Mazar of Pir Baharam, Bardhaman

Mazar of Pir Baharam, Bardhaman

Resting place of Pir Baharam, Sher Afghan Khan and Qutubuddin Koka

Two men lies in eternal rest under exactly similar graves next to each other but it is hard to believe that these men died fighting each other in a deadly ambush more than 500 years ago.

Panoramic view of the Mazar of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Panoramic view of the Mazar of Pir Baharam, Brdhaman

Next to the two warrior lies a Sufi Saint, who was known for providing drinking water to thirsty travellers. This is the Mazar of Pir Baharam in Bardhaman, which also contains several unmarked and unknown graves.

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Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

Curzon Gate

Bardhaman (Burdwan), West Bengal

Curzon Gate is the most prominent land mark of Bardhaman (Burdwan) Town and is located at the meeting point of Bijoy Chand Road (BC Road) and Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) (Google map location)

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

Curzon Gate, Bardhaman

The gigantic gate towering at the busy intersection marks the entry to the Bardhaman town from GT Road. The gate was constructed to celebrate the coronation of the king of Bardhaman Maharaja Bijay Chand Mahatab in 1902.

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Giant Swing, Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Giant Swing

Rattanakosin, Bangkok

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

The bright red towering swing stands at a busy intersection in Rattanakosin area in the heart of Bangkok. Know as Giant Swing (or Sao Chingcha in Thai) it is a Hindu religious structure associated with the festival of Triyampawai.

Giant Swing, Bangkok

Giant Swing, Bangkok

The Giant Swing dates back to the time of the formation of the Chakri dynasty, which still rules Thailand. The huge teak wood structure was commissioned by the founder of Chakri dynasty Rama I (reign 1782 – 1809) in 1784.

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Forever Digha

Forever Digha

One of Bengalis’ top three tourist destination

The travel loving Bengali is always been mocked as DiPu Da (Di for Digha, Pu for Puri and Da fro Darjeeling) after their three favourite tourist destination. From Kolkata, Digha is the nearest of the three. Probably it is the most visited tourist spot for Kolkatanas.

Tourist walk along the Digha sea front

Tourist walk along the Digha sea front

Interestingly the popular Bengali tourist spot has a long historic connection dating back to the early days of East India Company. In 1780s Warren Hastings, the first Governor General of Bengal, stumbled upon a 7 km long casuarina dotted beach in Midnapore. He was so impressed with the stretch of beach that in a letter to his wife he referred to it as “Brighton of Calcutta.”

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Birding Hot Spots in and around Kolkata

May 27, 2021 2 comments

Birding Hot Spots in and around Kolkata

Backyard Birding

Ever since the outbreak of Covid 19 travelling has taken a back seat. This has been a big psychological blow for trvallers like us. Being confined at home is the greatest curse for a traveller and travel writer.

Birding hot spots in and around Kolkata - Rabindra Sarobar, Salt Lake Central Park, Salt Lake Canal Side, Baruipur Marshes and Santragachi

Birding Hot Spots in and around Kolkata
Top left to right: Rufous Treepie, Central Park, Salt lake; Indian Paradise Flycatcher, Rabindra Sarobar; Black Rumped Flameback Woodpecker, Salt lake Canal Side; Asian Openbill Stork, Baruipur
Below: Lesser whistling duck, Santragachi

But we soon got adjusted to our new lifestyle. As a teacher, I was busy with my online classes and decided to spent the evening on my Salt Lake residence rooftop. Soon I got attracted by my feathered guest. With a bit of google search, I soon started identifying them. Soon I started documenting and photographing the birds with my 11 year old daughter Rupsha assisting me with a pair of binoculars.

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Maa Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

April 14, 2021 Leave a comment

Maa Phire Elo

Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Durga Puja in Kolkata is often considered as the Greatest Carnival of Earth. The festivities of the four day long Durga Puja often extend over a week and turns the entire city into a temporary art gallery.

Panoramic view of the interior of the Ma Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Panoramic view of the interior of the Maa Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Hundreds of pujas are held all over the city and each is a virtual art gallery with elaborate design often following a theme. The theme can range anything from environmental conservation to women empowerment.

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Dariyapur, Dokra Village

Dariyapur

Dokra Village

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. The visit to the Dariyapur, Dokra Village was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan.

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

It was a two-day trip and included several side trips covering a variety of places. Our first stop for the second day was the Dokra Village of Dariyapur.

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David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

David Sassoon Library

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Bang opposite the Kala Ghoda (Black Horse) stands an elegant building, complete with pointed arches and crowned with a clock. It is the David Sassoon Library. The library building along with several Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings of the region is part of a UNESCO Heritage Site known as The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai.

David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

The origin of the library dates back to 1847 when a group of young mechanics and foremen of the Royal Mint and Government Dockyard established a museum for mechanical models and architectural design. The museum also housed a small library. The institute and the library came to be known as the Bombay Mechanics Institue.

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Bannabagram, Baul Ashram

March 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Bannabagram

Baul Ashram

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

Bauls are a group of mystic nomads of mixed elements Bhaktism and Sufisim from Bengal. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but they can easily be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments.

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Although Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition of Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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Rabindra Sarobar, Lungs of South Kolkata

March 3, 2021 2 comments

Rabindra Sarobar

Lungs of South Kolkata and Birder’s Paradise

The artificial lake of Rabindra Sarobar and the green zone surrounding the lake is one of the most beautiful areas of Kolkata. The entire area provides oxygen and is often refereed to as the lung of south Kolkata.

Rowing at Rabindra Sarobar

Rowing at Rabindra Sarobar

But it is hard to believe that even a hundred years ago this beautiful area was a marshy stretch of land. It was a breeding ground of mosquitoes and source of malaria and other diseases.

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