A PROJECT REPORT ON
(Nature Conservation Centre for Research and Education)
Designed and Maintained by
Sri. VARKEY VELIYATH
A/s Varghese V.M.
Potta P.O., Chalakudy
Ph:0480 2709183, Mob:9446231551
REPORT PREPARED BY
Er.SIMI V. P. (B.Tech-Agri)
EDITED & TRANSLATED BY
P. KRISHNAKUMAR (Project Consultant)
Idea behind Kauthuka Park
Kauthuka Park at a glance
Important pages the visitor’s diary
Certificates, and Media Support
Plans and programs for the future
• CHAPTER 1The modern man has moved a long way away from nature and toady he pays scant regard to its protection or to its ecological balance that is so vital to his own existence. Many of us are blissfully unaware of any such concerns, some of us vehemently debate on the subject but only very few actually do something that they can, to alleviate the bleak situation that awaits mankind. Mr. Varkey Veliyath is one such rare person, a person who believes that action speaks louder than words and that it is we, each one of us, who should do whatever we can, to bring back the ecological harmony that is eluding mankind, rather fast.
When almost everyone else is scrambling to profit from every bit of land they own or have, Mr. Varkey Veliyath, a lover of nature and all that lives in it, decided to sacrifice his 1.25 acres, to the upkeep of nature and all that belong in it. He is a naturalist, a poet and more than anything else, a person who empathizes with everything in nature and a person who strongly believes that all creatures that GOD created are equal and has equal rights to this earth that we, so callously claim as ours.
Right from his young years, Mr. Varkey had an intuitive relationship with all living beings around him and somehow, they also started responding to his benevolence. Even the ones that usually shy away from mankind with their primitive instincts intact started responding to Varkey’s call of love. Initially he started by taking care of the sickly ones, protecting them and bringing them back to their health. The love and care won their hearts and they voluntarily chose to stay under his protection rather than to wander away. In the following years, the species and their numbers grew and rather than drive them away, Varkey decided to turn his 1.25 acres of land, into a natural habitat that they all can live in with perfect harmony, which became the Kauthuka Park that we all see today.
IDEA BEHIND KAUTHUKAPARK
• CHAPTER 2Ancient mankind always used to live within his means, living in perfect harmony with nature and its other inhabitants. He was well aware of nature and its delicate ecological balance. Almost all our natural resources are a result of this respectful indulgence. But the modern man, in his mad rush for development, forgot and deliberately ignored the need of his fellow beings in nature. He in his mad rush to claim everything under the sun as his, started ripping away forests and hills, damming water sources and diverting them to his advantage, captured and killed everything that he could process and sell and started to deplete natural resources at an alarming rate, all in the name of development. All that which were of no immediate use to him became wild to him and while he ripped out every bit of wild from nature, he started nurturing concrete jungles that started the speeding up of ecological imbalance.
It is in this context that we should understand and appreciate Mr.Varkey’s venture, The Kauthuka Park. A park where we can see the perfect freedom with which natural predators live with their prays, animals and birds that normally stay miles away from man, roam around freely, safely and even at times as curious about the people watching them as we are of them. A fine example of the Natural Ecosystem in a miniature form indeed.
Mr. Varkey Veliyath was born into a humble agricultural family and he spent his childhood helping his father in his farmlands, finding time to finish his schooling. His love of nature came from the respect that his father and every farmer had, to the land that they depended on, for existence.
The 1.25 acres of farm land that was handed over to him by his father became the laboratory in which Mr. Varkey started his most successful experiment with the Natural Ecosystem. About 8 years back he dreamt, conceived, designed and singlehandedly created this magical park that became the Kauthuka Park that we all see and enjoy today. And today, it is just his caring touch that maintains and keeps the park going.
Knowledge through entertainment is the motto of this park and it is a perfect working model of that concept. Here the ideals that are held aloft are ‘Peaceful co-existence, Eco-friendly agriculture, preservation of ground water and soil and also our cultural heritage. Instead of looking for ways of extermination, he has provided natural habitats for insects like honey bees, wasps etc. Fish of many species including the dreaded piranha fish also is in the park, so are peacocks and other birds that patiently keep after Mr. Varkey for the morsels that they know for sure they will get. These animals and birds are not bred in captivity; instead they have natural cages that they can retreat to whenever they want. Sights that will fill us with wonder indeed are that of the carnivorous and herbivores, all living together, literarily under one roof.
