Posts Tagged ‘visit’

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

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had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

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enjoying puchka

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jhaal mudi

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and visited the family who brought me up.

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We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

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The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

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Bronzeback Tree Snake

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Blue-throated Barbet

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We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

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Hog Deer

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Red Jungle Fowl

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Elephants

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Rhinos

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Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

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Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

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where we saw so much of wildlife.

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The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

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The Panchalinga temple, Begur, 161114

November 17, 2014

Sometimes a lot of the hard work is done for me!

Arvind took Gayatri and me to the 1200-year-old temple of nagarEshwara in Begur. I thought I’d write about it, but

this blogpost by Anita Bora

has done a great job of it!

The only difference after 6.5 years is that two rAja gOpurAs have been constructed, and will be consecrated today (17 Nov 2014). There are some rather unimaginative, but well-meaning, repairs in the temple, but the age old nagarEshwara shrine is still rather tottery!

Lovely video with the commentary in Kannada:

So, here are a few pictures I took.

A temple I saw before the Panchalinga temple:

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A view of the Panchalinga temple:

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The simple temple rathA (chariot) in a “garage” opposite the temple.

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A rAjagOpurA under construction (it’s supposed to be consecrated today, and seems nowhere near done!)

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The other one, more finished:

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How can I have a post without birding in it? A migratory Spot-billed Pelican soars over the temple (the Begur Lake is close by).

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The old shrine:

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The small gopura:

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The old part of the temple:

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The tottering old nagarEshwara shrine:

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the Nandi in front:

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Small bas relief of Ganesha:

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Getting ready for the deepOtsavA (lamp festival):

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A yagnya being performed:

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The low ceilings and granite pillars:

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rAvaNA, the king of Sri Lanka, a great devotee of Shiva, and the “villain” of the epic, rAmAyaNA, as a vehicle for the god in procession:

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Another such pallakki both are at the shrine of kAlikAmbA:

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Shrine to sUrya nArAyaNA:

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The view of the Nagareshwara shrine:

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Hero stones and inscriptions in the courtyard:

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A Ganesha carved out of a bullock horn:

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View of the “staircase” to the gopura under construction:

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It’s made of bamboo and bricks, earth-friendly materials instead of metal; looks rickety, but that’s what the builders are working with!

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Another view of the temple:

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A “vilva”(crab apple) tree in full fruition:

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One of the trees in the courtyard:

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Another one next to it:

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The flower seller outside with her umbrella flying in the breeze:

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I’ve put up some more photos on my FB album,

click here

(especially those who like to see what everyday religious life is like Over Here!)

Creatures, and verse….

July 24, 2014

I got a well-meaning email saying that my photography was getting "worse and worse" and explaining all my faults. Now, I am a HCP..Hopelessly Content Photographer, who posts SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots). So…I thought, what if my photography was verse instead of worse? Here goes…I saw all these in Scandinavia.

Tired of flitting.
A little lazy.
Stop a minute.
Upon a Daisy.

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“Scratch” the race!
This young hare cries.
Hidden in the high grass
Is the tortoise, slow but wise!

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The flower has food in plenty.
The bee, therefore, is rolling.
As he drinks the nectar up
He gathers up the pollen.

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This cat was keen upon its hunt.
And did not like being snapped.
Its agenda was very clear:
A mouse, eaten, after getting trapped!

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Big Chief One-Feather
Sat upon a pole.
Hoping for a juicy chick,
A shrew, or a vole!

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This moth lay on the leaf-litter.
Amongst the drops of rain.
Will it die where it lies now?
Or will it fly again?

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Can you see my horns? He asks
While running in the wheat.
He slants a wary eye at us:
Vanishes on graceful feet.

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Curling into a fetal ball
Is this hedgehog’s best defense.
I didn’t touch him or trouble him..
But caught him with my lens.

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Glorying in the sunlight
At the prime of his young life.
Grassy paddocks and well-cared ease:
What does he know of strife?

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“Life’s a bubble”..so it seems
When I watch this foraging duck.
He’ll migrate soon, for the winter months
And survive, if he has good luck!

