Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata

Sunday 18th of March 2018 and I went for breakfast at 8 o'clock. Then I can finish my breakfast and take a taxi straight to the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden commonly known as the Shibpur Botanical Garden in the afternoon. I only know of the place thanks to this excellent web page “Chirp Chirp! Top Birdwatching Places In Kolkata” Highly recommended if you have plans to come to Calcutta for some bird watching. So check it out.

And I was not surprised to discover that they still had the NON WORKING toaster in the restaurant. This is just too bad! Coming from the airport yesterday and I discovered A Holiday Inn across the road. Where I will stay next time. There is a Swissôtel 200 meter up the road, cheaper than Pipal Tree Hotel. But I refuse to live at Swissôtel wise from experience living at Swissôtel in Amsterdam and Singapore.

Kolkata, Pipal Tree Hotel
Toaster at Kolkata, Pipal Tree Hotel

I went out on the street to get a taxi, but it felt like I was going to throw up so I returned to my room. I felt better after an hour and I went to get a taxi. I was lucky again and I got a ride with my favourite, the Hindustan Ambassador. Sunday and the traffic was light and I expect us to made it through Kolkata in a jiff and soon to be at the Botanical Garden.

Premier Padmini

Premier Padmini was an automobile manufactured in India from 1964 to 2000, although the Premier Padmini"Padmini" name was not used until 1967 - the earlier cars were sold as the "Fiat 1100 Delight".

The car is popularly called “Fiat” Premier Automobiles Limited, the erstwhile flagship company of India's Walchand group, assembled Fiat's 1100-series cars from the 1950s until 1997. Within the very limited Indian market, and especially in comparison with its main competitor the Hindustan Ambassador, the Padmini was considered quite Premier Padminisporting.

Premier manufactured it at their Kurla, Mumbai plant until they sold a majority stake to Fiat Spa in September 1997.

First sold as the Fiat 1100 Delight, the 1100D was preceded in the Indian market by the Fiat 1100-103. It was also briefly sold as the Premier President (only for the 1973 model year) until it finally settled down as the Premier Padmini.

Hindustan Ambassador

I could not see any Hindustan Ambassador in Bombay this time. I saw a few white painted Hindustan AmbassadorHindustan Ambassador in Bombay. One driver told me that they were gone from the street sin Bombay.

The Hindustan Ambassador is a car manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India. It has been in production since 1958 with few modifications or changes and is based on the Morris Oxford III model, first made by the Morris Motors Limited at Cowley, Oxford in the United Kingdom from 1956 to 1959.

Sale of Ambassador taxis had been banned since April 1, 2011, a year after BS IV norms Hindustan Ambassadorwere rolled out in 11 Indian cities, including Kolkata.
Bharat stage emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.

The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests.

At present the company is in an extremely challenging situation with plummeting sales and Hindustan Ambassadorloss of ₨ 29.96 crore (approx. US$5.6 million as of October 2012) in 2011-12.The company could only sell around 2500 cars in 2011.

Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as a definitive Indian car and is fondly called “The dinosaur on Indian roads”. The automobile is manufactured by Hindustan Motors at its Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, West Bengal. Some prominent Indian politicians, such as Sonia Gandhi, use the Hindustan Ambassador.

From Wikipedia

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden

(Hindi:आचार्य जगदिश चंद्र बसु भारतीय वानस्पतिक उद्यान) (Previously known as Indian Botanic Garden) commonly known as the Shibpur Botanical Garden. (Just say Botanical Garden to the taxi driver) The botanical garden is situated in Shibpur, Howrah near Kolkata. They are commonly known as the Calcutta Botanical Garden, and previously as the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. The gardens exhibit a wide variety of rare plants and a total collection of over 12,000 specimens spread over 109 hectares. It is under Botanical Survey of India (BSI) of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

History
The gardens were founded in 1786 by Colonel Robert Kyd, an army officer of the British East India Company, primarily for the purpose of identifying new plants of commercial value, such as teak, and growing spices for trade.

