Mananthavady-New finding of old drawing.


If you have ever wondered about the history of your local town, village or street? through investigating the past, you may reveal yourself. We always thought and ignored our Wayanad is a little peace of land which has no important role in history. And we never thought our town has it name in any history books. My studies in local history have given me a deeper understanding of history in general and also instilled in me a different way of thinking about people who lived in past times. Placing yourself in other people’s shoes and thinking deeply about their lives can provide you with a different aspect in considering people in today’s world. I have also enjoyed other people's views who are interested in our local history

Actually Wayanad has, from the earliest days of European settlement,or before, been distinguished by its multicultural nature. There is evidence of prehistoric settlements in Wayanad. Inscriptions in Edakkal cave and some other parts in Thovary mala confirms this. I believe lots of evidence and inscriptions could have been lost during migrated plantation cultivation which occure in 1940 to 1970s. it was not a land of aboriginals now Malayalee settlements of the area commenced before British invaded us. .Migration has been paramount in the history of Mananthavady. Each wave of migration has added to its character. The peak of migration occurred from the 1950s to the late 1970s when very large numbers of migrants arrived from southern Kerala,Kannur, Calicut Districts, The area has continued to become a new home to a diverse array of cultural groups and you can observe every kind of these groups in Wayanad, not like other parts of Kerala.

Mananthavady-New finding of old drawing.

1839 water colour drawing taken from personal collection of Mr. Narayan Swami,Titled "View from the Officers' Canteen, Manantoddy, 12th Jan 1839" as inscribed on the verso f the painting. Size 12 x 9 Inches. As you can see, the drawing has been cut in the left hand corner and some added brush work of poor quality (the eaves of the roof and the wood columns supporting them) can be seen, added obviously at a later date. It is clear from this unnecessary brush work (probably added by the Lithographer when discussing the matte with the artist) that this view was considered for lithographic issue but the idea abandoned, perhaps because it was decided that views of the Nilgiris only were to be published.

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രണ്ടു നൂറ്റാണ്ട് മുൻപ്, ഫോട്ടോയോ മറ്റു ഉപകരണങ്ങളോ കണ്ടുപിടിക്കുന്നതിനും മുന്പ് മാനന്തവാടി ലോക്കൽ ഏരിയ എങ്ങിനെ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്ന് അറിയുന്നത് കൗതുകകരം ആയിരിക്കും. അന്ന് പെൻസിൽ,വാട്ടർ കളർ ചിത്രങ്ങളിലൂടെ ആയിരുന്നു നമ്മുടെ നാടിനെ മറുനാട്ടുകാർ നോക്കിക്കണ്ടിരുന്നത്. അത്തരത്തിൽ വളരെ പ്രാധാന്യം ഏറിയ ഒരു ചിത്രലേഖനം ആണിത്. മാനന്തവാടി ലോക്കൽസിന്റെ നിരീക്ഷണത്തിൽ ബ്രിട്ടീഷ്‌ സേനാൻഗം ആയ Edward Archdall McCurdy (1797 - 1842) മാനന്തവാടിയിലെ ഏതോ കെട്ടിടത്തിൽ നിന്നും 1839 ൽ വരച്ച ഈ ചിത്രം ഇതുവരെ കിട്ടിയിട്ടുള്ളതിൽ വച്ച് ഏറ്റവും പഴക്കം ഏറിയതാണ്.ആ കാലഘട്ടത്തിൽ വയനാടിന്റെ തലസ്ഥാനം ആയിരുന്ന മാനന്തവാടിയുടെ ഈ ചിത്രത്തിന് സമാനമായത് എന്ന് പറയാവുന്നത് തലശ്ശേരി, കോഴിക്കോട് എന്നിവിടങ്ങൾ നിന്നുള്ള രേഖാ ചിത്രങ്ങൾ മാത്രമാണ്. ഇതുവരെ ഇംഗ്ലണ്ട് ൽ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിക്കപ്പെടാതെ പോയ ഈ ചിത്രം ചെന്നൈയിൽ ഉള്ള Mr. Narayan Swami യുടെ സ്വകാര്യ ശേഖരത്തിൽ ഉള്ളതാണ്. മാനന്തവാടിയുടെ ചരിത്രത്തിൽ ഈ ചിത്രത്തിന് ഒരു സ്ഥാനം ഉണ്ടാവാൻ പോകുന്നു. മാനന്തവാടി ലോക്കൽസ് സംശയിക്കുന്ന സ്ഥലങ്ങൾ : ആശുപത്രി കുന്ന് , താലൂക്ക് ഓഫീസ്, LFUP hill , ലാറ്റിൻ church എന്നിവയാണ്.

The location of this image, as it holds an important role in History of our Mananthavady. This is 1839 water colour drawing taken from personal collection of Mr. Narayan Swami,Titled "View from the Officers' Canteen, 12th Jan 1839" as inscribed on the verso f the painting. Mananthavady is a modern name of the town and taluk which spelt diffrently at dirrerent times: Manintoddy,Manantoddy, Manantodi, Manthaady, Maha Anandavady, etc. Mananthavady has been referred to as "Hosenkadi" in a dictum scribbled under a copper artifact found at the Ananthanathaswamy Temple at Varadoor. Presene of Jain Community and Ananthaswamy temple at Pandikkadavu make this nomenclature as a site of Maha Anantha Vadi. But the dominant view on the etymology is that the word is derived from "Mane Eytha Vady (The place where an arrow was shot at the deer)".

Manantoddy was HQ of Wynuad Rangers,

Wynaud (now WAYANAD) in Kerala is the hill range contiguous to the Nilgiris and Manantoddy(now MANANTHAVADY) was the base of the Wynuad Rangers, a detachment of the Madras Army stationed there to watch the borders with Mysore state in the time of Hyder Ali and Tippoo. Later, the Rangers continued to be stationed there to contain Moplah insurrection.

Manantoddy (MANANTHAVADY) was the base of the famous Wynaud Rangers, led by Maj Henry Bevan. The detachment was initially established to police the borders with Tipoo and later to maintain law and order in the context of Moplah uprisings from time to time.

Manantoddy watercolour, a sectional view showing the depth and perspective achieved (note the human figures in the hollow below the house). These guys had good training in surveying in those days!

The Manantoddy watercolour photo shopped for V Narayan Swami by Dr John Roberts (and stripped of the latter day overlays of roofing and supporting columns). This is more or less how the original painting should have looked (and also approximates its aspect had the lithographing been carried out).

The inscription at the back of the Manantoddy water colour.V Narayan Swami was able to establish that it is in McCurdy's handwriting 

As Mananthavady Locals couldnot establish the location same scenery till now from an accurate location, a possible view from government Sub registrar office at Mananthavady. I strongly suspect the background hill is Brahmagiri hills, assuming the shapes.

Photo of present Convent Hill. check the building in its top.It was certainly used by British. Now it work as a monastery for christian nuns.

The Nilgiri Wynad of E A McCurdy, Compulsive Landscape Artist

Edward Archdall McCurdy (1797 - 1842), a Captain and later Lt Colonel in the 27th Native Infantry of the Madras Army, published "Views of the Nielgherries, or Blue Mountains of Coimbetoor, Southern India" (no date but c.1830 - 40), a set of 5 lithographs of the Blue Mountains. This is a very rare set, seldom seen at auctions.

McCurdy's original watercolours of the Nilgiri &Wynad, the range of hills to the west of and adjoining the Nilgiris (mostly today's in Kerala state). The Nilgiri Wynad is but a day's march or less from Ootacamund and clearly McCurdy was there at least in 1839, if not more than once.

The first picture is a watercolour shows a view from the Officers' Canteen in Manantoddy (Manantawadi today) in the Wynad. Manantoddy and the Wynad were the base for the Wynaud Rangers headed by Major Henry Bevan (until a few years before 1839) who has written a book on his sporting adventures in the area :… At the time this watercolour was drawn, 1839, McCurdy's regiment was stationed in Bangalore. And, clearly, he liked to holiday and sketch in the Nilgiris and the Wynad, places only a few days march from Bangalore.