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“I have so many back home!” I cried
As we kept seeing European Black Kites.
Then, suddenly an Osprey appeared:
A dream come true in browns and whites!

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I just looked at the backyard.
No announcement. No knock.
He arrived…and left..so silently,
This European Peacock.

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June 30, 2014

It was a wonderful experience to go to Gamla Linkoping (the old town of Linkoping), where heritage buildings have been brought in and re-built with every possible care. There are several museums, housed in these old buildings, that visitors can walk into. In the whole area, many people who are in period costumes walk about; and today, when the local newspaper was pushed into the mail slot, I found out a bit more about two musicians whom I met there.

Here’s Jacek Malisz, with his accordion:

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And here’s Lasse Strom (er, that “o” should have an umlaut), with his “Strohfiol”, which is a violin with an amplifier:

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And here they are, playing together.

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Jacek’s accordion, he told me, was over a hundred years old. Lasse was very much more witty; he had a “spiel” of dialogue ready for the tourist that I was. He told me how the basic element of the violin had been integrated with this amplifier (it was made of aluminium) for the better carrying of the sound, in the days before microphones and loudspeakers (and, indeed, electricity) were in place.

“Do your children also play this?” I asked him. “No!” he said emphatically. “When a child learns an instrument, it’s cruel for everyone else around to hear it!” “But your parents somehow put up with the noise of *your* learning,” I laughed; and he laughed with me. “Regarding music…one of my daughters has a ear,” he said, and I nodded sagely, understanding about having a ear for music. Then, of course, he added, “The other one has TWO ears!” and laughed happily at having cracked a good joke!It was my turn to laugh with him!

I am trying to get the link to the newspaper article about them (it appears in the “Summer” supplement to the June 25/26 issue of “Linkopings Posten”). , if you could help me, I’d be very grateful, I’ve not been successful yet!

With the help of Google Translate, I’ve learnt that the two musicians have been playing at Gamla Linkoping for the past 32 years, but this is going to be stopped soon…sorry, I couldn’t wade through the entire article, typing it out on Google Translate!

Life, and letting go……

June 28, 2014

I am Sweden for a few weeks; when I went around a jumble sale yesterday, I had no cash whatsover, and even if I had some, I knew I would only be accumulating junk that would be of no use to me or the person I am staying with. This allowed me to go around the sale area without buying anything.

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Coming back home, I mused upon the fact that this is a metaphor for my life, too. If I lack the cash (the ability to get attached to something) I can go through life enjoying everything without getting too attached to it, bringing it “home” and being lumbered with it….

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At the jumble sale, I had a credit card that was not accepted. I accept that I do need some money….some attachment…to get me through life…but how can I ensure that I will have only the really important attachments? At the jumble sale, the decision was taken for me, but in life, I will have to make these decisions…and my mind is too fickle, too caught by what is glittering and meretricious, and I squander away my peace of spirit for “baggage” that only weighs me down….

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After my divorce, when KM moved out of the house, he was kind enough to have the apartment painted before my return. He’d packed a lot of bric-a-brac away, like the Swarovsky crystal, my collection of Ganeshas, the life-like miniature vegetables I bought in Dakshineswar….and I have never bothered to unpack them, since I returned (this was in 2012.) I actually feel the relief of not having to dust and clean them regularly….I have learnt, therefore, to shed *some* baggage. But the journey of learning to let go, is still very long….

Interesting sculpture…and roundabout dogs….more questions! Linkoping, Sweden, 230614

June 27, 2014

As I came by bus into Linkoping, I caught sight of this very large hoop adorning one of the roundabouts:

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I caught sight of a statue (life-size) of a dog, placed looking askance at the hoop, as if to ask, “What should I do?” only when the bus sped past.

But a few days later, when PC and I walked down to Biltema and the IKEA shop, I was able to get a much better picture of this dog-and-hoop, and here it is:

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You can clearly see the dog looking at the beautifully-balanced hoop!

