Saturday, January 31, 2009

Painted Storks of Bharatpur

200 Kms south of Delhi is the city of Bharatpur where the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is located. Also known as the Keoladeo National Park, this is a world heritage site that has over 230 species of birds - both residents and winter visitors. The time to visit the sanctuary is the winter months of November to March when along with the local birds, a host of winter visiting birds from places as far away as Siberia come to the park to breed and escape the cold winters of their host countries.

One popular bird in the sanctuary is the Painted Stork. This is a tropical bird which breeds in Asia from India and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia.

The Painted Stork feeds on fish, frogs and large insects and would normally be found in wet marshlands and shallow waters.
The birds make their nests on trees with dry sticks . The nests are large and usually contain 2 to 5 eggs.
The young juvenile birds are dull in colour - brownish and without the bright colours of the adult bird.
The adult painted stork is a large white bird with black flight feathers. The long slightly curved downwards beak is yellow. The tail and legs are pink. This is a broad winged soaring bird and like all storks flies with its neck outstretched.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

India Gate and surrounding areas

Republic day is approaching and India Gate is fully lit up for the occasion. This is a major landmark of Delhi and was built by the British as a memorial to the soldiers who died in the 1st world war and the Afghan war. Since 1971, a shrine has been built under the arch where a torch burns continuously and is known as the Amar Jawan Jyoti ( the flame of the immortal soldier).
The structure is over 42 mtrs high and has the names of 90,000 soldiers that died in the various wars engraved on the structure. Designed by Lutyens, it is surrounded by green lawns and a pool. Evenings see sizable crowds of picnickers.

National Gallery of Modern Art
If you are an art lover , a visit to the the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi is a must. Started in 1954, the gallery has paintings from the period 1857 onwards and has paintings of all the modern day Indian painters and also includes paintings of British painters of the 19th and early 20th century.
The building was formerly the residential palace of the Maharajah of Jaipur.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yellow Rose

One flower that brings a feeling of joy and delight is the rose and the sight of a yellow rose is particularly pleasing. Whereas romantic meanings are attributed to all roses, in the yellow rose is purely a symbol of friendship. The origin of Yellow roses was the Middle East where they were found growing naturally in the wild. Today they are cultivated all over the world.

Colourful effect of light on this closeup shot.

These shots were taken with the Nikon D80, Lens 18-135 mm. Exposure 1/60 sec, F4.8 , ISO 200. For the close ups an additional attachment lens was used.
Facts on Roses
Botanical name of Rose is Rosa and belongs to the family Rosaceae.
This is a perennial shrub that contains over 100 species

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter in Angers

At home in St Pierre en Vaux
Raveen returned to Anger after his Christmas holidays in India. These are some pictures sent by him of his home in St Pierre en Vaux with snow all around.
A tree in the front yard with branches stripped of all leaves
When we were there in summer, this area was lush green
Entrance to Raveen's Cave studio
The building is flanked on the left and rear by entrances to the caves that were in existence and in use till the 17th century.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Carnations are beautiful flowers that have a long history of being one of the most popular flower variety.The carnation's history dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times, when it was used in art and decor. Christians believe that the first carnation bloomed on earth when Mary wept for Jesus as he carried his cross.

Different colours of carnations convey different messages - red conveys love, white for good luck and pink carnations are given as a sign of gratitude.
In addition to being of special significance around the world, carnations are also the official flower for mother's day.
In many parts of the world, carnations are more popular than even the rose.Facts
Dianthus caryophyllus - scientific name for carnations
Has been cultivated for the last 2000 years

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Pink Lily

Beautiful flowers. Couldn't resist capturing these images on my camera.
These flowers are oriental hybrids and are crossbreeds of several Asiatic mainland species.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lutyen's Delhi

The central administrative area of Delhi from where the Government of India functions is an impressive complex of buildings consisting of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan which houses the President of India, the 2 secretariat building just in front on either side of the Rashtrapathi Bhawan and further down the grand circular Parliament House.

Rashtrapathi Bhawan flanked by South and North Blocks at dusk

Rashtrapati Bhawan

Designed by Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931, the palace was initially the Viceroys House and was the official residence of the Governor General of India. When India became a republic in 1950, it became the official residence of the President of India. Shot of the North Block

Sansad Bhawan ( Parliament House)
Designed by Lutyens, Parliament House is the seat of the Indian democracy. This large colonnaded building , 171 metres in diameter has 3 large central halls where legislative business is conducted. The 3 chambers are surrounded by a veranda which has 144 columns .
View from Raisina Hills overlooking India Gate