Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi

“And into the forest I go, to loose my mind and find my soul”

                                                                            – Charles Baudelaire

Said so beautifully and rightfully by Charles Baudelaire. Forest makes you feel viable, forest let you listen to your heartbeat, forest let you comprehend your existence, forest lets you find your soul. To find my soul a little more, I headed towards this amazing forest resort situated in a small place called Ganeshgudi in Karnataka State of India. As I am bird-o-holic in nature, I cant stay away from forest, desert, wetland for longer. So to make the new year most special, I chose to visit and stay in Old Magazine House in the month of January itself. Being around a handful of bird lovers, I have heard enough about this paradise that fall in Ganeshgudi. Dandeli is another place in Karnataka around 20km away from Ganeshgudi. You may hear people saying that they visited Old magazine house in Dandeli or they have visited dandeli for birding when they have actually just stayed in OMH.But that is geographically incorrect. OMH (Old Magazine House) is in Ganeshgudi and not in Dandeli and is one of the BEST places to be.

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I have not been to too many places to be honest, but this surely was the best experience till date. It made a little place in my heart that is going to be like that for long, if not ever….

If I go on and on about this place, this blog will never end and you will feel exaggerated when it is actually not. So not stretching it too much, I will come straight to the point.
We started our journey from North Goa to ganeshgudi via chorla ghat road. It was an amazing  journey till we entered karnataka. We had witnessed that the karnataka government is doing a mass deforestation on the connecting highway to make the lane  much bigger., which is obviously against our eco system. Lots of wild animals and birds are loosing their habitat. And by seeing at it helplessly, my heart ached. Crossing too many road blocks, we reached our destination, OMH, Ganeshgudi on the londa-dandeli road. Old Magazine house is a property owned by Jungle lodges and resorts ltd, govt of karnataka.

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Not a very large area, but this resort is a simple paradise of avian-lovers. They offer one
forest-wodden hut, a few rooms and a dormitory as stay options. We took one of the rooms as the wooden house was not-available, which by-the-way was our first preference. The rooms are real big, clean and well maintained by a superbly friendly and helpful staff.
Manager- Mohan sir
Bird guide- Vinay (bhaiya)
coracle ride bird guide- Pundalik (bhaiya)
Cook- Manju
Jeep driver- Gururaj

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These are the people we conversed with, in our 2 day stay and can’t thank them enough for their cordial and homely service. The whole team of OMH is just awe-inspiring. As I said the rooms are spacious with double beds, sofa with center table, one work table, electric jugs and tea/coffee essentials. A television in the common hall room is also available. They provide buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dinner hall along with morning tea and evening snacks, all included in the room rent that you have already paid. Dormitory is just below the dining hall with bunk beds (mostly preferred by single guys who travel just for birding and photographing).

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There is no wi-fi connection and you will hardly be getting network on your phone too and moreover you are there to connect with forest, so you don’t need one. In simple words, forget about your phone and wallet and enjoy your time in peace and bird chirps. I being a talkative person besides an avid birder, I made quite a few friends from different parts of the world. Some were there to bird like me, and some were just having
a day away from city chaos.

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Once upon a time, someone put a tub of water for the birds to quest their thirst in hot and humid weather. He never knew it would grow into OMH one day. There is this mind blowing hide organized by the property for the birders to set up their tripods and take photographs of birds taking bath and drying up in little branches, just beside the dormitory building where they would organize a bonfire every evening with snacks and soup bowls.

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Timings:
7-7.30 Am- tea biscuit
8.30am onwards-breakfast
1.30pm onwards- lunch
6.30pm- snacks/soup with bonfire
8.30pm onwards- dinner
The food team are cordial enough to call you from your room each time when the food is
ready to be served. The other services that they provide are:
1) Nature walk: After having your morning tea, You can accompany Mr. Vinay, the bird guide for a nature walk just outside the resort, where he would spot birds for you.

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2) Coracle ride: After having your breakfast, you can go for a coracle ride on the kali river, where Mr. pundalik, the bird guide will join you for riding the coracle as well as spotting birds and the Muger.. Coracle is a small, rounded, lightweight boat that floats on water and quite difficult to ride comparing a regular boat.

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3) An evening trek for a sunset view form some point up hill which non of us were interested in as we were all busy birding till late evening until it was completely dark.
Overall the stay is just amazing with delicious home cooked recipes by Mr. Manju.

Overall Highly recommended!! I loved it.

