heavy rainfall which was unknown in the high altitude desert has become more frequent, causing flash floods, washing away homes and fields, trees and livestock. The arrival of black clouds and disappearance of white snow in the cold desert is how climate change id entering the life of the Ladakhi communities. They did not cause the pollution, but they are its victims. This is the direct and cruel face of climate injustice – the polluters continue to pollute, they are insulated from the impact of their own actions. Others, thousands of miles away bear the brunt of greenhouse gas pollution.
India has 5243 glaciers covering an area of 37579 km2 and containing 142.88 km2 of ice. The Gangotri glacier, the source of the Ganga is receding at 20-23 miles per year. Millain glacier is receding at 30m/yr, Dukrian is retreating at 15-20m/yr. The receding of glaciers has accelerated with global warming. The rate of retreat of the gangotri glacier has tripled in the last three years. Some of the most devastating effects of glacial meltdown occures when glacial lakes overflow and the phenomena of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) take place.
Climate change thus initially leads to widespread flooding, but over time, as the snow disappears there will be draught in the summer. In the Ganga, the loss of glacier meltdown would reduce July – September flows by two thirds, causing water shortages for 500 million people and 37 percent of India’s irrigated land.
Glacial runoff in the Himalayas is the largest source of fresh water for northern India and provides more than half the water to the Ganga. Glacial runoff is also the source of the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Irrawady and the Yellow and Yantze rivers.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “glaciers in the Himayalas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the earth keep getting warmer at the current rate”. According to the IPCC report the total area of glaciers in the Himalaya will shrink from 1930051 square miles to 38,000 square miles by 2035.
In terms of numbers of people impacted, climate change at the Third Pole is the most far reaching. And no climate change policy or treaty will be complete without including the Himalayan communities.
Gear: Canon 7D
Focal Length: 135 mm
F Number: 5.6
Exposure time: 1/8000
Stakna Gonpa or Stakna Monastery is a buddhist monastery located approximately 45 km from Leh [Capital City of Ladakh District], on the bank of rive Indus.The monastery formed part of the one of the many religious estates offered to the great scholar saint of Bhutan called Chosje Jamyang Palkar in about 1580 AD by the Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial who had invited him to Ladakh.
As it is erected on a hill looking like a tiger’s nose, Stanka Monastery derives its name from the same hill. The monastery inside has the image of Arya Avaloketesvara from Kamrup (Assam). The Stakna Gonpa belongs to the Dugpa sect of Buddhism and is the residence of about 30 Monks.
The visitors can have beautiful views of the Indus valley and Indus river from the roof of the Stakna Monastery Ladakh. It also have snow capped peaks and ridges of Zanskar range in the south and uncovered slopes of Ladakh range in the north.
“Darkness is a great opportunity to discover the divine face of the light!”
Gear: Canon 7D
Focal Length: 87 mm
F Number: 9
Exposure time: 1/30
To witness the serenity of Bangalore beyond the curtains of concrete establishments. Early morning ride for sunrise or evening getaway for perfect sunset. This place has lot to offer.
Nandi Hills or Nandidurg (Anglicised forms include Nandidrug and Nandydroog) is an ancient hill fortress in southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is 10 km from Chickballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bengaluru. The hills are nestled near the town of Nandi.
Attractions on the Hills:
Tipu’s Drop – the famous place from where Tippu Sultan had his condemned prisoners thrown to death.
Tipu’s Summer Palace and Fort – During the Ganga period, the Chikkaballapur chieftains built a fort. Tippu strengthened it further and also build a rest house. This used to be Tippus summer bungalow. It is not open to the general public.
Horse Way – A stone doorway in the fort on the North-eastern side, is believed to have been the horse way for helping soldiers to climb the wall on horse back.
Secret Escape Route – A secret passage on the west, is believed to have helped the kings to escape during unforeseen attacks.
Temples – there are temples dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha, Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha and you can see beautiful old temples.
Gavi Veerbhadra Swamy temple: on top of the hill, on the way to the Sultanpet, from Tippus palace, natural formation of huge boulders has been transformed into a magnificent temple.
Children’s Playground – The Horticulture department maintains a lovely garden for children to play games like the slides, merry-go-round, swings etc.
Nehru Nilaya – where Jawaharlal Nehru used to stay, now a guest house of the horticulture department of India.
Gandhi House, where the Mahatma himself stayed, is under the management of DPAR (Protocol) Government of Karnataka and is reserved for the stay of important dignitaries.
The Horticulture Department runs a vegetarian restaurant and the Karnataka Tourism Department runs a vegetarian / non-vegetarian restaurant “MAYURA”.
Rivers – the rivers Pennar, Palar and Arkavati originate from these hills. Most of the sources have dried up. Amruth Sarovar is a beautiful water lake that brims with lucid water all the year round.
Brahmashram – it is said that Sage Ramakrishna meditated here.
Paragliding – Nandi Hills is one of the unique place in Karnataka which offers paragliding activity.
Cycling/biking – Nandi Hills is cyclists paradise, around 400 meters of altitude gain in ~7 km of ride, The bikers/cyclists from Bangalore storm there on weekends and holidays. It’s a very good hill training spot for them.