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Shy Birds of Duggal Bhitta, Garhwal

Discover incredible birding spots of India with our senior birder Tarun.

Duggal Bhitta a charming valley of Garhwal, located at a distance of about 230 Kilometres from Haridwar. The spectacular mountain views coupled with bird sighting makes it a very special spot for nature lovers like us. A huge number of people visit the place every year for different purposes. It’s a gateway to the famous trekking routes of Tunganath and Deoria Taal.

Tunganath from Duggal Bhitta

In every bush, waterside shrubs or large trees here, there is a movement. Just watch minutely and definitely there is some tiny colourful feather inside. Look beside the thin stream, you will see birds on the mosses, on the pebbles and even inside the darkness of the humid undergrowth. Our stay was booked at Negi’s Eco Hut and believe me, it was one of the best for bird campers. Location of our hut was just by the cliff which was an additional advantage for us.

Himalayan Bulbul (033)

 

Black Francolin (034)

 

The early morning was full of different bird calls. Flowering time of Rhododendron in the hills become a festive time for the birds. Starting from its rich nectar, insects, its tender parts all draws birds like Sunbirds, Tits, Flowerpeckers, Flycatchers etc at a time and the trees becomes their feasting places. On one side of the courtyard there was a Himalayan Bulbul (033) very common bird of Himalayas. Just behind the grasses some dark colour birds were foraging on the ground and those were Black Francolin (034). A very very shy bird. Just a mild sound occurs and they are gone.

This is also a pheasant bird but smaller in size. Mostly live inside bushes, very shy and secretive in nature and whole day forage on the cultivation grounds in search of food. The male birds are colourful, bright and the females are subdued. They are available in the entire South Asia and under Least Concerned  as per IUCN list.

A Grey winged Black Bird (034A) was on a pruned tree branch.

 

Grey winged Black Bird (034A)

Unlike these shrub dwellers, the big trees like Rhododendron are shelters for so many colourful birds. Those birds move from place to place in search of food and any place suddenly found in abundance of food invites variety of birds at a time. The beauty of the snow covered peaks from closest points was our added flavour to the trip, however the extraordinary view of Rhododendron made us spellbound. One thing we came to know for the first time that the red Rhododendron of lower altitude gets rosy pink as the altitude increases. We could take some photos of them too.

 

Himalayan Monal (035& 035A)

 

We travelled to a higher point towards Ukhimath. Trekking was the only option as road was closed due to snow. It was utterly cold up the slope. The road sides and forest floors were covered under thick snow and saw some birds at a distance. Most precious and beautiful bird of the Himalayas, Himalayan Monal (035& 035A). Male female both were there. It is a Himalayan Bird of an altitude of 2000 mts. above. The male is an attractive and multicoloured bird where as the female is comparatively dull in appearance. They forage over hill slopes all through the day and roost at darkness. Keeps on digging on the grounds in search of food, consisting of small invertebrates and soft roots. They make their nest on the ground during April-May and lay 4-5 eggs. Chicks come out in 4 weeks and become independent in around 6 months. They are monogamous in nature. Monal is the National bird of Nepal. In some places of Himalayas, poaching is a threat to the bird for meat and its colourful feathers too.

Koklass Pheasant (036)

Just moving after 50 meters another precious bird Koklass Pheasant (036) were there. Both these birds are high altitude birds of Himalayas and are resident of deep forest and inaccessible areas.

The Koklass Pheasant is a large sized bird (60cm app.) of the Himalayas and available in a large area from Afghanistan to China. The male birds are bright and colourful whereas the females are duller.  They roam and live in pairs and are monogamous in nature. During April-May, the female lays egg and chicks come out in 4 weeks. They are vegetarian in nature and feed on seeds mainly. Average lifespan of the pheasant is about 12 years. There are 9 types of Koklass Pheasant available in the world.

