Monday, July 29, 2013

Sariska National Park

Sariska Tiger Reserve is well nestled in the Aravali Hills covering 800 sq km area divided into the grasslands, dry deciduous forests, sheer cliffs and rocky landscape. Nearly 90% of the area in the sanctuary is covered with dhok trees accommodating various wildlife species. The Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary houses the ruins of medieval temples of Garh-Rajor that date back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Also a 17th century castle on a hilltop at Kankwari provides a panoramic view of flying vultures and eagles. The Sariska was declared a sanctuary in 1955 and attained the status of a National Park in 1979.

Sariska provides great spots for nature lovers and was once the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Alwar; these days is a home to numerous wild animals, including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger. Other species such as Sambar, Chital  Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur also reside here. Sariska also boasts a rich and varied bird life these include Parakeets, Storks, Pheasant, Orioles  Eagles, Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed WoodPecker, Crested Serpent Eagle, the Great Indian Horned Owl and Great Indian Bustard etc.

King Pandu and his five sons Pandava will be surprised to see their temple here as well. If you are looking for a relaxed excursion to an idyllic location, the Sariska National Park has plenty to offer in terms of flora, fauna and dazzling scenery. Along Sariska National Park, there is a breathtaking Siliserh Lake with fascinating view.

Best Time to Visit Sariska Tiger Reserve
Visitors can visit Sariska wildlife sanctuary throughout the year, still the best visiting time is during the months of October to June. Sariska Tiger Reserve remain open from 1st October to 30th June for all seven days of the week. During Monsoon (Rainy season from 1st July to 30th September) only two days in a week on Tuesday and Saturday between 08:00 hrs. to 15:00 hrs. to pilgrims and tourists up to Hanuman Temple. 

Distance and Routes
The Sariska National Park lies at a distance of 37 kilometers from Alwar in Rajasthan, India.
From Delhi 200 Kms. via Gurgaon
From Jaipur 110 Kms.

Travel time
From Delhi maximum 4hrs.
From Jaipur approx. 2hrs.

At the present time about 25 tigers can be found there, so when you visit the place you will get a hundred percent chance to see one. Please note that you have to bring any of your ID proof like passport / Driving License / Voter ID Cards, any of these documents are must while Travelling. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rains and Me

After the hot and scorching summer, the monsoon brings a sigh of relief to each and everybody. Now that monsoon has started and every day we enjoy sudden spells of rain. The downpour quenches the thirst of the parching earth. With the onset of the season, both plants and animals, withered by the tremendous heat, enliven and come back to their full life. The sapless, pale-looking, dust-smitten trees regain their green and healthy look.

A day, especially if it is a holiday, and you have no work to do, is an ideal day to spend it with taking a short afternoon nap under your blanket. The charm of such a cloudy day will remain unappreciated if I forget to mention an evening hot tea or coffee with some spicy fritters or a crumb of hot cake.

I decided to go out and search for something new, so give it a chance. I talk to my family and we pack some food, water and other stuff and went to nearby sanctuary.. Its heavenly, with green trees, birds chirping, small animals like squirrel and rabbits and foxes... yeah you read it right, we do saw few foxes after all it's a sanctuary (protected land for animals)... all in all trekking is an exciting activity that gets us closer to nature. 

When we talk of monsoon the first thing comes in my mind is music. The pitter patter sound of the rain droplets on the window pane, the whooshy wind and all those classic songs based on rain, makes us to dance and sing. When rain started I forget everything and I mean everything.. I put my audio player out load and wander in balcony.. pure bliss..

I m enjoying rains.. be it drizzling or heavy shower.. there is a glory about this season which inspire me a lot :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Vanishing Migratory Birds of India

Migratory birds are the true travelers of Earth. They travel thousands of kilometres over the oceans and continents. In terms of the distance covered, Arctic Tern is the longest traveler. The most interesting feature of all migratory birds is that their journey is precisely mapped, and never goes wrong. But how they attain this wonderful ability? This is still a subject under study, and many opinions exist among scientists. Some believes that the birds make use of the position of sun and stars, Earth’s magnetism, climate, vegetation and so forth.

Migratory birds: Photo credit to Linda's Blog

Undoubtedly migratory birds are good referencing- indicator for understanding our weather and climatic patterns. No wonder “birds have long been used as an indicator of environmental and ecological changes both in temporal and spatial scale.”

