18 November 2008

The Beautiful Langur Monkey

Yesterday (i.e. Monday afternoon) while visiting Temples on the south-east side of Arunachala kept a close look-0ut for the beautiful Tufted Grey Langur Monkey to point out to friends who I was showing around the Hill.

The Bonnet Macaque, of which I have written extensively in previous postings (see: Moral of the Monk, A Mother's Love, Love That Watermelon, and many others) is commonly found throughout Tiruvannamalai District and in fact in the view of some folk the Macaque is much too common and cheeky, particularly when it decides to go on scavenging hunts in residential areas by breaking into homes and raiding kitchens! Now that I live in an area not often visited by the naughty Macaque I can be more philosphical and good-natured about them and generally carry buns and snacks while performing Hill Girivalam in order to feed the Macaque Monkeys hanging about the sides of the Girivalam pathway. However I do have memories of certain incidents of maraudering naughty monkeys while I was living in a more urbanised part of Tiruvannamalai!

The below are photos I took yesterday of the beautiful Tufted Gray Langur Money. The colony was hanging about in trees feasting on leaves. They were playful and charming and continued with their romps as we were looking on.

On writing this posting did a bit of research on the Langur Monkey and came up with the following:

Gray Langurs are a group of Old World monkeys made up of the genus Semnopithecus which includes:

Tufted Gray Langur
Nepal Gray Langur
Kashmir Gray Langur
Tarai Gray Langur
Northern Plains Gray Langur
Black Footed Gray Langur
Southern Plains Gray Langur

It is the Tufted Gray Langur that is found inhabitating the slopes of Arunachala specially on the south east side. All of the Langur species are largely gray with a black face. In Indian mythology, this is because Hanuman, the monkey warrior, burnt his hands and face trying to rescue Lord Rama's wife.

The Langur feeds on leaves, fruit, buds and flowers. However their diet is seasonable, with mature leaves being eaten only as a fall-back food during the winter months. In the summer, especially before the monsoon season, fruit is their chief diet supplemented with insects, tree bark and gum.

Though the Langur sleeps in trees, it spends more time on the ground and lives in medium to large groups, usually with a frequently changing dominant male.

To read more about the delightful Langur Monkey you can visit this link HERE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These photographs of the Langur are fantastic. What a beautiful creature.