|A Thoda village, closely Resembles to Anaikatty village, (depiction 1840s)|
Anderson arrived at Anaikutty and spent many nights on trees at various places and frequently traversed the forest road between Segur and Anaikutty with two karumbas in search of a tiger, but without success. Anderson narrates experience of his visit to a bear-cave, and facts of Karadi Rotti. Anderson reveals several facts says that every man-eater becomes very cautious by practice and possessed of a very acute sixth sense,therefore takes great care while approaching back to the prey He also narrates death of the son of the forest guard at Anaikutty. He spent a night on the machan and suffered from malarial chills. Anderson shot the man-eater in the river bed following the trail of it from the dense forest to the Segur River. when examined the dead body he found the reason of maneating career a gunshot of poacher that blinded the animal and so the tiger had taken his revenge.
Please note the names and spellings of the places.
Segur= Sigur (a village near to Valaithottam),Sigur plateau, Sigur falls
Segur River = Sigur River
|Satellite view of blue mountains and moyar gorge. |
3D reverse picture of the Masinagudi -Ooty road.This is a shortcut to Ooty avoiding Gudalur Town. A steep ghat-road, 12 miles in length, leaves Ootaca-mund, and after passing through graceful, rolling downs, drops sharply downwards to Segur, at the foot of the range, where dense tropical forests prevail. The road is so steep in places as to be almost unusable, except to motor cars of fairly high power.
|The places are marked here were described by Anderson exactly as he had a google earth map. :At Segur the road bifurcates, one branch running north-westwards through dense forest, past the hamlet of Mahvanhalla and the village of Masinigudi, to meet the main trunk road, linking the cities of Bangalore and Mysore with Ootacamund, at the forest chowki of Tippakadu. The other bifurcation leads eastwards through equally dense forest, along the base of the Blue Mountains,(RED Line) to the forest bungalow of Anaikutty, nine miles away. Two perennial streams water this area, the Segur River and the Anaikutty River, both descending in silvery cascades from the Blue mountains; here their waters run through giant tropical forests to join those of the Moyar River, some fifteen miles away|
|Sigur and OOty|
|Two perennial streams water this area, the Segur River (RED Arrows) and the Anaikutty River, (BLUE Line) both descending in silvery cascades from the Blue mountains; here their waters run through giant tropical forests to join those of the Moyar River, some fifteen miles away|
|Now with tarred road, bridge to Anaikatty. River, Forest Bungalow and village of Anaikkatty can be seen. this places are important throughout the story.|
117 year old : The forest-bungalow of Anaikutty is built on a knoll, past which run the swirling waters of the Anaikutty river.
Relative positions of Anaikatty and Masinagudi in Sigure Platue.:The Moyar River, or 'Mysore Ditch', as it is known, forms the boundary between the native state of Mysore on the north, the district of Coimbatore on the north-east, and the Nilgiri Range with its foot-hills on the south, both Coimbatore and the Nilgiris forming part of the Province of Madras.
The evergreen forests of the Malabar- Wynaad extend to the west and south-west. All the areas mentioned are densely wooded, hold game preserves on the Mysore, Malabar, and Nilgiri sides, and are the habitat of large numbers of wild elephant, bison, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted-deer and other animals.
|look closely for the Rest house, situated nearby the river and road, which once used by ERC Davidar and family.|
|Forest Rest house Anaikatty.|
The nights are then so intensely cold that one is invariably confined to the bungalow itself, in all the rooms of which fire-places have been provided.
|The Badagas are an indigenous people inhabiting the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, southern India. Their language is Badaga. They are the largest indigenous social group in Nilgiris .|
|From a Badaga Wedding.|
|Next come the Kesavas, the greatest in numbers but laziest in disposition, who work under the Badagas as herdsmen and tillers of the soil. Unfortunately,on my search on net, I understood that there is no tribal community with a name Kesava living in this region. Irulas, Todas, Kothas and Kurumas (kurubas) are other leading communities. A sub division of Irula,called Kasaba Irular|
living in masinagudi area.
