Category Archives: Trees

A Visit To KCK Simriti Ban

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It is always a pleasure to visit the Karpur Chandra Kulish Simriti Ban on the Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg,Jaipur,Rajasthan. The fascinating aspect is the green oasis in a world dominated by sand as Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan a desert state in India. It has water & trees & plants to attract the local birds and other insects & butterflies etc.  It has lot of secluded corners where benches are provided by the administration for the young and not so young couples visiting the park.

My only suggestion is that they should provide an hour each in the morning & evening for nature lovers who would like to photograph the birds and the flora & fauna as the park is very busy during the visiting hours for a serious study to be done. Furthermore boys being boys some of the boys are  intentionally disruptive to the peaceful atmosphere in the park.

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A Walk At The Man Sagar Lake

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Whenever I get a chance, I take a morning walk along the Mansagar Lake, just like so many other Jaipur residents and tourists from outside Jaipur. It does not have any thing to do with getting exercise in the morning. It is just a fascination of  a resident of a desert state with a large body of water, greenery, sunrise & birds. I also took a few pictures which are enclosed herewith.

The dirt & general neglect were a pathetic site. This site is THE prime tourist spot of Jaipur. Any tourist visiting Jaipur visits here once at least.

Some stop gap arrangement should be made for the up keep of the site till the courts have their say.

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Picture Gallery

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Some photos shot around Jaipur Continue reading

The Flowers Are Back!

Sisodia Rani Ka Baagh

Sisodia Raani Ka Baagh,Jaipur,Rajasthan,India.

No two ways about it Jaipur is in the middle of the monsoon. Though the rains are taking there own sweet time to come as and when they see fit. A couple of days of rain and the rain lily is in full bloom. Pink, yellow, white, big or small the rain lily leads the riot of color which is going to follow. The Aravali mountain range, guarding Jaipur for all these centuries, has a solid cover of green, which is going to last till after the monsoon has left Jaipur. The people of Jaipur & the tourists are thronging the three Forts, Jaigarh, Nahargarh & Amber, during and after the showers. During the summers the people were eating to live, now they are living to eat, choorma-dal-baati & other rajasthani delicacies. No weekend goes by which does not see a ‘Goth’ in a picturesque locations surrounding Jaipur. The plant nurseries of Jaipur are chock- a- block full of  various plants in anticipation of the huge demand by public. The people usually plant trees during monsoons as they take root relatively easily. Also, others would like to replace the plants which did not survive the harsh summers.

So if you were thinking of going on a picnic, planting a rose garden or visiting folks in Jaipur, then now is the time!
Pink Rain Lily

A Pink Rain Lily in full bloom

Yellow Rose

A yellow rose in full bloom.

What’s Cool In This Heat?

As I write this post it is well above 42 Degrees Centigrade out side. My FM radio says the roads are deserted. The ceiling fan in the room is just throwing more hot air around  the room. This post is about all the cool things you can do, only in summers, when the mercury in the thermometers is raising northward. It might not be the most pleasant of   seasons but it has its uses. Imagine how you would define cold if there was no heat. The heat of the summer brings the rain bearing clouds of monsoon to India.

Here is a list of lesser known reasons to appreciate the summers you might not have considered before.

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

This is when the Amaltas, Gulmohar & Bougainvillea are gloriously in full bloom. However much might the heat be these trees are lush green & ever willing to shade you from the ever hot sun.

Cleaning and getting the air-cooler functional for the summer is a yearly ritual. In the dry heat of Jaipur where even the AC fails, the cooler keeps life bearable.

This is the season when you can take long afternoon siestas without any guilt.

The days start earlier and you can go for long walks in the nearby parks & gardens.

You have perfect excuse to wear minimum clothes. Cotton clothes in summer are a rare luxury.

You can store water in buckets to have bath with later when the water is colder & nobody will laugh at you.

There are hardly any mosquitoes around. Aside from heatstroke etc. this is a healthy season.

You get to MAX on watching IPL cricket at the beginning of the summer.

Now a days you can even go boating on the Man Sagar Lake.

You get to go swimming & enjoy pool side parties and freak out at the rain dances.

If you like to gamble you can bet on all aspects of the coming monsoon.

You can relish cool water from surahi or matka.

You do not see many flowers in summers but Water Lilly does bloom gloriously just now.

If you like mangoes all through summers a different variety of  mango is available in the market for your pleasure.

At no time is a glass of beer more welcome than on a hot afternoon.

In these health conscious days drinking sherbet might be out of fashion but I am very partial to sherbets in summers. They can cool you off better than a carbonated drink.

You can write a whole post on the wonders of having chach/lassi/ butter milk & curd in summers. You ought to try the meethi lassi in a kulhar on the M.I.Road at the Lassiwala next to Charmica to know what I mean.

You can have Paani Patasi with Iced-water on the Link Road next to Sarogi Mansion.

You get to drink iced tea & mint tea in summers.

This is the season when the whole family gets together to make mango ice cream in a bucket at home.

You get different types of melons to eat to cool off.

I hope reading this post took your mind off the heat for some time!

If you can think of some more cool things to do this summer please feel free to list them here.

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Photos Of Some Common Birds Found In The Parks & Gardens Of Jaipur.

OWL

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama indica)

Recently a cousin of mine,Madhav Rathore, an experienced, enthusiastic birder, bought a  Canon EOS 7D with a huge telephoto lens. When I kidded him about buying   such an expensive  camera he insisted on taking me birding in  the Central Park one evening. That is when the use of the camera became apparent to me.  He was shooting birds perched at the top of tallest of trees where as I was limited to shooting squirrels and birds sitting in front of me in the grass.

