Sunday, June 11, 2017

Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha, India

Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary
For nature lovers and bird watchers, Kuldiha is the perfect getaway.

Located in Balasore in Odisha, Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary is around 170 km from Kolkata. The nearest rail head Balasore, is at a distance of 30 km from Kuldiha. You may opt to go by train or road.

Kuldiha Wildlife sanctuary is home to a variety of birds. One of the best seasons to travel is summer. Kuldiha has a good population of elephants as well, and is a part of the Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve.

I am sharing pictures from Kuldiha taken by my cousin, Soma Jha, who was in Kuldiha recently.

Barking deer, Kuldiha
Peninsula rock agama,Kuldiha

Indian Pitta-Kuldiha
Emerald Dove, Kuldiha

Orange-breasted Green Pigeon-Kuldiha
Malabar Trogon-Kuldiha

Vernal Hanging Parrot-Kuldiha

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Places to see in Agartala in Tripura, India

Ujjayanta Palace, the Tripura State Museum

Our last day at Tripura was spent  visiting a few places in Agartala. As such there is not much to see in Agartala.

I found it a bit overcrowded. After spending four lovely days in the sylvan surroundings in the other districts of Tripura, Agartala was quite a contrast.

Some of the places you may want to visit while in Agartala are:

1. The Tripura State Museum (very well maintained) the royal palace (Ujjayanta Palace) has been converted into a museum. A portion of the palace is with the present day royalty and they live there.

2. The Agartala station architecture is beautiful, it is a must see.

3. Malancha, Rabindranath Tagore during his visits to Agartala lived in a house called Malancha. We were not allowed to take the road in front of the house, we were told that it was a private road and visitors were not allowed. We managed to catch a glimpse of the house from a distance.

4.Flag down ceremony that happens in the Tripura-Bangladesh border at around 4pm. It is a short ceremony of ½ hr and is worth a visit if you have time.

5.Gedu Miar Masjid , this  beautiful mosque has an interesting history. It was build by Gedu who was a Mahut turned motor mechanic. His contract to build the Agartala airport made him rich and he built this beautiful mosque using imported marbles.

6. Shankar Hotel, for food connoisseurs, especially if you are fond of fish, this hotel is a must visit. It is a very small basic eating place, but the food is excellent. They have a lot of options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians (the cuisine is Bengali). For fish lovers, the Hilsa fish in their menu is worth a try!

I am a vegetarian, so this feedback comes from my cousin who absolutely gorged on the Hilsa fish!

7. Heritage Park, we could not see the heritage park since it was closed when we went. Not really sure what it has but i understand that it is worth a visit.

This brings me to the end of my Tripura travelogue. You may want to check out the following from my Tripura travel diary.

  • Ancient temples in Udaipur, Tripura,India
  • Chobimura & Pilak in Tripura 
  • Sepahijala Wildlife Santuary, Boxanagar, and Neermahal, Tripura
  • Jampui hills in North Tripura is the highest hill range in the state
  • Unakoti in Tripura, India, is known for its amazing Rock-cut faces dating back to the 11th century

  • Here are some pictures from our last day, and 5 at Tripura. We did Agartala city on our last day.

    Agartala rail station
    Tribal statues in front of the rail station
    Entry to Agartala museum
    Ujjayanta palace museum-erstwhile royal palace
    Entrance to the museum
    Ujjayanta Palace-portion where present members of ex-royalty live
    Agartala-Dhaka-Kolkata bus passing through border
    BSF Forces getting ready for the daily flag down ceremonyal at the Bangladesh border
    Bangladesh side
    Flagdown at Agartala border
    Gedu mia's Mosque-Agartala
    Gedu mia's Mosque-Agartala
    Malancha-where Rabindranath Tagore would stay during his visit to Agartala
    Hilsa fish at Shankar hotel
    Entrance to the heritage park

    Sunday, May 7, 2017

    Ancient temples in Udaipur, Tripura,India

    A temple near Bhubaneshwari temple
    The first half of day five was spent exploring ancient temples in Tripura's Udaipur town which is around 55 km from Agartala. We had no idea that Udaipur houses such  architecturally beautiful ancient temples.

    We also came across an interesting Badar Shaheb dargah revered by all faiths.

    Udaipur used to be the capital of Tripura from 14th century to late 19th century when the capital shifted to Agartala. Before the 14th century, the capital was Kailashahar near Unokoti.

    The 2nd half of our 5th day in Tripura was in Agartala. I will take that in my next post, which will be the last post on my Tripura trip.

    I am sharing some of the pictures, taken by my cousin Soma and me, of these beautiful old temples in Udaipur.

    Tripura Sundari Temple: Locally known as Matabari, it is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Sati’s right foot fell here. Goddess Parvati is worshipped here as Tripura Sundari. This temple dates back to 1501 A.D, and was built by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya.

    Tripurasundari temple -Udaipur,Tripura
    Tripura style of achitecture butresses in the corners
    Image of Tripurasundari
    Gunabati-group-of temples

    Gunabati group of temples: This is a group of three brick temples built by queen Gunavati, wife of Govindamanikya and dates back to 1668.
    Gunabati-The temple of the left
    Gunabati-The middle one
    Gunabati-the temple on the right
    Jagannathbari-the only stone temple in Udaipur
    The Jagannath temple (Vishnu temple): Dating back to 1583, this is the only temple in Tripura built entirely of stone.This temple is in a dilapidated state now.

    Jagannath Temple, Tripura-Totally destroyed on two sides
    Man-made tank in front of this temple
    Mahadev Bari: This is a functional temple of Shiva.The temple was built by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya.

    Bhuvaneswari Temple: This temple was built in between 1667 to 1676 . Bhuvaneswari Temple used to have human sacrifice and Tagore's play Bisarjan is inspired by it (he writes against sacrifice whether human or animal)

    Mahadeb bari, Udaipur, Tripura
    Bhuvaneswari temple-Udaipur, Tripura

    Bhuvaneswari temple, Udaipur,1660
    Tagore's statue placed near this temple-his play,Bisarjan is based on this temple

    Durgabari temple
    Badar Shaheb Dargah, Udaipur, Tripura

    You may want to check out our day four at  Chobimura & Pilak in Tripura.

    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    Unusual Bas-reliefs at Chobimura & Buddhist sites at Pilak Tripura India

    Chobimura Sculptures
    Day four at Belonia: We got up pretty early and headed for the Trishna wildlife sanctuary ...however we could not get in as there were no forest guards to open the gates!

    After breakfast at the tourist lodge, we headed for a site at Pilak (around 1 hour from Belonia) where Hindu and Buddhist sites have been excavated. These date back to the 9th and 10th century. Some of the carvings are quite unusual and very well-preserved.

    The last item on the agenda for day four was Chobimura in Amarpur. I have never seen anything like this before! What a beautiful and scenic place.

    One has to take a ride on the Gomati River to see some amazing bas -relief work; beautiful sculptures cut out on the rocky faces on either side of the river! The boat ride was nice (lasted around 40 min) and the sculptures were a treat! If you are planning a trip to Tripura, Chobimura must be in your list.

    Pilak-excavation of 8 temple foundations in Thakurani Tila

    Shyamsundar mound-path to Monastery

    Shyamsundar Mound Pilak, Tripura
    Shyamsundar Mound Pilak

    Carvings Shyamsundar

    Chobimura Tripura

    Bas-relief art at Chobimura, Amarpur
    Close up of the rock-cut Sculptures

    Durga-sculpture at Chobimura

    Gomati River

    You may want to check out our day three at  Sepahijala Wildlife Santuary, Boxanagar, and Neermahal, Tripura.