METRO PLUS

The last waterfront

Drop by dropAghanashini is home to unique flora and fauna like the Lion Tale Macaque

Drop by dropAghanashini is home to unique flora and fauna like the Lion Tale Macaque  

The documentary Aghanashini , which was recently screened at the Mother Tekla Auditorium, captures the journey of a beautiful, pristine and sacred river Aghanashini by prominent journalist Vasanthi Hari Prakash.

The project is led by Ashwini Kumar Bhat and Sriharsha Ganjam, who belong to Landscape Wizards, a small community of photographers, who dedicate their time and efforts to landscape photography and documentary making in India. They have successfully been running a series called 'Unseen Landscapes', in which they showcase India's hidden landscapes.

"The idea behind this documentary is an attempt to tell the story of a unique river to our future generations. Extensive research and efforts wereput into this project which began in 2015. Despite the challenges we faced, we received a lot of generous support and crowd funding to kickstart this project", says Ashwini.

The documentary describes Aghanashini as 'the river of life' and touches upon the fragile bond between human beings and the river. It is the only river which manages to retain its clear and pristine nature compared to its contemporaries such as Kali, Gangawali and Sharavati which flow through the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The river, which originates in 'Shankarahonda', flows through the Western Ghats, into the Arabian sea and creates some beautiful waterfalls such as the Unchalli falls, which captures a unique moonbow. Sriharsha explains, “A moonbow is a rainbow that is captured at night, in the presence of moonlight. The moonbow captured at the Unchalli falls of the Aghanashani river is one of the trickiest images captured as it cannot be seen by the naked eye. The hidden moonbow has been made visible by cleverly using the various features of Adobe Photoshop.”

Apart from this striking feature, the documentary shows the Aghanashini village as encompassing a rich biodiversity. It is home to the endangered species - the Lion Tale Macaque. The Aghanashini Lion Tale Macaque Conservation Reserve in Karnataka covering 299.5 square kilometres is a protected area to safeguard their existence.

It also includes the remarkable sight of bio-luminous fungi which illuminate the branches of trees at night. In addition to this, the free-flowing river consists of Bivalves, whose calcium rich shells provide a high industrial value. The documentary also shows community festivals. As the villagers travel around 50 kms over a period of five days during celebrations, they also stop by the river. As the documentary comes to a close, the river echoes the serious concerns about its its existence.

The existence of the Aghanashini river which was earlier threatened by the construction of dams, thermal power plants and industrial salt production in the past, has been defended by religious leaders on political, social and scientific grounds. However, some threats still continue to exist in order to take away some water from the river to metropolitan cities.

Recommended for you