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The issue ends with the regular photo gallery section picked up from Facebook postings during the quarter by members. We believe that the News Letter belongs to every one of us and expect good contribution from all our members. Hope to see some valuable contribution in the coming Quarters from some of you. And, please do send us your feedback on this newsletter issue, by writing to tamilnadubutterflies gmail.
Issued on Copy right is with TNBS. Please write to us for getting permission to use any of the contents Editor: A Pavendhan Editorial Team: Butterfly Hotspots: Kallar Coimbatore Dt. To the hungry naturalists, Kallar always stores something to offer, anytime during the year and many people have benefited from the generosity of the place so much so that people tried to own the place out of jealous! But Kallar is not owned by anyone and treats everyone the same with occasional preference to non-regular seekers!
Kallar, more specifically the Kallar Fruit Garden, run by state Department of Horticulture, is situated 14 Km from Mettupalayam a city in Coimbatore District , just a Km away from the Gundlupet- Coimbatore- Nagapattinam highways, before the ascend starts to the Nilgiri Hills. From Coimbatore city, it is about 47 Km. The Fruit Garden is situated on the sides of Kallar stream, which run down from Coonoor uphill.
The stream eventually joins the River Bhavani near Odanthurai. The surroundings of Fruit Garden boasts some rare flora and fauna and very rich of it. This is a known Elephant corridor and they frequent the area.
Other predatory animals such as Leopards and Tigers are present here means the visitors have to be watchful and never cross the line to the reserved and protected area without the permission of authorities. The place is situated m above Mean Sea Level and is humid on most days with rainfall accounting approximately cm per year. The walk from the Highways into the farm and the paths inside the farm and stream side need permission to approach are the main pales to look for the butterflies.
Indian Butterflies were first looked into by Linnaeus in the year and systematic account of Nilgiri Hills butterflies were first accounted by Sir George Hampson , followed by Evans, Yates, WynterBlyth and recently Larsen , His book, Butterflies of the Indian Region published by the Bombay Natural History Society in was for a long time the only handy guide to butterflies in India.
Low land forest closely followed by wet evergreen forest make the habitat rich for Butterflies Source: Search for good places to observe Butterflies in and around Coimbatore introduced this place to us from the literature and we have been regulars to this place for the past 5 years. In fact the first informal meeting of Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society was scheduled here!
As described earlier our search for the butterflies was confined to the road leading to the Garden and inside the Garden premises and to the river streams with prior permission.
We are sure we have only touched the tip of the iceberg and deep, exploratory surveys may unearth many hidden treasures. This may, however, be hampered by presence of elephants and other predatory mammals. Studies were usually undertaken around 8 AM when the sun sets to beat down and butterflies start showing up one by one and around 10 AM the Garden is fully open which can then be explored to.
Sundays were the ideal days that we have chosen to visit! A total of species as of September have been recorded in the past 5 years from the place.
This is almost half the numbers that of the target number of butterfly species for the state of Tamil Nadu which stands at The Nymphalidae butterflies top the list with 50 species, closely followed by Lycaenidae Papilionidae and Pieridae are well represented too.
The Hesperiidae family, however, is by proportion least represented with just 33 species. Average no of species one could sight given any day will be around 40 species with maximum of closer to and a minimum of 11 species just once during the driest period in Hence, one would never come back with much disappointment. Papilionidae The Swallowtail butterflies as the species from Papilionidae are called are well represented in Kallar with 14 of 19 species is recorded.
The ones to miss out are the species with Malabar names and the rare Five-bar Swordtail. Common Banded Peacock Papilio crino is the icon of the Kallar and is sighted in most part of the year in good numbers. This butterfly is also a prime candidate for Tamil Nadu State Butterfly.
Early mornings are best time to see their open wing spread while on their mood during Mud-puddling will allow for a very close encounter. The Blue Mormons and Red Helens, both the giants, can be seen moving between nectaring plants within the Garden.
The Spot Swordtail and Limes are seasonal and can be seen in good numbers.
The bluebottles and Jays are best seen during mud-puddling otherwise flying past between plants in a swift manner. The Common Mime is a rarity here! The Southern Birdwing is sighted but not often and with surety. The Roses are present according to the season!
Pieridae The Whites and Yellows as they are normally called from the Pieridae family are well represented too. Among the Grass Yellows, the small and spotless are not recorded so far wit rest making their presence regularly. Gulls and Pioneers are present in good numbers. Among the tips, it is Great Orange-tip that can be easily spotted when they are on song. The Yellow Orange-tip, however, should take up the icon position for the Pieridae, as they are present in abundance at times and at other times, at least a few.
