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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Indian Tiger Centipede

Over a foot long, it was longer than any centipede I had ever seen. Yet, it was certainly a centipede. That was the only thing I was sure of. 



It did resemble the centipedes I had seen, except that those were tiny, compared to this. Those had bright colours too, but the red and black of this, coupled with its size, added a scary touch. It would surely be poisonous! 



We saw this one at Jog Falls. Taking a break from watching the falls, we were walking around in the mist, when we saw a couple of people staring at something on the wall... and there it was. The thought that it was poisonous, plus its size, ensured that people didn't go near. The growing crowd brought a guard to the scene, and he then ensured that it was left alone, and that no one poked a stick, trying to make sure it was alive.


There was no doubt that it was alive, when, after a while, it seemed to become aware that it was  drawing more attention than the falls, and moved, disappearing almost immediately into a crevice with an agility one wouldn't really imagine from its size! 

From what I found on the net, this is a tropical giant centipede, called the Indian Tiger Centipede. The name obviously comes from its colour, and from what I could find, it seems to be a common resident of the Western Ghats. Unfortunately, there is very little information available about it. If you know anything more, please do enlighten us!


Comments

  1. Wow! Amazing!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. From what I know or remember, these are poisonous and good that you did not touch. Some people have also begun to keep them as exotic pets. One of the biggest centipedes and definitely the most beautiful found in the world. So lucky you got to see it. Samhith must have been super excited...:)

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    Replies
    1. oh yes, Atula. He was super excited, but just for a while. He did realise it was poisonous, and didnt even try to touch it, but that, and the fact that it wasnt moving around, made it rather boring for him after a while. and i so cant imagine keeping something like this as a pet. I was so surprised when, while searching for information about this one, came across so many websites with information about these as pets!!!

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  3. The creature you saw was Scolopendra hardwicki, sometimes known as the Indian Tiger centipede, or as the Coral centipede. It is common in the Western Ghats and is extremely venomous. Under the head in your picture you can see its two enormous claws, or forciples, which are actually the first pair of legs which have become adapted to be venom reservoirs. The bite is extremely painful and could be seriously dangerous for a small or ill child. Each leg is tipped with a needle claw which can scratcn and leave traces of venom, so it is most unwise to touch them. They are also extraordinarily bad tempered. You can see some pics and a bit of info about S. hardwickei and other centipedes at http://tinyurl.com/hng3g8a

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  4. I saw one, or a similar one, at a temple in South India. The one I saw had the bright coral legs, but the body stripes looked more bright yellow and black. So I'm not sure it's the very same type? But it was large and really frightening !! I have always wondered what it was. Now I know more about it from your posting here. Thank you so much for sharing !

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