Maulana Azad Museum (and Institute)
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was a Muslim scholar and leader of India's independence movement. He supported the Caliphal movement (and jihad against the British) but then he strongly preached non-violence. As I learned from Mushiral Hasan who has written & spoke about him at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, partition broke his heart, but he served as the first Minister of Education in the newly independent government.
I gave a paper at a conference on Trajectories of Modern islam at the MAKAIAS and then visited his home which has been turned into a museum and we saw a performance - apparently rather poetic and satirical in Urdu.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
The café is open for outside guests and soon I want to take the kids to the bowling alley. Getting out in the beauty of nature is the real attraction here. I saw a kind of King Fisher bird I have not seen before.
39 hours among 49 thousand storks
The overnight bus from Calcutta travels a little more than 400 kilometers to drop us at Raiganj, in North Dinajpur. A fifteen minutes ride on cycle-rickshaws lead us to the Kulik Bird Sanctuary. On our way we meet our first Asian Openbilled Stork, a lone glider above the Kulik River.
Later, from the guesthouse we look at trees laden with thousands of nesting storks. Last years census records declare 49,000+. These large white birds with black wingtips and tails derive their name from their bills which always remain open in the middle, probably a tool for breaking open mussels and snails.
Inside the sanctuary a meandering river is lined up with small trees bending down with birds and nests. Besides Openbilled Storks, we find glistening black Little Cormorants, Median Egrets in breeding plumes, and slate blue Night Herons. The forest floor is strewn with feathers, droppings and broken eggs which attract ants and other insects. A monitor lizard, scurries over dead leaves.
Before sundown we cruise the river on a dinghy (manual boat). White-throated Kingfishers bob on transmission lines. Pied kingfishers hover and dive-bomb. At a bend of the river we find flocks of Openbilled Storks catching mussels and deftly prying them open for a tasty morsel.
The next morning we venture into the woods, on the opposite side of the sanctuary. Red capped Babblers flit around. Spotted Doves coo softly into the misty morning air. A Jungle Crow calls out in deep bass. Pond Herons scuttle around water lilies in the marsh. A Blue-throated Barbet keeps repeating, ‘Kuturruk, Kuturruk!’
Back at the guesthouse, we climb up to the terrace to watch the storks; courting and nest-building. Looking up at the sky, we find thousands of them riding in circles on ascending thermals (hot air currents).
At nightfall a full moon pops up behind the trees, silhouetting the roosting storks. Trucks rumble on the highway. Crickets sing in choir. The enigma of night descends slowly on Kulik. We pack up to be in time for the night bus.
- Road Trip
Definitely spend a day in North Calcutta - home of the Babu's. Many interesting sights on Chitpur Road. A second must in Entally below Sealdah Station.
Bandel, view at the Ganges
In Bandel are beautifull views at the Ganges river. There is a lot of green along the river.
We enjoyed the rustic and peaceful atmosphere of this area, just a few KMs north of city Calcutta.
Bandel, shield of the church
The church of Bandel is decorated with a shield "Shrine Basilica Bandel 1599''.
So if you don't know which church you are visiting -I couldn' t find anything in my guide-book- the shield helps you.
Bandel, view from the church.
From the tower of the church of Bandel you have a nice view at the lifely streets of Bandel.
In the streets a lot of rickshaws were waiting for new customers.
Bandel, old mosque
After our visit to the church in Bandel we visited also the old mosque.
The mosque has a very nice decorated inner court with a peaceful atmosphere.
Chandernagore, at the riverside
In Chandernagore we saw lovely small buildings at the riverside.
These places are very favourite. The local people liked to visit and to sit here for some time with a nice view at the river.
Chandernagore, view at the river
In Chandernagore there are very beautifull riverviews. The atmosphere is very peaceful.
The small buildings at the riverside are very inviting to stay there for a while.
A Bengali Marriage Ceremony-Part-II
Bengali marriage is an elaborate affair. It takes almost 3 days to complete the Bengali Hindu rituals.
St. Pauls Cathedral
couldnt resist clicking one of this guy who was dozing at this interesting spot...
- Business Travel
- Historical Travel
Dakhineswer Temple is about 30...
Dakhineswer Temple is about 30 kilometers north of Calcutta, but a long 2 hour drive up the congested Trunk Road
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