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Sunday 27 September 2020


– A Tranquil, Soothing Time On The Paradise Island

Just like Goa, the French styled city of Pondicherry too is known for its pristine and crystal-clear beaches. But one does not see the same jostling crowds on its golden white sands and beaches.

Therefore, a visit to Paradise Island should not be missed if you want to forget the world. The beach is in fact, located right at the mouth of the Chunnambar backwaters. This place is considered a paradise as it is flanked by a creek on one side and dark mangroves on the other side.

View from ferry
View from ferry


– The Amazing Ride On The Chunnambar Backwaters

There is something magical when one goes on a winding journey from a river to the endless expanse of a sea. Traveling in a steamer and enjoying the windy, choppy journey, I ask you to visualize my thrilling experience in just three minutes. It is not just the Arabian Sea but even on the Bay of Bengal and the eastern coast of India, one gets such moments to take up such escapades once in a while. 

 As we were winding up our visit to Pondicherry,  Loganathan, our guide-cum-driver who took us to most of the sights in this old French colonial town, was insistent that we should not miss this incredible experience. Although we had hardly any time at our disposal since we were taking the night bus back to Bengaluru, he dropped us off at the Chunnambar Boat office by 3 pm. I was already exhausted as it was a hot Tuesday afternoon and pretty sticky and sweltering even in the month of January.

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Tungabhadra Backwaters

- A Home Away From Home For Winter Visitors

Thank you for joining me from Part I.

A couple of young guys announced that the boat was ready. I looked around and did not see anything. Then they asked us to leave our footwear and walk up to the boat. It was just getting more and more curious. 

As we walked, the ground looked deceptively dry and cracked from the lack of moisture. One step in and the underlying clay announced its presence in the most slippery way. Slipping and sliding along we reached the boat. This was no place to make a splash in life. 

The multipurpose boat was used for both fishing and birding. I was not even remotely mentally prepared for this kind of ride. As five of us sat balanced on the rim, hanging on to the boat and the camera was quite a challenge. There were no life jackets and while others boasted about their swimming skills, I held on tighter to the rim.  Even as flocks and flocks of spoonbills, openbills, ibis, terns and ducks flew by, there was little I could do other than gawk.

Ibis and terns flying together
Ibis and terns flying together

Tungabhadra Backwaters

- A Winter Paradise for Birds 

Earlier in the Otter story, I had spoken about the morning adventure in Tungabhadra backwaters.This, in an attempt to see the long-legged beauties that come to these backwaters for some lodging and boarding during the winter months.Yes, the flamingos.  

I had been harping about seeing these birds forever. Pompayya Sir had put together a fine little itinerary for the day to ensure that I would not have to leave without seeing them during this visit.The day started pretty early, still not bright outside as we drove towards Ankasamudra for a brief stop. Any bird lover in and around Karnataka would be well aware of the haven this place is for birds from all over.

We were there to meet Vijay Ittigi and Raju, who were among the key players in getting this place declared as a bird sanctuary. Since most newspapers have that story, I'll just stick to my experience here. Most of which was fascinating enough for me to keep scooping my jaw off the floor.

Pelicans at Ankasamudra
Pelicans at  Ankasamudra

Monday 14 September 2020

Prayagraj – The Gutsy Siberian Seagulls At The Sangam

Their sounds and numbers make their distinctive presence and lifts the very mood of a person visiting Prayagraj. If people throng and crowd the Triveni Sangam every year from across the world - not to be left behind, the gusty seagulls from Siberia come calling for their winter halt in Prayagraj, the holiest city of India.

Prayagraj : A Confluence Of Himalayan Rivers

For once in my life, I was pretty excited as I was going with a group of friends and relatives to one of the holiest cities in India, Prayagraj. Although my visit had nothing to do with anything holy, I had always wanted to see the Yamuna as she is here a major partner compared to the Ganga. Although everyone dissuaded me not to travel during the Ardh Kumb time, my mind was made up and I was pretty curious to see the biggest gathering of humans in one city, therefore, nothing could stop me, cholera or the crowds.