Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Basanta Utsav at Shantiniketan

Images courtesy : Nilanjan Basu

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy new year

Picture by Amit Thakurta

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Murshidabad Palaces

(Pictures courtesy : Nilanjan Basu)
Hazarduari Palace
The Hazarduari Palace, or the palace with a thousand doors is the chief tourist attraction of Murshidabad. This three-storey palace was built in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humaun Jah, descendent of Mir Zafar. It has thousand doors (among which only 900 are real) and 114 rooms and 8 galleries, built in European architectural style. The total area of Hazarduari Palace is 41 acres. It is now a museum and has an exquisite collection of armoury, splendid paintings, exhaustive portraits of the Nawabs, various works of art including beautiful works of ivory (Murshidabad school) of China (European) and many other valuables. The Armoury has 2700 arms in its collections of which only few are displayed. Swords used by Shiraj-ud-Daulla and his grandfather, Nawab Alivardi Khan, can be seen here. The other attractions in this floor are Vintage Cars and Fittan Cars used by the Nawabs and their families. (Text -
Nasipur Palace
The Nasipur Palace was built by Kirti Chand, a descendent of Debi Singh. Debi Sing, who settled here from Punjab, was a tax collector in the early days of the East India Company. Within the palace compound is the Ramachandra Temple, one of the largest temples in the district. Adjacent is the palatial temple of Lakshmi-Narayana, famous for its Jhulanjatra celebrations. The main building of the Raj Bari , which is a two storied house with a grand flight of stairs, has an imposing facade. (Text

Monday, September 28, 2009

More puja pics - Kolkata

Spider man at Puja pandal in Dover lane
Mother goddess at Hazra Pally pandal

Mother goddess at Hazra Road, which had theme of Mehndi

Sindur Khela on Dashami at Maddox Square

Sindur Khela is an event of Dashami, before the idol of mother goddess is immersed in water. Married women take part in the sindur khela whereby pray to the goddess with vermilion, betel leaf, sweets and smearing each other with sindur to bid farewell to the Devi.

Pyanchai Durga

Hindustan Park Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee, Kolkata is in its 79th year of its presentation and it has puja pandal in the theme revolving around 'owl'. As per the committee it is their endeavor to present artistic concept of owl produced by various artists. The board at the puja pandal states ‘owl which is companion of goddess of wealth Lakshmi and the Greek goddess of knowledge Athena worshipped as diety in Kusha era. This nocturnal bird is endangered. Like third eye of durga its alert eyes protect our crops from harmful elements’.

More puja's of Kolkata

Singhi Park Puja ....pandal is in form of famous Badrinath temple
Pandal in Lotus in water at Padmapukur Road Puja

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Balak Sangha Puja

Balak SangaPuja at Motilal Nehru Road, Kolkata

Maddox Square Puja

Puja blog cannot be complete if it does not cover the iconic Maddox Square puja. Thousands throng the pandal, though it drizzled but could not deter youngsters to be at Maddox Square, today. Roads surrounding Maddos Square are all illuminated with lights and off course hoardings of Ponds and Zee Bangla, the sponsors of Puja. By the way according to CESC, Maddox Square has applied for a load of 310 kw this year, probably one of the highest in community puja's of South Kolkata.

Durga Puja with Nepal as theme

Tridhara Sammilani located at the junction of Rashbehari Avenue, Monohar Pukur and Mahanirban Road is celebrating the 63rd year of Durga Puja with Nepal as its theme. This year the puja is called “Tridhara’r Trisharanang’’, keeping in mind the three tenets or sharana’s of Buddhism.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kash Phool, Puja is round the corner !

Puja's are around the corner in West Bengal so is rains, clouds in the sky and of course ‘Kash Phool’. Am linking the earlier story of last year for Kash Phool for more .....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Durga Idol, Kumartuli

Idol of Goddess Durga being taken to Howrah, Belighata, from Kumartuli, Kolkata
Hand of God

Lime butterfly at National Library, Kolkata

National Library, Kolkata
Lime butterfly
National Library is the largest library in India. It is located on scenic 30 acres Belvedere Estate, in Kolkata. It is oldbuilding which used to be It was former residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. It is under the 'Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of India'. The park and outside region of the library is lush green, and is at its peak during rains but needs bit of maintenance. I clicked this Common lime butterfly at the library complex.