The Salmon Arabs and other tips are not that common. Common Albatross is a regular here with high numbers equate with their migration especially observed at Aralam of Kerala.
Striped Albatross is not that common and a Lesser is sighted recently while chocolate is yet to be seen. The uniqueness of the place lies however with the Wanderers with both common and dark are seen at the same time. Nymphalidae The most dominant family of butterflies here as is the case with many places, has a representation of 53 species spanning different sub-families. We usually see Club Beak of relatively higher elevation, but here both are sighted although Lobed Beak is more often seen.
The Milkweed butterflies- Tigers and Crows are well represented except the high elevation species- the Nilgiri Tiger. Surprisingly, the Plain Tiger is seen less compared to others and during peak season and their migration, many Tirumala species and Euploea species can be seen flying around and mud-puddling.
The Nawabs and Rajahs are sighted here except the Tawny Rajah. Among the Bushbrowns, the Glad-eye Bushbrowns occupy the centre of attraction with others are sparingly represented. The Bushbrowns for some reason missing for the last couple of season from its early glories. The Common Evening Brown is the lone representative of Melanitis genus.
The rings Ypthima species are well present with White Four-ring being the most abundant among them. Extra Lascar is recorded here among the regular Lascars and Sailers. Tamil Yeoman and Rustic can be sighted during their season. The Chocolate Pansy being the most aggressive and dominant that it takes the unfortunate hater tag from the butterfly chasers!
Lycaenidae The Blues are second most dominant family here and they are generally small with many of them have a shade of blue. From the Lineblues, 6 species have been recorded here including relatively rare White-tipped and couple of Nacaduba species too.
The Lime Blues are abundant during the season with their host plants are available in healthy numbers here. Many-tailed Oakblue which is definitely a pride of Coimbatore District and is seen in good number of places unlike other part of the state can be seen here. The Acacia Blues- Common and Silver-streaked both have been recorded.
In fact, the Common Acacia Blue and the Yamflies have the special liking towards bamboo shoots and can be easily spotted around them. Nilgiri Tit. Orchid Tit. Mentioning of these names can bring excitement among butterfly lovers. Sighting of Nilgiri Tit in September brought much joy and excitement as the species was not seen on the field before except an image of the same on line taken in Since then Nilgiri Tit has obtained an iconic status and many made numerous visits to have a glimpse of the same.
But being rare in nature, not everyone was lucky. Orchid Tits are very rare in South India while it is relatively common in Northern part. They feed on epiphytic orchids and hence derive the name from them. Kallar has these orchid plants well tucked in tall Tamarind trees.
A rare Orchid Tit was reported from here in and again in September In fact, Kallar is the best place to see the Planes. Flashes are represented by Slate and Indigo. The Judies from Riodinidae family is totally absent here! Hesperiidae Skippers as they are called are small in size and many may fail to recognise them as Butterflies.
They are so named after their swift and straight line like movement. They also have powerful eyes. Common Yellow-breasted Flat which is rare was recorded from here in the year While the Chestnut and Golden make up the Angles, the Indian Skipper is sighted more often than the other skipper- African Marbled, which is rare here.
Among the Halpe species, the Halpe hindu is more common than the Halpe porus. The Chestnut Bob should easily be the most dominant of skippers while Grass Demon, etc are seasonal. Other species to make a presence include most common ones like Palm-Darts, Potanthus sp. The common Oriens goloides and a relatively higher elevation species and rare Oriens concinna both have been recorded here. However, skippers have been poorly represented compared to all other families.
Ravi, Ranger of Tamil Nadu Forest Department proposed a study on the status of birds and butterflies present in the 8 ranges and reserved forests of KWLS to draw a baseline status. A base line drawn with respect to such data is useful to draw an action plan necessitated with their species count and population. Participants for the survey reached Kodaikanal on Friday evening 4 th August evening and assembled at the District Forest Office, Kodaikanal.
Ravi and other FD officials. All teams were accompanied by forest officials to the field and helped in the assessment on both the days. The teams recorded their observation on the field notes provided and later transferred the data to Checklists provided.
Stay and food arrangements were provided by the Department and the hospitality extended is of the highest quality. All teams have experienced misty, cloudy, drizzling, rains and suns of various degrees and generally the sky was under cloud cover which is likely to influence the results to a certain degree. Teams have assembled back at Kodai on 6th AN, for results consolidations and concluding meeting.