 

Eurasian Jay (037)
Chestnut crowned Laughing Thrush (038)

 



We also spotted other common high altitude birds like Eurasian Jay (037) , Chestnut crowned Laughing Thrush (038), Red headed Bull Finch (039) and an extremely difficult to see bird, Hill Patridge (040) crossing the road.

A resident bird of the Himalayas, the male bull finch has orange colour and the female has Yellow on their heads. They are of the finch family and feed on seeds. Make nest inside bushes. Prefer to stay in colder climates . Found in himalayas and adjacent places.

Hill Patridge is a small patridge and highly secretive bird of the Himalayas. It goes on calling for a long time from the hidden places but seldom comes out. They forage on the ground in pairs and groups and search for food on the ground. Mainly seeds of different plants.

 

Red headed Bull Finch (039)

 

Hill Patridge (040)

 

It was the day of our return from Garhwal birding trip and 10 hours journey was to be completed for reaching Haridwar for our Train to New Delhi. And for the boy, driving the car, it was a 20 hours drive for coming back home after shifting us. So we moved immediately. A mind blowing trip ended with everlasting memories of the Himalayas.

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Centuries Old Sun Dial of Hooghly Imambara Still Keeps Time

Discover offbeat heritage spots of Bengal with our destination expert Reetwika Banerjee (https://www.facebook.com/reetwika.banerjee)

 

‘Imambara’, meaning ‘abode of the angels’, is a congregation hall of the Shia Muslims which is mostly in use during the holy Muharram days. There is a century old Imambara located on the northern bank of Hooghly River near Bandel, whose sun dial gives correct time even today. When the entire world is struck by COVID19, let me take you to a virtual trip to the historic Imambara which we had visited last year.

 

1. Hooghly Imambara

 

The Imambara is one of the vantage Muslim edifices of Hooghly district which dates back to the 18th century. The one at present is the new building which was reconstructed by Haji Mohsin Khan, a pious philanthropist, in the year 1841. Prior to that there used to be a one-storied lavish Muslim residence of the Motahar family. A Bollywood film (TEEN) starring Big B was also recently shot here.
 

2. Arched Entrance

We reached there by four o’ clock after a three-hour road drive via GT Road. Purchasing tickets, as we walked in, we were welcomed by a grand arched portico, decorated with motifs, broken glass lanterns and scriptures from Quran. Entering through which we discovered two giant tazias kept on either side of the main gate which are taken out for procession on Muharram every year.

3. Eastern wing of the Imambara

 

The entrance of the Imambara has a clock tower supported by twin turrets. It was under maintenance during our visit. Many say the clock was manufactured by Big Ben and was imported from London by Mohsin Khan against a hefty sum.

 

5. From first floor balcony

 

There is a central courtyard, rectangular in shape, with an array of fountains; though none of them are functional at the moment. There are two identical wings – East and West, with two floors each and both are flanked by innumerable rooms with a long corridor. These rooms were earlier used for public accommodation during Muharram but now converted to a madrassa.

6. Gender segregated spiral staircase to clock tower

 

It is not allowed to climb to the top of the clock tower due to poor condition of the building but luckily we were allowed till the first floor. Separate stairways were there for men and women. Stretching ourselves through a flight of spiral steps, we finally landed at eastern balcony.



7. Clock Tower of Imambara

 

The northernmost end of the Imambara houses the Zaridalan, the main prayer hall which is still in use. Gender segregated seating arrangements are available on either side of the Muazzin’s chair. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the hall.

 

8. Quran scriptures on Zaridalan wall

 

At the backside of Imambara, there is a private jetty. The sun dial is right here which indicates the exact time even in 21st century. The panoramic view was not only awesome, but also rare. The Hooghly River flows just behind the Imambara. On the opposite side we could see the red cross of Bandel Church. The hooter of an electric locomotive on the Jubilee Bridge brought us back from transience.

