Wetlands are a remarkable natural  Habitat for Birds and this region near the Chambal River Sanctuary ( location of The Bird Festival)  and in close proximity to the township of  Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, India  is no exception.

The Rural countryside is peppered with tiny lakes and water bodies which lie in the midst of fertile agricultural lands.

The featured image is a silhouette of a Painted Stork seen through the foggy twigs of a Tree at a time when the Sun was about to set over the Wetlands of Etawah.

The brightly headed Rosy Wood Ibis or Painted Stork ( Scientific Name  Mycteria leucocephala  ) in colour.

Painted Stork

The Wetlands  and Agricultural fields can be viewed in the picture below just as a Woolly Necked Stork  ( Scientific name Ciconia episcopus  flies above .

The Wetlands

A pair of Indian White Necked Storks or Bishop Storks ( Scientific name Ciconia episcopus )  return home as the Sun Sets and a Misty Fog ,fueled by agricultural Bonfires, descends over the Region.

A Pair

Both the Storks in the pictures above are fairly large sized Birds and find the Wetlands an Enchanting Habitat in which they co exist with several other species including the Sarus Crane mentioned in preceding blogs.

Unfortunately such Natural Habitats are increasingly threatened by the Expanding Numbers & Greed of Humanity.




Pictures of the endangered Gharial are from the Chambal River Sanctuary near Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

All seems quiet calm and safe on first glance, is it not?

Serene & Calm Chambal

Yet below the surface lurk deadly predators.

In Stealth they Prevail

The Gharials  are however health conscious and abhor red meat , fish being their staple diet.

Fangs on Display

The Signature beak like snout is the Unique distinguishing characteristic of these Gharials, now under threat of being History and hence protected in this Riverine Sanctuary.


The Ruddy Shelduck or Brahminy Ducks are migratory visitors from the colder North  to the warmer  Indian Subcontinent.

This protected stretch in the Chambal River Sanctuary provides these visitors a safe haven from humanity but are also home to Crocodiles ( do look up an earlier blog titled CROCODILES IN CHAMBAL ) , Gharials and Turtles ( do see the blog TURTLE SMILES ).

Yellow Mustard flowers line the banks of the cursed River Chambal ( an earlier blog titled A RIVER CURSED gives details), now home to many endangered species of Fauna.

The River Chambal 

Basking in the Winter Sun on the banks of the River Chambal are a pair of Ruddy Shelducks ( Scientific name  Tadorna ferruginea), a Cormorant ( with wings widespread in black)  and a Lapwing.

Unknown to these innocent European visitors are carnivorous Crocodiles which lurk below the seemingly serene River waters.

Three Species

The Ruddy Shelducks pair for life and the slightly smaller Duck on the left is the Female whereas the Male is on the right in the picture below.

Males are supposed to have a distinctive black collar around neck, which is however not distinguishable in any of the pictures in this post.”Maybe this gentleman has a free mind and thus without a collar.” ( wink)

Bonding for Life

Am always eager to discover the Enchanting facts about Flora & Fauna especially after I photograph them in the Wild.


The Keshava Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu at Somnathpura, Karnataka, India dates to the year 1100 AD .( earlier posts like WATER IS LIFE & ROLLER PILLARS will provide more details on this spectacular temple)

An Enormous Tree provides a wonderful backdrop to the Signature Mast which stands tall near the main entrance to the Keshava Temple.

These Masts are Unique to all temples in Southern India.

Mast & Tree

This 100 year old  Mast resembling the Ashoka Pillars is nearly as tall as this Enormous Tree but the vast area the Tree covers, as can be seen in the picture below, leaves you breathless.

The Tree

This Red Letter Box adorns this Lovely Tree.

You can the walls of the main temple in the background.

Post a Letter to the Gods

Enchanting is it not what we miss when we visit Historical sites ?


These Wetlands  are home to the Sarus Cranes and the embattled Ruling Family of Uttar Pradesh as well. ( but we are not discussing politics here are we ?) . Yet (and maybe it is a prophesy of the times to come )  the camera captures The Setting Sun in the region near Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The Bird Festival ( do read up an earlier post by the same title) held in the Chambal River Sanctuary  ( previous blogs such as CROCODILES IN THE CHAMBAL would be interesting to read)  and a desire to watch the Sarus Cranes in their largest natural habitat helped me capture some images of the Setting Sun in these Wetlands.

You can see some Birders and their Vehicles  lined up in the picture below as well.

