Sundarbans Diary – Oh Calcutta!

Jennifer Nandi bids goodbye to the Sundarbans and acclimates to civilisation as she traipses the streets of crowded Kolkata The famous bridge over the Hooghly River in Kolkata January 12 – Leaving for Kolkata During the three-hour-cruise to the jetty, from where we will be transferred by car to Kolkata, we are surprised by thousands of ducks – hundreds of Wigeon and Tufted Ducks on open water, and Lesser Whistling Teal huddled against the comparative safety of the reeds. Our eyes devour these sights of the Sundarbans – a landscape full of colour and incident for the vigilant visitor. Ferrying … Continue reading Sundarbans Diary – Oh Calcutta!

Sundarbans Diary – In celebration of alert laziness

On the last leg of her sojourn in the Indian Sundarbans in West Bengal, Jennifer Nandi enjoys an off-day that turns out quite rewarding Jan 11, 2010  Our definition of a pleasant morning – few tourists! We enjoy a slow walk on one of the islands to a watchtower – the walkways leading up to it are securely fenced off to provide protection against sudden tiger intrusion. A thirsty bird of prey lands on a protruding root of a tree at the water’s edge. Searching for distinctive features, we quarrel over its identification and conclude that it’s a Besra (Accipiter virgatus). It’s a … Continue reading Sundarbans Diary – In celebration of alert laziness

Sundarbans Diary – The Enormous Estuarine Crocodile

Cruising through the backwaters of the Sundarbans in India, Jennifer Nandi marvels at the estuarine crocodile, even as her thoughts turn to the conflict between these fascinating reptiles and the ecosystem’s human inhabitants Estuarine crocodile sunbathing in the squelchy ooze The plan for today begins with breakfast on board. Once again, to ensure a fairly decent meal, I do what it takes. It is rather surprising that the guide, the camp crew and boat crew have little idea of what standard quality of a meal implies. Nevertheless, all are co-operative and aim to please, which is a wonderful attitude to … Continue reading Sundarbans Diary – The Enormous Estuarine Crocodile

Entering the Indian Sundarbans

With the Sundarbans of Bangladesh behind her, Jennifer Nandi explores the Sundarbans of West Bengal, India. Political boundaries, she finds, are not the only dividing line between the two nations. Beginning her journey at Kolkata, she despairs at the atmosphere of abject neglect and callousness… It is hard to believe that Calcutta (now Kolkata) was once part of the Sundarbans – that mangrove-jigsaw spanning across two countries; land which had conquered the accidents of geography, the frailty of human beings, and distressingly, left only the cyclonic weather beyond control.  A three-hour drive from the Oberoi Grand to the jetty at Gadkhali … Continue reading Entering the Indian Sundarbans

Sundarbans diary – Leaving Bangladesh

In the fifth and final episode of her travelogue, Jennifer Nandi comes away admiring the simplicity of Bangladesh country life A village pond with a mugger/ marsh crocodile JANUARY 7, 2010 We come away from Bangladesh with an impress free from agitation of mind or spirit. This glowing effect devoid of conflict or commotion lasts us throughout our travels. This feeling was nourished by our soft-spoken team on the boat, by their generosity, their eagerness to please, their pride in their spotless vessel, the care and attention we received. And now driving through the countryside from the port of Mongla … Continue reading Sundarbans diary – Leaving Bangladesh

Bangladesh Sundarbans – At the Tiger’s Dining Table

Despite the many natural treasures they harbour, the Sundarbans are most famous — and notorious — for the creature that dominates the food chain. In the fourth episode of her Sundarbans travelogue in Bangladesh, Jennifer Nandi has a brush with the Royal Bengal Tiger. Fishermen lay lines to collect crab Another dawn breaks. Our guide hands us ‘jungle shoes’ and asks that we wear them to protect our own footwear from being clogged with miry mud. As we struggle for a comfortable fit, he shows us a tiger swimming across the water recently caught on film. Our thoughts are with … Continue reading Bangladesh Sundarbans – At the Tiger’s Dining Table