Here’s part 3 on the series on Check Post where I would like to share moments related to check posts that I have come across during my travel. Today’s post is on Berijam.
|A welcome arch by nature through forest, shot during a visit in 2009|
It was in 2006, we ventured into the Berijam forest near Kodaikanal and it was my cousins’ inspired me not to miss this place when I visited Kodaikanal for 2nd time and it was many time already for them. I hear them saying that leopards/tigers visit Berijam Lake to quench thirst and bison are common sighting the way want me to visit and experience adventure. Berijam is a pristine lake area located inside the dense forest and visiting it needs prior permission from district forest office (DFO) at Kodaikanal. A warden who arranged accommodation for us at Kodai, at that time, did help obtain permission to visit Berijam where only 20 vehicles is allowed per day to preserve the natural environment and wild.
We reached Kodai a day early to my aunt’s family join us on the trip in their car and we in cab SUV, but we got permit only for our cab car and we already 9 members on-board, received my aunt and two little cousins for a drive of about 30 km from Kodai. We doubt really will they allow our overloaded vehicle at the check post, but glad they didn’t check our vehicle and only dad get down to sign at the check post and we drove through one of the best preserved wild environment of flora and fauna. The entire area is a biodiversity and unpolluted earth and it’s a complete pleasure and refresher to venture and its advised not to get down anywhere other than the specified spots.
There’s another check post at the Lake area, where vehicles are stopped and parked aside the road and to check the place only by walk, but they allowed our car to drop me close to lake to get down to the wheelchair. I used manual wheelchair then and we spent some time on the lake bank, and taking photos it slowly started to drizzle and furthered showered rushed people to their cars, since there isn’t a place for shelter there. My wheelchair was pushed speedily by my brother to prevent getting soaked and in the force a front caster of the wheelchair came out and I was pushed further in tilt position till the car. Berijam is a freshwater swamp lake and people are allowed only at defined space and to and fro through the car, our eyes were spotting for any wild animals.
I have visited Berijam couple of times after that and there isn’t much changes on the place for good and each visit was a different experience for me and lately the forest department itself running an ecotourism trip to Berijam and the number of private vehicles allowed has also been increased is certainly a disturbance to the ecosystem there. Berijam Lake is 9 km in circumference and located at 2165 MSL and it is also considered as one of biggest freshwater lakes in Asia. During my second visit I encountered Sambar deer, Langur and Giant Malabar Squirrel but beyond that the presence of nature and calmness wants me to go their how many times possible.