Info on common lime butterfly (sourced from wikipedia)
Common Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus) is a widespread butterfly and gets its name from its host plants which are usually citrus species such as the lime. Unlike most swallowtail butterflies it does not have a prominent tail. It is perhaps the most widely distributed swallowtail in the world. Butterfly is an avid mud-puddler and visitor of flowers. It basks with its wings held wide open on tufts of and generally keeps within a metre above the ground, even on cloudy days. It relies on its quick flight for escape. An interesting butterfly in that it has a number of modes of flight. In the cool of the morning, the flight is slow considering that it is an edible and unprotected swallowtail. As the day progresses, it flies fast, straight and low. In the hotter part of the day, it may be found settling on damp patches where it will remain motionless, except for an occasional flutter of wings, if not disturbed.

It is also a frequent visitor of flowers in gardens, where it shows a preference for flowers of smaller herbs rather than larger plants such as the ubiquitous with its plentiful blooms. While resting, the butterfly closes its wing over its back and draws the forewings between the hindwings.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Great Banyan Tree

Botanically known as Ficus Benghalensis, the Great Banyan tree is located in Howarh district of West Bengal(near to Kolkata). It is 250 years old. It has circumference of 1.08km, highest branch till 24.5 meters and has 2880 aerial roots which gives it a look of collection of trees – could be called a mini forest !

Uniquely it does not have main trunk, which had to be removed in 1925 as it has decayed but the tree is still perfect vigour. It is listed in Guinness Book of world records. Though there is no history of its planting but is mentioned in travel books in nineteenth century. Pictures from a distance, and with its roots on the road and within its compound, taken from within the mini forest !

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary

Tree at Chintamani kar bird sancutary
Bushbrown butterfly on a leaf at Chintamani

A moth on a leaf at Chintamani

Signage at the entrance of it being named as Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary
Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, is home to a great variety of birds, butterflies, epiphytes, ferns and orchids. It is located to the west of Netaji Subhas Road connecting Garia with Baruipur in the Rajpur area in southern Kolkata. Locally known as 'Kayaler Bagan', the Sanctuary is close to Ramkrishna Mission Institute, Narendrapur. It was notified as a sanctuary in 1982, and then notified as Narendrapur Wildlife Sanctuary on 8th September 2004 and later renamed as Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary in year 2005.
The Sanctuary was named after the noted sculpture Sri Chintamoni Kar, who along with many local people and many NGO's fought tirelessly for a decades to obtain wildlife sanctuary status for 'Kayaler Bagan'. Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary is also an orchard covered with local fruit trees-many over a hundred years old. It is open 0700 hrs -1600 hrs and one has to pay Rs 15.00 as ticket to its entrance. There is no parking zone, if you go on your own vehicle, it will have to park on the road outside the sanctuary.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tollywood star Prosenjit to advocate for Child Health in West Bengal

Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee has joined hands with West Bengal government and UNICEF to help promote messages for child survival. To start with he will be extending his support to promote use of ORS and Zn tablets and promote breastfeeding. Two special 60 seconds spots have been produced by Government & UNICEF. The same have been directed by Aveek Mukherjee.
Health Minister Surja Kanta Mishra, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Lori Calvo State Representative UNICEF office for West Bengal and Deb Kumar Chakraborty Join Secretary Health , were present at an official announcement today at Kolkata. "I am happy to be part of initiative for children and work with UNICEF and State Government to contribute my bit to this cause. These are simple interventions and doable and can help save lives of children so let’s promote them," said Chatterjee.
Mishra spoke about the government initiatives on health in the state. He spoke on the state is doing better in keeping infant and maternal mortality rates down. He said that these initiatives will help further strengthen the work. "Important is to reach out with communities with right message and information, and with engagement of Mr. Chhatterjee to this cause, am sure it will help us to increase reach of the messages to communities," said Lori Calvo, State Representative, UNICEF office for West Bengal. State of West Bengal has infant mortality rate of 37 per 1000 children which is below national average and better then many Indian states.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Anti ragging