The Setting Sun in the Wetlands

As the Sun Sets, a mist descends on the Wetlands and the Enchanting Sarus Cranes ( Scientific name Grus antigone ) know it is time to head home.

I recall with some nostalgia that one of my very  first blogs ( titled URBAN FORESTS and posted in July 2015 )  was on  the Sarus Cranes, which   I had seen Nesting  in a wetland near New Delhi. These wetlands near Delhi are now unfortunately and gradually being replaced by Skyscrapers.

Bon Voyage

As Night looms large the landscape dramatically changes colour as well.

The tiny birds like the Warblers and Larks turn Invisible in the midst of the Reeds and other Flora as darkness envelopes the landscape.

Night Looms Large over the Wetlands

It was a spectacular show of nearly 80 ( eighty) Sarus Cranes that evening and I hope their Habitat is protected so the graceful and beautiful  Sarus Cranes do not fade with the Setting Sun.



“Celebrating 2017” ( an earlier post)  by seeing the Lush Green Trees that surround all the Gates that lead to  The Mysore Palace in Karanataka, India.

The Jumbo Gate  ( do have a peek into the previous post by this title) is  set in a World of Green . Seen from within the Palace grounds during The Dusshera Celebrations held in October 2016.

 The Jumbo Gate set in Green Surroundings

The Angel Gates giving a glimpse of the Main Palace Building are guarded by two Coconut Trees.

Palace Gate & Coconut Trees

Lord Krishna, the cowherd ,Crowns the Ticketing Gate through which the Gopurams ( large doorways)  of the Temples within the Palace Grounds can be seen in the picture below.

The Cow Herd is Surrounded by Trees

Lord Krishna plays the Flute while standing atop the head of a Multi-headed Serpent.

I can only see a World of Green through the palatial Krishna Gate which was reserved for High ranking Officials during the Dusshera Festival while mere mortals like us battled their way in. ( the featured image shows the  minor gate through which mere mortals enter during the festival)

All is Green through the Krishna Gate

Ancient Trees tell of a glorious  past  as they survive the turmoils of history under the protection of the King within the Palace Grounds in Mysore.


“CELEBRATING 2017” was my previous blog in which I had given a glimpse of the much celebrated Jumbos and the Mysore Palace in Karnataka, India.

I continue the Jumbo celebrations of Mysore on this 3rd day of January 2017.

“Be Enchanted”.

Elephant Gate of the Mysore Palace

As I drew up closer to the Elephant Gate I glimpsed, through the Palatial Gates,  that the much celebrated Jumbos were being carted home on Trucks.( have a look at the featured image).

The Orange flowers in the foreground are Marigolds ,about which you can read in a previous blog titled AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS.

Jumbos seen through The Elephant Gate

The entire Mysore Palace is covered in Lights ( and the Elephant  Gates is no exception)  for the Jumbo Celebrations of Dusshera held annually .

Wonderful Trophies of Elephants in Stone on either side of The Elephant Gate, have a look at one keeping me an Eyeful.

Eyeing the Camera Man ?

Remain on board as we continue from where we left the threads of THE THREE RIVERS in “2016″.


Sharing Celebrations from The Shores of The River Ganges during Dev Diwali.


The Grand Dusshera Festival in the Mysore Palace in Karnataka near the River Kaveri.( the Ganges of Southern India) 


Of course you will get to read more on Enchanting Celebrations as the World Welcomes 2017.

Happy New Year 2017.


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.

Sun Bathing

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 .

Uphill Climb

Finding a peaceful Spot in a Private Garden this Turtle reflects upon the year nearly gone and the Onset of The New Year.

Comfortable Spot brings on the Smile

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”.

Happy New Year 2017.


I had given a mere glimpse of this incredible and relatively unknown beauty set in Rural Karnataka near Mysore in India in an earlier blog titled WATER IS LIFE.

This is the region irrigated by the Mythical and Revered River of Southern India, River Kaveri.

Behold and see Nature set in Stone in The Keshava Temple , Somnathapura, Karnataka, India.

Ancient Majesty

The Signature Architecture of the Hoysala Dynasty who ruled over 1200 years ago, are the Rolling Pillars you see in the picture below.

Rolling Pillars 

Nature set in Stone surrounds each deity of the temple both inside and outside.

Nature in Stone

Do observe the rich greenery including the Sky reaching Coconut Trees that encompass this overpowering and magical temple set  in Stone.