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Headquarters of South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach, formerly Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR)

September 9, 2020 7 comments

South Eastern Railway (SER) Headquarters, Garden Reach

formerly Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR)

The opening of the Mumbai-Thane line in 1853 marked the beginning of railways in India. The Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) was formed in 1887 for the purpose of upgrading the Nagpur Chhattisgarh Line and then extending it via Bilaspur to Asansol, in order to develop a shorter Howrah-Mumbai route than the one via Allahabad.

Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) Office, Headquarters of the South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach

Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) Office, Headquarters of the South Eastern Railway (SER), Garden Reach

The BNR main line from Nagpur to Asansol was opened for goods traffic on 1 February 1891. It was only after Kharagpur was linked from the west and the south that it was connected to Howrah in 1900.

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Lockdown Memories Continues, Wildlife Photography from Rooftop

July 29, 2020 8 comments

Lockdown Memories Continues

Wildlife Photography from Rooftop (Part 2)

Also see: Lockdown Memories (Part 1)

Lock, unlock, lock… and the process goes on and on. It has been over four months since the lockdown started on mid-March 2020 and things are yet to come to normal. We have got adjusted to our modified routines. I still spend a couple of hours in the evening spotting and photographing birds and other wildlife from my residence terrace in Salt Lake, Kolkata.

Bird 3c

Oriental magpie Robin

I uploaded my first blog post in mid-June and the list of wildlife spotted was as follows:

  1. Chestnut Tailed Starling or Grey Headed Myna (কাঠ শালিক) (Sturnia malabarica)
  2. Red Vented Bulbul (বাংলা বুলবুল) (Pycnonotus cafer)
  3. Oriental Magpie Robin (দোয়েল পাখি) (Copsychus saularis)
  4. Purple Sunbird (দুর্গা টুনটুনি) (Cinnyris asiaticus)
  5. Black Hooded Oriole (কালোমাথা বেনেবউ) (Oriolus xanthornus)

The second phase continued with the spotting of more birds and other wildlife, this new list includes:

  1. Coppersmith Barbet (ছোট বসন্ত বৌরি) (Psilopogon haemacephalus)
  2. Blue Throated Barbet (বড় বসন্ত বৌরি) (Psilopogon asiaticus)
  3. Rose Ringed Parakeet (সবুজ টিয়া) (Psittacula krameri)
  4. Indian Flying Fox (বড় বাদুর) (Pteropus medius)

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Lockdown Memories, Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

June 17, 2020 7 comments

Lockdown Memories

Wildlife Photography from my rooftop

Covid 19 has changed the way we lived, with the lockdown being implemented from 16 March 2020, there was nothing much to do. Stuck at home I started editing the Wikipedia.

Bird 1

Chestnut Tailed Starling or Grey Headed Myana

Although I have been attached with the Wikipedia Movement for almost a decade but my activity was more off line. The Covid 19 Lockdown first provided me to edit wikipedia on a regular basis.

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Bhukailash Temple, Khidirpur

February 19, 2020 6 comments

Bhukailash Temple

Khidirpur

Khidirpur or Kidderpore located south part of the city is home to India’s oldest river port. Apart from the still functioning port the area also houses athe Fancy Market, known for cheap electronic goods and not to mention the amazing Mughlai Food.

Bhukailash Pano 2

A panoramic view of the Bhukailash Temple Complex, Khidirpur, Kolkata

But unknown to many Khidirpur also houses one of the oldest temple of the city with giant shiva linga. The huge temple complexes also houses a huge rajbari. The Bhukaliash Temple Complex housing two huge temples have remained unknown to most of the citizens of Kolkata.

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Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond), 18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal, Old Currency Building, Kolkata

February 5, 2020 8 comments

Ghare Baire (The World, The Home and Beyond)

18th – 20th Century Art in Bengal

Old Currency Building, Kolkata

2019 saw the opening of several themed based museums in Kolkata. They include the I am Calcutta (আমি কলকাতা) Museum in Metcalfe Hall, Icon of Nationalism Museum at the National Library, Reserve Bank of India Museum and the Theatre Museum in Salt Lake.