 



8. Sun dial

 

How to Reach:

Located at a distance of 60 odd kilometres from Kolkata, it can be easily reached by local train or road drive. If you are coming by train, better to board a Howrah main line EMU and get down at Hooghly station. Ample rickshaws are available to drop you at the gate of Imambara.

 

If you are self-driving, which we always prefer over any other medium of transport, best is to take GT Road and follow GPS for the inner lanes. There is a fee parking ground opposite to the entrance of Imambara. Road conditions are good but quite congested throughout the stretch.

 

9. Private jetty at backside of Imambara

 

What else to see:

Bandel Church, Mohsin Khan’s tomb, boat ride on Hooghly River

 

Fooding & Lodging:

No hotels or eateries nearby. Best suitable for a half day trip from Kolkata.

 

10. Jubilee bridge on Hooghly River as viewed from Imambara

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Wildlife at Makkumath, Garhwal

Wildlife at Makkumath, Garhwal

Discover incredible birding spots of India with our senior birder Tarun.

Makku Math is a small sanctuary located in the Garhwal sector of Uttarakhand. It is quite easy to reach from Delhi. An overnight train journey of about 7 hours will take you to Haridwar from the capital city, and then another day trip to Makku Math. It is spread across a geographical area of about 970 Km² in the two districts of Chamoli and Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand. Home to innumerable species of flora and fauna, Makku Math offers every birder a haven of winged friends.
 

Being the third of the “Pancha Kedar” spots, it is a popular pilgrimage spot in the lap of higher Himalayas. Mesmerizing views of the snow peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Chowkhamba make it special for every visitor. In addition, it is also an important bird-watching destination for wildlife enthusiasts. There are quite a few eco-huts available for stay, however they offer only basic amenities unlike lavish hotels.

 

Snow peaks from Makku Math

It was afternoon time. We met a variety of birds at Makku Math within a short period of time. After 3 pm, bird activity increases a lot here. On one side there were some Scarlet Finch (027 & 027A) both male and female, while on other trees we spotted Scarlet Minivet (028) and Spot-winged Grosbeak (029).

Makku Math Bird Watching Camp

 

SCARLET FINCH 27A

Out of many varieties of finches, Scarlet Finch is remarkable in colour from the others. The male birds are strikingly red and the females are Olive green in colour. They move in flocks and prefer to sit on the open perches. The bird is available over entire eastern Himalayas.

 

SCARLET FINCH 27B

 

Scarlet Minivet 28

This is a small passerine bird of Minivet family. The males are bright red and black and the females are beautiful yellow and black in colour. They are the birds of lower Himalayas and moves in flock from one tree to another and prefer to sit on the highest perches of the trees.

 

Spot-winged Grosbeak (029)



It’s a bird of the Finch family and is a resident of the Hiamlayas at lower altitude. Both the male and female are same coloured composition, yellow and black but the colour distribution is different. This bird prefger to stay inside foliage of the broadlived temperate forest.

After walking through the road inside the forest for some ten minutes, suddenly a patch came were a number of different bird calls started coming from all the sides. At the tip of a leafless branch, a Eurasian Cuckoo (022) was singing whereas the entire forest was booming with the sound of Great Barbets (023).

 

Eurasian Cuckoo (022)

Eurasian cuckoo also known as Common Cuckoo is a summer migrant to Asia and in winter it arrives Africa. They lay eggs in other birds nest and can mimic calls of some species of birds. They eat mainly caterpillars and sometimes eggs and chicks of other birds.

 

Great Barbets (023)



 

A big size (20-21cm) bird was sitting over a Rhododendron flower – Variegated Laughing Thrush (024) and inside was a Rufous Sibia (025).  Out of nowhere, a Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike (026) appeared there, for a few seconds though. However, the bird was not expected there as it is a bird of much higher altitude.

 

Variegated Laughing Thrush (024)

     

This is a bird of Northern India and mainly Uttarakhand. This flock mover bird moves from one tree to another and they are mainly associated with the Rhododendrons while there is the flowering time.

