Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

Christmas at Bow Barracks
This Christmas I finally landed at Bow Barracks, I always wanted to visit Bow Barracks during Christmas but somehow I never made it there before.

It is not just Bow Barracks; the entire city comes alive during Christmas. It is really-really nice.

Bow Barracks is located in Central Kolkata, very close to the Bowbazar police station. The best way to reach Bow Barracks is to take the metro and get down at "Chandni" metro station. It is only 5 minutes walk to Bow Barracks from Chandni metro station.. You can't miss it during Christmas because it is lit up so well. The Barracks have been in existence since the First World War. During Christmas Bow Barracks comes alive with music, events, Santa Clause, fruit cakes, wine, merry making, and lots and lots of fun, love, and laughter.

My favourite part this Christmas was to come across a vendor who was selling home-made toffee. I had last seen such a vendor when I was perhaps 6-7 years old. I used to love these toffees because the toffee maker would make toffees in different shapes, such as, scorpions, tooth brush, flowers, watch…. I remember “the watch” used to be my favourite. For old times’ sake I got a watch toffee for myself! I had thought I would never get to see these toffees again. It was so good to relive my childhood days. My best Christmas gift!

It was a wonderful day of celebration. We had a great time soaking in the Christmas "spirit" and it made sense to end the day with a glass of home-made wine from Bow Barracks.

Bow Barracks, Kolkata
Christmas 2014

Bow Barracks
Toffee seller selling his unique creations

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Amur Falcons

Amur Falcon
A trip to Doyang-Pangti area in Nagaland in October is a must visit for anyone who wishes to witness these amazing migratory raptors. Amur Falcons are sighted in the Doyang Pangti area near Kohima in Nagaland. What is amazing about this migratory phenomenon is the sheer number of these birds. From a distance it would seem like the sky is full of insects and not birds.

Every October these Falcons can be seen migrating in large numbers over the Doyang-Pangti area near Kohima. They fly over India from Siberia and their final destination is South Africa.I am sharing photographs borrowed from Soma Jha who was there in Nagaland in October.

Because of the sheer numbers in which they migrate, the Amur Falcons become vulnerable and many of these birds do not survive this journey, not because of natural reasons, but purely because they are hunted for food. In parts of North-Eastern India, they are trapped and captured in large numbers.

However, on a positive note, there is now a fair bit of awareness about this and campaigns to protect these birds are helping in cutting down the mass hunting.

If you are interested here is a link to a very recently published article from Indian express about the conservation and protection of the Amur Falcons.

Doyang reservoir Nagaland

More Amur Falcons:)

Amur Flacons all lined up!