September 2016 | The Top Post !

Birds colony at Rajamunda

Birds colony at Rajamunda

A small colony of about 500+ Asian Openbill stork birds is established at a small village of Rjaamunda, near Rourkela. These storks migrate to this very place somewhere near June and fly back in October once the new-borns are mature enough.

Openbills can be characterised by the gap between the bill. These storks are known to habitat near the paddy fields, from where they can gather 'snails.' Openbill stork is a large bird with the wingspan more than 5 feet. Storks built a big, almost 5 feet wide nest with the help of twigs of Saal or Mango tree. Either parent looks after the babies while other make rounds and bring the food. 

Stork in flight carrying the flowers of Saal tree.

Stork is trying to break a thick twig.

Occasional fight

A pair of stork feeding and taking care of the newborns.

Wandering Destination : Chitrakoot Waterfalls

Wandering Destination: Chitrakoot Waterfalls

Chitrakoot waterfalls, known as mini Niagara of India, is located about 45 kilometres from Jagdalpur town of Chattisgarh state. It is located on River Indravathi and near to the Kanger Valley National Park. Although water falls from a height of about 100 feet, the fall is known for his grand width especially in the season of Monsoon. In monsoon, the stream swells and acquires more than 200 feet width.  The waterfalls display different moods in every season. In monsoon, it roars and swells. While after December, when the water recedes, it is snowy white with blue sky as the backdrop. 

On the left bank of the Chitrakoot Falls, a small Hindu shrine dedicated to the god Shiva and several naturally created grottos named "Parvati caves" (named after Shiva's wife Parvati) are located [1].

My visit to Chitrakoot: 

I visited the falls in the month of August when the water flow is at peak. Fortunately, a local jeep driver who happened to have good knowledge about the area was out tour guide. His vehicle, in which we travelled was not comfortable, but the information and the guidance were quite valuable for the first-time traveller. In the morning till eight o'clock, one hardly finds any shop or restaurant open. On the way, we stopped at a small Dhaba where we had a typical breakfast of Bhajiya with tasty spicy peas-potato curry with a cup of tea.

The road to the falls is splendid and well maintained. However, at the falls there are no good restaurants or even hotels to stay overnight. The only accommodation present  needs to be booked through the district collector office. The colourful floodlights installed to beautify the falls are not working. 

Tips for photography:

The place is best for shooting different compositions of the waterfall. I would advise a telelens as well as a wide-angle lens to capture different perspectives. An 'ND-filter' and a tripod would come in handy especially on a sunny day. The combination would help to capture blurry motion as well as the video of the falls.

Visiting the falls in the morning and evening is the best time to capture the beauty without any interference. If the vehicle is hired, the driver may refuse to stop after five or so. That's why it is better to travel in the own vehicle. Having said this, one should be careful about visiting offbeat places, as the area around is considered as Naxalite-prone.

Locals have converted the small caves near the banks to the temples. Locals priests take care of the daily rituals carried here. These little caves look beautiful due to the limestone walls. 

Selfie with daughter: A family taking selfies with waterfall as the background

The grand view:

To watch the front view, where complete fall can be seen, one has to go down the valley. A small path, parallel to the walls of the resort, takes to the river bed. This path is well constructed. A boating facility is also available, however, it remains closed in the Monsoon season.

Watch the Video: 

How to reach:

The best way to travel to Jagdalpur is by road. Chitrakoot waterfall is located at about 40 Km from the nearest town Jagdalpur. Road network well connects Jagdalpur. However, Rail connectivity is poor. 

Nearby Attractions:

Related photo essays:



Visit to Pitamahal Village

Visiting Pitamahal Village -PhotoEssay

To visit Pitamahal village, which is nearby the Pitamahal dam, follow the road from the other side of the newly developed Garden. The road passes by the water-spillover arrangement. One cannot cross the canal in between so to reach to Pitamahal village. Instead one has to take a big round to cross the canal at GadheiBalanda and come. 

An evening is a natural choice to visit this place. Herdsman takes back his cows and bulls back to the village after a day long grazing in the Bamra forest. The road is not yet listed on the google map. The condition is good for a bike to travel and only a strong car can cope with the terrain.

Fishing in the Pitamahal lake on every evening is a routine for most men here. After a day's work, about a quarter kilo of fish is enough for the dinner. Fishing is done either by multiple fishhooks or by taking a small craft to the interiors of the lake. Fishing is seldom done for earning. 

A worker, living in a nearby village, originally from Jharkhand, trying his luck on that day. Unfortunately, couldn't get any fish. Small water depth is the reason, he said!

Dr Liu, a renowned photographer and former panellist on the famous magazine "Better Photography", shooting the beauty of the lake.

I have in most of Odisha; people carry wood from the jungle in this typical fashion on the bicycle. No technology or modification in the bike. Just with the help of a big wood log and a rope from the bark, one carries wood sufficient for a week for a family of four.

Another day is over, time to go back home.
A cyclist is crossing the stream.
Colourful sky after sunset over the paddy field.

Check my earlier post on Pitamahal Dam here.

Glimpses of lifestyle of Tribals from Chitrakoot

Glimpses of lifestyle of Tribals from Chitrakoot

The road network decently connects the inner parts of the tribal region. However, there is a complete absence of the public transport. People mostly use a bicycle or shared four wheeler to travel to Jagdalpur. A small family of three going on bicycle even up to 5 kilometres or so is a common picture.

A typical house from the area. Slices of limestones used for the ceiling is the attraction. The limestone is also used to make fencing and due to patterns, it looks so beautiful. A cluster of up to 10 to 20 houses makes a small village which can sometimes at quite a distance from the other village.

Police also need protection. Due to constant fear of attack from Naxalites, police stations in the area becomes almost a fort. A station is protected by barbed wire fence, speed breakers, floodlights, armed gunmen, etc. Logic is to build confidence in the citizens and make them believe in the system

Tribal women selling goods. In most tribal communities, women are the head f the family. She works, earns and also takes the major decisions for the family. This is the main reason why one will notice more women on the road, in the market as compared to me.

Check some more portraits of tribal people here: Part I and Part II.

Portraits from Bastar - II

Portraits from Bastar - II

Do Check part I of the series.

Revisiting Kansbahal Dam

Revisiting Kansbahal Dam

A visit to Kansbahal dam in Monsoon season is completely different from the other as after heavy rains water is released. The release outlet is on the other end of this earth dam. Water is released only if it crosses the danger level which happens when it rains heavily in the catchment area. The flow of water creates sone interesting photo opportunities. Enjoy the view!

Read my earlier post about Kansbahal Dam here.



Ghogar temple, near the Rajgangpur town of Odisha, was established by King of Raghunath Sekhar Deo. Temple is dedicated to lord Shiv temple and also known as Ghogar Dham or Sri Ghogareswar Mahadev. 

The temple is located on the banks of the river Ghogar, near to the Kansbahal dam. A check dam is built near the temple to store the water for the use of temple and also used for fishing. The temple campus hosts the place for lunch (Bhandara) and tp stay (guesthouse). 

Temple is a great attraction for devotees during a ritual called "Bolbum, observed during the month of Shravan, where people walk miles carrying the water from their native to come here and offer tot eh lord Shiv. Other two important festivals observed here are Kartika Purnima andMahashivratri. 

I visited the premises in the September only to see the place is so dirty and ill-maintained and decided not to visit again. The temple trust seems not at all managing the system to maintain the holiness of the place. I clicked very few photos for record purpose and never entered inside the temple. 

How to reach:

The place is abut 40 km from Rourkela near the L and T campus at Kansbahal. The best way to reach Ghogar is to travel by road with a private vehicle.