 

Rufous Sibia (025)

Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike (026)



 

Just under the tree on a distant rock, there was a bird on it and it was a migratory bird Eurasian Wryneck (031). A variety of woodpecker but its camouflage was terrific. A group of Khaleej Pheasant (032) also crossed our road.

 

Eurasian Wryneck (031)
Khaleej Pheasant (032)

The sun was about to set. The light became scarce and just on our way back to the homestay, we noticed an unnatural movement in the tree. Can’t believe, it was a Black-faced Warbler(030). A bright yellow colored bird with a black patch on the face and it was so beautiful.

 

Black-faced Warbler(030)

Lastly, spotting some rare mountain mammals like Barking Deer (31B), Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Langoor and Pica was icing on the cake. While the valley thrives with Rhododendron in the summer, on the other hand it turns into Switzerland of the East in winter. Due to its varying attractions, Makku Math attracts international tourists throughout the year. The birds here move from tree to tree in search of food and often found in abundance. Seasonal flowers and ripening of fruits are the biggest reasons of bird congregation in nearby Duggal Bhitta valley. Our final expedition was to Duggal Bhitta, scheduled for an early morning tomorrow. Time for a night halt now.

 

BARKING DEER (31B)

 

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Bird Watching at Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

Welcome to the blog of bird watching at Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary. Discover incredible birding spots of India with our senior birder Tarun.  Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS), also called Kedarnath Muskdeer Sanctuary. It was established in the year 1972, is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is spread across a geographical area of about 970 Km² in the two districts of Chamoli and Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand. Home to innumerable species of flora and fauna, KWLS offers every birder a haven of winged friends.

         In every bush, waterside shrubs or large trees here, there is a movement. Just watch minutely and definitely there is some tiny colourful feather inside. Similarly, look beside the thin stream, you will see birds on the mosses, on the pebbles. Moreover, even look inside the darkness of the humid undergrowth.

Scaly breasted Wren-Babbler (001) and Chestnut headed Tesia (002) are the two such birds. Where the first one calls very sweetly the later is a tiny beauty. Only 8 cm in size.Additionally, both the birds are tailless. They are examples of adaptation too. As they forages on the humid and dark ground only, their tails could be a trouble due to wetting. Therefore, they have developed such a tailless structure.

You may watch a bigger size black and white bird along the water-flow, moving all time from one stone to the other. It is Spotted Forktail (003). Moreover, this restless bird is in habit of swaying its tail up and down frequently.

One more colourful bird also follows the water flow-line is White-capped Water Redstart (004). They sit on a rock for long time for food unmoved. Therefore, it becomes difficult to locate them.

In the small bushes by the side of water flows, a bright golden colour bird suddenly comes out and quickly returns inside is Golden Bush Robin (005). Similarly, on the other side of the bushes, where it’s dry and dark too, a number of birds are the residents there. In addition, you may find some on the ground and some reside on the branches, depending on their food habits.

On the ground there are Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler (006), White throated Fantail (007) and mostly Streaked Laughing Thrush (008). Importantly, all these birds find their food on ground, mostly small insects and mosses.

You can easily watch these two birds on the upper branches. They are Blue Whistling Thrush (009) and White Throated Laughing Thrush (010). The first bird is mostly solitary. In contrast, the later one moves in groups and very noisy too.

 

Unlike these shrub dwellers, the big trees like Rhododendron are shelters for so many colourful birds. Moreover, those birds move from place to place in search of food. Therefore, any place suddenly found in an abundance of food invites variety of birds at a time. We will be coming back here tomorrow again in search of those high flying beauties. Till then, sayo-nara! I hope this travel blog on bird watching at kedarnath wildlife sanctuary provides useful information about some endemic birds of India.

