My First Impressions of New York City

31 Aug

New York City (NYC)… If anyone asks me to describe NYC in one word, frankly I will be quite lost for words…

When I first arrived in the city, I was exhausted after a 16 hours flight, jet lagged and convinced that it’s just another big concrete jungle. But within a few minutes here I was caught-up in its magic and totally charmed by its sights. Armed with my friend, Archi’s list of suggestions (a perfect guide for any NYC debutante) I walked all around Manhattan to discover the un-discovered! And I was soon caught-up in a magical web of different experiences that are unique and somethings that I would have never associated with NYC.

Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge, New York

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Planning Guide – for a trip to Kanha National Park

10 Aug

A friend once told to me that “jungles are an addiction” and I thought to myself, “that is just impossible”. Many material things can be an addiction, but jungles – no way. Little did I know then that one trip to Kanha would prove me completely wrong. And if you also think like I did, then its time you plan a trip to this amazing jungle. Below is a quick planning guide to help you find your way -

Introduction to Kanha National Park -

Kanha  is one of the biggest national parks and a tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, India. By definition, a national park is a  reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns and uses for conservation purposes. Although each country has their own ways of classifying parks as national parks, the common idea always is – conservation of wild nature for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. Per wikipedia, we have a total of 166 authorised national parks in India and there are quite a few more national parks that have been proposed by the state governments and awaiting approval.

Drive through trees

Drive through trees

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Tracking a Tiger in the Jungle

19 Jul

Unlike in a zoo, a tiger sighting in a jungle safari is never assured or guaranteed, as it all depends on where the tiger is at that point in time. And the movement of the tiger is dependent on numerous factors such as – low tiger density, the area the tiger has to roam around in is vast and only specific limited areas are open for public (the tiger has to be where you are), the weather (in rains they retreat deeper into the forests), the topography (can’t see them amidst dense forests), your luck (even during the same safari some see the tiger and some people don’t), etc etc.

The walk of a 3 year old grown up cub, Kanha National Park

The walk of a 3 year old grown up cub, Kanha National Park

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Photo Essay – Nature’s Canvas, Landscape of Kanha National Park

13 Jul

A trip to Kanha is like traveling to a nature lovers’ paradise with beautiful sights and sounds for your senses and your soul – every second of the drive opens up newer and beautiful vistas before you, gorgeous birds fly all around and their music is like peace for some part of your inner being and the animals of Kanha provide valuable lessons that we humans definitely need to learn.

But this post today is dedicated to the landscapes of  Kanha; that surely transports you into an alternate world where nature seems to have unleashed its creative juices and created a magnificent canvas with various elements from nature. And for my post today, I have decided to post a photo essay by combining the beauty of this landscape with some of my favourite quotes. Enjoy.

“There is always music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”
― Minnie Aumonier
Drive through trees

Drive through endless green Sal trees

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Quick Postcard from Kanha – Fruits for Sindoor (Vermilion)

3 Jul

Visiting any new place is like a tour down an unknown lane of discovery, discoveries both big and small. My latest discovery was this local sindoor or vermilion that we saw in Madhya Pradesh. Sindoor is an integral part of the Indian culture and I have always seen my mom wear it. But for me sindoor was red powder in a box that always around. I never thought of how it was made or where it came from. Until recently when I saw this tree in Kanha that was used to make sindoor by the local tribal women. 

Flower

The Flowers and the Fruit used to make sindoor

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Photo Essay – Birds of Kanha National Park

29 Jun

Kanha National Park is best known for its tiger population and the tiger sightings. But on my trip I discovered that it’s also a bird watcher’s and a photographers paradise. We had numerous sightings of some beautiful birds (both the common and the not so common) but I was able to capture just a few through the lens of my camera. And sharing the ones caught with you below -

Shikra Bird – These are hunting birds that prey on other birds. The males have a red iris while the females have a yellow iris and they can hunt birds as large as themselves.

Shikra Bird, Male with a red iris.

Shikra Bird, Male with a red iris

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Up in the Air with Red Ants and their woven leaf nests

28 Jun

Ants live in cracks (in cavities of anything – walls, plants, etc), Ants live in hills (ant hills),

But ever heard of ants living in a nest in trees?

Tree / Weaver Ants, Kanha National Park

 

I had not, but met with these tree / weaver ants in our resort, The Baagh in Kanha. We were out for a walk when we saw these large funny balls of leaves hanging on trees with numerous red colored ants all over it. Our guide then introduced us to these remarkable creatures that live in large colonies in leaf nests hanging on trees and display a unique nest-building behaviour – where worker ants construct nests by sewing leaves together using larval silk.

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