There are a lot of specialties in the materials used to create the park also. Many of the stuff that we throw away have found create value in Mr. Varkey’s gifted hands. Empty bottles, mud pots, bamboo, driftwood and even wild vines are perfect building materials that are used aplenty at the park. There are no guides here, nor are there any workers here to look after and feed the many ‘rightful habitants’ here. Only one man, Mr. Varkey Veliyath, the owner, worker, guide, habitant and friend of Kauthuka Park.
The man who is passionate about Nature and all the living beings in it is also a good poet. Many of this literary works are exhibited in the park and they, as can be expected are all about nature and her virtues.2.1 Co-Existence:Kauthuka Park is a perfect example of the virtues of peaceful co-existence. Here you can find all animals & birds moving around as they like, drinking when and where they can find water, sleeping wherever they feel like and more importantly, you can find field mice scampering round or sleeping just under where the hawk is roosting, the ‘deadly’ piranhas languidly swimming amidst all other native fish in the same pond, the squirrel taking a free ride on the majestically tall emu and even the eagle and the hen laying eggs and brooding, waiting for them to hatch. All these sights that would have been thought ‘unnatural’ or ‘impossible’ by everyone who has not been able to visit Kauthuka Park.2.2 Social Impact:Like anyone who listens to a different drummer, the early days of Kauthuka Park was not easy for Mr.Varkey. He had to face the ridicule of all, from relatives to strangers, was even called an idiot and a madman, but Mr.Varkey prevailed. Slowly but surely things started changing, people started changing their opinion, about Mr.Varkey and his endeavor. Many visited the park, from near and from far. Many wrote very good opinions about the park and even more people came.
Today, if any bird or animal is found injured, they started being carried to Mr.Varkeys Kauthuka Park, because people started realizing that in Mr.Varkey’s safe hands, those needy, hapless birds and animals will get the best protection and care needed for their survival. And even as people recognized the value of this Park, albeit a bit slowly, birds and animals in and around the park, recognized this safe haven immediately and started becoming regular visitors here.
Many, from all walks of life started visiting Kauthuka Park, but whoever came left carrying with them, a piece of the magical, serene atmosphere of peaceful co-existence. Here, one can visit any animal or birds as closely as you want, as long as you want, so long as they don’t consider your presence a nuisance. Children can play, ride on the tall swings, enter their own fantasy land nestled in the tree houses, they have only seen in story books till then.
The many old and ancient utensils and tools for agriculture heralds in a bygone era when agriculture was the way of life. The visitors will realize by themselves the peace and harmony that prevailed during those days compared to today’s age of modernization and mechanization. He will carry the green thoughts of becoming a true lover of nature and all the splendid gifts that she can bestow. They will have better understanding to safe and proper use of natural resources without having to resort to plunder and destruction. They will go back with a better understanding of who the rightful owners of this Earth are and feel the barrier that existed in their minds between mankind and all other living beings, slowly coming down.2.3 Economic Impact:Governments spend Crores of Rupees to build and maintain Zoos and parks. Every animal take a bit of time to get acquainted with their keepers in such places. When it is a just a job, it takes even longer and sometimes with drastic, negative results. And for all the maintenance of these even much more has to be spent.
Mr. Varkey started Kauthuka Park in his ancestral ground with the money he earned from working outside India. Economic paucity has made the development of this Park slower than it should have been. He has not received any grants or any official contributions from any social or government bodies. The wholehearted gifts that like minded people who appreciate what they witness at the Park is the only outside income the Mr. Varkey has for the maintenance of Kauthuka Park.