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Nimak Haram Deori – The Traitor’s Gate

 Discover offbeat heritage spots of Bengal with our destination expert Reetwika Banerjee (https://www.facebook.com/reetwika.banerjee)

At Jafarganj, the patrons built a luxurious palace of Najafi rulers in Murshidabad, during the early sixteenth century. Mir Jafar succeeded it later. The entrance of the royal palace of Najafi rulers in Murshidabad was through a gigantic arched gate with numerous hidden chambers. They were specially constructed to monitor any unusual entrants to the inner palace, setup nahabat (Nawabi orchestra) for welcoming stately guests or hold secret meetings with non-Islamic parties.

 

Painful History of Nafarganj Palace

Mir Jafar is attributed as the ‘traitor’ in the history. In summary, He betrayed Bengal’s Nawab Siraj-ud-Daullah at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. And from that day onwards, people called the entry porch to his Jafarganj Palaceof the najafi rulers in Murshidabad Nimak Haram Deori or Traitor’s Gate.  Moreover, Mir Jafar and his son held a clandestine meeting with the British at one of the seraglios of Jafarganj Palace.

Multiple schools of thought exist regarding the blood warming past of this massive gateway. Some say at one of the hidden chambers of this porch one of Mir Jafar’s spies brutally murdered Siraj-ud-Daullah. In contrast, some say, the murder took place at another site but his corpse was laid here overnight for some unfaithful act.

Our Experience of visiting Nimak Haram Deouri

After reaching Murshidabad, we drove through the congested Lalbagh market towards Mahimpur. On our left was the Nimak Haram Deori and opposite to it was the Najafi cemetery. Getting down near the colossal doorway, our eyes floated back to centuries ago. The bricks have witnessed Nadir of brutalities which shattered the fate of India for centuries. In addition, the roof of the gate seemed to have collapsed long back. Furthermore, you can find a rectangular hole at the middle and arched ones at the inner porticoes.

Check Also: Stunning Birds of Chopta Valley, Uttarakhand

Arguably, this is the chamber of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah’s assassination

People believed there were several curses on the gate. Therefore, if any treacherous soul crosses it, he will spit blood soon after visiting the Nimak Haram Deori. Surprisingly, no remnants of Mir Jafar’s Jafarganj Palace exist today. However, the ruins of this porch and a prayer hall are intact just behind the deori. Probably the Jafarganj Palace used to be there in an earlier time. As an enlisted well maintained private property,  no outsiders could cross the gate. However, regular pedestrian footfall was evident from the shoe imprints on the dusty lane beneath the Nimak Haram Deori leading towards the backside prayer hall.

Whatever be the painful history of the gateway, the air around carries a smell of bloodbath even today.

I hope this travel blog on the palace of the Najafi rulers in Murshidabad will provide valuable information about the history of Siraj ud daulah.

How to reach:

The most convenient route to reach Murshidabad is by Hazar Duari Express from Sealdah station. By road, it takes around 6 hours (200 kilometers) via NH34. However, road conditions are not advisable for small cars.

Where to stay:

There are no accommodation facilities at Jafarganj. However, Government tourist lodge is available at Berhampore, around 10 kilometers away. In addition, ample budget hotels are available in Lalbag area.

What to see around:

Najafi Cemetery, Azim-un-Nisa begum’s grave, ruins of Jafarganj Mosque

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Chilki Garh – The Mysterious Jhargram

Discover offbeat trails of Bengal ( Chilki Garh – The Mysterious Jhargram) with our travel expert Reetwika Banerjee.

Chilki Garh ( Chilki Garh- The Mysterious Jhargram) is a small village in the Jhargram district of Bengal, located around 15 kilometers from the railhead. We had been there on a monsoon weekend. Not many tourists prefer this time of the year to visit forested areas. But we purposely chose the month to enjoy greens at its best bloom.

We started rather early for Chilki Garh – The Mysterious Jhargram around six in the morning so that we could reach by midday at Chilki Garh. Our first stopover was at Kolaghat. Right after the Rup Narayan Bridge, there’s an array of roadside dhabas, offering freshly prepared luchi, sabji, mixed veg, and cardamom tea.