Currency Building 2

Old Currency Building housing the Ghare Baire, 18th – 20th century art gallery of Bengal

The beginning of 2020 was marked with the inauguration of a Bengal Art Gallery by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the historic Old Currency Building. Titled Ghare Baire (ঘরে  বাইরে) The World, The Home and Beyond the museum focuses on 18th – 20th century Art in Bengal.

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Kolkata’s very own Museum, Metcalfe Hall

December 11, 2019 3 comments

Kolkata’s very own Museum

Metcalfe Hall

Museum – a series of artifacts arranged in rows with placards describing each of them. This has been the idea of a museum for most of the people. Over the years, like all other things, museums have also evolved.

Metcalfe Hall 1

Metcalfe Hall, Kolkata

Today museums are not just a display of artifacts. It comes in with audio visual effects creating a movie theatre like atmosphere. The visitor gets a real life feel of the artifacts as he moves from one gallery to the other.

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Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

November 27, 2019 4 comments

Rasbari Garden House of Belur, Revisited

Familiarization (FAM) Tour of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

Also see: First visit of Rasbari Garden House, Belur

My first visit to Rasbari was almost a year back and things have changed a lot. The clock tower have been renovated and the clock has started ticking.

Rasbari 2

The lit up Rasbari Garden House Complex, Belur, Howrah

The number of two beaded rooms have increased from two to four. The old white pavilion shaped building remains the same with the two for bed rooms and the big drawing room.

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Durga Idol Immersion and flight of Nilkantha Bird

October 9, 2019 9 comments

Durga Idol Immersion and Flight of Nilkantha Bird

A new twist to an age old custom

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

যাও উড়ে নীলকণ্ঠ পাখি, যাও সেই কৈলাসে,
দাও গো সংবাদ তুমি, উমা বুঝি ঐ আসে।

Sovabazar Nilkantha 19 7

The symbolic Neelkantha Bird, in the form of Fanush. heads for the heavens

Doshomi, marks the end of of the Durga Puja and on this day Maa Durga along with her children makes her journey back home to her heavenly abode in Kailash.

According to legend the arrival of the goddess back to her home is informed, to her  husband Lord Shiva, by a Neelkantha Bird. The Bengali poem at the beginning of the blog post mentions the journey of the Neelkantha Bird.

For centuries the traditional households (bonedi bari) of Kolkata have been following the tradition of releasing the Neelkantha Bird on the afternoon of Doshomi.

Two birds were released. The first one was released in front of  the house when the goddess made her way out of the house. The second was released when the goddess was immersed in water.

Neelkantha, literally meaning the blue throat, represents Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also known by the same name due to his blue coloured throat.

According to legend a huge amount of poison was ejected during the charming of the ocean. In order to save the mankind from the poison Lord Shiva drank it. It resulted into his blue throat and hence the name Neelkantha.

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Theatre Museum, Salt Lake, Kolkata

September 12, 2019 8 comments

Theatre Museum

Salt Lake, Kolkata

Recently Kolkata witnessed an opening of a large number of theme based museums. Included among them is Ami Kolkata, a museum dedicated to the city itself and Reserve bank of India (RBI) Museum.

Theatre Museum 14

Portion of the modern theatre gallery, Theatre Museum, Kolkata

But the city has never been new to theme based museums. Birla Industrial & Technology Museum, Nehru Children Museum, Kolkata Police Museum, Postal Museum, Boat Museum, etc are integral part of Kolkata’s heritage.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum, Kolkata

August 14, 2019 5 comments

Reserve Bank of India Museum

Kolkata

Do you know, long before the introduction of money food grains, salt, replicas of tools, cowries and even giant donut shaped stones served as a medium of exchange? The newly opened Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Museum provides an extensive insight into the history of money and banking.

RBI Museum 8

An installation showing the evolution of money, RBI Museum, Kolkata

Opened on 11 March 2019 this is the second RBI museum in the country. It came 21 years after the inaugural one opened its gates at the Mumbai headquarters.

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