This Karnataka Man Has Lived in His Ambassador Car Parked in Deep Forest for 17 Years

56-year-old Chandrashekar has ditched life amid civilization and retreated to the wilderness.

The dense forest area nestled between the villages Adtale and Nekkare near Aranthodu of Sullia taluk, Dakshina Kannada district is home to 56-year-old Chandrashekar, who has ditched life amid civilization and retreated to the wilderness. Chandrashekar ‘cast himself away’, one will say after knowing the complete story.

Reaching the man’s abode is a bit tricky. One has to walk 3-4 kms inside the jungle and after a while, a small plastic sheet is visible which rests on bamboo poles. There stands an old white ambassador car with a very old but functional radio on its bonnet, albeit it has lost its color and identity after all these years of forest dwelling. A lean man with strong limbs, half bald head and no shave-no haircut, 2 pieces of clothes and a pair of rubber slippers on him, Chandrashekar has adjusted himself to life in the wilderness.

Chandrashekar owned 1.5 acres of farm in Nekral Kemraje village where he grew areca nut and was leading a peaceful life. In 2003, he took a loan of Rs 40,000 from a co-operative bank. He tried hard but couldn’t repay the loan. So the bank auctioned his farm which Chandrashekar couldn’t digest. He took off to his sister’s house in Adtale in his ambassador car. After a few days, he had a rift with sister’s family and decided to live alone. He drove away into the deep jungle and parked his favorite car there. He put a plastic sheet above to protect the car from rain and sun.

Thus, Chandrashekar has been living a solitary life from 17 years inside the car. He takes bath in the river that flows inside the forest. He weaves baskets using dried creepers around him and sells it off at a shop in Adtale village and takes rice, sugar and other groceries in return. His only wish in life is to get back his land. He has safely preserved all documents for the same.

The interiors of the car is his world and he seems contented with it. He also owns a very old cycle which he uses occasionally to move to and from the nearby village. He listens to Akashvani Mangaluru station on the radio and loves old Hindi melodies.

On knowing about this man’s self-imposed solitary life, few years ago A B Ibrahim, the District Collector visited him in his ‘ambassador abode’ and promised to get him a proper house to live in. He even got a house built but Chandrashekar refused it saying the house was in the middle of rubber forest and he didn’t like to live there.

Wild elephants have peeked into his tent several times. Wild boar, antelopes, leopard and bison are also very frequent. Snakes keep crawling around. But he refuses to leave the place. He has never harmed or looted resources from forest hence the forest department doesn’t have any problem of him staying there. He only takes the wild dead creepers to weave baskets. “I don’t even cut bamboos in the forest. If I cut even a small shrub, I will lose the faith that forest department has on me,” says Chandrashekar.

He doesn’t have Aadhaar Card but Aranthod Gram Panchayath visited him and gave him his dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Lockdown was a tough time for him as well. He survived on water and wild fruits for weeks during that time. After leading this life for 17 long years, Chandrashekar still dreams of getting back his plot and driving home in his ambassador, although his trusted old ‘abode’ might be a tad too derelict to move around by now.

News 18

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button