During any of our Midnapore trips, I always love to take a snacks break here; not just for the yummy fritters but also for reasons of college nostalgia. As it happens to be, I have spent quite a good number of years here at Kolaghat during my engineering days. I could still feel my bygone days in those fumes of thermal power station. A quick halt always takes me back to our moments of mischief, romance, hostel life, midnight ragging sessions and last but not the least the experience of my life’s first job interview.

 

From Kolaghat, the highway bifurcates into two directions – the left hits Nanda Kumar while the straight road leads to Kharagpur. The latter is the course to Jhargram. For the next 120 kilometers, it was a greasy drive, only interruptions were at toll booths. The speedometer hardly dropped below sixty till we reached Lodhasuli. It is actually one of the last villages at Jharkhand – Bengal border, covered by a thick canopy of forestlands all around; a small but significant junction for Chilki Garh bound tourists. GPS indicated us to take a right turn here.

Our stay was booked at the Jhargram Palace, (Chilki Garh –Mysterious Beauty of Jhargram) located in another 10 kilometers from current location. We reached sharp at 11 o’clock. Quickly freshening up with home-style lunch, we headed on to our destination – Chilki Garh.

Following the village path towards Jamboni, we geared up for a mysterious tour. The strategic location of Chilki Garh Palace has been a discussion topic over the centuries. Way back in 13th century, Jagannath Dhabaldeb invaded Jungle Mahal. He defeated the local ruler over an easy clash and ascended to the throne. Chilki Garh ( Chilki Garh –Mysterious Jhargram) thus became Dhabaldeb’s seat of power. Soon after that, he constructed a royal palace inside the forest.

A thin tributary of Subarnarekha River, locally popular as Dulung, flows through Chilki Garh. During those days, Maratha dacoits called ‘Borgi’ used to often attack this part of Bengal. To prevent their invasion, Dhabaldeb constructed his fortress on the other side of Dulung River so that the water stream protects his private residence.

The riverbed is very rocky here. Soil is also reddish due to high quantities of iron ore found naturally. Eventually, the water of Dulung has a brownish tinge. The contrast of brunette water against a green backdrop of Jamboni forest adds to the overall anonymity of Chilki Garh.

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A shallow bridge has been instituted of late. But even today, only one car can pass at a time. After crossing the river, we reached an old arched gateway. Driving through, we discovered the Chilki Garh Raj Bari. The ancient palace contituted two floors. The colour of the edifice was so mysterious. Dark grey with a black stone finish! Many iconic Bengali movies namely Sanyasi Raja, Aranyer Din Ratri, Durgesh Garher Guptadhan etc were shot at Chilki Garh and its surroundings.

Parking our car at the fore ground, we took a walk around the place.  There was a clock tower at one end of the campus, which seemed to have stopped giving time long back. The whole area bore a touch of eternal stillness.

The royal family do not seem to inhabit the palace any more. Probably one of the ground floor rooms have been converted to party office. The upper floor exhibited shabby clothes hanging from front side balcony, may be a staff quarter!

 

 

There were hardly any people we met on way because most of the local inhabitations are hidden inside the green shade. Let’s not delve into the reason of such hideouts. We preferred to keep our focus on the natural landscape only.

 

Within a kilometer from the palace, shrouded amidst dense jungle, there was an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Kanak Durga. People say, a later king Gopinath had dreamt of Devi Mahamaya who built this temple to appease the goddess. The old temple is in complete ruins now. A relatively newly built shrine houses a gold plated idol of the presiding deity, justifying the name Kanak Durga.

Ruins of old temple of Kanak Durga

Innumerable monkeys, squirrels and birds inhabit the temple complex even today. Car cannot enter the forest here and thus, we had to do a short jungle trekking to reach the Kanak Durga temple. However, e-rickshaws are available for hire from the parking till the temple which ferry tourists up and down the forested trail at a nominal fare.

