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The Land of Guras

The Singalila National Park that reigns the north eastern part of India and the India-Nepal border becomes the land of Guras in March - April every year. This national park is flooded with grandeur of gorgeous Rhododendron, locally called Guras. Studies and records suggest that there are 132 taxa (80 species, 25 sub species and 27 varieties) of Rhododendron found in India, of which 129 are found in the north-eastern India alone. Guras or Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal . Guras is believed as the blessings of God to the Himalayan people and the various life forms found in the dense forests of Himalayas . In hilly areas, the flowers of Rhododendron arboreum are used in the preparation of jams, jellies and local brew. The fresh flowers are also used as medicine in the treatment of hill diarrhoea, dysentery and dyspepsia.

The blooming of Guras (Rhododendron) initiates a grand feast among the various hill birds, butterflies and insects of the Singalila National park. After the difficult winter of Himalaya Guras (Rhododendrons) welcomes life and the entire jungle becomes busy and cheerful.

But the clutches of the modern civilization has already been started to destroy this virgin forest. Deforestation, unauthorized tourism, modern roads and the pressure of human populations are squeezing the forest area, thus unfortunately slowly killing the 'Land of Guras'.

Back-light shot of the Rhododendron flowers
Roads between the singalila national park where vintage Land-rover ( most of them are 70-80 years of age) are the only means of transport due to very high altitude and stiff roads.

A green tailed sunbird enjoying the nectar.

A fire tailed sunbird is resting on the rhododendron

A fire tailed myzornis.

The forest is amazing even without the rhododendron bllom.

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