Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Butterfly Heaven in Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary

Assam’s Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary spanning about 20.89 kms., is home for India’s only Gibbon  - The Hoolock Gibbon, and Northeastern India’s only nocturnal primate – The Bengal Slow Loris. This fragmented patch of semi- evergreen forest was formerly known as the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary or Hollongapar Reserve Forest was officially constituted and renamed in 1997.

Fluffy Tit (Zeltus amasa) Under wing

Fluffy Tit (Zeltus amasa) Upper wing

We a group 4 nature enthusiast from Maharashtra had planned to explore the rich bio-diversity of Lepidoptera of the region.

Pale Green Awlet Caterpillar seen at Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Maplet Butterfly usually seen taking shelter underneath the leaves

Tawny Rajah in combat

Camouflage is the best survival strategy seen in butterfly caterpillar

Tiger Hopper - A tiny butterfly seen on the grasses and small shrubs

Slate Flash (Rapala manea) Under wing

Slate Flash (Rapala manea) Upper wing

It was great experience to click one of my wish list butterflies Oriental Map (Cyrestis thyodamas)

Very fast flying & territorial butterflies which are difficult to capture Variegated Rajah (Charaxes kahruba)

Close up shot - head of Green Awlet Caterpillar using extension tubes

Whitebar Bushbrown (Mycalesis anaxias)

Eye level shot of Gaudy Baron (Euthalia lubentina), one can see the curled proboscis (tongue)

Tawny Rajah on road killed toad. This reminds me of Classic photographs of Hunter Kings during British rule who use to step on the kill

Forest Pierrot (Taraka hamada) one of handsome looking butterfly

Blue Imperial (Ticherra acte) a very graceful butterfly of our trip

Gaudy Baron (Euthalia lubentina)

Autumn Leaf (Doleschallia bisaltide)

Courtesan (Euripus nyctelius)

Many questions are unanswered in nature, this is one of them...

Identity of this caterpillar is unknown

Knight (Lebadea martha) the butterfly which posed for us for such along time....

One of my wish list butterfly and equally satisfying me with the opportunity to click the one of the good images during the trip

Sylhet Oakblue (Arhopala silhetensis) underwing

Day 1: This  butterfly was very sluggish and was not ready fly away. We left it as it was thinking there was something wrong.

Sylhet Oakblue (Arhopala silhetensis) upperwing

Day 2:  Early Morning at the same spot we saw it basking. The same individual survived 24 hours at the same spot with not getting noticed by its predators

Leopard Lacewing (Cethosia cyane) - Butterfly above & Caterpillar below

Common Lascar (Pantoporia hordonia)

Great Archduke Male (Lexias cyanipardus)

Great Archduke Female (Lexias cyanipardus)

Tree Yellow (Gandaca harina) one the difficult butterfly to photograph in our trip. It was very sensitive to the slightest movement made. Hemant calls this Spotless Beauty......

White-edged Blue Baron Male (Euthalia phemius)

White-edged Blue Baron Female (Euthalia phemius)

Swordtails are always fascinating and this Fivebar Swordtail gave us difficult time while shooting

Long-banded Silverline (Spindasis lohita)

Orange Oakleaf (Kallima inachus)

Lesser Zebra (Graphium macareus)

Staff Sergeant (Athyma selenophora) Under wing

Staff Sergeant (Athyma selenophora) Upper wing

Tree Yellow (Gandaca harina)

Unidentified Sailer (Neptis sp.)

Common Peacock (Papilio polyctor) - One of the beautiful creation of mother nature

Being Small in size and still rich in diversity, the forest has its own problems - There is settlement in the Sanctuary, Surrounded by Tea gardens, Railway line passing through its elephant corridor, Wood cutting..........

But there is always a HOPE in the eye of the real protectors of this forest - Forest Guard Team. We got an opportunity to spend 6 days with one of the SAVIOR of this wilderness

It is always a challenge to get best image when photographing butterflies. Focusing on eyes and shooting the fluttering beauties at eye level are couple of tips to get good pictures. One of our team member - Rahul Natu - lying on wet soil  to click  Red based Jezebel


From left to right: Abhijit Narvekar, our guide Dilip, Hemant Ogale , Myself (Animish Mandrekar), Forest Guard.

How can I forget the one who click this picture  - Rahul Natu.

That's me !!!  Clicking Orchids in a acrobatic position

Gibbon WLS  provides many opportunities to shot subjects other than butterflies

Eye of Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)

Aggressive Tarantula species

Unidentified pair of Mating Moths

Long Horned Beetle

Jumping Spider

How To Reach: 

Nearest Town: Jorhat (20 Kms.)
Nearest Railway Station: Mariani (5 Kms.)
Nearest Airport: Jorhat (25 Kms.) 

Where to Stay: 
IB Bungalow or Forest rest house is the best place for stay. Currently there are 2 rooms which can accommodate 4 people. The below picture you can also see a new facility of 4 rooms getting final touch and will be ready by mid of 2013. 

For Booking Contact:

The Divisional Forest Officer, Jorhat Division Tel: +91-376-2320008 & +91-376-2320456. Forest Range Officer, Mariani Range Tel: +91-37716-244125

Tips for stay: 
There kitchen & cook available but one need to take all the ration. Fresh vegetables & all other ration is easily available at small town - Mariani, which just 5 kms away from wildlife sanctuary. 
If you don't have booking at forest rest house, then one stay at Jorhat and visit the sanctuary. There are good and clean hotel available at just Rs. 600 per day (Rate as per Year 2013). We stayed at Hotel Dilip in Jorhat which was Clean and could recommended.