When industries and governments are willing to spent Crores of rupees for research, those who wish to do research in Eco systems or animal behavior or such subjects need not spend any money at Kauthuka Park. All information, that too given first hand is available from Mr. Varkey.2.4 Climatical Impact:Kauthuka Park is designed in the shape of Kerala. The moment one enters this evergreen haven, the climatic difference can be felt. This project is a classic example of water and soil conservation. Apart from the conservational agricultural trees, many others from the fichus family, aquatic family and medicinal family are found in plenty here. The aerial plants that seem to cover a large portion of the park are an attraction by themselves. The veins of these aerial plants hang down trying to reach earth and they create an atmosphere that is healthy and oxygen rich. Since the top soil here is rich in clay and it is mostly covered by trees and plants, the erosion is almost next to nil and so is water evaporation. Moreover, the spillage from rains are routed to various natural water sources dotting the park and the trees covering these water sources further prevent water loss by evaporation. The small rivulets and canals that are used to transport water throughout the park keep the atmosphere at the park constantly moist. The many aquatic plants and fish in these natural water sources keep the water crystal clear with out the need for any external flushing process. No wonder the atmosphere inside the park is so different from that outside.2.5 Educational Impact:Many students and research scholars frequent Kauthuka Park for their studies or just for a peaceful sojourn. Many such consider Kauthuka Park as their school where they learn their subject from within, by their own observation and nearness to nature. They can learn first hand the impact of mindless industrialization that has made the world outside what it is today and the ecological imbalances that has affected every one of us in direct comparison to the serene co-habitation within.
Each student can also see first hand how such a large project is maintained with minimum electricity, optimum water management and almost next to nil manpower. They also can learn how to manage corps and other agriculture using only Eco friendly ways and bio fertilizers, directly from a farmer who has won the award for the Best Social Worker, Mr. Varkey.
A world where every living being, animals, plants, trees, insects, birds and man co exist peacefully is created in Kauthuka Park. Here we get to study very closely and first hand, many Eco systems that we haven’t even thought possible. Here we can observe the behavior and attacking instincts of the piranhas that are known as man eaters. All living beings could literally be put under a microscope which will enrich your research, all within the calm, serene Kauthuka Park.2.6 Impact of tourism related aspects:Today in our tourism industry it is clear an experience that the tourists are treated as strangers, aiming at their currency only, so that they feel an uncomfortability throughout their journey. Most of the destinations are functioning 10 AM to 5 PM due to the duty time of the staff and workers and there are holidays also once in a week in some places. It breaks the time table of the continuation of their tour programs place to place and also it causes unexpected expenses. The other non solvable problem is the long distance between one point to another. Huge economic investment, limitation of proper utilization of funds and inadequate maintenance, effect public sector in an adverse mode.
Kauthukapark a permanent problem free paradise where tourists enjoy quite Satisfaction under the homely hospitality of the house holders, sharing every facilities as their own home, as one of the house members. No time limitation for entry, no staff curb them. Plenty of tourism destinations such as famous Athirapilly waterfalls, Thrissur Zoo, Cherai beech, Guruvayoor Temple etc… all are in one place around a fixed kilometers.2.7 Kauthukapark equivalent to a Hospital, Shrine and School:Kauthukapark is a miniature Eco-system which stands for nature conservation where the creatures are taken care whenever they are unhealthy,injured or helpless in any other way and ensure natural shelter and complete protection.As there is sustainable forest atmosphere, living beings are attracted here and find it as their sanctuary. So it is considered Kauthukapark as a relivable hospital.Our omni power -GOD-All mighty architect and artist whose most remarkable and awesome art is the nature. To identify the depth of nature and it’s amazing frame-work means to realize the father of art of nature.The enthusiastic effort for the nourishment of nature is worship of God and also equal to prayer.Where such moral activities are carried on, there God prefer to dwell definite and can be seemed an unknown divine power blessing over such particular locations. Therefore it is considered as a shrine.A school is a source where different types of knowledge s are shared and such system enrich the minds of people. modern man has already moved far from it’s mother nature.The service motto of Kauthukapark is to conserve nature in an innovative mode through a favorable approach to the modern culture. Here the remarkable principles are co-existence of living beings and aerial plant on walking method. different subjects like agriculture,poetry,art,gold mines of ancient tradition and nature are codified in one place under the adventurous endeavor of one man especially at the homely background. The rush of school students to Kauthukapark points to the above mentioned facts.Therefor it is considered a school also.