South India has a rich cultural history, greater than our imaginations. the tribal communities and their customs are pointing out this. The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations has deferred India’s request to declare the Western Ghats as a UNESCO World Heritage in the category of natural sites. While making a fresh bid, the authorities would do well to highlight the significance of the Western Ghats as a cultural heritage site too. Nilgiris, at least, qualifies for this heritage tag. Anyway unlike Anderson said, Only 5 tribal communities prevailed in that area. they are Irulas, Badgas, Kothas, Todas and Kurumbas.
Over the last two centuries, scholars, both Western and Indian, have highlighted the unique socio-economic and cultural life of the indigenous people in the Nilgiris with special focus on the self-sufficient and interdependent economy of these mountain peoples and their peaceful coexistence. I feel,However, these indigenous groups have ended up as ‘development refugees’ thanks to the relentless process of development the hills were subjected to both during and after the colonial rule.
The Toda are known by several names like Tudas, Tudavans, and Todar. They are found only in Nilgiri district.The Government of India has identified the Toda as one of the six Primitive Tribal groups of Tamil Nadu. The name Toda is supposed to be derived from the word 'tud', the sacred tud tree of Todas. The Linguist Emeneau(1958 : 47 - 50) said that, "Toda dialect is an independent language of the Dravidian family affiliated with Tamil - Malayalam.
Photograph of two Toda men and a woman. Nilgiri Hills, 1871. They once practised fraternal polyandry.(Source Wiki)
Toda people are white (fair) in colour, being tall, strong built and well shaped. The striking feature of the women is the arrangement of their hair which is dressed in ringlets and flows waving down to the shoulders.
The uniqueness of the half - barrel shaped houses given speculations regarding their origin ranged from Rome to Sumeria.Note the style of wraping the cloth
Besides the huts, the mund has another hut with a smaller doorway, called 'Tirierl' or dairy temple. In the vicinity of the mund is the cattle - pen.
The Toda village is called a mund, means a herd or a cattle - pen. It is usually a collection of three or five half barrel shaped huts each 18 feet by 9 feet by 10 feet high with a small doorway measuring only 32 inches by 18 inches.
The traditional garment of a Toda is known as put - kuli, is of thick white cotton cloth with red and blue stripes which is embellished further embroidery by the Toda women, is thrown around the body by the men and women like 'Roman toga'. Jewelry is worn by both men and women.
|They speak Irula, a dialect which is a south Dravidian language of the Tamil-Malayalam sub group. Irula settlement is called as aral, represent many houses built contiguous to each other.courtesy :Yamuna Raju|
|Typical man wears a short piece of cloth around the waist and a towel on his shoulder, woman wears thundu, (a piece of cloth) around the waist in combination with the modern blouse. They are non-vegetarians. courtesy :Yamuna Raju|
- Malenadu Irular
- Kasaba Irular
- Vettakkara Irular
- Urali Irular
Kasaba Irular have settlements on these tribal villages in the Sigur plateau:They include, from East to West: Sigur, Anaikatti, Chokkanalli, Vazhaithottam, Sholur, Masinagudi, Boothanatham, Mavanhalla, Bokkapuram, Hundi,Moyar, Singhara, Tippakadu,Siriyur, Chamanatham and Kurumbarpallam.
The last victim had been a Kesava herds- man, tending his herd of semi-wild buffaloes some two miles from Anaikutty along the lower reaches of the river, as it wended its way towards the Moyar.
