No doubt. Agumbe is one of the most scenic places in Karnataka.
The places around agumbe are thick rain forests and Kenneth Anderson spoke about the tall trees and the moss that envelopes them…and the constant rains that pouring in and out.
Anyone who visits this place in monsoon will feel heavenly..The king cobra is the one more reason, that agumbe is on limelight.To do research on these spectacular creatures, Rom Whitaker has established ARRS ( Agumbe Rain forest Research Station).
Great motive! Some of those videos we see in You tube and BBC channel are truly nice.
Rom Whitaker is the man with a mission. Since then, whoever goes to agumbe, this ARRS been top in the list of places to see.
Because, the Hype and expectations are high. Many creates this hype without EVEN seeing the place.
Fortunately, many,who tour, trek and stay in agumbe do not visit this research center, because of the lack of time in the Final Moment..
But what about the less fortunate who happened to visit this so called Research center?
Here is what our experience!
The Brand name ARRS is high…So many medias been raving about it..
So, we had decided to go there, braving the rain and the leeches for the joy of knowing about snakes and whatever items they research for.
No sign boards, there is no reasonably maintained path…Cars can’t go after some time…SUV’s with four wheel drive can try.
All are fine…Jungle research center should be like this only..
So we had parked the car near a small corner and started walking towards the dream destination…ARRS..!
Hope was shimmering! To escape leeches, we were jumping the wet leaves and all the probable suspects plus looking for a cobra too.
Yes! A small banner (after 25 minutes walk) welcomed us as we reached the station. Here is the fun….
As we went near a dirty old home, ( That supposed to be the main building or station!) we started calling Sir…madam..Sir….for some time…
And we were circling that building too.
No one was there, and we thought, we have come to some Naxalite place! which agumbe is known for sometime.
All of sudden, someone looks like a maid appeared! And we said, we are from Bangalore and are very much interested to meet the scientists, in pure Kannada.She went and got four young boys! May be research students.
That was even more fun.. They were so unfriendly and answered our basic starter questions with a look of “when will you go out of this place” attitude.
All we could see is the “snake banners” they hung on the walls of the old building. We tried to explain them of our interest and the reason why we came here and all.
Nothing worked…Trust me…Pulling the teeth without anesthesia is far easier than getting them to speak…
In the far, we could notice a lot more buildings, but with these bunch of careless guys, it is best to kept the mouth shut and look again at the “snake banners” and move…! With a much disappointing heart we walked away…this time we did not jump on the wet leaves.let the leech crawl who cares?
The biggest upset is…The Hindu wrote another hype article on ARRS Agumbe!..(very next day I returned from agumbe)…and they did not allow my comment to appear when I wrote the fact.
With no co- ordination, no proper explanation for visitors in the research center…how can you speak about this research centre has accommodation and facilities for all who has the interest?
At the time of this writing, ARRS official website in disarray and has some Chinese letters…probably hacked I think .
For a nature enthusiast, what ARRS did was Unthinkable.
Why all this marketing then? If you think nature lovers are Gate crashers, then don’t try to get media coverage.
Why don’t we not think, all is for fund raising?
It is a big let down for Rom Whitaker!
The Collections of Kenneth Anderson Books: