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The Valley of the Divine Bhagirathi - a paradise amidst changing climatic variables

Post on: Climate Change | 14 January 2016  | BY : nmsheadmin

By - Dr Nishikant Gupta / Dr Krishnendu Mondal

Originally published on indiawilds.com on 28 July, 2015

“Utilize your senses…Mother Nature will not disappoint you”. An advice I hold dear to my heart till today. A simple stop over for a cup of tea near a river can reveal what hours of scanning a mountain cliff from a vantage point cannot. Staring down the deep valley provided that perfect sight – a family of Near Threatened Himalayan gorals (Naemorhedus goral) heading towards the majestically flowing Nayar River. It was a treat for the eyes. The Himalayan gorals, renowned for their acrobatic skills on steep, near vertical cliffs were strolling casually on a river bed…a rare sight indeed, and the perfect start to my journey.

“We are in heaven‟s abode”; proclaimed the driver of the vehicle. The very next moment I was jolted awake by the screech-ing of the brakes. Hurriedly trying to get hold of my scattered senses, I looked at him ready to give him a piece of my mind; now staring and grinning at me. I looked straight at him, and then followed his waving fingers pointing beyond the wind-screen of the vehicle. The scene in the horizon was one which would put a satisfying smile on the most experienced Hima-layan researchers…and I was just an amateur! The snow-clad mountains glittered in the horizon, as if mysteriously signal-ling to the moving clouds. The tall trees with long side branches, their dry leaves demarcating the road‟s edges, the eroded side hills staring bare at you…they all welcomed you with open arms. If there was ever a paradise, this was it, and I was right in the middle of it.

Dr Nishikant Gupta is a Project Scientist (NMSHE Project) at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and the lead author of the article. Email: nishikantgupta@live.in

Dr Krishnendu Mondal is a Project Associate (NMSHE Project) at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and has assisted with the preparation of the article.

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