Know The 5 Confluence Hunters Of India
“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… Let’s go exploring!”
— Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes
Have you ever played with a globe as a child, fantasizing about the places you’ll visit? Or, closed your eyes and placed pins on a world map to select travel destinations? Many adventurous travellers, who never lost the child in them, continue to take joy in treasure hunts. Once such treasure hunt is for confluences.
A confluence is an imaginary point where a latitude and longitude intersect. There are many such points scattered all over the earth. Alex Jarrett started Confluence Hunting in 1996 and opened it to the world through the Degree Confluence Project. This virtual platform collates data about confluence points collected by various people. You can select a country, and see the confluence points charted on the map.
Those confluence points which are documented appear in red. A visitor must reach within 100 meters of the point, for it to be counted as a successful visit. Click on the red dot to navigate to the page with photographs of the confluence, precise location of each degree confluence, and the personal narrative of the travellers who have visited the place.
There are 298 confluences in India, of the total 64,442 points. 164 of these confluence points have been visited and documented on the Degree Confluence Project website.
Five Prominent Confluence Hunters from India
Anil Kumar Dhir
A political activist, author, historian, and INTACH member, Anil Kumar Dhir has visited 18 confluence points, most of which are in Orissa. The detailed travelogues of his experience are compiled in a book titled Confluences, published by INTACH. Anil has braved Naxalites, crossed treacherous rivers, hacked through snake-infested jungles, and overcome many more challenges to visit and document these points. One of the confluence points Anil mapped in Orissa was on a lone grave of Dicon Gomango a tribal who had converted to Christianity. An interesting coincidence was that Gomango’s birth was on the same date as India’s Independence.
Bijanki, an IT professional, was hooked to confluence hunting because of the technological challenges. Using a GPS device (such as Gromit) to find the exact coordinates of an unknown place appealed to the traveller and techie in him. He has travelled to 32 confluence points, mostly in South India. One of this confluence hunts led him into the doorsteps of a private home. Luckily the homeowners were extremely hospitable and even offered them some tea and snacks.
Praveen Goggi and Chandra Dasaka
Praveen and Chandra have visited 12 confluence points, most of them in central India. Their expedition to find the confluence point 18N 79E led them to a farmer’s courtyard, in Arjunpet Village. As the courtyard was used to keep goats, they stumbled among the goats to find the exact coordinates.
Sriram Kris Sharma
Sriram has completed 8 successful confluence visits in Gujrat and has one ongoing expedition. The search for a confluence point led him into the lion heartland of Gujrat, the Sasan Gir forest (now a national park). They ventured on the safari with their gears well-hidden from forest officials. However, as they neared the confluence point, they were told that the lions had a kill nearby and it was unsafe to get down from the vehicle. They couldn’t walk the required 3.5 km into the forest to reach the exact confluence point. Though their visit was unsuccessful, they returned with many stories.
Sourabh, like Sriram, is new to the game of confluence hunting. He has 5 successful visits to his credit, with 4 of them in Maharashtra and 1 in Gujrat. They trekked amid a Jowar field, on a rainy day, to finally locate confluence point 21N 75E. The other confluence points are also in similar remote locations and the hunts have been arduous, to say the least.
The hunt for confluences in India is still on. Sometimes, multiple travellers add their stories to the same confluence point – each journey a unique story.
Read about these journeys on the Degree Confluence Project website and share your explorations and adventures through comments on this post. These travel stories and conversations will inspire visitors to explore more when they travel – be it for a relatively lesser known tourist attraction, an unexpected view, or a confluence point.
Source: The photographs and journey details are collected from the Degree Confluence Project website: