Mighty mahabaleshwar and birding

So in my last blog, you have seen the birds that I have spotted in peaceful Panchgani. Yes I call it peaceful ,because peace means to find yourself, to explore your soul. And as per me, oceans and mountains have the capability to do that. You can listen to yourself along with the waves in silent nights and let the wings of your soul fly in the mighty mountains with the dawn. I found peace in Panchgani in the voice of birds. Nothing is more peaceful to me other than the chirping of the feathered creatures. Today I am going to explore the location more with beautiful landscapes,some portraits which looked automatically amazing in the environment and of course some more birds from our short trip to Mahabaleshwar.

If you missed my last post on “Birds of panchgani”, the link is here- Birds of Panchgani

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So when you travel to some new place, what all things rush to your mind? Expectations about the beauty of nature, some leisure time, gateway from routine life and to have some family time. Isn’t it? For me,this trip was different. Some fresh air to breathe and no one else was my need,of course other than my other half. Where would I leave him anyways :D. I wanted to listen to my mind that needed a definite break from continuous process of regularity, learning and performing in life. Sometimes you should, you know. There is no one else on this planet who can listen to you better than yourself. I do that usually by spending some time alone in early morning or near a beach listening to the waves. Mountains ,though cant be any worse.

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Those high peaks far away, what does they say to you? They ask you to keep your head high and keep moving ahead until there is no more stairs to climb. Exactly like birds, they keep on trying reaching the top till the last. I have seen birds trying hard to cross the barrier of heavy wind and fly across. Many a times, they loose but then they wont stop trying. I feel like I have wings sometimes, when I ride my scooty alone in the deserted roads and in the locations with views like this. Let me tell you, the best feeling of freedom ever is to fly.

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Panchgani has peace and soul searching power where as Mahabaleshwar has enthusiasm and ecstasy, the spirit of living in the moment. Live it and love it. No reasons will ever justify your tears anyways.

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Pratapgarh Fort

I particularly find all the hills to be similar,then again I don’t stop travelling. You never know what is waiting for you. Keep exploring until you find the best version of you.

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I love  creating sunstars.

Now lets see some birds again from my 18-135mm usm lens.

#birdingwith135mm

Lets start with the cutest pair of my favorite lifer from the trip. Oriental white eyes. When you expect for least,this happens.

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Loved watching these cuties through my lens. Moving on to the next lifer. Brown cheeked fulvetta , couldn’t manage a better picture though 😦

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Spending a whole evening in a park leaves you with some beautiful images and memories of experiences. Indian black lored tit with grasshoper kill. Watched this beauty taking its own time to finish the lunch on a very high perch.

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The very silent and beautifully perched Oriental turtle dove gave me enough time to capture him from different angles.

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And yes I never miss a chance to click our very own Red whiskered bulbul no matter how common they are.

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Also clicked a few eye catching flora from the gardens of maharashtra.

 

 

Let me take your bid and leave you with the most soothing view that everyone loves. The sunset from sunset/bombay point.

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I will see you all in my next blog. Till then happy birding , keep smiling and spreading love.

Much love

Riya

Birds of Panchgani

So, in the last weekend of April, we went to one of the nearby hill stations from Goa to celebrate one of our anniversaries. Luckily, it falls on the international labor day and we get a holiday every year. Taking one day-leave on monday making it a long weekend we opted for Mahabaleshwar in South Maharashtra which is around 360 km from north-Goa. It was about to be a leisure trip and being very excited about clicking a lot of landscapes and portraits, I took along my favorite Canon 18-135mm lens only. Unaware of bio-diversity of the area, we had planned one-day stay in panchgani on the way to mahabaleshwar to explore the most of it in least time. Only didn’t we know that that its going to be the best decision of the whole trip. After completing our journey from mapusa by bus and then cab, we landed in panchgani early morning (5am). As soon as we deboarded the cab to step towards our hotel, I already fell in love with this place. Only thing that could fall on my ears was the bird chirp. Staring at the not-so-high trees and birds calling loud on them, we reached our hotel which has a beautiful valley view. I could say one of the bests in panchgani or even in mahabaleshwar if you want to feel the nature close-by.

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It was the best possible time and I couldn’t keep my feet inside anymore. Taking my cam and lens which could max go upto 135mm,I went down the valleys near our room. So this post is going to be the birds I spotted and clicked with my landscape/video lens in panchgani and to be continued till my next blog about mahabaleshwar.

#birdingwith135mm

Some pigeons were nesting on the top of the balcony, but I hardly click them. All my attention were grabbed by bulbuls and their loud chirps. I have enough encounters with red-whishkered bulbuls at my place, but they were the red-vented ones that caught me. Turn you face any where and there is one.

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Then these oriental magpie robins who looked stunning perching on wires against the beautiful mountains.

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Clicking quite a few , I went down a little in hope of getting some nice and close shots. A few house-sparrows on a tree.

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The most I could see and not hear were the jungle babblers. The hopping bird I call them.

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They were every where, on the roads, on the trees, roofs , hopping around every here and there carrying breakfast.

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Being wandering around the place, I couldn’t miss this view of the house-pigeons and the mountains.

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When I returned room, I had a home visitor. Red whiskered bulbul (who I guess ,missed me being away a little while ;))

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After having breakfast , we finally left for the tour which basically started and ended in the Table-land which was huge and showcases many view points from a single land. One could easily take a horse ride but we preferred walking as we wanted to explore on our own and take a lot of pictures, ofcourse :P. While walking on the table land I got my first lifer there, Oriental Skylark.

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The lark family member took the best possible perch and posed for us. But I loved him more in its habitat.

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Moving on, we came across another very small bird that almost camouflaged with the dirt and soil. Oriental Pipit 

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There are always some beautiful wings to watch in the air. Brahminy kite.

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There were a few more around our hotel area that were unreachable for me. I wished for a moment, I had my zoom lens but then again there is some positivity in everything around you. Its just been 2 months , I have been using 150-600mm lens and yet not capable of holding it for a long time. So for a trip (not birding trip at least)I would prefer to carry lighter lens with me and enjoy the freshness of nature more.

Indian black bird.

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The unreachable starling.

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I am going to continue birding and photographing untill my next blog about the mighty mountains of Mahabaleshwar. I don’t know how much I am capable of writing about the nature’s majestic beauty, but then I am a human being and I can only try.

My other birding activities-

Carambolim lake bird watching (Part 1)

Carambolim lake bird watching -part 2

Agonda backwaters- bird watching in tranquility 

Birding in Assonora, Goa

Birding from home

There is no end to one’s imagination and creativity, similarly there is no end to one’s passion and activities. I will see you all in my next blog. Untill then have a beautiful time.

Much love

Riya

Cabo De Rama Fortress, India 

“Everyone has their own perspective of seeing things. This is mine. “

Hello everyone, hope you are going through a mid-week crunch at work. Hence I am here to share something peaceful with you all.



You must have seen my last post regarding birding in Agonda backwaters in the south Goa. If you haven’t, here is the link ~

bird watching in Agonda backwaters 

Now that you know that I have had a weekend gateway in the serenity of South Goa in republic-weekend, I want to share another such spot in South Goa that you must visit with some time in your hand if you like peace, quiteness and tranquility. And that place would be Cabo-de-rama Fortress situated 16km away from Agonda Beach.

Disclaimer : This fort is one of my husband’s favorite. And we visited here  twice in 1 year being staying in proper north Goa. Hence, my this blog post is dedicated to him 😄

Now let’s get back to business. 

Cabo-de-rama Fort is the largest and one of the oldest forts in India with an outstanding coverage area of 180,000 square meters. It is believed that this fortress served as home to God Rama and his wife Sita during their 14-years of vanvas (exile) from Ayodhya.


This massive fortress was built by Hindu rulers but according to history, it has been passed on to Muslims to Portuguese hand to hand succeeding one another in battles over possessing this massive architectural beauty. This fortress has served many battles in the history of India. 

In 1763, Portuguese claimed the Fort with 21 canons, military barracks, commandant’s room and a chapel. Portuguese left the fort to be abandoned later. This fortress served as government prison from 1935 till 1955 but soon after it was abandoned again. 

Today, this fortress is one of the major tourist attractions of South Goa with a chapel of St. Antonio located on the territory of the fortress. 

From the top of the fortress, you have a glimpse of the magnificent Arabian Sea and Goan coast line all along. Trust me,its a beautiful pleasure to your eyes. 

This fort is just the ruins today of what our ancestors had in past. But yet it possess a charming personality that anyone with the eye can not ignore. 

Yes, it might be very tiring if you visit in one very warm day with raising sun above but only then you get clicks like this. (of course if you love your lens  😜) 

Walking by the ruins of this majestic beauty you will get the fresh air in intervals directly from the Arabian sea. 

Every one has their own perspective of seeing things. As I said earlier I have mine. I don’t know what is not attractive about this area. The small crusifics(holy crosses)  all over in the not so dense forest always catches my attention. 

While talking of perspection, I would like to add the way I look at the sea. Living in one of the biggest coastline of India and yet being in love with the ocean has obviously some story to tell. 

Change the way you look at things and life will be beautiful. Mark my words.. 

One more promise Goa serves you is that it never disappoints you. It has its own charm of seduction. 

Have a look at the most peaceful panaromic view before we let ourselves out of Cabo-de-rama fortress. 


If you are in Cabo-de-rama, and you do not visit the Cabo-de-rama Beach, that’s normal. But if you do not visit and eat at The Cape Goa it seems abnormal to me. 

This hotel cum restaurant serves the most amazing view of the Cabo-de-rama beach from its restaurant. Don’t believe me, look for yourself. 

The crystal water and the sweet air flow along with your favorite sea-food brunch. What else is needed anyways. 

Trust me and visit this place once while in goa but ofcourse with your own creative perspection. You will never be disappointed. 

This is my way of biding thank you to the mother nature. 

Thank you for reading. Have a great day. 

Much love

Riya