You can see that the drawing has been cut in to two pieces (possibly with a view to have the reduced drawing lithographed but the idea was no doubt abandoned as I am not aware of any such published litho).

The inscription at the back is the next, 2nd, picture and it matches with a known sample of McCurdy's handwriting (the 4th picture).

But it is the style of the drawing which is conclusive for the attribution. The 5th picture below is a scan of one of the published Nilgiri lithographs.The similarity in styles betwen the watercolours and the litho will be apparent even though the print medium tends to efface most if not all of the flourish and individuality of the hand drawn master drawing. So, conclusively, a watercolour by Mc Curdy with matching handwriting.

Please note the sunlit, sun dappled effect on the rolling hills in both the paintings, seemingly a signature McCurdy effect. His sketching abilities, as you can see, were nothing to write home about, but his surveying skills are evident in the perspective and depth he brings to the drawings. And his control over the medium of watercolour is excellent..

Some starting lines of a chaptor of the book 30 years in india by Maj Henry Bevan. 1830s

Lieutenants D. and N. being on a visit to me at Manintoddy, were anxious see deer shooting. I gladly consented to gratify their inclinations, and started for the Tinevelly forest, about eight miles off. We had tolerable success in the mornings and evenings, at which time the deer quit their thick and impervious coverts, to feed on a shrub that grows in these jungles: it bears a sort of gooseberry .of which they are very fond; and the localities in which these shrubs abound, are their favourite resorts. 
Thirunelli  Temple
Located 22 km from Mananthavady
I may here relate an instance of the credulity of the natives ofWynaud. A most extraordinary panic prevailed for about ten days in the neighbourhood of Manintoddy, which caused a temporary scarcity of provisions, At one of the Hindoo temples near Manintoddy.

I saw tried the power of the Wynaud bow on many occasions, and I will here give an instance of its efficiency. A poor cultivator who resided close to Manintoddy, lost one of the buffaloes he used in his plough. And this was to him a severe misfortune, for his team was the principal support of him self and his family. He knew that the tiger which had killed it would come at night to prey on the carcass, and he therefore lay in wait behind a small screen within a few yards of the carcass. The tiger came as he expected; he discharged his arrow at the beast, and so correct was his aim, and such the strength of his arm, that the arrow pierced to the tiger's heart. He told us that the beast when struck, bounded high in the air and fell dead on of his victim. For this feat he received the usual allowance of 30 rupees,, which enabled him to buy two othe rbuffaIoes--a reward he nobly earned. 

More on this book will be discussed in a later blog.

Other posts related to  Wayanad in this blog

Man and Machine trip -day 1 Calicut - kalli valli - Blogger
KALLI VALLI : Mananthavady a walk back
Tribal medicine and its practitioners in Mananthavady
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad belongs to Karnataka
Hot spots of Wayanad one must Visit in a life time - kalli valli
The killer of the wayanad : A walk back ,Man and ... - kalli valli
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad History
Wayanad is the prime source for prehistoric findin... - kalli valli
KALLI VALLI : Megalithic rock-cut tomb in Wayanad
KALLI VALLI : Old Pictures of Wayanad
KALLI VALLI : The spread of Jainism to Wayanad
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad Photos- Nostalgia

KALLI VALLI : Wayanad belongs to Karnataka
KALLI VALLI : Megalithic rock-cut tomb in Wayanad
KALLI VALLI : Hot spots of Wayanad one must Visit in a life time
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad History
Wayanad is the prime source for prehistoric findings in ... - kalli valli
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad .The Plantation History
Wayanad Churam
KALLI VALLI : Old Pictures of Wayanad
KALLI VALLI : Jain Temple Sultan Bathery the Legend and Myth
KALLI VALLI : Wayanad Photos- Nostalgia
KALLI VALLI : Mananthavady District hospital

A walk back of story “The killer From Hyderabad”

It was in my early days of reading KA I fell in love with imagining things one happened in the past. I always tried to co related the past sequences to modern day, and ad got some pleasure if I find any evidence of such a place or things in my search. I used to check Google map and related available maps in net and read the stories of old times of those of the area at era 1930-1960 to identify the correct places mentioned in KA's stories.I am sure in near future, we will get more tools to explore like Arial photography using drones. Till then I have to depend google earth.

Please note: Read Kenneth Anderson's story Killer from Hyderabad from the book The Black Panther of Sivanipalli ,as this article is entirely dedicated to it. I cant make short this blog post as it seems too long please forgive.I just gathered some details here. I am planning to visit the area soon, and I will re-read myself this blog just before my start. Hope you understand the purpose now   !.

Essence of story “The killer From Hyderabad”

Anderson describes the climatic conditions and social background of the three districts, Anantpur, Kurnool and Nandyal. There were no motorable roads in those days.He provides information of Chenchu tribal community and depicts social life of them. A man-eating tiger that terrorized the area for about four years began his activities in the forests which belonged to Hyderabad state where he fed on Chenchus and few lonely travelers. He announced his arrival at Chelama. Chenchus began to fall victims to the man-eater and when the death-toll reached eleven the Hyderabad state gave call for the hunters. The Nawab of that area attempted to shoot but failed to kill Much publicity was given in the press when the tiger killed the trolley-coolie of Railway between Chenchus and Basavapuram. Then Anderson decided to join expedition against the Hyderabad man-eater. He started his operation from one end of the area towards, Basavapuram and Chelama. Ali Baig assisted him as a translator in Telugu language. He then met Bala, the son of the Chenchu trapper who lived in a hut in the jungle with his mother, wife and one child. He was a birdtrapper.

Anderson admires bravery of this little aboriginal family that had so bravely faced the danger of the man-eater. Soon he shot a tiger near the kill but that was not the man eater. Then the news from Gazulapalli came that the tiger had killed Bala’s young wife. Anderson narrates the pathetic tale of Bala. He reached there immediately and asked grief-striken Bala to show the place where his wife was killed by the man-eater. Then he made the place for hiding in the hollow trunk of a tree. Bala brought his wife’s body to that place. As the tiger approached and started eating body of Bala’s wife, Anderson fired three shots from his rifleThey found the blood trail but then the trail became difficult to follow. Anderson admires sacrifice of Bala who allowed his dead wife out for bait. He thus showed respect to Bala. The story ends on the note of uncertainty. Anderson raises many questions to himself.

Preparation for a walkback. 

Nallamalai forest is always lure me to explore. Being a quite far from my place, I could not done it so far. Instead, I tried to gather details of the place day by day and started to write off the area in detail. The stories given a clear view of details of the forest and its folk. moreover the entire sequence is based on a rail line which bisects the Nallammala hills. That meter gauge railway and those 5 railway stations of Gazulapalli, Basavapuram, Chelama, Bogada and Diguvametta are were important and seems like live characters. Each has station masters, who were officially there and may have recorded the things. So I thought it will be rather easy by following the railway and its line for exploring the area for such a walk back.

The  location of Nallamallai forest.Let it be Anderson"s  words to describe the area. NORTH of Mysore State, in the days of the British Raj, lay the Districts of Bellary, Anantapur, Kurnool and Nandyal, all be- longing to the former Madras Presidency. North of these a portion of the linguistic Telugu State of Andhra Pradesh, However, this story dates from long ago when these areas, belonged to Madras.
Carefully check the Railway line and railway stations in the map from the Omnibus vol.2 Killer of Hyderabad. Its not at all a straight line as most of us thought before. Immediatly after Gazulappalli,the meter gauge track take a left bend to reach next station Basavapuram(6 Milles as per KA) then runs circumvent a hill to take right a curvature about 180 degress, to reach Chelema RS (5 Miles). After running some planes and curved paths it pass trough the famous tunnels and viaduct. to reach Bogara RS.Then it forms exactly as a hairpin bend, not usual to a railway line. with three more bends the line reaches Diguvametta.The Black bold line was the Bullock cart road, now SH58... KA's words: After leaving Guntakal, Dronachellam and Nandyal, the eastern metre-gauge line passes through an area of forest for five stations, named in order Gazulapalli, Basavapuram, Chel- ama, Bogara and Diguvametta, before going on to Bezwada. 