But I got hooked to birding that day. I am no expert birder but by my own experience it is far easier to watch birds today. I take a picture of the whichever  feathered friend which dares to cross my path and later on I put an ID to it with the help of a couple of Books. Where the books fail The Net comes  to help. This method helps to engrave the names of the birds in the mind too. So the next time I come across the same bird I  say smugly,” That is Brahminy Mayna you know !” and so on…

One thing you will notice is the exotic names of the birds.  I can bet you powers that be who gave names to the birds put more thought in naming the birds than in naming their newborn sons. They have names like starling,Black  Drongo,Grebe,darter etc. And each bird has its own charm. Own uniqueness which will hold you in thrall.

I have been to the Central Park many times before the day we went birding but I  did not notice the birds before that day. Oh I could see the pigeons and the doves but the other beauties were hidden behind a muslin curtain as it were. Somebody had to  point the birds out to me. Do you know  usually we see two types of Doves in Jaipur one is Laughing Dove and the other is the Eurasian Collared Dove. And that the house sparrow may be endangered soon enough! Who would have thought of it!

I have been posting photos I take around Jaipur to www.flickr.com for some time now. If you see the stats on the photos you will realize that people like photos of flowers and plants more than photos of birds. I do not know why that is so but we have to be more aware of the beauty surrounding us in the form of birds more. Birds forage in the early morning but people go for their morning walk just then too. So the birds perch themselves on the highest branches of the trees. I suppose they come down later. I do not know.There are some birds which do not mind people at all and are all over the grass in the Park.

Now a days in every home there is a computer and a digital camera. All you have to do is to buy a beginners guide to birding. Be sure to buy one which has photos of the birds & not sketches. You can graduate to the books with sketches  later.

Now find some time for yourself and the birds and go for a walk in the nearest Park or garden. Happy Birding.

I am posting  some photos of the Birds I found.

Brahminy Myna/Starling

Red-vented Bulbul

Black-Rumped Flameback

Black Drongo

Bank Myna

Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) - Adult

Green Bee Eater

Asian Koel Male

Rufous Treepie

Partridge

Purple Sun bird female

Eurasian Golden Oriole

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Show Us The Trees In Your Garden!

Gulmohar

Do you know about the people who photograph and blog everything they eat? So many people are doing this that camera manufacturers are even providing a setting to shoot the food at its colorful best.
In that general trend I would like to suggest that we blog about the tree we are most proud of in our garden this present season and leave the link in the comments of this blog post.
Why trees? Because trees are going to be around for a long while once grown they require little water and are majestic in their presence in the garden. Furthermore we need them to attract the rain bearing clouds. And they provide oxygen, fruit, flowers and shade in the summers.
And if this post inspires somebody to plant his favorite sapling this monsoon, all to the good.

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Some Photos Worth Another Look!

Here are some of my favourite photographs I have put up on Flickr.com during the past year for your reconsideration. I hope you like them too!

A Dove & Amaltas Blossoms in Jaipur

Birla Mandir,Jaipur

The Bench

Hawa Mahal

Samrat Yantra-A Sundial

Kanak Vrindavan Bagh

Why Kill A Tree Like This?

We kill trees all the time. Some of us might need the wood or the bark or the fruit or leaves or  we might need the right of way where the tree is standing. We can kill it by neglect or lack of water or manure. But the worst and the most lamentable  way we can kill a tree is by throwing  Amar Bel on it. Amar bel looks harmless enough. Just a green string of vegetation. But it is a parasite to a healthy tree. Soon it will start spreading. It will become so that you will see only the green strings of Amar Bel only and not the branches or leaves of the trees. And soon enough a fully grown tree will be strangulated to death. Once it is  thrown on a tree it is practically impossible to get rid of it. If you are trying to save a tree by removing Amar Bel and the affected branches you should burn the vegetation so removed.  You can see this infamous parasite  on the hedge in Karpoor Chand Kulish Garden,  on some trees on Prithviraj Road and on Sardar Patel Road.

Amar Bel Description

Why Burn Dry Leaves?

The trees are already shedding their leaves and it is getting warmer in Jaipur. Every morning the streets and home courtyards are littered with fallen leaves. People gather them up and throw them  in the nearby dumpster, thinking their duty is done. What happens next is the dumpster overflows and there are  heaps  of  dry leaves all around the dumpster. And some kind soul  comes along and sets fire to the piles creating a huge bonfire which burns with huge bursts of flames and later on smokes for hours making breathing difficult for hours in the surrounding area. The dumpster, a valuable public property, is in the middle of this conflagration  and becomes useless after a few of such episodes. Furthermore there are strong winds in summers and the ash left behind is blown away further polluting the atmosphere.

The point is we have to change this mind set of burning trash. It surely is the easiest and the cheapest  way out in the short run. And the trash might belong to you and you might think  you are the best judge of disposing it off.  We have to relegate the idea of burning trash to the dust bins of history.

We dispose off all sorts of things in trash. More often than not now a days even chemicals are thrown away like this. What if we burn some chemical like this and cause a health hazard.

There are some waste water purification plants in the pipeline in Jaipur for providing water to the  gardens of Jaipur. There is one in operation at the Man Sagar Lake already but in my humble opinion we also need a plant which will process these leaves and other bio-degradable wastes because disposing off trash by burning has to go. As this option is expensive our Rajasthan Government will have to help in implementing it. But if you are a do it your self enthusiast and have some space in your garden you can compost the leaves and use it as organic  manure in your garden.

Please visit the links given here below for some more information.

A Guide To Managing Organic Yard Waste

Options For Disposing Of Leaves

Daily Dump Compost At Home An Indian Initiative