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Old 5th January 2016, 23:15   #1
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Default In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Happy New Year 2016 to all! Wish everyone a fine year ahead.

This is my first attempt at writing a travelogue. Please bear with me.

Some of you might be familiar with TooFun, our Ford Classic 1.6 who recently turned 8 months old. You can read her story here. (My 2015 Ford Classic 1.6 Titanium)
Ever since she came to us, we have been doing short trips a lot more than what we actually did earlier. On the other hand, the biking trips with Dad have increased quite a bit.

My Dad loves spotting and photographing birds. He has this hobby since quite some time now. We first visited Purbasthali in January last year. That day left a mark on the three of us, my Dad, my Mom and me.

It was Christmas time but busy schedules had kept us from planning a trip somewhere. Something had to be done though-- at least a one day trip. TooFun was simply bored sitting in the garage.

That's when the mega news came. Migratory birds had landed on Purbasthali, also known as "Chupir Chor." My Dad's first reaction after hearing this was: "When do we start?" An impromptu plan was chalked out to visit Purbasthali the next day. My cousin decided to tag along and so it was the four of us along with TooFun.

Before I start off, here are some facts that'd give you an idea about the place that we went to.
  • Purbasthali, or Chupir Char, is an oxbow lake created by the great river Ganges.
  • It is near the town of Nabadwip, which attracts holy people.
  • To give you an idea, its about 120kms away from Kolkata.
  • The area of the lake is approx. 3.5 km square.
  • This place attracts a lot of migratory birds every year, making this an ideal place for apiary enthusiasts.
  • Locals practise fishing in this lake.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-opening-pic.jpg
(Pic credits: Dad)

What is an oxbow lake?

Quote:
An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. This landform is so named for its distinctive curved shape, resembling the bow pin of an oxbow.
Source

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 22nd January 2016 at 23:56.
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Old 14th January 2016, 23:36   #2
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Default re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

It is about 60kms from our place. We took the Bardhaman-Nabadweep road and took a left turn at Hematpur. There is an alternate route too but this one was the more convenient of the two for us. Traffic is unruly and most of thee times, the average speed loitered around 60-80km/h. There are great sceneries on the way though and you can just stand there all day admiring how beautiful nature is. Road conditions aren't something that I'd write home about. They were average for the most part, but some stretches were really bad. Make no mistake though, because a drive through this route is still very, very enjoyable.

The plan was to leave home by 7'o clock in morning. But we being the lazy fellows that we are, it was almost 7:45 when we left Burdwan and set out for our one day trip. There we were, the four of us, peacefully rolling with the windows down, listening the birds chirp, seeing the people waking up, and singing our hearts out while we're at it.

And...it wasn't too long before TooFun started to beg for clicking her pictures. I obliged, but waited for the perfect place and lighting conditions.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-toofun.jpg
[Canon EOS 1100D+18-55mm]

Some beautiful sections of road tempted us to take it easy.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7151.jpg

Another integral part of travelling is of meeting new people. We had an engaging conversation with this guy who lived quite close and had come to collect leaves. He is a student of 6th grade, studying in a government school. We gave him a cup cake and the smile which he had on his face made our journey even sweeter.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7144.jpg

We had made it sure to carry ample amount of snacks and water to last us the whole day.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7148.jpg
Just before reaching Purbasthali, we found a locality named Parulia Bazar. It was indeed a 'bazar' with all the early morning hustle-bustle that one can expect. We found a little shop at one corner selling kachoris and we decided to try our luck. Luck was in our favor as the kachoris were utterly delicious. We had a sumptuous meal and set out again, to reach our final destination, the Purbasthali Pakhiralay.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7161.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7164.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7166.jpg

And soon enough, we reached the magical place, the Purbasthali oxbow lake.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7174.jpg

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 22nd January 2016 at 23:52.
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Old 23rd January 2016, 16:43   #3
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Default re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

We reached our destination and this is what welcomed us...
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7179.jpg

A picnic spot has been made recently, surrounding one part of the lake. Good thing though is that playing loud music has been banned and this place is under strict surveillance. This measure has been taken because many migratory birds were scared and shooed away last year owing to the use of loud speakers.

There are boats available for tourists which are sailed by local fishermen. If you are interested in birding, do tell them and one who is experienced in spotting migratory birds will be appointed to be your sailor and companion for the day. The one who accompanied us was a true gentleman, aged 60+, and a very knowledgeable and experienced one at that. Luck was in favor for us.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7176.jpg

Soon, we ventured off into lake. Its vastness totally amazed us.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7180.jpg


The water in most of the areas was crystal clear, you could see through it. Mosses, insects, snakes and fishes were witnessed in action very closely.