So, finally this was a trip where reaching the destination was never in doubt. But what is a trip without escapades, especially when there is no company to “talk sense”? So, I decided not to enquire too much about the route and just started searching internet, and the maps. I found out later that actually I had to work a bit more up to finally reach the aim. 

Anyways, I finally stumbled on something that looked like ancient water supply ducts with my non-existent archaeological know-how; it was the old abandoned railway line. 

To my dismay, after I looked the modern maps and comparing it with Anderson's hand drawn map of the area, confusions arises one by one. There is no track, no railway stations (except two), no bridges, no large tunnels as claimed by Anderson is exist! As the other skeptical readers I suspected the authenticity of these stories, because of the base evidences are not available in the form of physical structures. I started to read more and goggled more. And previous experience of our group members, their valuable observations, (especially Joshua Mathew and Ananda Theertha Pyati), various travelogues, seeing a Telugu movie in my first time, and browsing are my tools. After searching and searching I came to know that the meter gauge track was abandoned and a new broad-gauge track was constructed in an entirely different route exactly between the two railway station Gazulapalli and Diguvametta. And remnants of old tunnels, track, railway platforms and building structures are still exist, in an abandoned state. Little by little, I knew the task is going to be a big needle hunt in a haystack as Anderson once described about the Killer from Hyderabad, in the same story. 
3 D  angulated view of the area facing east. There is nothing to do with the broad gauge line with our stories. in early 90s meter gauge line is abandoned and a new line with a new Bogada tunnel has been constructed.In the given map new line is marked in green and meter gauge is marked in yellow/red. This forested portion, which forms the setting of my story, is more or less in the midst of a jungle belt stretching northwards across the Krishna River into the former Hyderabad State, and southwards towards the town of Cuddapah. The metre-gauge trains are slow, and it is still a common experience for the drivers of the up and down mails that pass in the night to see wild animals running across the lines in the beam of the engine's headlight, or to run down a wild pig or a deer that attempts a last-minute crossing. 

My knowledge was expanding, and I need a personal visit to confirm certain points. I will do it in recent months or in next year. Till then gathering information around the area is my prime concern. But I am writing here these observations, only for helping to somebody who tries to rediscover the sites. My observations may be a foundation for such trips, and together you can discover newer things. Please remember, my imaginations may be wild and not correct at all. Please give comments if you think I am wrong in any of the details.

Except for the towns of Anantapur, Kurnool and Nandyal, which gave their names to the districts of which they formed the capitals, the rest of the land was peopled by small villages scattered widely over the area. The railway line from Bombay to Madras was the principal arterial link which traversed the districts. It passed through a railway colony known as Guntakal Junction. At Guntakal three separate metre-gauge sections branched off. One led westwards towards Bellary and Hubli; one led south- wards towards Bangalore in Mysore State; the third led east wards, passing through Dronachellam and Nandyal to Bezwada, and thence to the east coast of India. At Bezwada it linked up with another broad-gauge arterial section joining Madras and Calcutta, while at Dronachellam a metre-gauge line branched north-eastwards to Secunderabad and Hyderabad.

The meter gauge train and vegetation of the around the area. The  pictures captured as screen shot and   are from a 1990 Telugu romantic comedy film named Bobbili Raja (Telugu: బొబ్బిలి రాజా) directed by B. Gopal. It stars Venkatessh in the lead role and Divya Bharati in her film debut alongside Vanisree, and Kaikala Satyanarayana in other roles. Music was scored by Ilayaraja. This means  atleast upto 1990 there was regular traffic though this route.

The OLd track in KA stories track passed through the Nallamala Hills and as a result quite a few major engineering works were undertaken in the course of the railroad construction, the most impressive of them being the massive Dorabavi Viaduct and the Bogada Tunnel (We cam name it Old Bogada LONG tunnel , as per KA) both of them about 30 km from Nandyal. This section was converted to Broad Gauge during 1993-95. The gauge conversion was a difficult task owing to the difficult terrain. The old alignment between Gazulapalli and Diguvametta was abandoned and a new Bogada tunnel, about 1.6 km in length and a new Dorabavi Viaduct located at a much lower altitude were constructed at a huge expense.

The exclusive bridge Dorabavi viaduct was engineering monument in the South Central Railway, 
 The serene forest location of the bridge, on the Nallamala Hills,  had its own exotic aura as a picnic spot.This viaduct had great historic back ground as British engineers did awesome work and opened the metre gauge traffic in the year 1887, Deep gorges of Nallamala forest and hillock regions were connected through the above bridge.Nearly 420 tons of steel was procured from the Burming Ham Steel Industry, in Briton. The Railway authorities had also dug a well named Dorala Bavi to mitigate drinking water for the British rulers during their halts.

KA   described in another story as he   looked down from the bridge , where treetops far below. However, the 110-year old bridge continued to be a great picnic spot for the tourists though it was discontinued due to the construction of an alternative route as part of gauge conversion between Nandyal and Giddalur. 
Mercilessly, the Railways had sold out the monument as scrap for just Rs 4 crore and the Doravri Bridge was destroyed for Iron scarp. Presently, a shape less structure stands at the spot.

The mission

So we will miss the most important locations of the story,because of the line conversion. the Three stations, Basavapuram, Chelema, and Bogada along with two tunnels and great viaduct, are completely wiped off. But still, looking in the map we could see scanty remains of the old rail track and remnants of the stations and tunnels.  so if  i go for a mission, my primary objectives will be  following.

1.Check the official records available in SC railways, of the station masters, gangers, with specific names mentioned in the stories, If get all the details, I could stitch together and get a conclusion of the dates of hunting occurred. I got some one senior railway official in Nandyal; I hope I could get some clues through him.

2. Study in detail of  history of the meter gauge track, the trains shuttled between theses stations, and its timings.

3. Forest stations, Forest bungalow of Diguvametta, Registrar of Diguvametta. As KA brought a piece of land from a local man to thatch his tent- seems little crazy.

4. Gather details of Chenchu tribes and know their life styles, which match Anderson's descriptions. As I knew they are the original indigenous owners of south Indian forest, and aboriginal to many centuries. No other places, u could see these tribes except Kadar from Kerala and Vedar of Srianka. Actually these three tribes are of same parental group. Strikingly similar in customs, culture and anatomical details.

5. KA gives a very detailed report of the geography, topography and aril description as he saw in a Google map. Remember, his home was far from this area, and here are no such communications available in that time

my questions

1. Finding the railway station Basavapuram, there is a village called Basavapuram lying south east of Gazulapalli, unlike KA stated it and mapped on North east.

2. Finding (OLD) railway station at Chelama. I know the Chelama Railway station is transplanted to a new location, and was famous for a recent Maoist attack .

3. Tracking/ trekking  the old tracks of metere guage line and the two tunnels. 

4. Finding the old via duct and its remnants at Nallamalai forest

5. Quick view of the life of Chenchu in older days and present conditions. 

6. The forest bungalow at Diuvametta  and the tomb of the old dog-, Mischief

7. Track Diguvametta railway station and the overflowing water column and outer signal post


I will start  y imaginative walk trough from Gazulapalli Railway Station.  Pardon me if I used more from original text of KA . Because it  seems suitable   with the picyures to revoke the memoris of the story. It will make a mental map of the locations. I knew you have more and vivid imagination of the spots,  created by KA's readings.  

Gazulapalli Railway Station (also spelt Gajulapalli Railway Station) falls on the railway line connecting Cumbum and Nandyal. Guntur-Guntakal Passenger, Guntur-Kacheguda Passenger, Guntur-Hubli Passenger and Secunderabad-Guntur Passenger are the main trains that pass through this station and Diguvametta. 