Trying to get more information about this sculpture, I googled the following words: “roundabout dog sculpture linkoping sweden”…and got

this very interesting link

about roundabout dogs!

“A roundabout dog (Swedish: rondellhund, originally Östgötsk rondellhund, “Östergötland roundabout dog”, a pun on västgötaspets) is a form of street inThe roundabout dogs started appearing in Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden (and were therefore originally called: de östgötska rondellhundarna), after a sculptured dog that was part of the official roundabout installation Cirkulation II (English: Circulation II) by sculptor Stina Opitz had been vandalised and later removed. The original dog had been made of concrete, and Stina Opitz was planning to make a new version of it after the vandalism, when someone placed a homemade wooden dog on the roundabout. The dog was given a concrete dogbone by another anonymous artist. Soon after the media reported these developments, roundabout dogs started appearing in various places around the country.

Peter Nyberg (maker of the first ‘Rondellhund’) of Linköping told tabloid Expressen that his dogs were intended to “mock the state-employed artists, who get so much money to make sculptures that we can do just as well ourselves”. In some smaller towns where there were no roundabouts, dog sculptures were placed in ordinary intersections with traffic islands.

The Swedish artist Lars Vilks made a drawing depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a roundabout dog. This was published in a Swedish local newspaper in July 2007. It provoked accusations of blasphemy from some Muslim groups in the Middle East. (See Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy.) The 2010 Stockholm bombings are considered to be sparked partially because of the cartoon.”

That was certainly something to make me think…. I read on:

“In April 2007 Bjorn Andersson started building roundabout dogs in his workshop south of Stockholm. His mission is to keep rondellhund at Philanthropic Street Art level and to give a moment of enjoyment to all people traveling by car. His dogs have traveled the world to places in the USA, in Australia and in the UK.”

How surprising! The wiki goes on further to say:

“In 2009, similar dogs started appearing on some of the roundabouts in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshirestallation, that began occurring in Sweden during the autumn of 2006, and continued for the rest of the year with sporadic occurrences since then. The phenomenon consists of anonymous people placing homemade dog sculptures, typically made of wood (or sometimes plastic, metal or textile) in roundabouts (traffic circles). Occurrences were reported all over Sweden, and the phenomenon also spread to other countries, such as Spain after it was mentioned on Spanish television (PuntoDos). Swedish tabloid paper Expressen even placed one at Piccadilly Circus.”

The dog I’ve photographed is not a wooden dog in this sense, and now I am unable to understand if the hoop was placed there first and the dog “added” as part of the “roundabout dog” theme, or whether they do belong together.

So…in the process of finding out more information on the net, I seem to have opened up more of an enigma! I wish there was someone in Linkoping whom I could ask..I’m afraid the language (and the fact of most sites being in Swedish and not translating too well) IS proving a barrier to learning a lot about what I am seeing around me.

Linkoping Cathedral, 200614

June 26, 2014

After looking at the Midsummer’s Eve celebration, I realized that the

Linkoping Cathedral

was not very far away, and we walked till the beautiful green-blue spires were near:

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It was breathtaking to watch the main spire looming up into the sky:

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The stained glass windows looked majestic from outside:

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Through them, I could also see the effect of the stained glass as it would be if I entered the cathedral:

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Here are two of the stained glass windows from the outside:

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The side view of the Cathedral:

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Some of the tall windows have been damaged,but the damage has been left wisely alone for the most part.

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In just a few places, some refurbishment has been done:

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A detail of the weather vane:

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detail of the trellis work:

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The awesome main spire:

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The Diocese nearby:

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How ironic that the school (Gymnastik) nearby incorporates the word “nastik”, which means “atheist” in Sanskrit!

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Each entrance was imposing:

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This was the main entrance:

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The doors are, predictably, solid:

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So are the locks (yes, the Cathedral was locked)

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The walls are imposing against the sky:

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The Museum was closed, too, when we reached:

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Right next to the Cathedral is the Linkoping Palace:

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The Linkoping flag has a tiger on it, which was very appropriate to someone from India!

