Home Maharashtra Unlimited Maharashtra Unlimited Vol. 3 MU Vol. 3 Issue 1

MU Vol. 3 Issue 1

This January, Maharashtra Unlimited turns the spotlight on ecotourism. We explore the amazing diversity of natural wealth from the marine life of the Arabian sea and the turtles of Velas to the grasslands of Solapur with its elegant leaping deer. And of course, the magnificent forests of Vidarbha stand tall in this issue too, along with all the communities who are helping make ecotourism a sustainable source of livelihood.

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Ecotourismproperplace

What is Eco Tourism: Giving Ecotourism It’s Proper Place

We kick off our ecotourism special issue with a perspective on what ecotourism really means. Anirudh Chaoji puts it in perspective by discussing the role of the tourist and local community alike.
Text by Anirudh Chaoji
Photographs by Anirudh Chaoji and Chinmaya Kulkarni

Fuellingcatalyst

Fuelling a Catalyst Called Ecotourism: Praveen Pardeshi

Maharashtra Unlimited is in conversation with Praveen Pardeshi, IAS, Principal Secretary, Forests and Revenue, Govt. of Maharashtra. We discuss how tourism does not necessarily mean destruction and how communities are benefitting from properly managed ecotourism programs.
Text by Anirudh Chaoji
Photographs by Anirudh Chaoji and Harshal Bhosale

Velas

Ecotourism Case studies: Kaas, Velas, Lonar, Shiswad, and Yalavali

Kaas, Shiswad, Lonar and Yalavali are all ecologically sensitive areas, and are also tourist attractions. We look at each of these sites to see how they maintain the balance between tourism and conservation at these natural landmarks.

WesternGhats

Maintaining a Fragile Eco Balance: The Western Ghats

The Western Ghats have been recognised as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for its incredible biodiversity, which has helped it withstand the pressures of development. Archana Godbole, Director of AERF, discusses the dilemmas and challenges that lie ahead for conservationists.
Text by Archana Godbole
Photographs by Archana Godbole, Umesh Hiremath , Jayant Sarnaik and AERF

ManoharSapre

The Forests that Feed Him also Freed Him: Manohar Sapre

Unable to find a purpose in life and struggling to make ends meet, life took a complete 360-degree turn for artist, cartoonist and writer Manohar Sapre of Chandrapur when he accidently stumbled upon a piece of wood that created a powerful image in his mind. From thereon, Sapre has created some of the most outstanding pieces of art, inspired by nature. Asavari Sharma draws a portrait of this exceptional artist.
Text by Asavari Sharma
Photographs by Sangeeta Mahajan

Solapurgrasslands

Grasslands and Great Indian Bustard: Mysteries and Responsible Tourism

Grasslands might seem less glamorous than forests, but are equally rich in wildlife. Dr Pramod Patil, a medical practitioner and conservationist talks to us about the marvels of the grasslands and the efforts needed to save the Great Indian Bustard from extinction.
Text by Pramod Patil
Photographs by Pramod Patil , Ajit Deshmukh and Samir Madhani

Cameracankill

Even a Camera Can Kill: The Great Indian Bustard

There are hardly 250 Great Indian Bustards left in the wild. While tourists go bird-watching with the best intentions, their presence can be highly disruptive to the breeding cycle of this elusive bird. Pramod Patil sheds light on this phenomenon.
Text by Pramod Patil
Photographs by Sandip Desai, Ashok Chaudhary
and Samir Madhani

Gondwana

The Unsung Glory of Gondwana: Two Natural Eco Systems

“Gondwana” literally meaning the forest of the Gonds is perhaps Maharashtra’s remotest region. Generally ignored by conventional tourists and maverick explorers equally, the Gondwana lies unexplored in the heartland of India. Its dense forests and rivers have been the home of the Gonds for centuries, whose unique lifestyle is in tune with their ecosystem writes Vijay Paranjpye
Text by Vijay Paranjpye
Photographs by Vijay Paranjpye, Manish Rajankar , Kiran Purandare and Ashok Singh Thakur

Marinehaven

Magical Marine Haven: Coastal Maharashtra

It’s a world within a world. One that includes golden sands, plovers, dolphins,
writes Sarang Kulkarni about Maharashtra’s famous Konkan coast. But what is equally important is the fact that environmental destruction of this pristine landscape and waterscape could be within striking distance unless the right measures are enforced to ensure that local communities become the guardians of these cherished places.
Text and Photographs by Sarang Kulkarni

The Garden of Memories: Solapur Smrutivan

Smrutivan

A garden where you can plant your memories and watch your remembrance flourish, Smrutivan, in Solapur, has received high praise for its thoughtfulness and eco-friendliness. Ashok Patil walks us through this unique garden of memories.
Text by Ashok D Patil
Photographs by Ashok D Patil and Ram Jeurkar

DeepBlueKonkan

Deep Blue Konkan: Mangroves

Thousands of tourists make their way to the Konkan coast to enjoy its golden sands, fabulous cuisine and the warmth and hospitality of the people. N Vasudevan, Chief
Conservator of Forests talks to us about efforts to keep the Konkan seas pristine.
Text and photographs by N Vasudevan

SacredGroves

Devrais of Maharashtra: Where Faith Keeps the Forest Alive

The mountain communities of the Western Ghats have always held certain groves as sacred, and ensured their preservation. Today, these devrais are increasingly important to conserve the local biodiversity, as Archana Godbole explains.
Text by Archana Godbole
Photographs by Archana Godbole , Sanjay Pashte, Jayant Sarnaik and AERF

EcotourismWiderReach

BNHS: Giving Ecotourism a Wider Reach

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) – a membership-driven organisation – has been promoting the cause of a ‘natural’ India for the past 130 years since 1883. Isaac Kehimkar gives us an overview of how the BNHS is working towards conservation in India.
Text and photographs by Isaac Kehimkar

RajBhavanNagpur

Butterflies, Birds and More: Bio-diversity Park at Raj Bhavan -Nagpur

The Raj Bhavan in Nagpur is the site of a new bio-diversity park showcasing the rare plants of the Gondwana region. We take a walk through this pioneering initiative which shows that cities too can take a lead in conserving our fragile ecological balance.
Text by Ulka Athale
Photographs by Rajeev Joshi

TourismCircuits

Discovering Tourist Trails of Another Kind: 4 MTDC Eco-tourism Circuits

It’s time to turn your attention to the east of Maharashtra, rich in forests and teeming with wildlife. We present four ecotourism circuits that are a bit out of the ordinary for wildlife buffs and adventure enthusiasts.
Text by Ulka Athale
Photographs by Manjiri Bhalerao , Soliya Phadnis
and MTDC

Chaukul

Chaukul: Living the Enchantingly Simple Life

Do village homestays really take you back to nature and simplicity? Chinmaya Kulkarni finds in this village near Amboli a remarkable mix of tradition and innovation where pride and stewardship meet hospitality and warmth.
Text by Chinmaya Kulkarni
Photographs by Animesh Mathur , Chinmay Morgaonkar
and Kokan Bhumi Pratishthan

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