The only and one bullock cart road turned to a highway now. but by luck  the forest area is still maintained well. See the Descriptions:"From the five stations which I have named only rough and stony cart-tracks and foot-paths wend their way into the surrounding jungle. There were no motorable roads in those days. This was one of the main factors that helped to preserve the fauna of the locality from being badly shot-up, as has happened in jungle areas traversed by good roads. Enthusiastic but misguided and unsporting hunters use these good roads by spending their time from dusk to dawn shining spot-lights from motor-cars into the jungle and shooting at any animal whose eyes reflect the glare. More often than not these hunters are not even aware of the kind or nature of the animal at which they fire. This wanton and wicked practice has done and continues increasingly to do immense damage to wild animals, as the females and young of all species are being indiscriminately slaughtered, while a still larger numbed crawl away sorely wounded to die lingering and agonizing deaths in the jungle. The British Government in its time tried to stop this poaching, and the Indian Government is still trying.  What is more, this will always be the case till either the public becomes conscious of the fact that wild life is a national asset and should not be wantonly destroyed; or alternatively, until wild life itself is completely wiped out".

There is a village called Basavapuram lying south east of Gazulapalli, unlike KA stated it and mapped on North east. Its location is not  matching correctly as per old map. But  I think   Basavapuram  was a larger area  than a mere village,  excluding  Gazulapalli. This map rectifies the same.

New railway track can be seen on blue arrow, while  remnants of theabandoned meter gunge track deviates to left in  to the forest form here, just after exit of Guzzalapalli RS. A newly formed water canal also be seen

KA traveled  with train driven in engine room  for the 6 mile journey to reach there

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The old line with measurments. I dont know why KA not aware of the true distance across the jungle than a curved nature of the railwy lineHe wrote: "a distance from Gazulapalli to Basavapuram is six miles, and from Basavapuram to Chelama 5 miles,(Correct) and allowing for overlapping forest tracts the whole stretch of jungle between these areas covered a distance of about 15 miles(Not Correct) Not only were these stations much closer to Bangalore than the more distant areas in Hyderabad, but they were much smaller in area, and were linked by part of the metre-gauge system of railway to Bangalore. The Hyderabad sections were not, and no motorable roads connected them". 

Chelama Railway Station,also spelt Chelima Railway Station, Its a broad gauge station, transplanted from its original site of meter gauge line.Please check the forest around it i a dry season. Diguvametta Railway Station is 17 km from Chelama. Gazulapalli Railway Station is about 11 km and Giddalur Railway Station is 28 km from Chelama Railway Station. Diamonds are found to occur in three different geological milieu in this district. There is no significance role for Chelama Railway in our story. But those who dares  tracking KA ,  can visit  this station as a non man eating was tiger killed  which  has occurred nearby, as per my calculations.
Site OF  OLD Chelama Railway Station, note the old line((RED ARROW) ."From the five stations which I have named only rough and stony cart-tracks and foot-paths wend their way into the surrounding jungle.(BLUE ARROWS) There were no motorable roads in those days". 

This is why KA given an alternative name for his story."I have related the story of the coming of the 'Chelama Man- eater', or, as he came to be better known, the 'Killer from Hyderabad', as I pieced together the facts at a much later date. the tiger repeatedly changing his location between the Gazulapalli- Chelama section in the south and the Krishna River in Hydera- bad to the north. This area of operations was immense,, as you will understand if you glance at the map. The area being large and remote, little publicity was given to the animal's depredations; and when It was given, ail that appeared was a brief paragraph in one of the local newspapers, at infrequent and sporadic intervals, Informing a disinterested public that the man-eater had claimed yet another victim. In this manner, in some three and a half years of activity, the tiger accounted for about eighty persons before serious notice began to be taken of the very real menace he had become".

The Man eater came from Hyderabad, Krishna River shown  :"Apart from the man-eater of course, there were many other tigers, and panthers too, operating both in the Hyderabad  jungles and to the south, so that the number of cattle and other  domestic animals killed each year was always large. The man-eater could be baited with tethered  cattle provided the hunter was able to estimate his line of 'beat before and after  his due date of arrival This plus or minus factor could be  worked out on the map. from his earlier record of kills".

The is a locality called Madikonda near Hyderabad. But it seems very near to the city limits and impossible to be a man eaters adobe,and distance to the Chelema area is too much as you can see on the map: "After the wound inflicted on him by the Nawab at Madikonda, he doubled and re-doubled his normal man-eater-like caution, till he gained the reputation of being a very devil  animal,  This data I had jotted down on a map of the whole area, a small cross with a date against it signifying the place and date of each incident. Thereafter, a study of the map indicated that this animal appeared to spend from two to three months operating between Gazulapalli and Chelama, be-fore moving northwards into Hyderabad for the next four  months or so".

Guzulapalli village and adjoining area.Again an interval of some weeks elapsed. "Then a Chenchu, who devoted his time to snaring partridges and jungle-fowl near Gazulapalli, failed to return home for his midday meal. He had set out that morning on a visit to the traps that he had placed in various parts of the jungle the day before, saying he would be back by noon, as was his habit. But midday passed and the shades of evening fell and still he did not show up, and his wife and only son, a boy of twenty, grew anxious. Of course they had heard of the killings in the vicinity of Chelama, but forgotten about the incidents". 

The beat:"The man-eating tiger has a habit of following a particular 'beat' or route, which may extend over some hundreds of miles, halting in the vicinity of villages or hamlets for a week or two and then moving on again. In this way, not only does he escape when things are becoming too hot for him, but he arrives at fresh pastures and fields of opportunity where the inhabitants are unaware of his coming. By the same token, when he leaves a particular locality and the killings cease, the natural apathy and forgetfulness of the villagers makes them feel that the danger has passed and they become careless in their move- ments, ensuring another easy victim for the tiger when he eventually comes that way again. For he works around the territory m a huge and rough circle, and according to the ex- tent of his beat will surely pass that way once more— maybe after a month or two, maybe much longer. with the aid of a map of the area and by means of marking with a cross the locality of each human kill with the date on which it occurred, it is possible to assess not only the whole extent and area of the tiger's range of operations, but to anticipate its return to each locality within the margin of a fortnight. This is one of the main factors that help the hunter who scientifically plans the killing of a man-eating tiger to accomplish his task".

 A file photo of trolley used in Indian Raiways.: When a permanent-way inspector on the railway was one morning carrying out a routine inspection of the line from Chelama towards Basavapuram by trolley. On the Indian railways these trolleys are simple wooden platforms on two pairs of wheels. The platform itself is scarcely more than six feet long, sur- mounted by a rough bench on which the railway officer sits.  video of such a terrain in trolly :

A trolley is pushed by two coolies called 'trolley-men', who ran along barefooted on the rails themselves. Practice makes them experts at placing their feet on the- rails, necessitated in addition by the fact that were they to miss the rail and tread on the ballast they would find it very painful. They push the trolley up-hill at a walking pace, run along the rails at some 8 miles per hour where level ground prevails, and jump on at the back of the trolley when a downhill section is reached. The officer controls the speed of the trolley by a handbrake, and the whole assembly is lifted off the line at stations to make way for passing trains. 

A similar cutting on the same route between Diguvametta and Gazulapalli : "That day the trolley was negotiating a cutting through rising  ground, when the P.W.I, applied his brakes and stopped it to get down and examine the ditches which draw off rain water on either side of the track. The party had plenty of time at their disposal, as the next train was not due for another two hours. One of the trolley-men remained seated on the trolley, while the P.W.L walked along the side of the ditch. The other man climbed up the bank of the cutting, which was about seven feet in height, seated himself on the top and took out a beedi". 

Location of the cutting.  "The ditch had not unduly eroded and, after walking a hundred yards or so, the P.W.L turned around to cross the line and retrace his steps along the other side and inspect the ditch there. As he did so, he glanced backwards and saw the trolley with the coolie sleeping on it, and then glanced upwards to the other coolie seated on top of the cutting smoking his second beedi. The P.W.L noticed what appeared to be a round 'something sticking out from one side of it. This 'something' moved.  The mysterious object moved again, and the P.W.L stared, wondering what it could be. he heard a piercing shriek. He looked up in time to see the coolie on the embankment being drawn backwards and then vanishing from sight, still screaming.  when he saw a large tiger walking calmly away into the jungle with the coolie trailing from his mouth, his hands and legs kicking feebly. He rushed down the bank to the railway track and pounded back along it towards the trolley as fast as he could. Both of them commenced to push the trolley along the lines as hard as they could, till it reached the downward slope and began to roll of its own accord. Then they jumped on and allowed it to career madly downhill away from that dreadful place".

