INDIAN COUNTRYSIDE

I have had the most Unusual , Fascinating and absolutely Enchanting time in the Indian Countryside as I campaigned for three weeks for a Political Party during the ongoing Assembly Elections in the most populous and diverse state of India, Uttar Pradesh. ( literally means Northern Region) .

The setting is an area  near the Ganges ,which is over 99% Rural consisting of close to 350 Villages.

Be Enchanted as I was with some pictures which capture the Flora & Fauna in this Agriculturally Rich Region in Northern India.

Parakeets, Mangoes and flowers  like the Lotus adorn the facade of this Beautiful Home. The Inspiration is entirely from Nature and the surroundings.

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Rural Illustrations on a Country Home

Take a deep breath, soak in the fresh air, it is the Countryside and air pollutants reside in Urban cities.

For me it was a joyous time as I soaked in the Natural Beauty as I campaigned from door to door and village to village.

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Aerial Homes of the Baya Bird

The Peepal  or Sacred Fig Tree ( English), Bodhi or Peepal ( Hindi) , Ficus religiosa ( Scientific name) in the foreground is a much revered tree across the Indian sub continent.

The tree in the backdrop is another endemic and fascinating Tree the Indian Lilac ( English), Neem  (  Hindi) Tree, Azhadirachta indica. This tree is a natural Germicide.

The little Brown Hill on the rooftop adjacent to the Temple consists of Flat cakes made from Cow Dung.

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An Ancient temple set in the midstof  Endemic Trees

The Featured Image is a typical rural scene in a Sugarcane  Field with Cattle Egret encompassing an Indian Buffalo.

Am delighted to finally reveal where I spent three weeks of my life participating in the Dance of Indian  Democracy .

Now off to Hospital and the realm of doctors , where I will dream of the Enchanting three weeks I spent in Naugawan Sadat assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

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WATCHFUL KITE

This blog  is in continuation of the previous blog titled TREE VIEW.

A fellow blogger and friend ‘Josh” had loved the Kite and so here are more Images of this Bird of Prey.

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The Chambal Ravines 
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Watchful Kite & the Open Skies
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Perched on a “Babool” Tree

Now I tire easily , the burden of an oncoming surgery are heavy on my mind and am sorry but details of The Black Kite, Babool Tree and the Infamous Chambal Dacoits will be filled in at a later date ( hopefully).

Till then readers remain Enchanted.

TREE VIEW

Am leaving you with some Images of Endemic ( Native ) trees I happened to capture during the Bird Festival held in the Chambal Sanctuary, Bah, Uttar Pradesh.

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The Path through the Ravines of the Chambal

Ficus is a large Genus of Trees and Aerial roots are a feature unique to the Genus.

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Red Berries and Aerial roots

The Peepul or Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha gained Enlightenment.

Here the Indian Honey Bees have found a wonderful home up in the midst of Tree Tops.

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A Bee Hive

A Buzzard gazes at all that passes by in his domain as he is perched on the Top of a “Desi Babool”  tree.

Be Enchanted with the images and I will return with more interesting facts on the Flora.

SHADES OF GREY

Two earlier posts SPELLBOUND and BALLS OF SUGAR reveal the location and will thus not dwell on the same.

The Grey Pelican ( English),   Pelecanus philippensis ( Scientific name)  is a major competitor to Fisherman and I can imagine they would not be entirely pleased to find it anyone close to their domain.

This Island in the midst of the Yamuna was entirely inhabited by Cormorants and four  Pelicans.

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Bird Island

Swimming in solitary splendour soaking in the breathtaking Landscape in the background as a thick Fog descends on the banks of the River Yamuna in December.

The Enchanting Grey Pelican is unique to the Indian Subcontinent and parts of South East Asia.

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The Motorcylcle and Mustard Field as backdrop

The Grey Pelican is unfortunately  a Near Threatened Species and is usually seen in Solitude or small groups.

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Swimming Ashore

I have learnt the Grey PELICAN is also called the Spot Billed Pelican, however I have no picture in which I can clearly discern the spots. I thus wonder if if I have identified the species correctly.

Yet I am happy to share the splendour of nature with all the readers across the world.

SPELLBOUND

The location is the temple village of Bateshwar,  Bah, District Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India  as mentioned in the previous blog titled Balls of Sugar.

The River is the Yamuna which flows within a mere 5 kms of the River Chambal at this point which in turn is now home to the Endangered Gharials.

I was spellbound by the beauty of the Landscape and had the pleasure of  watching an Indian Cormorant skim over the River as it competed for Fish with the Fishermen.

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Cormorant in Flight 

Mustard Fields in bloom, Silhouettes of Large trees , a foggy Winter morning and a Cormorant in Flight kept me Spellbound.

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Spellbinding Landscape and the Cormorant

The Sun filters through the Fog and the Flying  Cormorant has a Pelican for company and a new competitor for Fish as well.

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In the Company of a Pelican

The pictures say it all, need I say am Enchanted ?

 

BALLS OF SUGAR

A few kilometeres from the Enchanting Riverine Sanctuary of the Cursed River Chambal flows the River Yamuna. In sharp contrast this River is revered and thus the temple village of over 108 temples, Bateshwar ( 60 kms from the city of the Taj , Agra) ,Uttar Pradesh  lies on the banks of the Yamuna.

Mountains of White Sugar Balls can be seen decorating all the shops that lead to the Temples which dot the region in large numbers.

These act as Magnets for many a Winged Species, have a look .

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The White Sugar Mountain attracts all

The Indian Honey Bee ( English), MadhuMakhi ( Hindi), Apis cerana indica  (Scientific name) finds nectar in these White Sugar Balls or Ram Ladoos which double up as  offerings in Hindu temples.

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All in Brown

Another species with a striped Abdomen but as engrossed as it’s cousin above donned in Brown.Both belong to the Genus Apis.

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Yellow Stripes is fully Immersed in Sugar balls

The Wasp ( English), Tattaya ( Hindi)Ropalidia marginata (Scientific name) is no close cousin to the Indian Honey Bee but finds common cause in these Balls of Sugar.

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Yellow Jacket

We were are all engrossed, Winged Insects, Bees & Wasps in the Balls of Sugar and the cameraman with them.

Enchanting I would say, do you agree ?

FOUR RED HEADS

The Wetlands near Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India are probably the last Bastion where these extremely Large and Outstanding Red Headed Cranes  are found in large numbers.

A flock or family  of  Sarus Crane ( Scientific Name Grus antigone) seen in flight over the Wetlands in an area irrigated by the Rivers Yamuna and Chambal.

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Goats and Cranes

The Sarus Cranes are the Tallest Flying Birds on Planet Earth and native to the Indian subcontinent.

The Wetlands are gradually being eroded and precious Habitat is being lost to Agricultural lands bearing Sugarcane.( can be seen in the backdrop in the picture below).

Soon this family of Four may not have a Home to return to ??

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Four Sarus Cranes over the Wetlands

As flocks of different species hover in the skies above , I wonder how one would react if you see your home shrinking with every Setting Sun.

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Returning to a shrinking Home

Do read earlier blogs like URBAN FORESTS ( for close ups of this bird) , WETLANDS & STORKS IN FLIGHT as well to be truly Enchanted.