|Buffaloes grazing nearby Anaikatty:The man-eater had stalked and attacked the man, completely ignoring the surrounding grazing buffaloes. It had killed him, and was perhaps carrying him away, when the buffaloes had become aware of its presence. These animals, are only semi- domesticated, and extremely dangerous.Seeing the tiger, they had evidently attacked him , and succeeded in driving him off, leaving the dead man where he had been dropped. It did not take them long to find the dead herdsman, surrounded by his herd of placidly grazing buffaloes, which had effectively prevented the tiger from returning to its prey.|
|A file photo of a Tiger in Masinagudi area from a Camera Trap: An examination of the corpse, the pug marks of the tiger, and the pursuing hooves of the charging buffaloes, revealed the sequence of happenings. . The kill that had taken place a week earlier at Segur had been that of a woman, as she went down to the Segur River with her water-pot to fetch the daily supply of water for her family. In this case the tiger had succeeded in carrying off its victim, the only evidence of the occurrence being the mute testimony of the broken water-pot, the pugs of the tiger in the soft mud that bordered the river, a few drops of blood, the torn saree, and a few strands of human hair that had become entangled in the bushes as the tiger made off with its prey.|
|Reverse 3D view of the valley of anaikatty towards the hills. Lot of protruding points can be seen with yellow arrows , means probable places of large Rocks.: Returning the next morning to the Anaikutty forest bungalow, where KA had established his headquarters,was informed that a Karumba, who had left the previous morning to gather wild honey from the combs of the giant rock- bee that abound by the hundred in the region of a place called 'Honey Rock', about four miles from the lower foot- hills of the Nilgiris, had not yet returned.|
|A honey Rock and A kurumba in honey collection: KA went to the spot and found the man had been killed by being bitten through the throat. Beside him lay his empty kerosine-tin, in which he had been gathering honey, all of which had spilt on the ground to form a feast for a colony of black-ants, which covered the tin in a black mass.|
Thinking at first that the tiger had killed him, and wondering why it had not devoured him in that quiet, secluded spot, they cast around for tracks, but soon discovered that the killer had been a female sloth-bear, accompanied by its cub.
Honey hunting by Kurumbas check this link for NG Magacine article http://www.natgeotraveller.in/magazine/month/july-2013/sting-in-the-tale/
|A Kurumba colony|
Anderson had no quarrel with this animals, and would have regretted having to shoot it and leave the baby an orphan.The human-like imprints of the mother's feet, and the smaller impressions of the cub's, were clearly to be seen in the soft sand that formed the bed of the nala. The she-bear had been asleep with its cub, or perhaps about to cross the nala, when the Karumba, in his search for honey, had suddenly come upon it. When the she-bear, surprised, frightened and irritated, and in defence of her young which she fancied was in danger, had rushed at the Karumba, bitten him through the throat, severing his jugular, and then made off as fast as she could. Anderson did not wish to spend time in hunting a bear which, after all, had only killed in defence of its cub, and was for returning to the bungalow at Anaikutty, when the four Karumbas urged him to track down and shoot the animal .
Mariamman Temple Anaikatti, Its Believed that Veerappan was a regular visitor here for worship
|Probable route of the bear hunting:The blue circle has an open place where an old Mariamman temple situates. Red arrow is the stream and yellow arrows are high points of hills ,somewhere there the caves situates. The tracks led along the nullah and then joined a stream,down which bear and her baby had ambled for some distance before breaking back into the jungle. Thence she had climbed upwards towards the many rocks and caves that gave them shelter.|
Anderson's motoring route from Anaikutty bungalow
:He set out at 8 p.m. that night, motoring slowly to Segur in my Studebaker, a Karumba acting as assistant by his side and flashing the beams of his 'sealed-beam' spotlight along the jungle on both sides.Meeting nothing, They continued for six miles along the north-western road, past Mahvanhalla and Masinigudi, and finally the four miles to the forest chowki at Tippakadu.
|A bison captured in camera along the same road between Masinagudi and Theppakkadu.Note in the background the famous Lantana bushes always KA talked about in his several stories.: KA Wrote :At Theppakadu they allowed an hour to pass before returning, this time encountering, three miles from Tippakadu, a of bison along the roadside. These animal crashed away as the car approached closer. Between Masinigudi and Segur they met several spotted-deer, and just after taking the turn to Anaikutty a large bull elephant in the centre of the road, his tusks gleaming sharply white in the powerful beams of the spot- light.|
|Forest track from Anaikutty to Moyar river,which KA used in his search, its about 7.5 miles as per satellite calculation.|
The following morning, Anderson set out with a Karumba guide across the forest towards the Moyar River, nine miles to the north. They encountered no trace of the tiger, but came across the pugs of an exceptionally large forest-panther as the land began to dip sharply to the basin of the Moyar. After judging by its tracks, They returned to the bungalow in the late after- noon, tired and somewhat disappointed, after our long and fruitless walk.