A screen shot of a map from   US Army May (1954). Shows the old meter gauge railway alignment. Courtesy: VK Nair, 

Anderson arrives at Gazulapalli. "I felt the time had come for me to try to meet this man-eater. So that night I was seated in the train that steamed out of Bangalore and the afternoon of the next day saw me de-training at Gazulapalli".

Gazulapalli RS. "As soon as the train drew out of the station I made Mends with the station-master and the few members of the railway staff attached to the small station. When they became aware of my mission they clustered around and said that they were very glad that I had come, and that they would do everything they could to help me. I was a bit handicapped because the local dialect was Telegu, of which I could speak only a few words. This was partially compensated for by the fact that most people there seemed to understand a little Tamil and Hindustani, both of which languages I speak fairly well. Some- how we got along and could understand each other. The station- master of course knew English, and he became my main interpreter".
Near the station, as KA prepares:"I found out that Balasubramaniam 
had gone to his quarters to snatch a few hours well-earned rest; so, while Bala got busy on my instructions to gather three  stones at the end of the platform, find some sticks and light a fire to brew tea in my travelling-kettle, I got out my small folding Primus stove, lit it and fried some bacon. The tea-water had not yet come to the boil when I finished the bacon, so I sauntered down to the 'water-column' at the opposite end of the platform, which supplied water to such thirsty locomotives as required it". 

Gazulapalli is a very simple,  village staion:"I carried my towel, tooth-brush, toothpaste and soap and a change of clothes with me. Stacking these articles some distance from the water-column, I removed all my clothes and knotted the towel around my waist. Then I got beneath the leather hose and with one hand turned the wheel that opened the valve and let the water into the column from the 10,000 gallon storage tank standing high on its four stone pillars nearby. The quantity of water that suddenly descended upon me was tremendous and almost knocked me off my feet. However, I enjoyed my bath, combining it with my morning tooth-brushing routine"

Anderson began questioning the watchers  about the tiger. Both claimed to have seen him. Since the time the killings had begun they had never ventured into the jungle alone, but always together and armed with axes. "Nor had they gone very far from the village. About ten days earlier they had seen a tiger crossing a Fire-line about a mile away". There are  a number of fire lines in that area like I marked in green dots. The Red arrows are for the old railway line and new track can be seen below that.Check the vertical mark which crosses all these lines.,in left side of photo, which is a more likely to match Andersons descriptions. "The tiger had seen them too and had leapt into the jungle immediately. A month earlier they had encountered another, about nine o'clock in the morning, beside a water-hole. That had also bounded away when they came into view".
 Waterhole 1 is marked  as per the descriptions, but there is one more water hole  close to the village.

The probabale spot where the watchers met  the man eater . The distance of the fire line is almost i mile from both  Gazulapalli village and railway station.Please note the new railway line and water canal not existed then. "they had come upon a tiger hardly a quarter of a mile from the village; he had given them an anxious few moments, for he had not run away as other tigers had done. Rather, he had swung around, half-crouched, and growled loudly. They had been on the point of turning tail and running for their lives. But Krishnappa, the Chenchu guard, had whispered to Ali Baig that they should both shout in unison. They had done that. The tiger growled in return but did not charge. He had hesitated and then walked away, looking back at them over his shoulder now and again, still growling. When he was out of sight they had hurried back to the village"

Finding  Balas Hut: KA asked to watchesrs about BALA ,Of course they knew him. He lived in a hut in the jungle  over two miles away to the north(As per KA). As north has now totally a plain agricultural land, KA must have followed slightly to north east where a stream, hills, and forest mingles each other:  "Scrambling to my feet, and slinging my .405 over my shoulder, I asked the two forest guards to lead me to this boy. We crossed the railway lines and followed a footpath that wound into the forest, light scrub gave way to heavier jungle, and soon we were walking in single file, Krishnappa leading with AM Baig on his heels, while I brought up the rear. I had taken the precaution to load my rifle and carried it in the crookof my right arm, prepared for all eventualities. Not that we expected the tiger to attack just then, for we were three men together; but, should he make up his mind to do so, It was either Krishnappa in the lead, or myself at the end of the line, who were In any real danger". 

Close up view of the area of hut and meeting place of tiger.."After what appeared to me to be a distance of more like three miles than two, we crossed a stony channel through which a stream of water trickled, climbed a small hill and came upon the hut which was our objective. A pleasant-faced lad of about 20 years of age was seated at the open doorway,  he had often seen the man-eater with his own eyes. Once he had gone down to the very rivulet we had just crossed to bring a pot of water to the hut. It had been about noon, just before the family had sat down to their midday meal. As he had dipped the pot into the stream, he had happened to look up and saw a tiger slinking down the opposite bank. Fortunately he had seen the beast in time, perhaps a hundred yards away, creeping directly towards him. He had left the pot of water and bolted for the shelter of the hut, where the family had closed and barricaded the door of thorns as best they could, expecting the man-eater to make an onslaught on the flimsy structure at any moment"

A file photo of a tiger in forest with  narrow black stripes across the pale brownish-yellow skin , as per the descriptions.  "He was a large male tiger, with rather a pale yellow coat. Did the sahib want to know if he had seen anything peculiar about this tiger? Then Bala closed his eyes in thought; finally he looked up with a hopeful expression. All he could say was that the black stripes across the pale brownish-yellow skin were abnormally narrow. Would that help the dorai ? He had seen very many tigers in his short life, but he could not remember ever having seen another with such narrow stripes". 

Probable place of  the pug marks seen: "He had discovered large pug-marks a short distance down the banks of the stream. Those large pug-marks had synchronised on previous occasions with the man-eater's visits. They had been present around the half-devoured remains of his father. I got to my feet as I made known my wish to see these pug- marks for myself. Bala took the precaution of telling the women folk to keep inside the hut and barricade the door during his absence, and then led us back to the stream almost at the same point at which we had crossed it when coming. He turned, and began to lead us downstream. Some three furlongs away the stream broadened, though the water kept to the centre of the channel. Due to its broadening, however, there was a narrow stretch of sand-bank on either side. This had been crossed by a tiger two nights previously, from east to west.( reasons for selecting the spot). The tiger's pug-marks were so large that they were clearly visible to me long before we reached them. The spoor was that of a very large animal undoubtedly male. As I stood looking down upon it, I decided that, even allowing for the exaggeration caused by the imprints spreading in the soft sand, the animal that had made them was exceptionally big". 


I don’t exactly remember the moment when I first heard the name Chenchus. It has been s some years after I was introduced to KAs stories. General social as well as systematic apathy towards India’s tribes and their history meant that most of the people did not even realize the existence of these tribes beyond the two big ones that are in direct contact with them. I remember a failed trip to Nallamalai once simply because none of the previous posts could point us the way to their site. So i believe each trip will teach you more.

During the Palæolithic Age, the vast forests and park-lands of South India were inhabited by bands of nomadic people, who lived by hunting and the gathering of wild fruits, tubers, and edible roots. The only traces left by these early foodgatherers are crude stone implements found on the surface of many parts of the Deccan; so far no skeletal remains of the early races have come to light. Yet, in some isolated parts of the subcontinent, small groups of aboriginals persisted until modern times in a way of life which outwardly had changed very little since the Stone Age.
From an old collection

"Modernized" chenchus with same shape of  houses
The Chenchus of Andhra Pradesh are one of these ethnic splinter groups, which were left behind by the material advance of the great majority of the South Indian population. Their present habitat is confined to the rocky hills and forested plateaux of the Nallamalai Range, extending on both sides of the Krishna River. Today their entire habitat lies within the state of Andhra Pradesh, which contains the overwhelming majority of the speakers of the Dravidian tongue of Telugu, the language spoken also by the Chenchus.