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Was this some kind of sundial? I couldn’t make out, and there is no mention in the Wiki:

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Here’s PC, clicking it, too:

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The road with the old coach houses:

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The Cathedral as it reaches up to touch the summer sky:

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It’s very frustrating not to be able to get enough (in English) about this beautiful building and its environs…translating everything from the Swedish is a frustrating job!

June 17, 2014

The past few days, I’ve been enjoying windows, and doors, and buildings…along with friends, and their friends!

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We met Shashi, Ishaan and Sahana Kattla:

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Sahana is a beautiful baby:

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Ishaan was enjoying himself with his umbrella!

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Other children were enjoying summer, too.

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An old house:

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A peaceful place to sit and read:

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Old buildings:

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Goteborg University:

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An unusual window near the University building door:

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Even buildings under renovation appeared pretty:

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No, I was not angered, but the tram was!

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Windows:

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We knew which country we were in:

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We walked down to a small lake:

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You could park your skin here!

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Enjoying Sweden’s buildings very much!

The flowers of my life, and my hope for travel….

May 27, 2014

My daughter just posted this on FB…so I cannot resist sharing the flowers that fill my life with beauty, colour, fragrance and sometimes a lot of peskiness…

kk 260514

I went through a fairly thorough personal interview at the Swedish embassy about my proposed (and already paid for!) visit…and I told the lady about , , and …she even took down everyone’s LJ id’s….and how I hope to meet all of you in Sweden.

I am not sure I did right in saying that my plans for travelling in the Schengen area are a little fluid. But that’s the way it is…so…that’s votIsed.

Oh well…hope to meet all of you….I may not be able to see your LJ’s all the time or comment…but you lot are true friends and you are one of the main reason why I am visiting (or trying to visit) Sweden!

Also add Deepak and Sumana Vastare (who live in Goteborg with their 7-month-old son Advik) to the list….

Can’t type too well because I have my fingers crossed, and my eyes, too! The decision will be made, and the yes or no stamped on my passport, which I can collect from the Embassy tomorrow, at 3pm…

The Camp Elephants at Bannerghatta Zoo, April 2014

April 15, 2014

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Having gone thrice to the zoo area in the course of a week, I was able to see the camp elephants being brought back from their foraging trips in the periphery of the Bannerghatta forest area.

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I must say, I am very impressed with the health of these camp elephants, and their excellent relationships with their mahouts.

They are fed large balls of rAgi (a kind of millet that Karnataka is famous for…Kannadigas love rAgi muddhE, small balls of rAgi flour, with sAmbhAr), every day, and are given enough fodder, too.

As they come back towards the Kingfisher Pond, they seem to love having dust baths. Here are the females, lying down in the dust:

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They are helped by their mahouts…the second one is just about settling down!

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Look at the little one nuzzling up!

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The amount of dust that a female human being would instantly set about cleaning, seems welcome to a female elephant!

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A young one comes along curiously (she’s called Roopa):

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There’s work to be done…this wood has to be carried inside the zoo, but neither youngster is doing to do that (just like humans!)

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The little one, indeed, roots along happily:

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They start walking towards the rear entrance of the zoo:

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Here’s a short video of their gait:

It’s left to the adults to bring the baled wood:

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The elephant’s trunk and mouth are such amazing things!

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Obediently, El Nino follows his mother and aunts:

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Now, it is the turn of the tusker (in India, only male elephants have tusks) to come and settle down:

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Not an appealing sight, the rear of an elephant? I found it quite interesting…

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Because, as the mahout dusted him down, I saw a part of an elephant I’ve never seen before (no, not THAT, you dirty-minded lot!)

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The soles of an elephant’s feet!

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This tusker is called “Vanaraja” (King of the Forest):

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After his dust bath, he headed in the opposite direction, back into the forest periphery:

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Here’s the tusker getting up:

We watched him as he swayed off, majestically:

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After being brought back into the Zoo, they seemed to be very happy in their enclosure:

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Throwing dust over themselves, or dusty stuff, seems to be a way of relaxing:

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The unnamed baby was especially happy, lolling about in the fodder:

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