City-based Shrikant Ingalhalikar creates 80 ft image of a black eagle with Japanese paddy art

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City-based agriculturist Shrikant Ingalhalikar, known for his outstanding work on flora and fauna in the Sahyadri region, has been creating images using the Japanese Paddy Art on a natural canvas over the last seven years. This year he has continued his work by creating a ‘Flying Black Eagle’ using rice plants.

Black eagles are found atop evergreen forests of Sahyadri, which can be seen in the hills of Bhimashankar, Matheran, Mahabaleshwar and Amboli. The predatory bird with yellow beak and legs and a black body, hovers or halts over tree tops in a peculiar flight pattern in search of its prey which include other smaller birds, lizards, snakes and squirrels.

The 80-feet long artwork designed as a black eagle has been created at Gorhe Budruk on Sinhagad Road and can be viewed at Lexon Winders near Donje village.

“While making the black eagle, the rice field was used as a canvas and the image was created by planting differently coloured paddy. It was quite a task to plant paddy while standing in rain in knee deep mud in the fields,” said Ingalhalikar, who claims to have used this Japanese agricultural art form in India for the first time in 2016 at a rice field in Gorhe, near Sinhagad.

This annual event creates images of rare life forms of Sahyadri, the biodiversity hot spot in western ghats. Over the years the agriculturist has created paddy art depicting images of the deity Ganesh, black panther, emerald dove, pit viper, gaur and a leafbird.