Now that I’ve unleashed some steam and opinions, I can now relive the beauty of South India. One months time there took me on a blissful trip to parks, zoos, shopping complexes, and beaches. I will take you on a cruise through India’s best!
June 23, 2011: Kedaram Shopping Complex, Trivandrum
June 26, 2011: Napier Museum
Absolutely stunning pieces of artwork: statues of ancient gods and goddesses, ceramic figurines, wood works, masks, costumes, traditional instruments, currencies, and so much history! Entry fee was only a infinitesimal 5 rupees, which translates to less than a dime. The gardens were stunningly green and revitalizing.
The architectural design of the building was breathtaking. I found the sleeping lion humorous. There was also the dancing god on a stone. And the window ledges, which featured a chimeric creature somewhere between a horse and elephant.
Lunch break at the Juice Boss and Hotel Taj
June 26, 2011: Trivandrum Zoo
Right next to the Napier Museum, the Trivandrum Zoo featured mostly indigenous Asian/Indian animals. I’ve been to zoos in China and the Bronx. I’ve also been to Atlantis Marine World on Long Island numerous times. I love animals and so will you. Hey, I grew up on the Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon. I was bound to be an animal lover and avid learner of random facts. I will put up pictures of all the animals I saw, along with the interesting facts I learned at the zoo. Gosh, I feel like an excited kindergartener on a school field trip. At the zoo, I was such a tourist, flashing out my pink camera and taking pictures of animals at every angle possible. If medicine doesn’t work out, the paparazzi can be my next resume booster. I’ve already had experiences with the paparazzi at Shanghai (some Asian actor) and Manhattan (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were my backdoor neighbors).
Lion-Tailed Macaque: Gets its name from its tail which has a tassel at the end like that of a lion
King Cobra: World’s largest venomous snake and the only snake that builds a nest! Its forked tongue is used to gather sensory data. Females are dedicated parents, as they use their tails to gather mounds of leaf litter.
Rose Ringed Parakeet: Immense capacity to imitate. Loud sharp screaming uttered at rest and flight.
Kalij Pheasant: Cluster distinctly into male/female groups. Quick runners, but fly when frightened. On the ground at daytime, in trees at nighttime. About 85% are born male, who also tend to stick close to the family and help out. How filial lol…
Brahminy Kite: Official mascot of Jakarta (Indonesia). Island of Langkawi named after this white bird.
Cinereous Vultures: Rather ugly looking critters. Largest bird of prey in the world. Heaviest bird of flight. Also known as the “Pilot’s Worst Nightmare” because they can fly at high altitudes, up to 2300 ft.
White Bellied Sea Eagle: Marine and migratory. Do not build a nest every year, instead, renovating old ones.
Rosy Pelican: Fishes in cooperative manner, swimming in semi-circles, flock drives fish towards shallow waters and then with sudden swish of the wings, catches the fish in its bill. Nests in old nests of flamingos. Elegant soaring bird.
Black Necked Stork: Only stork species found in Australia. More of a fish eater than other storks. Also eats reptiles, frogs, crabs…
Sloth Bear: Its love for honey has called for its nickname “Honey Bear.” Then why is Pooh Bear yellow?
Indian One-Horned Rhino: Running Rhino started chasing some deer, running as fast as 40 km/hr. Likes to wallow in water during the day (lazy animals). Excellent swimmers (hard to imagine…) Active at night and early morning, mostly solitary. Official state animal of Assam, wherever that is… Seeing the rhino reminded me of Ace Ventura, which I saw on TV in India, the part where Ace is hiding out in a fake metal rhino and gets stuck and pushes out through the rhino’s butt. This unfolds to the astonishment of a family on the wild safari, believing the rhino is giving birth… and out pops a naked white man. Ouch…
HIPPOS!!! I love these creatures, but not at all huggable and lovable. Very violent-tempered animals. Spend most of the day wallowing in water or mud. Birth takes place in water. So does mating (kinky eh?). Third largest mammals on Earth. Though they look like fat & lazy animals, they can easily outrun a human at 48 km/hr. Known as the “Beast of the Nile” to ancient Greeks and Romans. Now I have an urge to play my favorite childhood game, Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Cattle: Nothing special. Just hamburger.
African Cape Buffalo: Known as “Black Death” in Africa since it is known to gore people to death (200 human deaths/year). Herd sticks together when there’s a predator, keeping the young in the middle. Daring enough to rescue a victim buffalo from predators.
Blackbuck: One of the fastest animals at 70 km/hr. State animal of Andhra Pradesh. Males fight to the ultimate end for sex. Males have bitter duels. They also mark their territories by rubbing their facial glands on tree trunks during mating.
Tiger: National Animal of India. Also known as the world’s favorite animal. Stripe pattern is unique for every tiger, like that of human thumb impressions.
There was one casualty on this trip: my flip flop. I had to hop and walk on rocky roads until I could catch a rickshaw back.