Although in the census of 1971 more than 18,000 Chenchus were enumerated, only a few hundred persist today in their traditional life-style as semi-nomadic forest dwellers, and it is with the latter that we are mainly concerned in the context of this study.

Chenchu drawing his bow. Hunting used to be an important activity of the men,
and though game has been depleted Chenchus are still in the habit of carrying
bows and iron-tipped arrows (!940)
In their physical make-up the Chenchus conform largely to a racial type described by anthropologists as Veddoid, a term derived from the Veddas, a primitive tribe of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Like the Veddas, the Chenchus are of short and slender stature with very dark skin, wavy or curly hair, broad faces, flat noses, and a trace of prognathism.  They normally wear but the scantiest dress: the men small aprons suspended from a fibre or leather belt, the end drawn in between the legs, and the women cotton bodices and a length of sari-cloth wound round their hips. There is no people in India poorer in material possessions than the Jungle Chenchus; bows and arrows, a knife, an axe, a digging stick, some pots and baskets, and a few tattered rags constitute many a Chenchu's entire belongings. He usually owns a thatched hut in one of the small settlements where he lives during the monsoon rains and in the cold weather. But in the hot season communities split up and individual family groups camp in the open, under overhanging rocks or in temporary leaf-shelters.

The basic unit of Chenchu society is the nuclear family, consisting of a man, his wife, and their children. For all practical purposes husband and wife are partners with equal rights, and this equality of status means that the family may live with either the husband's or the wife's tribal group. Each such group holds hereditary rights to a tract of land, and within its boundaries its members are free to hunt and collect edible roots and tubers. These used to be the Chenchus' staple food, though we shall see that in recent years there has been a change in their diet and ways of subsistence.
The Chenchus are characterized by a strong sense of independence and personal freedom. None of them feels bound to any particular locality, and the ability to move from one group to the other allows men and women to choose the companions with whom they wish to share their daily lives. Marriage rules are based on the exogamy of patrilineal clans. As long as they observe the rules of clan exogamy young people are free to marry whomsoever they wish. Spouses can separate without any formality, but the abduction of a woman still living with her husband is disapproved of as immoral.
In the sphere of religion the Chenchus evince certain characteristic traits which distinguish them from the surrounding Hindu peasantry. Though they worship some of the deities prominent in the cult of Telugu villagers, they accord much greater importance to a powerful goddess who has control over the game and the fruits of the forest. They also revere a sky god who shares some features, including name, with the Hindu supreme divinity Bhagavan and, though not believed to intervene very much in human affairs, is credited with power over life and death. The Chenchus' ideas of man's fate after death are vague, and it would seem that various notions adopted from their Hindu neighbours have not been incorporated into a consistent body of eschatological beliefs. There is no definite idea that a person's fate in the hereafter depends on his deeds in this life, even though some Chenchu stories contain references to reincarnation. More widespread is the belief that a person's life-force (jiv ) is derived from the supreme god and returns to him after death. The whole concept of a life-force, a belief common to various Indian populations, very likely stems from casual contacts with Hindus, and thus represents a comparatively new element in Chenchu thinking.
A Chenchu settlement in 1940; during the dry winter season
the round huts with conical roofs are being rethatched. In the background is
the framework of a hut under construction.

Until two or three generations ago, the Jungle Chenchus seem to have persisted in a life-style similar to that of the most archaic Indian tribal populations, and their traditional economy can hardly have been very different from that of forest dwellers of earlier ages. In the following chapters we shall see that, despite recent developments and innovations, the Chenchus still stand out from all the other tribal populations of Andhra Pradesh.
In other parts of India, however, there are still some comparable groups of foodgatherers who have so far resisted the pressure to move out of the forests and change over to a more settled life. Several of these tribes inhabit the forested hills of the Southwest Indian state of Kerala. Anthropologists have studied the Kadars, who form the subject of a book by U. R. von Ehrenfels, and the Malapantaram, also known as Hill Pantaram,(Malampadaram) whom I visited in 1953 and who were subsequently investigated in depth by Brian Morris. Of special interest are the parallels between the Chenchus and the Veddas of Sri Lanka, the first South Asian tribe of hunters and foodgatherers to arouse the interest of western scholars, notably C. G. Seligmann and P. Sarasin.
A hut in the Chenchu settlement of Boramacheruvu in 1978. There has been
no change in the structure of huts, but Chenchus have learned to grow
marrows and to train them up the roofs of their huts
 The Veddas have virtually given up their traditional life-style, but during some brief encounters with groups of semi-settled Veddas I was struck by a physical similarity between Veddas and Chenchus so close that it would be exceedingly difficult to distinguish members of the two populations if brought together in one place. Though separated by a distance of hundreds of miles and a stretch of sea, the two groups may well be remnants of the most archaic human stratum of South Asia.
If you are more intrested to lookk deeper in the socio-economic and religious life of the Chenchus, you should look   here.  This award-winning ethnographic documentary film made by Sathya Mohan PV, deals with , chenchus,the only Telugu speaking prehistoric hunting-gathering tribe living in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are a conservative tribal group and have not made many changes in their lifestyle or tried to adapt to modernity. They live in the enclosed space and geography leading a life of an unbroken continuity.


Ehrenfels, U. R. von. The Kadar of Cochin. Madras, 1952.
Fürer-Haimendorf, C. von. The Chenchus--Jungle Folk of the Deccan. London, 1943.
——. "Tribal Populations of Hyderabad: Yesterday and Today." Census of India, 1941. Vol. 21. Hyderabad, 1945.
——. "Notes on the Malapantaram of Travancore." 

A tribal school from Chelama region

The fire-line(BLUE), old track(GREEN) and new railway track(RED) in google map, with respect to Bala's hut and stream.  it mat seems quite closer,  but actually 2.5 miles apart from RS.We squatted down on the grass a few feet from the hut and I began to ask questions, each of which Ali Baig translated to the boy in Telegu, translating also his reply

Location of  Bala's hut plays an important role in the story. Note various points related to  the descriptions.  "But my blood that day tingled in humble and respectful admiration for this little aboriginal family that had so bravely but simply faced the long months in their lonely home with the killer literally at their very door— the killer that had already taken the life of the bread-winner and head of their home".

I think this station in a transforming phase . The old platform is still visible. Lucky enough for us,a New plat form have been built but no track to embark from it!. "We had decided to hold a 'con- ference' after dinner to determine my next line of action, and Mr Balasubramaniam, the station-master, suggested that we hold it on the station premises, as his presence was required there during the night when the mail train to Guntakal would pass through, and two or three goods trains as well. So we re- paired to the station, where we seated ourselves upon a bench on the open platform, with the two forest guards and Bala squatting on the ground before us". 

I am not sure the correct location of the quarters of  station master or railway staff. But it must be  here  as u see some old buildings adjacent to station. A new village has been formed by now  just in front of  the RS, and it was not related with the story. : "Leaving the station-master to his work for a short time, I took my three henchmen down to the village(GAZULAPPALLY VILLAGE is about 3 miles far). Although it was late at night,  went to the house of a cattle-owner, awoke him from his sleep, and explained that our mission was to buy two half-grown bulls to use as baits. To approach an owner for such a sale at dead of night would usually have been a hopeless undertaking. But the people in this particular area appeared to take a very realistic view.The owner sold them to me for thirty-five rupees each. I paid him the money, thanked him for his assistance and asked him to allow the animals to be kept with his herd till morning. To this he agreed at once". 

Selecting places of baits,is accurate as per the descriptions. Check  the fire line and distance."The four of us then set out, after collecting the two young bulls I had purchased the night before, to tie them at the places we had already selected. If you remember, the first of these was to be where the two guards had seen the tiger t. This was a spot on a narrow fire-line within a mile of the village.  We selected a tree on which a machan could be conveniently tied, provided the tiger obliged us by killing this bait,  and tethered one of the brown bulls to it by its hind-leg".

Position of 2nd bait. "Then we walked back to the station, crossed the lines and traversed the three miles to the stream near Bala's hut. No fresh tracks were evident, so we tied the second calf beneath another tree on the slope of the stream about fifty yards short of the sandbank on which the tiger had left his pug-marks".