Small water plants were scattered throughout the water body.
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7186.jpg

Without wasting any more time, we got into business. Stealthily, we drifted towards the more calmer section of the lake, which is where the feathered friends were waiting for us.

Following pictures have been shot by my father using his Pentax K3+ 55-300mm.

Black Headed Ibis
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-ibis.jpg

Red Crested Pochard (Pair)
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-pochard.jpg

Little Grebe
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Purple Swamphen
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-swamphen.jpg

Asian Openbill Stork (A very common sight in rural WB)
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-shamukkhol.jpg

Osprey~ the killer
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-ospreyflight.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-osprey.jpg

While Dad could click such great shots, this is what I could manage with my Canon EOS 1100D+55-250mm. (EOS prefers clicking TooFun to this)

Pheasant-tailed Jacana
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-img_7405.jpg

Cormorant
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-cormorant.jpg

Some random pics from my side...
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-osprey3.jpg

3,2,1...take off!
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-takeoff.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-takeoff3.jpg

Pochards galore...

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-pochard4.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-pochard3.jpg

Birds of a feather flock together...
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-flocktogether1.jpg

Habitat shot:
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-habitat.jpg

...
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-12teb.jpg

Us (Pic clicked by Dad)
In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-imgp5954min.jpg


__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________

Overall, this was one of the best day trips that I have ever done and it has left a mark on my mind. I will surely visit Purbasthali again.

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-toofun3.jpg

In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal-toofun2.jpg

Keep revvin',
petrolhead_neel

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 31st January 2016 at 23:01.
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Old 1st February 2016, 08:00   #4
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st February 2016, 14:42   #5
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Great Travelogue, Petrolhead_Neel.

Crisp writing and good attention to detail, with beautiful pics !

By any chance, is bird watching / photography one of your hobbies ?? Seems to me you have knack for it
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Old 1st February 2016, 16:52   #6
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Neel,

The travelogue is fantastic.

But still better- Your father is an outstanding photographer.
The pics of the feathered friends are really Nat Geo class.

Beautiful writeup peppered with excellent pics!!
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Old 1st February 2016, 20:34   #7
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Lovely place and beautifully written.

Its almost like you uncovered a hidden treasure trove of beauty.
Thanks for taking us along via the pictures to this place.
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Old 1st February 2016, 21:59   #8
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Killer travelogue! Super fantastic considering your first travelogue. Crisp narration, to the point, and accompanied by some very tasteful photographs. You are turning out to be quite a photographer. Keep it up lil bro And keep treating us with many more such travelogues
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Old 1st February 2016, 23:54   #9
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Very nice travelogue Neel and the pics are superb. Thanks for sharing it. Also it would be great if you could point out the exact place on a map and the route to be taken from Kolkata.
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Old 1st February 2016, 23:57   #10
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Very well put up Neel! Your feathered friends will surely have been but proud of you, if only they could see the travelogue, let alone read it!
Many Happy miles to your buddy Toofun, and you! Fun filled both of you are!
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Old 2nd February 2016, 00:08   #11
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Nice travelogue Neel. Loved the title too. The pics came out really nice.

Only one advice, hope you do not mind. Please try to focus on the birds eye, that will make the pics more standout.

Toofun needs a special mention too for its beautiful pics and the first pic of this travelogue is really superb.
Wish you all the best and hope to see many such beautiful travelogues in the future.

Last edited by Samba : 2nd February 2016 at 00:11.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 00:09   #12
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Great writing and super crisp travelogue! And sure thing that your dad is a fantastic photographer. Loved the pictures.
Give us more such travelogues in future.

Regards,
Saket.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 20:06   #13
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Amazing travel log man! The attention to detail and the pictures are amazing! Seriously, 8th grade aren't you? All the best and do keep giving us such awesome travel logs!
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Old 2nd February 2016, 20:13   #14
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

Wonderful depiction and equally good photographs, Neel.

Thanks for putting up a travelogue on another beautiful place in our very own Bengal. Time to update the following thread:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-tourists.html (West Bengal - A treasure for tourists)

Well done!
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Old 3rd February 2016, 11:52   #15
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Default Re: In quest of feathered friends: Fiesta takes us to Purbasthali, West Bengal

As usual, your writing skills makes this travelogue a pleasurable read. Some of the photographs are simply superb. Overall an excellent contribution to the forum

It is amazing how unknown we are to our own habitat and to the places to which we belong or travel to. I have frequented around Purbasthali a few times in the year 2015 unknown to the fact that such outstanding feathered friends can be sighted.

It seems you and TooFun both had your own share of Fun in your own ways during this road trip. Keep it up !!
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