|Photo from Anaikatty village|
|Forest rest house and bridge over the Anaikkutty River. The abrupt turnings on both approach roads to the bridge makes clear that it was not the original route of old track and river crossing. The yellow circle denotes the old ford.: Again that night they motored to Tippakadu and back, encountering only a solitary sambar, when returning, at the river crossing before the Anaikutty forest bungalow.|
|Probable wild foot path towards nilgiries .This route now well tarred up to a place named Siriyur. With dawn KA undertook another hike, this time in a south-easterly direction and towards the Nilgiris. They found a dead cow-bison in the bush four miles away, an examination of the carcase revealing that the animal had died of rinderpest.|
|Mavanahalla Bridge near the hamlet.That afternoon a report came in from Mahvanhalla that the tiger had taken a woman near the bridge by which the main road to Tippakadu crosses the Mahvanhalla Stream before it joins the Segur River. Motoring to the spotKA was shown the place where, the woman having been a little apart from the rest of the party assembled near the bridge and hidden by the bend the little stream takes just before it passes under the road. She had screamed shrilly and silence had followed. The remaining graziers, five in number, had hastened to Mahvanhalla, gathered reinforcements in the form of six others, including the husband of the unfortunate woman, and turned to the spot to look for her. They had found the basket she had been carrying, and close by in the soft earth, the pug-marks of a tiger; then the whole party had returned to Mahvanhalla.|
|Tracking of the Tiger.. They went to the place where the woman had been attacked, and with the expert help of Karumba tracker were soon able to pick up the trail of the tiger and its victim. |
The man-eater was evidently making towards a high hill, an out-spur of the Nilgiri Range, that ran parallel to the road on the west at a distance of about two miles. KA knew its middle slopes were covered with a sea of long spear-grass which gradually thinned out as the higher, and more rocky, levels were reached.
Reverse view towards the hill.In that area,KA felt little chance of finding the tiger. After 1 mile:The Kurumba little guide continued faultlessly, and within a mile of the foot of the hill came across the woman's saree, caught in the undergrowth.
|Reverse view towards the hill.|
Shortly after wards the tiger appeared to have changed its mind, in that its trail veered off to the right, parallel to the hill, which now was quite near, and back again towards the bed of the Mahvanhalla Stream. Still following, They eventually reached the stream, which here ran through a deep valley. Scattered bamboo-clumps grew in increasing numbers down this declivity, and the shrill squeal of vultures and the heavy flapping of their wings soon heralded the close of our search. The remains of the woman lay below a clump of bamboo, eaten by the tiger.
|Reverse view towards the hill.. not sitting over ..next day KA tied a buffalo, close to the bend in the stream at Mahvanhalla, where
the woman had been attacked. next day
runners came to Anaikutty to report that the buffalo had
been killed and partly eaten by a tiger. By 3 p.m. his machan was fixed, and he sat overlooking the dead bait, at
a height of some fifteen feet.|
|Masinagudi -Anaikatti road|
|KA done his motoring along the road to Tippakadu and back, but without seeing any sign of the tiger,next day. Valaitottam Pirivu.|
|The Culvert(YELLOW CIRCLE),Bus waiting shed (BLUE) and the Arch shaped board,(RED) at the location|
|Probable place of attack and sitting up:|
A Badaga boy, the son of a rich cattle-owner at Segur( Red Circle), was carried away by the tiger while taking the midday meal to his father. The tiger had carried the boy across the Segur River(Blue arrow) and into the jungle to the north. Again we followed, without delay, and this time found the body hidden in a nala and only half -eaten. In the vicinity of the body there was no suitable tree or rock in which to conceal Anderson, and eventually it was decided to move the corpse some fifty feet towards a bamboo clump, on the top of which an unstable machan was erected.