Individual teams shared their experiences, followed by briefing from Dr. Ravi, Ranger and speech by Mr. Pavendhan on behalf of TNBS. The results were happily shared by DFO, Dr, Murugan, IFS, to the participants, Forest officials and press people and explained various measures taken to bring back the Kodai glory to pre-British days and answered to the queries and concerns expressed by participants. It was a happy end to all and the study, a grand success! On an overall count, species of butterflies from 5 families were recorded during the survey comprising all ranges, habitation and elevation This number can be taken as a very good base, since we have no prior survey information of the hills, of this scale.
Also, considering the month of August, which is not a peak butterfly activity month, coupled with not so good weather prevailed during the survey days, this is an excellent count Good number of common species and count is observed from low to medium elevation ranges, while certain rarities showed up on the mid-elevation and the higher elevation returned specialities of their range.
A few groups of butterflies were however seen missing in total or in numbers in various locations. Nymphalidae dominated the species count, followed by Lycaenidae and Pieridae mainly due to species count from lower elevations and joined by Hesperiidae and Papilionidae. Good sightings include Common Mime and Spot Swordtail. A lone Emigrant is sighted in the higher elevation, which is very surprising considering mass generation of them during April-June period where they were seen migration within hills in lakhs and eventually to the plains.
The lower to medium returned all the expected species. Half of the target species, 50 out of 96 are recorded from this family, which is most dominant among other species.
Nilgiri Tigers, Palni Fritillaries were the dominant in the higher elevation while the other species were fairly commonly seen in the other elevations. Although Blues were the second dominant family after Nymphalidae, the species count was low at 31 against the target of 91 species. The Grass Blues were seen in good numbers in the lower as well as in higher to a lesser degree.
Only the commonly seen Lineblues- Common and Tailless were seen, with Nacaduba missing from the sighting. Hedge Blues- especially White and White-disc were commonly seen in the higher elevation while Common in the other elevation.
Three types of Pierrots were seen, surprisingly no Common Pierrot. There are 2 species in this family- Plum Judy and Double-banded Judy and they are not sighted during the survey period.
Because of their nature, usually active in the early morning and evenings, these are difficult to sight usually. During the survey, only 22 of 83 species were sighted.
Dingy Scrub Hopper was abundant everywhere on the higher elevation, literally. Flats and Awls were reasonably represented, so too some of the swifts and darts. Important sightings include Orange-striped Awlet and Indian Awlking.
Also, considering the cloudy and rainy days of survey days, certain species will take cover and will not venture out easily like Raptors. Good number of common species and count is observed from low to medium elevation ranges, while certain rarities showed up on the mid-elevation and the higher elevation returned specialities of their range. A few groups of birds were however seen missing in total or in numbers in various locations due to dried waterbodies.
Acknowledgements Dr. Ravi, Ranger, on behalf of Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary thanked all the voluntary participants who has come from various organisations and all over the state enrolled for the Birds and Butterflies surveys conducted during 5th and 6th Aug, on all the 8 ranges of the sanctuary.
The enthusiastic participation and results of the surveys from each team is well appreciated and the birding and butterfly knowledge of the participants was helpful in unearthing more species.
Special thanks are due to the following: COM, 8. ED, 9. COM, E Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society TNBS would like to thank the DFO and Ranger on entrusting to co-ordinate the event among the participants and thank all the participants and members of various organisation who readily accepted the invitation and came to the survey.
On behalf of all participants, we would like to place on record our thanks to the wonderful care taken by DFO and his dedicated team on the participants and the treatment was exemplary. Thanks are placed on the participating organisations: This is the fourth meet and the last 3 meets were held elsewhere in North East. There were 32 participants from all over India and about 10 organisers were part of the meet group. Local children were also invited to the meet and field.
The announcement to the meet came a few months before the meet date which allowed ample time to plan and execute especially participants flying up from down south to Sikkim as Air travel cost can be prohibitive if tickets are booked closer to the date. The meet is in sequence to the ones held for the last 3 years and this is a 4th year in success. The number of butterflies in North-Eastern part of India could be numbering about species is easily the reason why people wants to go there.
It was no secret that this is the reason, why a few of us from Tamil Nadu, planned to be there. There were about 5 participants from the state of Tamil Nadu and 3 more from the neighbouring state of Kerala, ensuring enough representation on the meet from South. With different travel plans, all of us have landed on the Camp site, which is the forest guest house located in the Dzongu Valley, exactly at the place where a tributary of River Teesta joins the main river on 2nd evening. It was such a beautiful place and we were welcomed by intermittent rains throughout the afternoon of 2nd September.
