मैं अब क्या कहूँ मुझे किसकी तलाश है,
मंज़िले मेरे संग चलें मेरा हमसफ़र मेरे साथ है ।

मौत में ही है ज़िंदगी और ज़िंदगी में मौत है,
ये सफ़र यूँ चला करे, मेरे हाथ में तेरा हाथ है ।

ये तब्बसुम, वो हँसी और रूठ जाना तेरा,
सब ख़ज़ाने मेरे है फिर क्या दिन क्या रात है।

ऐ दिल की धड़कन सुनो, ये ग़ज़ल मेरी पढ़ो,
‘चाह’ क्या चाहे है अब, इसमें ही वो बात है ।


Mangalajodi: north of chilka in Odisha

Mangalajodi represents the fresh water wetlands in the north of Odisha. The wetlands were famous for the poaching of migratory birds earlier. The villagers were later sensitised about the importance of the migration of birds. These poachers then turned conservationist and also the tourist guide for birding enthusiasts. The godvit is the place to stay during your visit to the place. There are two trips deep in the wetlands to spot birds. 


Borra Caves, near Vishakhapatnam (Vizag)

Borra caves are located near Vizag and you need around 6 hours to visit this place and come back. These are limestone formations created long ago having both historical and geographical sitnificance. Caves are situated in western Ghats and were discovered in 1807 by British geologist William King. The caves are naturally formed due to slow dissolution of calcium carbonate in the rocks due to humid acid in the water. These caves are believed to be around 150 million year old. When the water contains calcium carbonate percolate down from the roof it creates the deposit on the roof and on the ground. The structure created on the roof are called stalactite and on ground are known as stalagmite. These structures in the Borra caves have taken different shapes and the imagination of human beings have given them names like, shiva Parvati, animals like crocodile,snake, camel etc. There is one stalagmite at the centre of caves has taken the shape of human brain. 


Visit to Daman

It was a God sent opportunity to visit Daman. Daman was a Portugues settlement and remained even under the control of Portugal till late when it was annexed by India as a Union Territory. Daman has few beaches but beach sand is now of balcony floor due to the pollution brought in by the Daman Ganga river to sea while passing through Vapi industrial Area. The beaches are dotted with numerous resorts where people from neighbouring state rush to during the weekend for drinks and food as Gujarat is a dry state.

The churches inside the old fort dates back to 1906 when Portuguese initially came to Daman and started building them. The one church is unique in the sense with explicit wood carvings showing the life of lady Mary. Initially all these wood carvings were covered with golden leaf work.

Here are few pics


Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Near Lucknow

Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary is a great weekend trip from   Kanpur and Lucknow for bird lovers. Area of sanctuary is around 3 Sq KM and attracts migratory birds during the winter. I have visited the sanctuary on 1 November 2014, but at that time migratory birds did not arrived. But the trip was quite exciting as I was able to take amazing photographs of many birds apart from spotting some birds first time by me. The sanctuary is actually an area of swallow lake surrounds by vegetation from all sides. There is a concrete path surrounding the lake. The pathway is also lined up with small concrete pillars which works as tripod for camera. To enhance the knowledge of visitors regarding birds, an Interpretation Centre is established in the Sanctuary. It has the provision of film shows related to wildlife. There are motel, restaurants and small eateries around the sanctuary.

The Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary is 45 Km from Kanpur railway station. Amuasi Airport, Lucknow is around 28 Km and Lucknow railway station is 55 Km from the Sanctuary. During my visit I have spotted following birds-

  1. Grey Heron
  2. Asian Openbill
  3. Laughing Dove
  4. Red eared Bulbul
  5. White throated kingfisher
  6. Bronze winged Jacana
  7. Greater Flame back
  8. Brown Capped Pygmy Woodpecker
  9. Purple Moorhen
  10. Pond Hen
  11. Spot Billed Duck
  12. Cattle Egret
  13. Little Egret
  14. Oriental White-eye
  15. Jungle Crow
  16. Purple Heron
  17. Little Cormorant
  18. Tit
  19. Plain Prinia
  20. Black Drongo
  21. White Bellied Drongo
  22. Great Indian Caucal
  23. Parakeet
  24. Grey Hornbill
  25. Yellow
  26. Brown
  27. Unidentified-1
  28. Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch
  29. Purple Sunbird

