Nature has a charming way of casting an enchanting spell at the most unusual places.

The ultra luxurious Leela Hotel at Udaipur was a place where I  was least expecting to be smitten by Nature.

The lovely view of the beautiful City Palace from the gardens of the Leela Hotel  across Lake Pichola at Udaipur.

the view off the city palace at udaipur
                                                The View of the City Place at Udaipur

We were sitting under an old Jamun Tree ( English: Java Plum .Scientific name: Syzygium cumini)  located in the Gardens of the Leela Hotel when a rustle in the tree made me gaze upwards.

I was awestruck as I saw four lovely eyes gazing at me. They were a spectacular and loving pair of Spotted Owlets.( Ullus in Hindi).

The Spotted Owlets ( scientific name: Athena Brahma)  had made a hollow in this tree their home and though being nocturnal kept a careful watch for intruders during the day as well .

in the jamun tree
                                                  Cuddling in the Jamun tree

The scientific name is very interesting as the Genus Athene is derived from the Greek Goddess of Wisdom  Athena. Legend has it that a Parliament ( yes a group of owls is called so)  of Owls inhabited the Temple of the Goddess Athena in Athens, Greece.

The species Brama is in honour of Lord Brahma , the learned Hindu God of Wisdom and creator of the Vedas. The logic was that the owlets were unique to India.

The Spotted Owlet ( Athene Brama) is native to the Indian Sub continent and has a total of three subspecies as well.

well hidden
                                                                       Great Camouflage

It is interesting how perspectives vary across the world. An owl is considered to be wise in the Western World , however in India the Hindi word Ullu ( Owl) is a derogatory word for an Idiot.( German: Dumbkopf)

To complicate matters further, the Owl ( or Ullu in Hindi ) is revered in Hindu Mythology as the vehicle of the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi.

There is a temple shaped liked an Owl in India ( follow my blogs to know about it)  and the ruling deity is none other than Goddess Lakshmi who was worshiped across India yesterday during the festival of lights, Diwali.

Be bewitched by the enchanting ways of Nature in this Land of myth, fables and surprises.


Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

21 thoughts on “BIRDS OF WISDOM”

  1. Two years ago there were three baby owls sitting on a ledge of the building I live in when I am in Amritapuri. One kept crying and crying. The others eventually flew away. It was my belief it was the first time they had flown. (I think the nest was in a nook just a short distance from where I saw them.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are fortunate indeed. yes we were lucky to see it in the hotel. I requested the GM there a Swiss gentlemen not to have any loud music near the tree. he was excited and showed the owls to all in the hotel and called me OWL MAN.


  2. I love the way your mind works with your camera, an alliance of intellect, art, curiosity and fun. I must thank your for the gift of your visual essays. When I was young I dreamed of making ethnographic documentaries in the mode of your essays but the technology had not yet arrived, at least for someone of my limited means. Instead, I now try to achieve some of the effects with movie reviews and here and there my snapshots from the past. — but you are truly talented.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These owls are beautiful and perfectly named; however, I was surprised, being a westerner steeped in western mythos, that owls are perceived as idiots in India. I enjoy not only your photos–the deer, lotus, owls–but also that you offer a cultural anthropologist’s synopsis. Thank you for commenting on my blog and leading me to yours. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well my YouTube video about cranberry hibiscus is on the Internet. Please take a look, and listen, using the following link:

    I cannot find my own video on YouTube, since there are so many posts; so if the link doesn’t work, try pasting it into the YouTube search bar.

    My photos are not as impressive as yours. I tried many times to photograph a bee on one of my hibiscus, but they were too fast for me! How do you do it? I feel like I am right there, when I view your amazing photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for your lovely comments. most pics i post are using a DSLR camera by NIKON. I will definetly check out the link at a later dates.
      I really do look forward to comments like yours as they push back the horizon and open new avenues of learning.


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