Saturday, March 29, 2014

Birds in Ravangla, Sikkim, India

Fire tailed sunbird
Nature fascinates me, the more time I spend in natural surroundings, the more I want it.

The beauty, colours, sounds, the sylvan surroundings, and the serenity that nature offers is so blissful, refreshing, and fulfilling. Nothing can quite replace this feeling.

Here is the next lot of bird pictures from Ravangla.
Photo credits: Soma Jha

Barred Cuckoo Dove
Black Bulbul

Black lored Tit
Black throated Thrush

Chestnut bellied Nuthatch
Great Barbet

Hodgson's Redstart
Orange bellied Leafbird

Rufous breasted Bush Robin
Spangled Drongo

Oriental Magpie Robin
White tailed Nuthatch

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ravangla in Sikkim is a must visit for bird watchers

Chestnut crowned laughing thrush
Ravangla in South Sikkim is a popular tourist destination not only because of its scenic beauty, but also because of the variety of birds that can be spotted there. Ravangla happens to be a great destination for avid birdwatchers. Some of the many birds that you can spot at Ravangla are Chestnut crowned laughing thrush, Common green magpie, Crested kingfisher, Golden throated barbet,...

Situated at an altitude of 7000 ft, Ravangla is easily accessible by road from NJP (Rail head) and Bagdogra (Airport).

By train: The nearest rail head is NJP. Ravangla is around 130 kms from NJP. You can hire a car after reaching NJP or ask your hotel to book a car for you.

By Air: From Bagdogra airport, Ravangla is another 140 kms.

These bird pictures have been taken by Soma Jha. I love the colours!

Asian Barred Owlet
Blue Winged Minla

Common Green Magpie
Crested Kingfisher

Golden Throated Barbet
Green Backed Tit

Hoary Throated Barwing
Slaty Backed Forktail

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy "Holi" day ; the spring time of our lives!

Happy Holi!

This ancient Indian festival that celebrates the beginning of spring, harmony, love, and forgiveness, has made inroads into hearts of people all over the world. This festival of colour is celebrated by people from all walks of life and that in my mind is the best thing about any festival, a festival that brings joy to everyone!
Holi is all about colours because it marks the beginning of spring. Holi means bringing colour (joy) in our lives and letting go of darkness (sadness). Derived from the word "Holika", Holi is all about celebrating the goodness in everything.

The celebrations begin from the night before Holi, a bonfire is lit,  signifying the burning of evil (Holika) and the victory of good. People gather around the bonfire, snack on roasted peanuts and sesame laddus (sweet)  and have great fun bonding with family and friends during this time.

I wish this Holi brings abundance of joy, well-being, success, good health, and most of all, love, and peace into all of our lives. Have a wonderful "Holi"day.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kalibangan: One of the most ancient sites in India, Part II

Items from Kalibangan site
In continuation to my earlier post on Kalibangan, here are some more old pictures of the pre-harappan and harappan site from the Archaeological museum in Kalibangan, Rajasthan, India.
Picture of the original site
after excavation at the museum
Picture of the original site
after excavation at the museum

Picture of the original Kalibangan site
after excavation at the museum
Picture of the original site

Picture of the original site

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kalibangan: One of the most ancient sites in India

Terracotta Bullock Cart
Kalibangan in Rajasthan, India, is the site of one of the most ancient civilizations in India.

Dated even before the Harappan culture, this site in Kalibangan is perhaps one of the earliest proof of ancient civilization in India. A settlement dating back to pre-harappan and Harappan civilization was unearthed way back in 1962 by Dr. A Ghosh of ASI, in
Kalibangan in the Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. Kalibangan happens to be one of the major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization that was in existence around 2400-2250 BC.

After completing the excavations, it was established that there were two settlements Pre-Harappan (2400-2250 BC) and Harappan civilization from 2200 -1700 BC. The archaeological museum in Kalibangan has many interesting items recovered during excavations. These pictures are from the Archaeological museum.

How to reach Kalibangan?

The nearest railway station is in Bikaner, Rajasthan. You can hire a car or drive to Kalibangan from Delhi; it will take you around 7 hours (380 kms).

When I see these items it makes me feel like... the users of these items died thousands of years back, and yet these items have survived... pretty jewellery, bangles, toys...a whole civilization of people, their way of life, long gone,... or maybe not.

In my next post on Kalibangan, I will post more pictures from the current site. Photo credit: Soma Jha.

Archaeological Museum in

Terracotta Pottery
Terracotta Pot

Different types of bricks
and religious items
Terracotta Dice

Ancient Terracotta jewellery
Ancient beaded jewellery

Ancient jewellery made
out of stones
Terracotta bangles