The Banks of the Cursed River Chambal is home to many inhabitants one of which you can see smiling in the Featured Image above. ( reading earlier blogs like the BIRD FESTIVAL , CROCODILES IN THE CHAMBAL and THE RIVER CURSED will give you a better insight on the region and fables of the river )
These Critically Endangered Red-crowned Roofed Turtles ( Scientific name Batagur kachuga) come out of the Cool River to bask in the Winter Sun.
Unique to South Asia and now protected in this section of the Chambal River ,this freshwater turtle is a rare sight and I realize only now how fortunate I was to spot it.
The Sound of the Boat probably sends this one scurrying up the muddy River Banks .
Finding a peaceful Spot in a Private Garden this Turtle reflects upon the year nearly gone and the Onset of The New Year.
The Earth Rests on the Kachua (Hindi name of Turtle) as per Hindu Mythology and it is ironical that the very foundation of our planet ( the turtle) is now Critically Endangered, not a sign of good tidings.( do see an earlier blog PROOF IN BLACK wherein I have posted a picture of a Turtle in Black Stone in a Lord Shiva temple near Pune)
Wishing a Year Full of Happiness and Never Ending Smiles to all who have read , are reading and will read “Enchanted Forests”.
BIRDS & THE NUMBER THREE is an earlier blog which unravels the frequent movement between three locations , all of which are located on the banks of Rivers.
The Chambal River Sanctuary was the site selected for a Bird Festival ( do check out a blog so titled) and the pictures that follow were a result of a Boat Safari during the days of the Festival .
Deadly Dacoits once infested this region which spans a vast region between three states of Northern India.
The Chambal Region near Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India is well known for its Mud Ravines which can be seen in the picture below as they descend on the banks of the River Chambal. ( do read the series on THE RIVER CURSED to know about the river).
On a closer look at the muddy embankments you can discern numerous caves or holes , some of which have an untidy assembly of dried twigs and branches.
The soft muddy ravines are relatively easy to burrow into and were once homes to Dacoits as well.
It was the watchful eye of the Boatman who pointed out the deadly tail of a baby Crocodile as it was entering one such Cave.Am sure you can spot the Baby Croc in the picture below ?
The Mother Crocodile lurks close by in the Lush green and keeps a careful eye so no harm crosses the Path of it’s Brood.
The featured image is a Zoom in to show the deadly Teeth of this Stealthy and Versatile Predator which rules the Chambal River.
WATER IS LIFE ( the previous blog) was on the revered River Kaveri , but the title holds true for the diverse and Enchanting Life seen in the Chambal River as well.
I had left the Mysteryhanging in the air in the previous blog titled HANGING BASKETS IN KASHI , this post is an attempt to shed light on an Enchanting Festival held ONLY in Kashi ( alias Varanasi) .
These lovely hanging baskets are raised and lowered by the means of a rope you see in the picture below. The baskets contain Oil lamps which are lit up , placed in the Basket and then raised up by the Ropes on the occasion of DEV DIWALI.
DEV DIWALI or the “Festival of Lightsof the Gods” is a celebration by the Gods who descend to the banks of The Ganges at Varanasi on a FULL MOON night exactly two weeks after DIWALI (much like CHRISTMAS) is celebrated by mere Mortals like us across India.
The Supermoon seen alongwith Prayer bells on the banks of The Ganges on Dev Diwali.
Thousands of Baskets containing Oil Lamps are suspended in Air whereas the entire length of the steps or ghats that line the Ganges at Varanasi are lit up with millions of tiny terracotta lamps.
The hands of the lady clad in traditional clothes are soaked in Ghee ( oil) which fuels the Cotton Wicks.
It is a fascinating sight to see many miles of these Ghats or Steps, Lit up by traditional Oil lamps ( no electricity is used), have a look at a tiny section of the Ghats in the following picture.
Picture was taken from a Boat on the Ganges.
Enchanting and Beautiful Ancient traditions followed for thousands of Years in Kashi as the people emulate the Gods in Lighting up the Skies.
This is a blog where you can glimpse three memorable locations through the eyes of our Feathered Friends.
This post is the merger of Three Rivers, three locations, three Birds , Three festivals & the Hunt for Food.
The picture below of a House Crow is from the Banks of The River Kaveri at the Sree Nimishimbha Temple near Srirangapatnam, Karnataka. ( an earlier blog titled Naturally Magnificent reveals more on the location).
I was here during the Navratra festivities and it was with similar rice the Crow eyes in the picture below that I broke my Nine day fast.
The Bird Festival ( an earlier post is also titled Bird Festival, please do look it up) was held in the Chambal River Sanctuary at a time when a thick fog had encapsulated the region.( see the picture below)
Brave Cormorants hunt for fish competing with the Gharials which inhabit this part of the Chambal River. ( do read previous blogs on the river)
The featured image was taken from the vicinity of the Assi ghat at Kashi on the banks of the river Ganges during the Deep Diwali festival.( do read a post on THE SUPERMOON and this lovely festival)
The Heron is sitting on a thick Rope to which the Boat is tethered in the quest for breakfast . I spotted this lovely sight as the Rising Sun turned the Ganges Crimson on the morning of THE INVOLUNTARY DIP at KASHI.( do read an earlier post so titled)
Is it not fascinating and Enchanting how these wonderful locations are tied up with Birds taking centre stage.
This post is a Curtain raiser to a wonderful treat, my first BIRD FESTIVAL in the heartland of what is termed as DACOIT LANDnear ( 60 kms) the Taj Mahal, Agra , Uttar Pradesh, India.
It is also a curious and coincidental mix and blend of various threads that are linked to the ongoing series of Blogs both of which are on the banks of much revered and Holy rivers namely THE RIVER KAVERI ( do see the blog titled NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL) and THE GANGES.( Kashi on the banks of the Ganges is the common thread in the ongoing blogs that commenced with BLISS IN KASHI)
The Chambal Bird Festival on the other hand is held in close proximity to the RIVER CHAMBAL which bears the burden of many a curse.( a series of blogs such as A RIVER CURSED tell the tales from the past)
The Featured Image highlights the key aspects I experienced in my maiden experience at an International Bird festival. Dense FOG ( the picture captures the same) , a gorgeous untouched Rural Countryside ( see the Sheep/Goats and the Hay Stack) and the Wetlands ( providing a Natural habitat to many Species of Birds) . A Purple Heron (Scientific name Ardea purpurea) and Black winged Stilt ( Scientific Name Himantopus himantopus ) can be identified through the layers of Mist and Fog.
Highly acclaimed International Speakers from across the Globe shared their knowledge and experiences in specially constructed Tents.
Documentaries unveiled tales of Environmental victories and how focused Individuals can make a difference.
There are so many pictures to share and stories to tell as I ventured out of New Delhi without any prior bookings and a hastily assembled last minute travel plan.
What an Enchanting and exciting experience, hold on as I tell you the tales of the Lands that lie on three Indian Rivers.