The results of recent surveys conducted on migratory birds are worrying. The studies revealed that there is considerable drop in the number of migratory birds visiting India. The reasons are probably attributed to the pollution of the water bodies and coastal habitat fragmentation. Wetlands are important habitats for  wide variety of avifaunal species and unfortunately, these habitats are being degraded  at an alarming rate. There are twenty five Ramsar designated sites (International designation of aquatic and semi aquatic habitats for their importance as waterfowl and migratory birds) in India.

One of the main sites is Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur Rajasthan.  The significance of this site used to be highlighted  by the presence of large flocks of Siberian cranes. However, anecdotal evidence suggests they have been last seen in the year 2003. Tremendous efforts have been taken by many societies and bird conservation foundations to bring back these breathtaking species yet there presence in Indian water bodies continues to remain sketchy or non-existent.

Siberian Crane: Photo credit to Visit India

That’s just one example; the birds are affected not only by the destruction of habitats and by pollution alone. Here is another example; Rann of Kutch in Gujarat district is a important location where flamingos are spotted every year. Its marshy landscape is good breeding sites for flamingos. Sadly  around 139 of this beautiful species were killed last year alone. This kind of accidental mortality  usually occurs when they attempt to airborne at night hence often gets hit by the overhead electric cables or towers. These cables were pulled recently to lit the nearby villages. Electricity is necessary and could not be spared. As a solution, the authorities are thinking of laying underground cables instead of overhead, to avoid such tragedies in future.

Lesser Flamingos: Photo Credit to Discover the world

“The populations of threatened migratory birds in northern India are either decreasing or stable but  may not be increasing. Their decreasing numbers in our water bodies could be an indicator of cataclysmic environmental or ecological phenomena that India is challenged with.

Pelicans: Photo credit to The Jungle Book

The adversities like hunting, trapping the birds at their migratory routes, pesticides and scarcity of their food sources are slowly but surely driving these migratory birds into local and regional extinction.  If we fail to take proactive measure to help revive their numbers hence to ensure their ecologically suitable landing and roosting sites are not disturbed by human perturbation we may very well be  ended up adding these species into global extinct list.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Lost City of Dwaraka

Years back Indian scientists 'accidentally' discovered the lost city of Dwaraka, submerged in the north-western coast of Arabian Sea, near the Gulf of Cambay or Khambat. Dwarka, one of the best-studied underwater sites in India, has commanded much attraction, because the site is considered as one of the four Dhamas (sacred place for pilgrimage) of the Hindu religion. According to ancient Sanskrit literature, Lord Krishna founded the holy city of Dwarka, which subsequently got submerged under sea. 

Dwaraka City Glimpse in Hindu Epics

The first archaeological excavations at Dwaraka were done by the Deccan College , Pune and the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, in 1963. Since 1983 the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography is engaged in the offshore exploration and excavation of the legendary city of Dwaraka.

A few years ago a team of scientists were stunned to see images of objects and things, completely alien to the marine domain. Marine archaeological explorations of Dwarka have brought to light a large number of stone structures, which are semicircular, rectangular and square in shape in water depth ranging from inter tidal zone to 6 m. They are randomly scattered over a vast area. Samples collected include artifacts, wood pieces, pottery materials, hearth pieces and animal bones which were sent for analysis and dating. On analysis and dating of the samples collected it was found that the samples were about 9000 years old, about the same time when the Ice Age ended. Some of the artifacts discovered dated as far back as 32,000 years. Perhaps, this is the discovery of one of the oldest civilizations known to mankind.

Underwater Image of Dwarka City (Credit HuffingtonPost)

Besides these structures, a large number of varieties of stone anchors have been noticed along the structures as well as beyond 6 m water depth. These findings suggest that Dwarka probably one of the most busy port centres during the past on the west coast of India. Dr. S R Rao has written: "The discovery of the legendary city of Dwaraka which is said to have been founded by Sri Krishna, is an important landmark in the history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the historicity of Mahabharata and the very existence of Dwaraka city. It has greatly narrowed the gap in Indian history by establishing the continuity of the Indian civilization from the Vedic Age to the present day."

The modern city of Dwarka is located in the Jamnagar District of Gujarat. The city lies in the westernmost part of India. Dwarka is a relatively flat region at sea level, having an average elevation of 0 metres. The present temple was built from 6th to 7th century. It is believed to have been built by Krishna's great grandson, King Vajra.

The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag is hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways – Swarga Dwar (Heaven Gate), where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar (Salvation Gate), where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.

As per the Vishnu Purana (volume 2, p. 785. Nag Publishers New Delhi 1989)

"On the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwaraka."