We were back to our hotel well within 5pm. Evening falls early here because of the dense forestry. Not advisable to stay outside in dark, especially during monsoons. Least to say, the lush greeneries of the Jamboni forest, distant sound of tribal drums and ancient temples made it one of the best getaways so far.

How to Reach:

It’s about a four-hour drive from Kolkata to Jhargram (200 kilometers approx.) along NH16 and another half an hour to Chilki Garh. Road conditions were awesome for a relaxing tour.

Where to Stay:

There is a newly constructed Govt. tourist lodge in Jhargram. If you are a heritage admirer, Jhargram Raj Bari outhouse provides a great stay. However, there are no luxury accommodations at Chilki Garh at present, except a couple of rustic ones.

Best Time of Visit:

You can visit round the year. But you can witness its serenest beauty only in monsoons.

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Mandvi Beach – A Birder’s Heaven

Mandvi Beach – A Birder’s Heaven, Discover stunning birdwatching spots of India with #Literoma senior birder Tarun. For more info, contact birder at literomainc@gmail.com

We started early in the morning for a new destination, Mandvi Beach, at a distance of 65 Kms from Lodai Village, Dist Surendranagar. It was about 6 AM and we were running in complete darkness with a full headlight on. Almost no vehicle was there on the road. Reached the spot at about 7.30 AM with a tea break on the way.

Some fishing boats were lying over the sand flats and a number of Brown headed Gulls (001),  Slender Billed Gulls (002), Heuglin Gulls (003) were flying frequently and some were seated. Moreover, on the opposite side, in a small muddy flat one Demoiselle Crane (004) was walking for breakfast.

At that time the sea was in ebb and the water receded more than 500 meters leaving flat sand bed. The flat sand area was very soft and loose in some places . However, it was very hard also in most of the plain. Huge number shore birds were walking very fast on the beach in search of food. Surely, Lesser Sand Plovers (005) and Dunlin (006) were mostly seen nearby.

At a distance of 100 meters or so, the beach was full of white birds, mainly Pallas’s Gull (007A,B) , very busy in collecting small fishes and crustaceans from low tide position.  In addition, two brown birds , one of exceptionally large thin bill , the Eurasian Curlew (008) and another of slight short billed Whimbrel (009) were really the point of attraction.

 

As we walked towards sea farther and nearer to water, some attractive big birds were swimming there. Those were the Dalmatian Pelicans (010), very nice looking, big bill with pouch for holding fish for consumption later is the speciality of the birds.  Moreover, a small flock of yellow billed pointed tailed birds were sitting on the sand on another side. They were suddenly flying towards sea very fast and were coming back with fish in mouth. Those were the Lesser Crested Terns (011). In addition, Black morphs of Western Reef Egrets (012) being conspicuous for their black colour among the white birds were there but few in number.

Some idle fishing boats, tied at the water lines were a point of attraction for another bird. They were continuously foraging on the ground and searching for Oysters from inside sands with their long strong beaks.  Those were the Eurasian Oystercatchers (013), a migratory bird of Western Indian coasts.

A few meters apart some long billed birds were walking on the ground. Those were the Bar-tailed Godwit (014) , a migratory bird which travels maximum distance round the year to cover its migration route. Additionally, Black-necked Storks (015) with very long legs and black neck and head walk around through out the beaches and in water also. They are our resident birds.

 

A single Caspian Tern (016) with its conspicuous size and red bill was just sitting alone one side. Moreover, the pink beauties of the Western Indian shores, the Greater Flamingos (017 A, B) were in large numbers and were walking their reverse bills immersed in search of algae, their only food.

 

Very bright white throated and bellied Sanderlings (018) are also migratory coastal birds present there. Meantime the tide water was almost near our feet and we immediately came out of the Sea.

 

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.

