Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 6 : Mattanchery Palace

The Mattancherry Jetty was busy, crowded, and lined with shops. A horde of tourists had just arrived, and amidst all the chaos, we couldn’t figure out where was the palace. It was our auto driver who pointed out the arched doorway, urging us out, obviously in a hurry to be paid and find his next customer. Walking inside, the first thing we saw was the temple of Pazhayannur Bhagavathy, and we wondered once again, if we were indeed at the right place. Thankfully, an ASI board pointed us to the staircase, which led us up to the first floor, where a wearied looking caretaker sold us tickets to visit the palace, which is now a museum.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cheraman Juma Masjid - The First Mosque built in India

Eid Mubarak!!

On the occasion of Eid, I take a break from my Fort Kochi posts to bring you something special, just for this occasion – an account of my visit to the first ever mosque to be built in India!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 3: Indo Portuguese Museum

At first sight, it is just one among the many grand houses lining the road. It is an unassuming structure, which gives no hint of the treasures displayed within. From intricately carved teak wood altars, to silver plated crosses, remnants of an old fort, to recovered bits of ancient churches – the Indo Portuguese Museum at Fort Kochi has all these and more!

Can you see that structure where the car is parked?
That is the museum. Doesn't look like one, does it? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 2: Chinese Fishing Nets

“Go see the Chinese Fishing Nets” was what almost everyone told me, the minute I said I was going to Cochin! And why not! These nets are seen only in and around Cochin, and are a prime tourist attraction. Even the auto driver we hired to show us the sights was more enthusiastic about them than he was about the museums and art galleries I wanted to visit!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fort Kochi - Part 1: First Impressions

What do you do when you visit a place for the first time? Do extensive research, or go unprepared, ready to be surprised? I chose the latter on my visit to Fort Kochi this summer, and within a day, I was so enchanted, I wished I could spend more time there! My experiences were too varied to fit into one post, so this is going to be a series... and here is the first one….


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Birds From my Window - White Breasted Water Hen

Now that the monsoons are finally here, our regular monsoon visitor is back too.. the White Breasted Water Hen.



This lone bird seems to appear and disappear with the monsoons each year, and I have often wondered where it goes off during the dry months. It is quite a shy bird too, which scuttles into the bushes at the slightest disturbance. It is called पाण कोंबड़ी in Marathi, and appears to be a common bird, though I have only seen it in the monsoons! 

I live in Mumbai, in a colony lucky enough to still have plenty of trees and open spaces. The best part of living here are the birds I see from my window, every single day. "Birds from my Window" is a series, where I regularly feature photos of birds I see from my home. To see all the posts in this series, click here

Monday, July 7, 2014

Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi - a Birdwatchers' Paradise!

“I have never seen so many cameras at once!” was my first thought as I entered the Old Magazine House at Ganeshgudi, near Dandeli. I already knew of Ganeshgudi as a haunt of ardent birdwatchers, but even that hadn’t prepared me for their cameras or the size of the telescopic lenses which greeted us on our arrival! I wondered if I would be able to see any birds with my humble camera, and if I would even be able to take it out amidst such magnificent specimens! As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. While most of the ardent birding enthusiasts were indeed focused on getting the perfect images, there were enough birds around for us to see, and close enough for even me to get some decent clicks! However, the best part of Ganeshgudi was that we didn’t have to go to see the birds – they came to us! All we had to do was sit quietly and observe!


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