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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Ichai Ghosher Deul, a towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

February 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Ichai Ghosher Deul

A towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

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 Ichai Ghosher Deul was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan, which was known for its crumbling tower like structure.

Ichai Ghosher Deul

Ichai Ghosher Deul

According to local folklore the tower like structure in Bhalki Machan served as hunting platform, which was used by the local landlords to hunt bear. But historians have a different story and historical records confirm the tower was actually a Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) Tower, used for surveying and mapping the country almost 200 years ago.

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A weekend trip to Bhalki Machan, first family outing since Covid 19

February 3, 2021 6 comments

A weekend trip to Bhalki Machan

First family outing since Covid 19 outbreak

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. We are lucky to travel just before the lockdown started in March 2020.

On the way to Bhalki Machan, breakfast stop at Azad Hind Dhaba

On the way to Bhalki Machan, breakfast stop at Azad Hind Dhaba

Our last family weekend tour involved the visit consisted a visit to a fortified temple complex, an excavated Buddhist Vihar, a canyon not as grand as the Grand Canyon and finally a village of brick built temples (Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore)

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Bardhaman 108 Shiva Temple, Nababhat

January 27, 2021 4 comments

108 Shiva Temple of Bardhaman

An unique temple complex at Bardhaman Town

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

Aat Chala (four sloped roofs) Shiva Temples are an integral part of Bengal landscape. They often appear in clusters 2 to 108. West Bengal houses two such clusters of 108 Shiva Temples.

108 Siva Temple Complex of Nababhat, Bardhaman

108 Siva Temple Complex of Nababhat, Bardhaman

The temple town of Ambika Kalna, in Purba Bardhman houses a spectacular complex of 108 Shiva Temple Complex. The only other 108 Shiva Temple complex is also located in Purba Bardhaman district and is housed in Bardhaman Town.

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