Friday, July 24, 2009


July is not the right time to go to Nilambur forests. The rain is usually at its peak. Leeches and Elephants are not exactly in the best of their moods. The nature is shaky. Landslides are common. These are the factors that me into the forests. The rainy season, is like a festival-- I decided to celebrate in the dense forests of Nilambur. July it had to be.

Another purpose of the journey was to meet the CHOLANAICKERS a primitive tribe living in the Nilambur forests.

The Beginning..

We met some people on the way. Who offered to guide us through the forest.

Chollan, our guide likes to walk barefoot in the forests. It is as if he did not care about the leaches ..

The climb to Kannan's house (a Cholanaikan) is risky. One wrong step could leave you injured and unable to continue the journey.

A 50 meter (approx) bridge to cross the river takes en rout to Kannan's house.

Enikkal Chollan, another tribesman who tagged along.

The bridge is made of bamboo and tree fiber.



Kannan's house turned out to be a sheltered cave.

Kannan's family. He has four children. Two of them have not been named yet. Kannan's wife has been here three years without going down the hill.

The whole family lives in the small area shown in the frame.

Billy and Mr No Name (left)-- Kannan's children.

Prakash-- Kannan's eldest son.

Billy and two children who are yet to be named.

The man of the house with the family.

Off to work.

Kannan'n brother's family (next cave neighbor)

On the way back. The government has made houses for the tribesmen. Most of them do not live here as it is difficult for them to go into the forest every day to collect honey and other products. Most of them live in caves like Kannan.