Make your bookings before hand and be ready to loose yourself in nature in order to getting closer to your soul..The only thing that will keep you up is the bird chips-day and night.

Don’t forget to pack your warm clothes along with photography gears and binoculars 🙂
You can book your rooms in http://www.junglelodges.com

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Stay put for my incoming blogs where you will get to see the amazing photograph of the lifers (birds) that I got there in my two-day stay in the Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi.
Till then, hog on to my other birding blogs:

Migratory Bird Area, North Goa

Birding in Pilerne lake, North Goa

An evening with Asian openbill

Parra – A birding hour

Until next time
Much love,

Riya

Migratory Bird Area, North Goa

Hello folks. I am already a week late to wish you all an amazing new year 2019. May all your wishes come true this year and hope you start doing whatever you have planned and failed to start doing till now. Because you know what, its very important to start, to make the first move, because if there is no 1st move, there will never be a second and you can never achieve what you want. Hence, make the FIRST move. Speaking of first, I am here sharing my first post of the year and it had to be a birding one.. So here it is- my another very beautiful experience of birding adventures in North Goa.

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The next sunday after my Pilerne lake bird watching activity , I was looking for some place nearby to bird. My husband suggested borda lake, as he had heard about the lake from some one but did not have much knowledge about birds being there. I started googling the same and what I end up with this amazing place in Donwaddo in Salvador-do mundo. What we understood is that Borda lake must be somewhere closeby to this area or one of the waterbody in here are named as borda. May be next time when we explore more over that lake, we will know the difference (if there is any).

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This migratory bird watching place is very easy to reach. What all you need is a smart phone with GPS on 😀 Just ask google to take you to “ Migratory birds Area in North Goa”. The first search option will take you to Donwaddo. It is a huge marsh/ wetland seperated with a well maintained pitch road. AS soon as my eyes struck the board, I wanted to jump off of the activa, but I waited till it stopped as it was been ridden by my husband who accompanied me to have a beautiful december sunday morning in nature.
The day started off with beautiful sighting of brahminy kites .We had to stop there and then. The whole landscape was worth skipping a breath. There were more than few adult kite taking the most stunning perch on one broken branches each within a circumference.

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Brahminy kite

After spending few moments taking snaps and satisfying eyes, we moved on to my first lifer Siberian stonechat -female.As it was road side, I quickly set up my tripod to have more stable pictures of my lifer.

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Siberian stonechat

I was not quite happy with its perch on wire and that’s when a little big bird came and sat a meter away from the little one. I turned my cam to find out its a long tailed shrike. Another lifer 😀

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Long tailed shrike

I followed the shrike for sometime till it gave me most beautiful natural pose. As a bonus, he was hungry and had a breakfast bite infront of me. After getting close up and eye level shots of the shrike we moved ahead a bit.

 

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Long tailed shrike

There was this very little blue kingfisher flying here and there not letting me capture him even for a second. While I was tracking the little cutie, a spotted dove flew and sat in one of the bushes closeby. It was that close that my zoom couldn’t even capture its whole body. As I was struggling with zooming in-zoom out , it obviously flew away. (PS: I need more practice :P) But a quite ok shot of a lifer is good to go.

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Spotted dove

My next shot was that of a Stork billed kingfisher. A big sized kingfisher with red lipstick beak with  really loud voice. I cropped off the body part to keep the cemented perch out of my frame. So here is a close up of Mr. Stork billed kingfisher.

 

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Stork billed kingfisher

As we moved ahead, we saw a number of egrets, black winged stilts on one side and a few cormorants on another. As we went a little further, there is an offroad on the right side which we took and decided to take the vehicle along. And there I got some of the very beautiful shots.
Common or little kingfisher (finally on a clean perch)

 

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Little blue kingfisher

Indian cormorant (preening)

 

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Indian cormorant ( drying up wings)

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Oriental darter (shining as a star)

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Oriental darter stretching its long neck further

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We rode till we couldn’t ride anymore. I loved that particular village road. It has what we call “PEACE”. I had my moment with serenity (as always) and we turned back to reach the starting point again. I still had hopes to see a few more birds on the go and get some really good frames.
Purple heron (perfectly camouflaged with the dry grasses)

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Egret escape as I call it

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Grey Heron (habitat shot)

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Common sandpiper

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I saw a bunch of black headed Ibis having a gala. So I waited for a few moments to capture some good flight shots. Here are my favorite ones.