|The nulla and bamboo clumps. somewhere her KA erected his machan,and tiger fled in this direction:KA find the machan is one of the worst he had ever sat on in life. It swayed alarmingly with every current of wind, and my slightest movement caused the bamboos to creak ominously below me. Besides, he did not have a good view of the body, which was over thirty yards away. The bamboo stems growing around him completely obstructed any view at a close range. At 9 p.m.KA became aware of the presence of the tiger by the low moan he emitted from near the spot where he had originally left the corpse.Around and around it travelled for quite an hour, till it finally decided that the kill was forbidden fruit, and the last I heard was its plaintive moaning receding to southwards, as it made for the sheltering hills.|
|Direction of Tiger from Machan (red).Cart tracks and footpaths in the area (yellow arrows)|
Gossip with the Karumbas now suggested that the tiger might be met at nights along the many cart-tracks that branched into the forest from Anaikutty, Segur and Mah- vanhalla, rather than along the main roads on which KA had been motoring for several nights. As these cart tracks were unmotorable,KA hired a bullock cart for the next week, and determined to spend each night in it meandering along every possible track in the vicinity of the three places. The driver of this cart, a Kesava, was an unusually doughty fellow, and his two Karumba scouts wereto suggest the most likely tracks.
|Anaikatty River nearby to the Forest bunglow.|
|KA would have returned to the bungalow, but impossible owing to the swollen river, which still remained unfordable. It was past 8 o'clock next morning before Karumbas returned, to find KA almost unconscious and still in a high fever. Somehow they got me across the river and to the bungalow, where he spent the next forty-eight hours in bed in the grip of successive attacks of malarial chills and fever.|
|Machan , Forest bungalow Rain and chilled night.|
Then followed a sudden rain-storm, such as sometimes occurs in the midst of a dry summer in India. Within a minute KA was soaked to the skin, as evaporation began in his soaking clothes and blankets, the cold became intense and unbearable.
KA's Car parked near the bridge ,at Vazhaithottam.That morning, KA decided to follow the course of the Segur River for some miles downstream.He left the car at a large banana plantation and began to put this plan into effect.
This must be the swampy area 1 mile away. Hardly a mile downstream is a swampy area, much in- habited by bison in years gone by, and still locally known as 'Bison Swamp". I think This place is near to the resorts Jungle bungalows and Wilk Creek Farm and reserve.
|Probable spot according to descriptions below:|
A half-mile beyond this, a large patch of dense bamboo jungle covers both banks of the stream. These bamboos have always been a favourite haunt of elephant and sambar, tiger occasionally passing through on their way down from the hills. It was 8.30 a.m., and KA had just entered the bamboos, when a sambar doe belled loudly from the opposite bank, to be taken up almost immediately by the hoarser cry of a stag. The Karumbas and KA sank to the ground among the rushes that grew profusely along the river edge at this spot. The two sambar repeated their calls in quick succession, and it was obvious that something had alarmed them.
|They lay in the rushes for almost ten minutes.Not a move came from any of us as the anxious moments passed and then, silently, gracefully and boldly, a tiger stepped out of cover from the opposite bamboos and glided down the steeply declining bank to the river's edge.|
|Last Moments :Without hesitation The tiger walked into the river, ignored the cobbled stones, and when the water had reached his chest, he stopped and commenced lapping. Taking careful aim, KA fired behind his left shoulder. He sprang backwards, emitting a coughing-grunt, and then rolled over on his side, facing away from him and towards the bank from which tiger had just come.Running forwards out of concealment, KA advanced some forty yards, from where he could just see a part of the side of tiger's face, the rest having sunk below the water. File photo John M Uscian.|
Links to other blogposts related to Kenneth Anderson stories:
The Swami Of Valaithothu-A guide for walkback.
Killer-from Hyderabad WB