KA describes the  village and hotel once more , now a  town with a major road. How simple this man  to go with his new local people to have lunch  to walk 3 miles,by avoiding a comfortably free lunch.: "By the time I had finished all this, the two forest guards had come back from the village where they had gone to spend the latter part of the night. We got back to the station shortly before noon, when the station-master started insisting I should have lunch with him again. So as not to wound his feelings I very politely declined, as I knew my presence in his house was irksome to him as a high-caste individual, although he tried very gallantly not to show it. Instead, I went to the village with the guards and managed to obtain a meal of sorts from the village 'hotel' — a one-roomed zinc sheet cum-grass-roofed affair".

6 miles journey to Basavapuram: "The train that was to carry me to the next station, Basavapuram, six miles away, steamed in at 2.30 p.m. I asked the driver for permission to travel with him on the engine, which he very readily gave. I wanted to do this so as to view the jungle on both sides of the track. Ali Baig got into the first third-class compartment behind, and away we went. The train took 25- minutes to cover those 6 miles. As I viewed the thick jungle through which we passed, my hopes of success sank very very low indeed. It was an immense area, heavily forested, and the tiger might be anywhere". 

The  Location of abandoned railway station of Basavapuram. At 1 mile away, there is a waterhole, formed  from the same stream."The railway station at Basavapuram closely resembled Gazulapalli.  I began to think I had indeed been a super-optimist in tying those two baits at Gazulapalli while the tiger might be here at Basavapuram, or even at the next station, Chelama, five miles further on. The station-master here  was a non-caste Tamil named Masilamony, he urged me to make my headquarters in his waiting-room, stating that the tiger would surely be found there in Basavapuram, being the centre of the affected district". 

This must be the  deep pool, on the course of stream, as the is no other water bodies present within 2 miles. KA  got a local forest guard ."This forest guard, whose name was Kittu, told me there was a water hole north of the railway line and a little over a mile away, where he had often seen tiger pug marks when these animals came to drink water. We walked to the water-hole that evening, where I noticed some old pug-marks of tiger, together with a recent spoor made by a large panther".

Position of 3rd bait must have been here  between the station and the water hole. I could not find a clearing  here: "I spent the night in the waiting-room and bought a half- grown buffalo calf in the village next morning. This we tied in a clearing in the jungle half a mile short of the water-hole, and I instructed Kittu to visit it each morning in company with his friends, to feed and water it".

There s a curvature of 180 degrees, between the  railway stations, of  BAsavapuram and \chelema. KA somehow omited this point, but distance is correct 5 miles:"Once again I caught the afternoon train, which came a little late at 3.15 p.m., and travelled on the engine up the line for five miles to Chelama. The engine-driver, who was an Indian, as we passed through it, pointed out the cutting where the trolley- man had been taken. He said it was almost mid-way between the two stations". 

Position And Remnants of abandoned  Chelama RS,along with forest tracks."We alighted at Chelama to follow much the same procedure. The station-master came up and greeted me, saying he had been told to expect my arrival by his colleagues in the stations I had recently left. He had also arranged with the two local forest guards to await me; they were, in fact, on the platform".

OLd Chelama RS In another season.  the 4th  bait has been tied somewhere here.  KA got information that a woman had been killed at Diguvametta, sixteen miles further up : "The guard had been unable to mention the matter to any of us at Basavapuram, as his train passed the station without stopping.  It seemed as if I would have to tie up baits at each station along this whole line to catch up with the elusive tiger. It would not be very interesting to give you the details of how I tied up a bait at Chelama next morning".

The area in terms of connectivity. yellow bold line was the original  metere guage track. You can see positions of non existing railway stations of  Basavapuram (GREEN) Chelama (RED) and Bogada (BLACK). The broadguage line is seen as a narrow blackk line  along with new Chelama RS (BLUE). Main road also be seen as yellow narrow line.All of these meet at the the extreme end  at Diguvametta: "This latest news upset all my calculations, just as it dashed my hopes to zero. Not only did it increase enormously the area of search for the man-eater, but all my carefully cherished tiger- beat time-table was entirely upset. I had been almost sure that the man-eater would be somewhere in the vicinity of Gazulapalli. Instead, he had killed at Diguvametta, which was twenty- seven miles away. Then I remembered that twenty-seven miles was, after all, no long walk for a tiger".
Actually there is  no question of 27 miles , as KA might have been depended upon length of railway track for measurement,  which is lenient due to bends as seen. The linear distance is 15 miles.

3D view of the tunnel area.I don't know correct location of Bogada RS, but must be somewhere near to the present road, immediately after the old long tunnel."The Diguvametta station-master also sent his advice that, as he had heard I was tying up live baits at the different stations, I should on no account fail to do so at Diguvametta, and also at the small station of Bogada which lay between Chelama and Diguvametta". 

 Mhowa flowers

The Mohwa (Bassia latifolia; now Madhuca indica) is one of the most useful wild trees in this part of India. It is not cut down like other forest trees in clearing the land for tillage, its value being at first greater than that of the area rendered unproductive by its shade and roots .  The station master at Diguvametta had confirmed it with the local policeman at his village,  that a Chenchu woman, gathering mhowa flowers at the edge of the jungle, had disappeared the morning of the day before. People from her village had found her half-filled basket, but no traces of her.

Mhowa or Mahua  is derived from the Sanskrit word madhu, meaning honey. It is one of the few trees well known for thousands of years. The economic importance of Mahua is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature such as Vedas and the Ayurveda, as well as in travelogues of foreign travelers.The value of the Mhowa consists in the fleshy corolla of its flower, and in its seeds. The flower is highly deciduous, ripening and falling in the months of March and April. It possesses considerable substance, and a sweet but sickly taste and smell.Its main use is in the distillation of ardent spirits, most of what is consumed being made from Mhowa. The spirit, when well made and mellowed by age, is by no means of despicable quality, 

3D view of State highway 68 and the two railway stations, with relation to the tunnel.Same afternoon I caught the train to Bogada, where I tied another bait in the evening, catching a goods train for Diguvametta in the early hours of the morning.

Spots for the Baits 6 and 7 :There I tied two animals, one near the place where the woman had been taken(just a guess), 

Position of Bait No 7 is crucial,  and can be visited  easily., as it is on the main raod and  near to our famous twin water tanks, described in the  story Assassin of Diguvametta. The forest line can be  distinctly seen under  a bold  line,marked in yellow. The stream in red arrow and old cattle track now became state highway no 68 along with broad gauge railway line can be seen.: "and the other at a point where a forest line, a large stream and a cattle-track leading into the jungle intersected". 

Specimen of  Honjee tree.  In Karnataka it is known as the Honge (hong-ay) tree. In Hindi (or Bengali) it is called Karanj. In English it is known as the Avenue Tree. Its botanical name is Pongamia Pinnata. : "Diguvametta forester,  assured me that many tigers had been shot in years gone by from machans in the branches of the 'hongee' tree which grew at the spot where the latter bait was tied". 

This tree is commonly found all over India, particularly along the streets in rural Karnataka, and I have spotted several of them along Bannerghatta road, in Bangalore. It is a lovely tree that springs fresh light green leaves in abundance in Summer when its shade would be most useful to humans and animals.The seeds of this tree fall to the ground and can be easily picked up and stored for future use in oil extraction or for making home-made natural pesticide. 
Though popular by the name of ‘Honge Mara’ in Kannada,.  The tree provides dense shade, and one can experience quite a bit of coolness if one stands underneath it.What attracts to this tree, apart from its pretty flowers, is the smell of these flowers. It is heady and heavenly!If you see this on roadside,  don’t miss stopping by one of these trees and taking a minute or two to smell the flowers!

Railway Station at Diguvametta on meter gauge era, taken from a movie snapshot."During the evening of the day on which I tied the two baits at Diguvametta, I went for an extensive ramble into the forest. I decided to remain at least a few- days and sleep on the verandah of his quarters". 