Bird Watching at Jamnagar Beach

Discover Bird Watching at Jamnagar Beach, stunning birdwatching spots of India with #Literoma senior birder Tarun. For more info, contact birder at: literomainc@gmail.com

A business hub of Gujarat , a city full of all the hustle-bustle as also a serene destination for purification of the soul with endless natural beauty along with full of wild lives is Jamnagar…on the shores of Arabian Sea, in the state of Gujarat. Its about 260 Kms from Bhuj ,Western part of our country, where the day starts late but the sun gives you light till 7.00 pm.

At Jamnagar Sea Beach

In January, the temperature remains around 18⁰ C and the range throughout the year is 18⁰C to 37⁰ C and the precipitation continues from June to August but at lower average scale. Therefore, January is the best time to visit the place 

Seaside Road to Jamnagar – Best Spot for Bird Watching in Gujarat

Starting at about 5 .00 AM from GRK, we reached around 11.00 AM with breakfast break on the way. Passing through the busy roads of the city as soon as we reached nearby the sea beach, it was a completely different scene. Soon the wind flow, air-temperature, views all just turned into a comfortable chapter.

It was the time of low tide. The sea water was far from the beach and most of the birds were near the water edge. The sandy beach was looking so nice with water-flow designs and some birds were seen flying sporadically. Long billed Eurasian Curlew (001) were mostly there and at a distance on our left side huge number of them were roosting on the land. Some Whimbrel (002) were also sitting at other side but at a distance from them. Those two are same type of birds, the later one with smaller bills.

Eurasian Curlew (001)

Whimbrel (002)

Now the small size Sand Plovers (003) came into view and they were also huge in number. On walking more towards sea, a few Dunlins (004) were seen to move very fast on the beach and searching for foods. Surely, all the birds were seen busy to collect food before the high tide starts. Additionally, Bar tailed Godwit (005) is a bird which actually travels more than 5000 kilometres before reaching the coast on their return migration.  

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Two morphs of egrets are very much present at small intervals. Surely, they are Western Reef Egret (006) black & White morphs (007).  

In most of the sea sides, depending on the availability of fishes and small crustaceans are seen. In addition, some variety of Terns and Gulls are the part of it. Moreover, distribution of different types of Terns and Gulls are variable as per locations of our country. Therefore, here in the western coasts, Lesser Crested Terns (008), Caspian Terns (009) are mainly present. Moreover, there are Pallas’s Gull (010), Heuglin’s Gull (011), Brown Headed Gulls (012), and Slender Billed Gulls (013).

Additionally, two very rarely available birds, and only found in the western coast of India are the Oyster Catcher (014) and the beautiful Crab Plover (015). They are very shy birds. Therefore, they don’t allow human approach less than 100 meters. However, only some distant shots could be taken of them.  

Moreover, two types of Pelicans are also the beautiful sightings of Western sea sides. Very royal appearance and slow moving birds of the shallow watersSurely, they are Great White Pelicans (016) and Dalmatian Pelicans (017).

Moreover,  Greater Flamingo (018) and Lesser Flamingo (019) adds beauty of the western  coastal waters. As a result, The entire area becomes a pink-land in their presence.

At a different corner of the beach, some small foraging birds were also found to walk fast for food. Some were also having rest after heavy breakfast. Surely, they are Great Knots (020), Marsh Sandpipers (021), Sanderlings (022) etc.

 

By this time suddenly we saw the tidewater coming in very fast. Without loss of any further time, we just packed up and came out of the sea. Almost with our return, the sea also chased behind us. Surely, it is a memorable experience gained and Bird Watching at Jamnagar Beach ended there.

Welcome to Tours And Journey, your number one source for all travel blogging. We’re dedicated to giving you the very best of Travel Knowledge, with a focus on Best Travel Experience.

Founded in 2017 by Souvick Sen, Tours And Journey has come a long way from its beginnings in West Bengal. When Souvick Sen first started out, His passion for Travelling drove them to Became A Travel Blogger so that Tours And Journey can Provide you Best Travel Experience. We now Tell Our Experience all over World, and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into Our own website.