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Experience Ganges, a bus and cruise tour along Hooghly River

January 12, 2022 2 comments

Experience Ganges

3 day & 2 night bus and cruise tour along Hooghly River

Rivers always played an important role in shaping civilizations. The Hooghly River, a distributory of the Ganga (or Ganges), is no exception. The river have played an important role in shaping the history of colonial India.

Experience Ganges Group at Jalashree Floating Restaurant, Chandannagar

Experience Ganges Group at Jalashree Floating Restaurant, Chandannagar

Calcutta (now Kolkata), the first capital of British India and the second city of the empire was also established on the Bank of the River Hooghly. It was not only British but other European power also had there presence along the river. This included Bandel (Portuguese), Chinsurah (Dutch), Chandannagar (French) and Serampore (Danish).

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Memorial of Daulat Hossain, Park Circus

December 29, 2021 3 comments

Memorial of Daulat Hossain

Park Circus

Shaikh Daulat Hossain the name is definitely unfamiliar. He is no celebrity but a memorial stands in his memory in a remote corner of Park Circus. Strangely the memorial also seems to be have been forgotten. It lies is utter neglect and is heavily encroached upon.

Daulat Hossain Memorial

Daulat Hossain Memorial

Shaikh Daulat Hossain was shot dead by dacoits in Park Circus area when he tried to prevent their decoity attempt. He died on the spot on 7th October 1932 aged only 18.

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Nafar Chandra Kundu Memorial, Chakraberia Road (South)

December 1, 2021 9 comments

Nafar Chandra Kundu Memorial

Chakraberia Road (South)

Nafar Chnadra Kundu, the name is quiet likely to sound unfamiliar because he is no celebrity he is just a common man on the street who did something extraordinary 114 years ago (in 1907). Although no longer remembered but his act of extraordinary courage was enough to turn him into a legend and an icon which today’s India needs more than ever.

Nafar Chandra Kundu Memorial

Nafar Chandra Kundu Memorial

It was the month of May 1907 Nafar Chandra Kundu was walking down the streets of Chakraberia when heard shouts and desperate plea for help. He noticed a small crowd had gathered round a open manhole and the screams came from inside the manhole.

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Birding Hot Spots in and around Kolkata

May 27, 2021 4 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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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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Shwetambar Jain Temple, Gouribari, Kolkata

January 13, 2021 2 comments

Shwetambar Jain Temple

Gouribari, Kolkata

With the Battle of Plassey Calcutta transformed from a trading outpost of East India Company to the capital of British India. Soon the city transformed into the second city of the mighty British empire and become the hub of business activities in Asia.

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

As the city and its economy grew it started attracting prople from not only different parts of India but from the entire world. The Britishers were already there they were joined by the Jews, Armenians, Portuguese and Greeks.

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Birding from Salt Lake rooftop during Covid 19 lock, unlock and beyond

January 6, 2021 4 comments

Birding from rooftop during lock and unlock

Compilation of birds documented from my Salt Lake, Kolkata residence

Also see: Lockdown Memories (Part 1) and Lockdown Memories (Part 2)

Lock, unlock, lock… and the process goes on and on. It has been over nine 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.

Clockwise from top left: Red Vented Bulbul. Oriental Magpie Robin, Black Hooded Oriole, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Red Whiskered Bulbul and Coppersmith Barbet

Clockwise from top left: Red Vented Bulbul. Oriental Magpie Robin, Black Hooded Oriole, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Red Whiskered Bulbul and Coppersmith Barbet

My initial days was just restricted to observation only. With a little internet search I was able to identify and spot a few birds within a week. Next step was to photograph them but with no knowledge of birds and inappropriate equipment it was not an easy task, but I wanted to give it a try. My 11 year daughter Rupsha was my constant companion from the very beginning. She soon got the hang of it and started spoting birds with the help of a pair of binoculars.

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

September 9, 2020 11 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 11 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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