City based botanist, Shrikant Ingalhalikar who is also known as a ‘Paddy Art’ artist, has featured a Bamboo Pit Viper this year in the form of a rice field creation. ‘Paddy Art’ is an ancient innovative art form of Japan, which is about creating giant pictures in the rice fields. The painting of 750 sq meters of knee-deep mud can be seen on Ingalhalikar’s own rice field at Gorhe Budruk on Sinhagad Road near Pune.
This is the fourth consecutive year for Ingalhalikar to create beautiful eye-catching shapes in his rice field by planting seedlings of colored rice crop in a very systematic pattern. In 2016, he had created paddy art of Lord Ganesh followed by paddy art of a rare animal Black Panther in 2017. In 2018. he created the art with the giant image of the bird Emerald Dove.
This year’s Paddy Art presents a 120×70 feet image of yet another fauna element of western ghats, a rare snake, Bamboo Pit Viper, which is found in the shady forests in peninsular India. The viper can be seen at places like Matheran, Bhimashankar, Mahabaleshwar, Koyna, Amboli and Goa. This nocturnal venomous snake coils on branches of small trees and large shrubs and preys on field mice, small lizards and tree frogs.
‘‘The challenging part of this creation was the canvas of 750 sq meters of knee-deep mud. As the art includes the alive medium of rice crop it creates an illusion of giant alive painting with the flow of the wind. I have ear-marked the images of Malabar Gliding Frog and a Black Eagle for the following years,” Ingalhalikar said.