Broad gauge train at Diguvametta RS in a rainy day: "I had now spent some five days in this area,The jungles had been exceptionally silent since my arrival. Another reason for choosing Diguvametta as my camping-  place, at least for the present, was of course the fact that it was here that the tiger had last killed, just over three days previously.  the jungle was in- tensely dry,  We had combed the area in a radius of well over two hundred yards and found nothing, not even a remnant of torn cloth from her garment.  I did not want to disturb the area further, for it had already been disturbed by the party of men who had come searching for the girl and found her basket"

This place can boast a live waterfall  which must be originating from the same stream."The jungle in the locality was beautiful and indeed a sports- man's paradise as regards feathered game and deer. We came upon several herds of graceful cheetal in the forest glades".

This spot almost coincides with   bait no. 7,  on the riverbed.:"There was nothing more  could do but await developments. The area was far too extensive to warrant long walks in the jungle in the hope of stumbling upon the tiger by accident. It might be anywhere between Diguvametta and Gazulapalli, twenty-seven miles away, and searching for it would have been a waste of time and energy". 

New look of RS :"There was no passenger train in the direction of Basavapuram during the day, but fortunately a goods train was scheduled to pass through at about eleven that very morning. The station-master stopped the train for me, and I travelled in the guard's van to Basavapuram".

Again in BAsavapuram to kill a panther: "The panther had eaten heavily the night before, and because of that I feared it might make a late return.To return and tie it up took scarcely two hours, and everything was set by four o'clock. It was far too early to sit .up, so we returned to the station, hardly more than a mile away, and had a quick meal returned and were in position in the machan by 5.30 p.m.  I shot him behind the left shoulder. Next morning I bought another bait to replace the one that had been killed. We took this to the water-hole where I had seen the old tiger pug-marks and there we tied it up".

"when we got back to Basavapuram station after tying out the new bait, Masilamony informed me that he had just received  message from the station-master at Chelama, stating my bait there had been taken the previous night by a tiger. This information came before ten o'clock. The train to Chelama would not arrive for at least another four hours. So I decided to walk the five miles to Chelama, to which Joseph at once agreed. We were there shortly after 11.30 a.m. The forest guards volunteered to get a charpoy for me, while Joseph and I, together with the station-master, went down to the only eating-house in the village for our midday meal, Just before 4.30 p.m. I was comfortably settled on the char- poy. The village 'hotel' had supplied three large chappattis, folded inside a portion of banana-leaf, for dinner. The animal below me appeared abnormally large, but I could not make out whether his colour was pale or otherwise.  I pressed the switch with my left thumb.  He just stood still and looked. I fired behind the left shoulder. but he was certainly not the same animal that Bala had described to me. This one had a rich dark coat, But he and the guards were optimistic and said they were sure I had slain the right tiger. The station-master then arrived to supervise the passing of the night trains, and he too was very pleased to hear the news".

"The kill was about an hour's walk from the station and per- haps three miles inside the jungle, and was reached by travers- ing a tortuous footpath and then making a short cut downhill I had the charpoy in position long before 3.30 p.m....
By the aid of my flashlight I was able to find the winding track that eventually brought me to the railway station a little before 9 p.m. Joseph was asleep in the waiting-room, while the two guards lay on a mat on the platform. I awoke them and announced what had taken place. Their surprise at my early return gave place to great jubilation at news of my success, and Joseph shook hands with me in warm congratulation".
"We returned to the kill and were back with the tiger by 1 a.m. I had the carcass placed at the end of the platform, just outside the iron railings that marked the precincts of the station yard, and started to skin the animal with the aid of the two lanterns and my spare torch, held by Joseph. I did the job myself as the guards appeared not to know much about the art, and I was closely engrossed and half-way through the operation when the night mail train, going down the line to Guntakal, came to a halt at the station. Everybody in that train got down, from driver to guard and including all the passengers, and stood around me in an enor mous circle to get a clear view. I got much publicity that night and the train left more than fifteen minutes behind schedule. The running staff regarded the delay as of little consequence. Besides, the skin being taken off a large tiger at dead of night on a railway station platform is not exactly a common sight, even in India". 

A chenchu man with his weapons :Then Bala had done a very brave and a very foolish thing. Alone, and armed only with his puny axe, he had followed the trail. . The man-eater had seen him. He laid back his ears and growled. In another second he would have charged. But the sight of his wife being devoured before his very eyes had proved too much for the young Chenchu. Some demon of reck- lessness and bravery had possessed him, and, burning with hate and screaming, he rushed upon the tiger brandishing his little axe. Then he turned tail and fled. Fortunately, wisdom at last came to Bala.  he snatched up the corpse of his wife and ran back with it to the hut. Hearing this simple tale, simply told by the little aborigine, my heart was filled with admiration and pride that India pos- sessed such heroes, even among her most humble out-caste tribes.

A Chenchu Settlement inside Nallamala forest,with their peculiar types of huts. The little man was crying silently as he told me this story, and I made no effort to console him.  I could never even hope to look for an excuse to bridge the tragic gap that had been created in his young life, so early that very morning. But the tears did not last for long. The aboriginal is inherently a fatalist. I did not want to interrupt or hurry him, but ten minutes later Bala stood up and announced himself ready for action.   I had been thinking quickly and deeply, and a plan was forming in my mind. To put it into effect would require the utmost sacrifice from Bala, and I hesitated to ask him to make it. 'She was my wife and I love her, dorai. But you shall  have her dead body to serve as bait to avenge the death of this dear one, and of my father I was determined to play my part in the role with which this humble but great little man had entrusted me. I waited only to eat a hurried meal and set off for the hut with the two forest guards and Bala, carrying a charpoy.
A hut in the Chenchu settlement of Boramacheruvu in 1978. There has been
no change in the structure of huts, but Chenchus have learned to grow
marrows and to train them up the roofs of their huts.

A possible location where shooting concurred. The tiger had selected a densely-wooded spot for his repast, covered with bushes and undergrowth. The nearest tree, other than the bare dead one, was thirty yards away.  if he returned at all, and a flashlight could not penetrate the brambles should I sit any lower down. 

 From there the blood trail moved away into the jungle. I followed it for a few yards and found it was leading approximately northwards. The blood trail led through the bushes.  The second wound had left a constantly dripping blood trail, and as we followed it we found a tiny piece of membrane mixed with the clotted blood. To me this indicated a stomach wound. The animal had first rested beneath a tree within two furlongs of the dead tree. He had carried on from there for another half-mile or so, where he had lain down upon the grass. Two small pools of blood established the fact that he had been hit twice. The stomach wound appeared to be the more severe one, as the bleeding there had been much more copious. Nevertheless, the animal had still kept going. The blood trail, which had been very prolific at the start, was now less. stopped the bleeding. Probably it was only the neck wound that had continued to bleed thereafter and that no doubt accounted for the scantier trail.about 3 miles,we came to a stream between two hills where the tiger had lain in the water, which still held a faint pinkish tinge. A little blood streaked the mud on the further bank. Here the pug- marks were clearly visible for the first time along the whole trail. 

Following the wounded animal :   Still the trail carried on, but the bleeding had become markedly less. Soon there was only a drop to be seen here and there. In fact, we had expected the trail to be a short and easy one. Instead of any of these expected happenings, however, the man-eater was still pressing on, heading ever northwards. Splashes of blood on the earth and leaves, as it dripped from his wounds or was smeared on the bushes as he passed, were few and far between now and the trail was becoming increasingly difficult to follow. We had travelled far from any footpaths and were many miles into the interior of the jungle, with only a game-path here and there. The terrain had become very hilly, criss-crossed by deep boulder-strewn valleys, each of which was the bed of a tiny, trickling stream. 

THE END..At the end of that week I paid farewell to all my newly- found friends who had helped me  and made my visit such a pleasure. The baits I gave away to the various forest guards at the different stations, with something more for Bala. Three months passed after my return to Bangalore. Then a tiger killed a man near the Krishna River in Hyderabad State. Three months later a Chenchu was killed several miles north of Bogara railway station. News of human kills since then have been very few and far between. But they still come in. 

Thank you Kenneth Anderson, for making me completely immersed in  your wonderful  story for days..