Here is Graham Hancock's documentary film Titled Underworld : Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age (Click on the title link) which shares all the major discoveries of underwater structures in recent times, which Graham believes is evidence of a missing chapter in our history.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mugdha Says is 2 Years Old

Hi friends, I m here to celebrate my 2nd Anniversary of blog writing. I m not a professional write although I wanna be, I m just armature and tend to share all my experience whether they are related with travel, nature or food.. One can occasionally find some random post too, as this become my platform to share stuff with people I love and adore,three cheers goes to all the readers and frequent visitors of my blog.. :) A big thank to all for suggestions and even for complaints :)

A lot changed in past one year.. to know the story read Mugdha Says is 1 Year Old first then catch-up here..

Things I have mention in that post is in second phase now..

1) PhD writing was started about 2 month ago and by August 2013 I m planning to submit it! Yay!

2) A travel is due: Yeah I want to have a long-long vacation and want to explore India more closely before stuck into any job.. Possible travelling zones will be East and South India (Share your favorite place, I may visit your suggested place).

3) Learning phase is still on: I want to learn more, anything and everything, I still have few dreams to fulfill (will discuss more in coming post)

4) More Write-ups: Yes!! One blog can't give you all the satisfaction, so here is the list of other pages/blogs where you can read me more;

Ecoblogs : For more scientific, environmental related writings, In their own words: "Its a community of academic scholars, conservation professionals, wildlife biologists, resource managers, NGO leaders and policy makers from an international arena dedicated to promote wise use of natural resources through public outreach conservation education program". 

Yes I m one of the columnist there, feels really good to be a part of such Masterminds!

Mugdha's Musings: Beware its not a typical "articles for all" blog, its more for girls less for others lol!! Yeah this is a blog which I m going to update more often not with teachings and preaching but it will have articles about the little stuff for which we (girls) care (you know the make-up and fashion stuff and more)

well "Mugdha's Musings" is more inclined towards my routine, the way I look this 'pink' world; why home decor is important, what is the new trend in clothes etc. I m giving a shout here for my new blog hope everyone visit and adore it the same way you all did for "Mugdha Says" :) 

5) Still a kid from heart: Yes that's me 25 years old yet 2.5 years old from heart.. I planned a grand birthday party this year but somehow things didn't work out so I m planning a grand party for my next birthday, in January 2014.. and I m committing in July 2013 so I can have maximum time for preparations :) And its an saying 'once you wrote something, you find a way to do it'!! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar as defined in the Vedas and Upanishads where divine bhakti, purity and peace forever pervades. Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. Akshardham is an enlightening picture of India’s glorious art, values and harmony of mankind. 

The grand, ancient-styled complex was built in only five years ago. World witness the heritage of India in all its facets, insights and beauty at the Akshardham through the temple, its exhibitions, verdant gardens and other attractions. Its is situated in Noida-Delhi border near Akshardham Flyover (name after it). The ancient-style, ornately hand-carved stone temple has been built without structural steel within five years by 11,000 artisans and volunteers.

Built on the banks of sacred Yamuna River, The temple represents one of the most beautiful sights in Delhi. This temple has been built under the patronage of the Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which comprises of 20, 000 statues, floral motifs, arches and 234 exquisitely carved pillars (as per written there).

The architectural style of Delhi’s Akshardham temple is an emulation of the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Its main monument is 141-feet high and houses admirable statue of Lord Swaminarayan (11 feet high). The central statue is surrounded by similar statues of other gurus (spiritual teachers). All these statues are made with paanch dhaatu (an amalgam of the five major metals) according to Hindu tradition of idol-making. There are statues of several Hindu Gods here too.

An artificially built small lake called the Narayana Sarovar surrounds the main monument. The lake contains water from 151 rivers and lakes that are considered holy by Hindus. The lake is surrounded by faucets that resemble cow heads (“gaumukhs” in Hindi), since cow is one of the very sacred creatures in Hinduism.

The Swaminarayan Temple, Akshardham is built without using steel i.e. formed by using pink sandstone and marbles. Besides temple, Exhibition hall, an IMAX theatre, musical fountain, manicured lawns, lush gardens, a restaurant modeled on Ajanta and Ellora caves and an ayurvedic bazaar are some of the most attractive features of this renowned temple. Although, it took more than 2 years to blend Gujarati, Rajasthani, Orrisan, Jain and Mughal temple architectural style in this beautiful edifice, but end result is worth watching.