KAUTHUKA PARK AT A GLANCE
• CHAPTER 33.1 Location:Kauthuka Park is in the Trichur District, the cultural capital of Kerala. Just 2 kilometers from the National Highway NH47, on the way to the famous Athirapalli Water falls, is the famous Panampilly Memorial College. Mr. Varkey’s house is situated just adjacent to this famous college and the Park is situated just behind his house.
The first sight that welcomes you is a small, colorful house where Mr.Varkey lives with his wife Lissy and his daughter Reshma. Even the house has a lot of curios arranged tastefully right in front. You will find a lot of ancient agricultural and household utensils, also each and every pillar and wall has small artificially created cavities that are inhabited by various insects. You will find that instead of the ornamental fish that you normally find in a house, you have very rare spiders and scorpions living in transparent tanks. Trees normally found in thick forests, are found seemingly suspended in air. And walking through all these and into the rooms with absolute sense of belonging you will find many of the inhabitants of the Park, that you would normally expect to be seen in cages elsewhere.
Just behind the house is the Park and the entrance itself is rather attractive with an arch made out of pots inverted one over the other and this greets you with a promise of the mysteries that await just beyond. And as you enter this serene world, you also hear the strange cooing of the peacocks and even more strangely the reply that is given when Mr.Varkey coos to them in a communication that we don’t understand. You will get a more clear picture of the kauthuka park from the map of park follows.1. Entrance made up of used mud pots
2. Interlinked pond 1
3. Interlinked pond 2
4. Resting place made up of mud asbestos sheet, and GI pipes
5. Caved passage between two ponds
6. Resting cage for birds
7. Small hut made up of pots
8. Aerial plant 1
10. Aerial plant 2
11. Co-existence working model 1
12. Co-existence working model 2
14. Fish Pond 1
15. Co-existence working Model 3
16 Natural looking huts for migratory birds
17. Fish Pond 2
18. Fish Pond 3
19. Artificial Mountain made up of locally available loose rocks
20. Resting place above
21. Underground passage through mountain
22. Fish Pond 4
23. Hut for ancient implements
24. Tamarind Tree with Overhead Hut on that
25. Resting places for birds
27. Interlinked pond 3
28. Interlinked pond 4
29. Toilet 1
30. Toilet 23.2 Map of Kauthukapark
IMPORTANT PAGES FROM VISITORS DIARY
- CHAPTER 4
Section 1. Ministers and other Elected Members
Section 2. Government Officials and other important persons
Section 3. Religious leader, Schools, Scholars and others
- CHAPTER 5 PHOTO GALLERYCHAPTER 6 CERTIFICATES AND MEDIA SUPPORT ACCOLADESCHAPTER 7 PLANS AND PROGRAMMES FOR THE FUTURE
The Kauthuka Park is still miles away from the dreamscape that is in the mind of Mr.Varkey. He envisages a park a lot wider and longer, with all the natural water bodies connected by underground tunnels which will enrich the bio-diversity of the park. By using underground tunnels, the surface land is left undisturbed enabling maximum utilization of space, thus making room for more open spaces for plants, animals and birds and also for more aquatic plants as well as many other species of aquatic beings.
As the park grows in space the scope for accommodating a larger number of species also increases. The aerial trees that are already of considerable size will be led far and wide, creating a canopy that is both amazing as well as refreshingly cooling. The earth seeking roots and vines of these trees are directed through pipes that are broken off once these roots are strong enough to support the weight of the tree and like this; these trees will soon be spread over a larger area and will be a perfect roosting place for all the birds here. This will even be another natural habitat for the birds within the habitat that they are already comfortable with. The landscape of the extension will follow the same pattern that is existent now which resembles the natural hills and hillocks, valleys and rivulets as seen from a birds eye view. A park exclusively for butterflies is also in the works. A work space for research students are also in the plan and so are wind and water assisted power generation that will make Kauthuka Park truly self sustained.
- CHAPTER 8
The Kauthuka Park is not just a place to visit out of curiosity. This is perfect example of what life would have been and could have been, if mankind was caring enough. This is a temple of love to Mother Nature and it is our duty to protect it and nurture it, just like we protect our sacred groves. Kauthuka Park teaches us how to protect and maintain our land using the safe, eco-friendly ways that our forefathers used to practice