DISCOVERY WITH A PURPOSE
#SHAREYOURDISCOVERY India is wild and incredible; but, with over 30 species of animals on the endangered list, its birds and animals are under threat. Some are battling extinction, a few gone forever. Those that survive, need our help. But to help, we must care and to care, we must know. Join us on a journey to spread awareness about India's endangered wildlife.
The Journey Begins
From the primal jungles of Namdapha, home to the endangered Red Panda, to Kaziranga where the Rhino once again rules, we embarked on a 1,200 km - long adventure across Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The journey of Discovery took us across the winding riverbeds of the Brahmaputra; where we scaled the heights of the eastern Himalayas and traversed a river island with one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.
Dibrugarh To Miao
Our journey of Discovery led us past such markers as the 0 milestone on the historic Stilwell Road and through tea estates and pebble-strewn rivers as we made our way to Namdapha National Park. One of India largest national parks, it is home to some of the endangered and vulnerable species of animals and birds such as the Hoolock Gibbon and Hornbill.
Miao To Roing
As the journey progressed from the township of Miao to the picturesque town of Roing located in Arunachal Pradesh, we stopped to meet the wonderful children of the Singpho Middle School. In a session led by environmental writer and photographer, Arati Kumar Rao and wild-life photographer Sudhir Shivaram, we aimed to educate children about the importance of being environmentally conscious.
Roing To Pasighat
As we made way across Arunachal Pradesh, we found a perfect location to stop along the bank of a tributary of the Brahmaputra. We opened up the tailgate of the All-New Discovery to set up a riverside picnic. It was time for tea, snacks and smiles.
Pasighat To Majuli
We encountered many treacherous terrains during our journey through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The All-New Discovery conquered all without breaking a sweat. But sometimes, even the best need a helping hand. Thanks to their Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, our two SUVs floated effortlessly on a wooden raft across the Dibang River, a tributary of the river Brahmaputra.
Majuli to Kaziranga
On our journey across Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, we stopped in Aruna Sapori, a river island in Assam, to meet the 'Forest Man of India', Jadav Payeng. Over decades of diligent labour, Payeng has single-handedly afforested over 1,300 acres of barren land on an island that is now home to deer, rhinos, elephants and even tigers.
Kaziranga National Park
On the last leg of our journey we stopped in Kaziranga where while the headline act was the rhino, numerous other endangered species like otters, vultures, and hornbills have also found a haven to survive and thrive. We witnessed how private-public partnerships have led to the regeneration of these endangered species.
‘What we found on the road to Discovery’
With Environmental Writer, Arati Kumar-Rao and Wildlife Photographer, Sudhir Shivaram on board, Land Rover and Condé Nast Traveller embarked on a 1,200 km-long journey through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to discover the challenges faced in protecting the region’s wildlife.
‘We went. We saw. We pondered’
Some of the most beautiful birds and animals from the northeast are battling for survival. The first step to saving them is to know about them.
The man who built a forest
Over the last 40 years, Jadav Payeng has raised a forest that is now home to rhinos, elephants and even tigers. When he speaks, you listen.
The people of Namdapha
Far from the spotlight, deep into the jungle, there are people who work tirelessly to keep the creatures of the wild safe and alive.
Will we spot the red panda?
Last October, you might have come across the image of a furry red animal on our social timelines. The red panda is a small mammal of the size of a house cat, and India is one of the very few places on the planet where you can spot it.
India’s black-necked cranes need your help
Fun fact: Owing to the remoteness of their range, black-necked cranes were the last species of cranes discovered by ornithologists. These black and white-feathered beings, sporting a distinct red crown on their heads, mainly abound in the high-altitude wetlands during their breeding period, and migrate to lower altitudes for winter.
How do we save wildlife if we don’t know it needs saving?
India is wild and incredible—it has 34 biodiversity hotspots, sheltering millions of animals across 91 000 species. But many of these are under threat; some bordering on extinction, a few gone forever. Those that survive, need our help. But to help, we must care. And to care, we must know. We will make sure the world knows more than it does right now.
‘The wild reminds you that only the fit will survive’
The northeast has always had a special place in my heart due to the rich biodiversity, the birdlife and the culture. It’s been a long time since I visited the region. I hope to meet the locals, talk to them, try to create awareness among the youngsters on the issues concerning our environment and finally to rediscover the beauty of the northeast.
‘The jungle taught me what no human could’
Over the years, these leopards became my life. Some were my teachers and others were my healers. Together we created many memories and forged beautiful relationships. I still remember how, on a still summer afternoon, I sat with Scarface on the seventh-year anniversary of when I first saw him. I looked at my watch; I knew the exact time, day and month.
‘We’re hurting the environment, but we can fix it too’
Now, more than ever, development is threatening species like the Gangetic dolphin, the Indus dolphin, turtles, gharials—not to mention large swathes of forests, and numerous species of freshwater fish and flora. Moreover, the people who live close to these water sources and depend on them for their livelihood find themselves stripped of their traditional way of life and forced into penury.