Such intricate web's we build of life,
To capture all it has to offer,
But one breeze of misfortune,
One twig of bad luck,
Rends the web asunder ....
Santosh Namby Chandran
The Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) is a large non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent. Like other cranes, they form long-lasting pair-bonds. In India they are considered symbols of marital fidelity, believed to mate for life and pine the loss of their mates even to the point of starving to death.
The main breeding season is during the rainy season, when the pair builds an enormous nest "island", a circular platform of reeds and grasses nearly two metres in diameter and high enough to stay above the shallow water surrounding it.
As you can see from this photograph, one of them is on the nest while the other keeps watch. They alternate positions several times during the day.
The Large Green Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica), sometimes also called Brown-headed Barbet, is an Asian barbet. The barbets get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills.
The Large Green Barbet is a resident breeder in India and Sri Lanka. It is an arboreal species of gardens and wooded country which eats fruit and insects. It nests in a tree hole, laying 2-4 eggs.
This is a relatively large barbet at 27 cm. It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head and short tail.
The adult has a streaked brown head, neck and breast, with a yellow eye patch. The rest of the plumage is green. The bill is thick and red. Sexes are similar.
This particular one was digging out a nesting hole in a tree.
The Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds that is found in Africa and Asia. It is partially migratory and in India, it has been considered a harbinger of the Monsoon rains due to the timing of its arrival. It has been associated with a bird in Indian mythology and poetry, known as the Chatak
The Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris) is a common hornbill found on the Indian subcontinent. It is mostly arboreal and is commonly sighted in pairs. They have grey feathers all over the body with a light grey or dull white belly. The horn is black or dark grey with a casque extending up to the point of curvature in the horn. They are one of the few hornbill species found within urban areas in many cities where they are able to make use of large avenue trees.
The Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), sometimes also called the Blue Jay is a member of the roller family of birds. They are widespread in India and are best known for the aerobatic displays of the male during the breeding season. They are very commonly seen perched along roadside trees and wires and are commonly seen in open grassland and scrub forest habitats. These birds are not migratory, but undertake some seasonal movements. Several states in India have chosen it as their symbol.
The Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is a large and brightly coloured pheasant native to South Asia, but introduced and semi-feral in many other parts of the world. The male, peacock, is predominantly blue with a fan-like crest of spatula-tipped wire-like feathers and is best known for the long train made up of elongated upper-tail covert feathers which bear colourful eyespots. These stiff and elongated feathers are raised into a fan and quivered in a display during courtship. The female lacks the train, has a greenish lower neck and has a duller brown plumage. They are found mainly on the ground in open forest or cultivation where they forage for berries, grains but will also prey on snakes, lizards, and small rodents. Their loud calls make them easy to detect, and in forest areas, often indicate the presence of a predator such as a tiger. They forage on the ground, moving in small groups and will usually try to escape on foot through undergrowth and avoid flying. They will fly up into tall trees to roost, however. It is the national bird of India.
The Greater Coucal or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis) is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds. A widespread resident in India, they are large, crow-like with a long tail and coppery brown wings and found in wide range of habitats from jungle to cultivation and urban gardens. They are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds.
Laxmi Vilas Palace was built in 1887 for Raja Raghunath Singh, the younger brother of the then ruler of Bharatpur, Maharaja Ram Singh.
In 1994 this was converted into a hotel. The hotel has 30 rooms and the new wing that is being added has an additional 20 rooms.
Staying at this heritage hotel, one can relive the grandeur of Rajasthan.
The ISKCON temple at Vrindavan, is a beautiful temple that has lovely paintings on the wall. These were being continuously touched up by the devotees. Built in 1975, personally by the founder of the ISKCON group, this temple is a beautiful example of architecture, but is quite simple as compared to the other ISKCON temples.
This temple also contains the Samadhi of the founder of the ISKCON group, A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. the photograph on the left is a life like statue of the founder in the temple.
It is worth visiting the temple to see the architecture and the paintings on the walls.