Friday, November 21, 2008

The King's Gambit!!

STOP...stop...stop...stop...stop! I screamed to CR Nayak. We were on two wheeler, heading towards Dandeli along Kulgi-Dandli road, had come just a kilometer from Kulgi toll gate. Surprised by sudden scream, Nayak pressed hard, both the foot break as well the front one, to get the bike stop at least 10 meters from the spot from where I screamed. Still in his surprise, he looked at my face, with an expression, why did I do that?

"King cobra"...I yelled at again and started running back. He followed me, now a bit more confused. I stopped nearly 5-6 m away from the on looking King, dropped my back pack and started searching for the Camera! Literally pulled out from my ever packed bag, my DSC-H2, shot one and for safety clicked one more. What a sight! He was simply majestic. Nearly a feet and a half lifted from the ground. To me, his had the grace of a tusker, looking both ways for the clearance for easy passage. I too was mesmerized with its shimmering black colour, size and the majesty. In fact, I forgot to click more or move closer to have better shot.

Mean time, it was Nayak's turn to get stunned at the sight and he intended to go near the King. Fortunately or unfortunately, a scooty came along and its line of arrival was like ours, me and Nayak started signaling those guys to move towards right. In next, few seconds, the King layed flat and started moving back. Since Nayak was very close to the king, my visual estimation of its length was about twice of Nayak's height (around 12ft) and almost 8-10inch in girth. Even in its exit, King showed why he is called 'King' Cobra.

It took almost 10minutes for both of us to realize what we had seen. We looked at the path, it was hardly 5 feet from the King's head. Nayak was praising me for my sight and was surprised why he could not see? I told him that both of us were fortunate to see The King in this region 'live'!!! and 'Long live the King'. With a very happy and "achieved" kind of feel, we moved towards Dandeli. This King has etched his image in my memory for very long years to come.


chandrakant said...

Thanx for the verbal and photographic imagery of the King. Wish u had cavales camera with u. Happy huntings on future field trips'

Hamadryad said...

What an experience doc!!! Sighting the King in the wild is one of the best things to happen and when it happens unexpectedly, it is double the pleasure ..... Lucky you.

mitts said...

Hi Doc,

Wow.. what an experience, to come across a wild king not to forget a 12 ft snake, is absoultely thrilling.This reminded me of one such day at Agumbe when we had a 11 ft king visiting our backyward near the areca plantation, I will never forget that day and inspired by your experience may be I too should write about it.. And if I am not wrong this is your second king sighting right? lucky you doc..