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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

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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