Group of 10 Zoology students of semester V, together with 35 students of semester III, were taken on a study tour to Kerala from 10th to 16th November. They were accompanied by their lecturers, Dr. Manoj Borkar, Mrs.Vinita D’Sa and Ms. Swizzle Furtado. The group left Goa on the 10th of November, 2016 by the Kerala S Kranti Express train at 11.00 pm and arrived at Kochuveli station on 11th November at around 5.00 pm. A special 50 -seater bus was hired to take the group to Maria Rani Centre, Pallotti lane, Gandhipuram, Thiruvananthapuram.
On the 12th November, after a traditional kerala breakfast at the centre, the group left by the same bus to Thiruvananthapuram Museums and Zoo complex and reached the place by about 10.00 am. Our first place of visit was the Fish Galaxy. The Fish Galaxy housed in the Museum and Zoo Complex is an aquarium that exhibits a number of colourful exotic marine lives such as the large angel fish, butterfly fish, spot Gourami, gobies, and more, along with number of fresh water fish collected from across India. After visiting the Fish Galaxy, the group went around the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo. This Zoo is a home to 82 species of animals from around the world.
Post lunch ,we drove 15 kms south of Thiruvananthapuram and visited the ‘Sagarika’ Marine Research aquarium and Hatchery complex run by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) located close to Hawah beach on the Vizhinjam Harbour Road, Kovalam. There we visited the Marine aquarium that supports and sustains an incredibly diversified array of marine organisms followed by the visit to the hatchery. Two Research scholars- Mr. Rahim and Mr. Azin Mohamad took us around the hatchery and showed us the different breeding tanks of some marine ornamental fishes. Another technology developed by this research institute is the Image Pearl Production Technique or in other words production of designer pearls. The next day i.e., 13th November, we visited the Natural History Museum followed by the bird gallery, both housed in the Thiruvananthapuram museums and zoo complex. Our next place of visit on the same day was the Priyadarshini Planetarium. The well acclaimed show ‘Cosmic Radiations’ was screened at the planetarium.
On 14th November, we left Maria Rani Centre early morning at around 5.00 am and were proceeding towards the Periyar National Park and wild life sanctuary. Though billed as a Tiger reserve, Periyar is really famous for its wild elephants, a 100- year- old artificial lake in the heart of the sanctuary and its setting in the beautiful, thickly forested Western Ghats. It is one of best sanctuary in India for Wild life photography, Bird watching and Elephant herds. We left Periyar at 5.30 pm and started our journey towards Ernakulum (Kochi). Late evening we arrived at Ashir Bhavan located at Kacheripady in Ernakulum, our place of accommodation for the night.
The next morning i.e., on the 15th Nov., after a nice traditional keralite breakfast, we drove to Maharaja College, which is a government autonomous college located in the heart of kochi city, spread over a campus of 25 acres on the banks of Vembanad lake. We were warmly welcomed by the Head of the dept. of Zoology, Dr. Rema L.P. She guided us to the department library that was well stocked with books and journals in the field of life sciences.
The Zoology museum was established in 1874 and is considered to be one of the 50 international museums in the world. It is classified as a Natural History Museum and it has been listed in the data bank of K G Saur Verlag Gmbh &Co, Germany under ‘Museum of the world’.
In the afternoon the group had lunch at the famous Lulu mall and spent some time there. We returned back to Ashir Bhavan in the evening, rested for a while, collected our luggage and proceeded to Ernakulam town station. We boarded the Gandhidham Express train at around 9.00 pm and arrived safely back to Goa early afternoon on the 16th Nov. 2016. All is well that ends well and so our trip ended on a rewarding note filled with memorable experiences and great learning for both students and their accompanying faculty.