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I would end up the blog here today with almost where I had started. A long tailed shrike close up.

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And a frame shot of sandpiper. Good night you amazing people. Be blessed and have a
prosperous year ahead.

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Other birding activities:-

Prey Prey everyday!

Monsoon vibes with birdies

An evening with Asian openbillAn evening with Asian openbill

Parra – A birding hour

Birding in Chopdem,Goa

etc,etc….

Much love,
Riya

 

 

 

World photography day !! Blog anniversary

19th August- World Photography Day

Hi and welcome to My own space…

Well, of course this day is been celebrated all over the world by photographers, photography lovers and also who loves to get photographed. Hence being a beginner in photography this day means a lot to me as well. Also, on this very day, a year ago I started my blog with no prior knowledge of blogging at all. I thought I could write and showcase whatever I capture on my camera. And this makes this day a very special one as I celebrate my 1st Blogversary. As days went by I became more indulged into writing poetries and photographing birds. And blogging about them has become an integral part of my life since then.

Nature person
There are so many kinds of people on this planet. Out of hundreds of billions, I am one of those million people who loves to stay close to nature. Being in nature makes me feel alive and fills my heart with desires and reasons to live more each day. Getting closer to wildlife makes me realize that there is so much more to life that we actually go through and understand. The green grasses, colorful wings, cheerful chirps every morning is an alarm for me that there is so much more to do. To do yoga, to cook, to paint, to play, to write and to capture each and every moment that is worth framing. You know when you will die, you will die with the memories and not with the money you made. At least I will. Making bird photographs began with my first ever DSLR Canon 1300D which was my 27th birthday gift from my husband and the journey just began. Getting longer lenses just to be a little close to them makes me really happy from inside. Their beautiful feathers, speaking colors, those eyes, those details , beaks, tails, wings, legs, I can’t never get enough of them. Getting as much closer as possible is my only wish when I am in the wild (but ofcourse, I never get too close to disturb them). This never ending want of knowing more and more about them makes me read books and blogs. (I am not of a reader person, more of a writer person, But to be a writer, you need to learn to read first). And this leads to my 2nd love.i.e. Writing.

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My world of wings.

Click here for My page on my first love- photography ~   Through my lenses

Poet person
I won’t and will never call myself a writer unless I am ONE. But whenever I feel low, I write. Whenever I feel happy, I write. Whenever I feel love , I write. Love is a very important part in my life. I can’t live if I am not allowed to love. Falling in love again and again is my genre of interest. Love for the beautiful people in life, love for your oldest friend, love for your first crush, love for your grand parents, love for the up growing kids, love for cooking, love for writing, love for nature, love for photography, love for music, love for that faded love of yours, love for those cherished memories, love for school days and love for the days yet to come. Love is everywhere around us and we just need to find them. And whenever I fall in love again with any of these or anything new, I write. I write my heart out untill it rhymes with my beats. My poetries are my flow of heart beats in rhythm.. just like a piano tune..a soulful music. I wish to get better on it with all your love and support each and everyday..

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Click here for My poetries and more ~  Let my pen speaks

Blog person
I am so gay to realize that I started my blog on world photography day. Though it wasn’t anything I planned for, It just happened like everything else in life happens without any alarm or prior notice. Ever since I started writing posts on birding, photography, poetries and what not, I feel very light and connected to so many people at the same time. I cant get to each and everyone and let them know what am I going through but that is exactly what my blogs can. I love to talk and hence I am an avid writer of my feelings. But blogging about nature and photographing them is more of a passion inside. All my
thanks will never be enough for the one who encourages me the most in my life to do what I am made for. Obviously I was not born to be a computer geeko or a note counting machine. Right? I was born to be independent and that is what I feel here with you all. I have the freedom to speak and write and to fly high.

Riya’s own Space  ~ Well my space it is. 

Conclusion.
What will ‘Just earning money and getting your materialistic demands fulfilled’ get you in the end? What matters is what do you want to die with. I want to die with so much of knowledge and love from people and animals around. I want to work for nature conservation if I get a chance. I want to see my husband getting on that stage and perform in front of a crowd of thousands. I want this for him because he is one of those very few people who dared to dream in this world. I want to make my parents proud on me and get a pat on my shoulder for keeping their heads high. I want to love and be loved. And at the end , I just want to live till the end. Because you know, happiness is just a dilusion. So live it as much as you can.

Last, but not at all least, I wish you all a very Happy World Photography Day !

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Much love

Riya