Holematthi Nature Information Center

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.”

- John Ruskin

Holematthi Nature Information Center, at the periphery of Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary (MM Hills), launched open to the public in July 2018. Named after an iconic tree of the riverine habitat, “Holematthi” is the local name given to the Arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna) in Karnataka.

The project was initiated under the keen leadership of wildlife conservationist, Sanjay Gubbi of Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF). The task of curation and design, to transform the space into a Nature center, was handed over to me. Upon envisioning the layout and the detailed specifics, I mobilised a team of nature artists to execute various elements of the nature center. In due course, the nature center has come to serve as a beautiful and inspiring platform of education and awareness.

While keeping visual imagery as the key focus, the nature center draws attention to the flora, fauna and the rich biodiversity of the MMhills landscape. Through large infographic prints, digital art, paintings, murals, hands-on exhibits and interactives, the center hopes to enhance and enrich the visitor’s educational experience.   

Photo credit: Jignasa Patel

Keeping the narrative in the regional language Kannada also brings focus to the local audience –  students and teachers of the government and private schools, forest department staff, tourists and the people from surrounding villages. The ethos of the centre was that it was built as much for the people of the MM Hills region as it was for visitors from outside.

An enthusiastic creative team involved in the making of Holematthi

One of the large format design file that went up on one of the walls of the nature center. Displayed above are some of the birds and the nocturnal species of MM hills