White Bellied Drongo IMG_0109 Pygmy woodpecker IMG_0125 IMG_0130 IMG_0135 IMG_0153 IMG_0175 pond heron india IMG_0206 IMG_0211 IMG_0219 IMG_0237 IMG_0249 IMG_0270 IMG_0302 Purple Heron Purple Heron-01 IMG_0393 IMG_0400 IMG_0403 IMG_0407 IMG_0444 IMG_0448 IMG_0487 IMG_0503 IMG_0508 IMG_0511 IMG_0514 Asian Openbill IMG_0085

Birding in Gwaldam

I have visited Gwaldam in Uttrakhand for birding during the first week of October 2014. The birding was done around Gwaldam particularly the forest area around SSB training Academy. Following birds have been spotted-

Scaly Breasted Munia

Pied Bushchat

Yellow Breasted Greenfinch

Black naped Monarch

Ultramine Flycatcher

One Flycatcher to be Identified

Verditer Flycatcher

Spangled Drongo

Black Drongo

White Cheeked Nuthatch

Kashmir Nuthatch

Grey Bushchat

White throated Laughingthrush

Rufous Naped Tit

Grey Cheeked or Grey Hooded Warbler

Himalayan Bulbul

Fire Capped Tit

IMG_9187-cropped IMG_9222 IMG_9226 IMG_9233 IMG_9237 IMG_9241 IMG_9247 IMG_9256 IMG_9286 IMG_9292 IMG_9299 IMG_9301 IMG_9313 IMG_9317 IMG_9318 IMG_9323 IMG_9331 IMG_9339 IMG_9366 IMG_9404 IMG_9410 IMG_9424 IMG_9446 IMG_9459 IMG_9479 IMG_9481 IMG_9482 IMG_9488 IMG_9499 IMG_9525 IMG_9533 IMG_9534 IMG_9549 IMG_9602 IMG_9610 IMG_9640 IMG_9654 IMG_9658 IMG_9740 IMG_9743 IMG_9755 IMG_9760 IMG_9761 IMG_9763 IMG_9766 IMG_9778 IMG_9781 IMG_9782 IMG_9806 IMG_9807 IMG_9814 IMG_9822 IMG_9835 IMG_9837 IMG_9838 IMG_9864 IMG_9865 IMG_9179

Trek to Gwaldam Nag Temple

Trek on 5 October 2014.
Weather was good and no heavy woolens are required.

Guide for trek is must as there are so many pathways branching out from main trek leading to villages around.

I was excited about the trek to Gwaldam Nag temple. Gwaldam Nag temple trek begins from the vicinity of SSB training academy located in Gwaldam. Gwaldam Nag trek is of around 5 KM from the road. The trek follow trail all through the forest till you reach on the top of mountain. The trek is initially steep and then moderate. As I moved into the forest there was sound of firing from the firing range of academy. On the route one can spot beautiful birds and lot of orchids and wild mushrooms. Mushroms with lot of hues and colors and one in particular looking like white coral. As I moved there was music of Small Minivtes both male and female. We stopped for a while and captured them in camera.
After trekking for half an hour we took rest for almost 15 minutes and moved forward. On the way we found some plants which are being used in Vico Vajradanti. There was a plain area which is being used for picnic. After trekking again for 15 minutes we reached on the top of hill and it was the first view of Bugyal covered with a carpet of white flowers.
From the top of hill one can have magnificent view of Trishul, Nanda devi peaks. The bugyal is clearly being used by the locals as grazing grounds. The Gwaldam Nag temple has been renovated and newly built construction under which Nag Devta is now presiding. Earlier it was only stone structure. The site is also preserved by the Archeological Survey of India. We had darshan of the Nag Devta and it was surprising to see that even in the morning someone came and lit the Jyoti in the temple.
While returning back we lost the way and went into the dense forest. After walking fr few KM there was steep slope and it was not possible to climb down. We found one way to further climb down and we found a water pipeline passing through there. It was a prudent decision to walk along the water pipeline for few KM and then we climbed up again to the Nag Mandir. Thus it was a trek of another 6 KM to climb down and climb up over a highly steep slope to reach on the top. But this trek gave a feeling of steep trek in dense forest with no trail. It was during this trek we spotted the Monal and Nutach.
Once we reached at the top we took a sigh of relief and followed the right trek to climb down. Climbing down was more difficult as usual with the surface very slipper due to green lichens grown over it. As we started the trek around 9 Am and reached back to our place at around 2:30 PM to find the lunch waiting for us.














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