Ragging is a crime on campus, now gay bashing may get included in it. West Bengal Government is planning to introduce regulations that would make University campuses sensitive to the needs of gay students. The decision comes days after a landmark Delhi High Court judgment on the amendment of Article 377. The state higher education department will seek the opinion of the universities, both affiliated and non-affiliated, on adding new clauses to the Anti Ragging Law, to help stop atrocities against gay students, if at all. (pic anti ragging hoarding at Jadavpur University)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vaccination drive, oral rehydration corners in Aila-affected areas

In a bid to curb the rising spate of water-borne diseases in the Aila-affected areas, the North and South 24 Parganas district administration has set up oral rehydration corners along with a vaccination drive. The drive is being implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with partner NGOs and Kolkata Medical College.

''Twelve such corners have been set up in the districts where the people are being taught how to use bleaching solution, halogen tablets and ORS. They are also being taught about the importance of cleaning one's hands, purifying water and using ORS and home-based fluids to rehydrate patients,'' UNICEF sources said. A joint Vitamin A and measles vaccination drive has also been initiated to prevent the outbreak of disease after Aila, the sources added.

Meanwhile, a special drive on measles and Vitamin A has been initiated for six months for five-year-old children in six Aila-affected blocks of Gosaba, Basanti, Patharpratima, Kultali of South 24 Parganas and Sandeskhali-I and Hingalgunj of North 24 Parganas. The drive started on July 16 and would continue for 7-14 days in each block depending on the number of children.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On the 'bandh' day

Children playing cricket during the day time on Ritichie Road. 17 July,2009, was West Bengal bandh. This was called by Congress Partythis time. Normally this is busy road at this point of time, but since bandh was successful and children got a new playground to play.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Grey Pansy Butterfly

Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites) butterfly at Kolkata's Rabindra Sarobar park

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chess on Kolkata Roads

Chess pieces on middle of road in Kolkata

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It rained in Kolkata

Clouds and rains over nalban lake

Fetching fish seeds

A family fetching fish seeds in Sunderbans region of North 24 Parganas, in West Bengal.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunderbans : River embankements under repair

More than 400 km of embankments in Sunderbans area were damaged by Cyclone Aila when it stuck the delta region on May 25, 2009. Pictures show that it is under repair, at North 24 Parganas. Repair work is tough and has to overcome the pressures of high tides, which is taking time, henceforth till date many villages are under water, even though it has been more then a month since Aila stuck.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Community Kitchen at North 24 Parganas

Women cooking at community kitchen in North 24 Parganas. This community kitchen is supported by an NGO, is in panchayat of Sandeshkali I block of the district and is reaching out to five thousand people which were displaced by Cyclone Aila on May 25, 2009.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stripped Albatross Butterfly

Striped Albatross, on a flower at Science City, Kolkata. This butterfly gets its name from the male butterfly, which is white with prominent black veins on the underside. Scientifically it is Appias libythea and belongs to Family Pieridae, which is relatively large family of butterflies.

Gosaba Islands - Post Aila

Chota Mollakali, Gosaba

Pictures : Prabir Chatterjee

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guava bloom

Guava, an important tropical fruit of West Bengal, traders are off lading it for sale in market place in South 24 Parganas district.

South 24 Parganas along with Nadia, Midnapore, Burdwan and Hooghly are guava producing districts of West Bengal. It is third most important fruit crop of West Bengal state after mango and banana. Introduced in India in the XVIIth century A.D. by Portuguese, it is now one of the important subtropical fruits of India. Recent years have seen several commercial orchards coming up in West Bengal Guava. Guava is used in folk rites, rituals and festivals. Folk healers use guava plant as folk medicines for curing ailments. Different folklores are evolved in the agrarian folk societies in the form of oral literature like proverbs, rhymes, riddles, folk songs etc.

It is good source of vitamin C, pectin, calcium and phosphorous. Plant leaves could be used for curing diarrhea and off course ripe fruits are used in making wine; which warms the blood within our veins !!