This was a worrying factor, which continued to be the worrying factor for days to come too. People have been provided tents to stay with lady members and a few others within the guest house. Couple of us travelling from Coimbatore I Pavendhan and Nishanth had an opportunity to travel with Mr. Isaac Kehimkar from Bagdogra Airport to the Guest House by car together along with couple of more participants from Mumbai.
It was a good outing as we exchanged lot of information on the status of butterflies and listened to many experiences from Mr. He is currently associated with iNaturefoundation, Mumbai which focus on spreading the knowledge and awareness of nature to all. It borders China in its north and east, Bhutan in its east, Nepal in its west and the Indian state of West Bengal in its south.
Sikkim is also located close to the Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kanchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth.
Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok.
Modern Sikkim is a multi-ethnic and multilingual Indian state. Sikkim has 11 official languages: English is taught in schools and used in government documents.
The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim's economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing. Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India, and is the world's second largest producer of the spice after Guatemala.
Sikkim has the highest share of agricultural land dedicated to organic farming in India. It is also among India's most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles and styrofoam products. Opening Meeting. Quote from the Press Release: Addressing the participants he observed that such types of programme need to be organized on a regular basis for the awareness of nature conservation in general and butterflies in particular.
He emphasized the potential of the rich biodiversity like butterflies and birds to generate alternate source of income for the people of Sikkim through sustainable ecotourism.
Addressing the gathered students, he advised them to take maximum benefit out of this programme to learn about the conservation of natural resources and consider a career in this field. The overnight rain has relented a bit and we were hoping for the light to stop totally and sun to come out. This was never the case to be for the day. Since, it was the first day of the meet, people took the walk to the open ground and beyond on the road before the breakfast.
The first to make appearance to us was a Common Dartlet Oriens gola which was nectaring. The banana bait could attract only a Lilac Bushbrown and that too vanished quickly from the scene.
However, much of the action before the breakfast was t the grounds. The grassy open land with a few wild flower plants were hosting Purple Sapphires and Yellow Costers. In fact such a vast area had only these two on the Day 1. The small sized purple Sapphire kept everyone engaged while the Yellow Coster was seen moving slowly amidst drizzle and lack of light.
All of us had to return to the dining table for the Break fast and we could add only a Paris Peacock flying past to the list before we all went for the opening meeting which was held at a local administrative block, couple of kilometres away.
The detailed account and the official version of the meet is given in the previous sections. The meeting got underway, once the Forest Minister reached the meet. After the customary introductions and facilitations, a few of the organisers and resource persons spoke. The Forest Minister then took the stage finally and he dwelt in length in English as well as in Nepalese language since there were many school children and he wanted them to understand what he spoke.
He was suggesting them to chase their passion. While the meeting was going on , the light actually improved for a while, although none of us were able to move out. Eventually the meeting was over around 2 PM and we returned to our campsite for the Lunch.
It started raining in the after noon and totally hampered the enthusiasm of all. The rain coats, umbrella and improvised camera covers were then out from everyone and we walked around the campsite looking for some butterflies.
It was probably our first experience, butterflying with umbrella and rain coats.
With no more luck and light, we have returned to the camp and there was a couple of technical session on Butterfly Identification by Mr. Monsoon, who is one of the two resource person for the event along with Mr.
Isaac Kehimkar. The time after the dinner was spent on watching and photographing Moths which came for a Moth trap through lights. There were about species of moths and a Common Peacock too came to the light. The group was then divided into two teams with plan being each team go on a different paths the next day and exchange the places, the day after.
With rains started again, in fact, it was getting heavier by the time, we were all worried about the prospectus of the coming day! When we all went to the bed, it was raining and we were used to the sound the rains were making when it hit the ground and the trees. We all herd the noise throughout the night , fearing the worst, that the rain is hitting us hard. When we woke up in the morning, we still heard the sound, but the rain was missing.
It is River Teesta which is making the noise, which made us believed that it was raining the whole night. The river was fast and furious and was flowing with enormous strength.
The sun could not convince the rain clouds for the whole day and we have to settle for the little light we could get although it was raining only on and off. We were slotted into Team 1 and were off to area near Lingdong. The drive was about half an hour or so. The habitat had the river flowing on one end and the rock cut on the other side with the roads to take us to the bridge.
We were dropped off a point and started walking in. As soon as we got down, we spotted a few Veined Scrub Hopper Aeromachus stigmata and a Conjoined Swift on the wet rock taking the minerals.
A Punchinello and an Orange Punch both from the Riodinidae family was seen. It was eventless for a while until we spotted a Popinjay checking out the bag of one of the participants. Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. More Details Original Title. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book.
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