Joseph Dalton Hooker says of this Botanical Garden that "Amongst its greatest triumphs may be considered the introduction of the tea-plant from China ... the establishment of the tea-trade in the Himalaya and Assam is almost entirely the work of the superintendents of the gardens of Calcutta and Seharunpore (Saharanpur)."

A major change in policy, however, was introduced by the botanist William Roxburgh after he became superintendent of the garden in 1793. Roxburgh brought in plants from all over India and developed an extensive herbarium. This collection of dried plant specimens eventually became the Central National Herbarium of the Botanical Survey of India, which comprises 2,500,000 items. During the early years of the garden Joseph Dalton Hooker writes:

... contributed more useful and ornamental tropical plants to the public and private gardens of the world than any other establishment before or since. ... I here allude to the great Indian herbarium, chiefly formed by the staff of the Botanic Gardens under the direction of Dr. Wallich, and distributed in 1829 to the principal museums of Europe.

Over the years attractive display gardens for the public have been developed and many kinds of plants have been cultivated for scientific observation. During the 1970s the garden initiated a program to introduce improved food plants and other varieties of economic benefit to the people of India.

The Garden was designated the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden on June 25, 2009 in honour of Jagadish Chandra Bose, the Bengali polymath, and natural scientist.

Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st This garden is a No Plastic Zone.

OK, this garden is plastic free, sorry, but I have to laugh, there is not as much garbage as I had expected, and way less than in any park in Thailand. But plastic free?

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Plastic free area!

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Plastic free area!

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Plastic free area!


Attractions
The best-known landmark of the garden is The Great Banyan, an enormous banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) that is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world, at more than 330 metres in circumference. It partially inspired the novel Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. The gardens are also famous for their enormous collections of orchids, bamboos, palms, and plants of the screw pine genus (Pandanus).

Animals seen inside the Botanic Garden include the Jackal (Canis aureus), Indian mongoose and the Indian Fox (Vulpes bengalensis). A large numbers of varieties snakes also found in the garden.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hindustan Ambassador
In the taxi on the way to the Botanical Garden

Hindustan Ambassador
In the taxi on the way to the Botanical Garden

Driving through Kolkata
Driving through Kolkata

Driving through Kolkata
Driving through Kolkata

I paid the 100 Rupee entrance fee plus the 20 Rupee camera fee. I went to the golf cart guy, they were booked for the next hour. But they took me to the toilet area and they would come look for me after an hour. I had my back pack with water and cookies for a picnic later on. Toilet area and I was on the bridge when I heard a Black-hooded Oriole in the tree above me.

Back in Sundarban the Indian Pond Herons was wearing the winter uniforms, but now I had a Indian Pond Heron in front of me, and the bird had almost changed in to full breeding plumage.

There was a Bronze-winged Jacana, a very scared bird but I managed to get a few pictures. Suddenly the gold cart was coming up on the bridge and the driver got out. WOW! Time had really passed quickly. 30 minutes or an hour had passed and I had not moved a meter. Still at the same place looking at birds.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
In the golf cart on the way to the toilet

Black-hooded oriole, Oriolus xanthornus
Black-hooded oriole

Black-hooded oriole, Oriolus xanthornus
Black-hooded oriole

Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii
Indian Pond Heron
Almost in full breeding plumage

Bronze-winged jacana, Metopidius indicus, นกพริก
Bronze-winged jacana - นกพริก

Bronze-winged jacana, Metopidius indicus, นกพริก
Bronze-winged jacana - นกพริก

Bronze-winged jacana, Metopidius indicus, นกพริก
Bronze-winged jacana - นกพริก

Indian Pond Heron, Ardeola grayii
Indian Pond Heron
Almost in full breeding plumage

I got in to the golf cart and we took off towards The Great Banyan Tree, nothing I was very interested in. But as I'm going to have a drive around to get a “feel” of the park and to see what they have to offer.

The plan is to go around have a look at the different areas and I will then walk around to look for the birds in the areas of interest. We approached the Great Banyan on the Banyan Avenue and the driver told me that it was the Great Banyan. I was looking at a big tree at the boat rental place
-OK, yes, interesting

I was soon realising that the Great Banyan Tree was the “forest” ahead of us.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
The Great Banyan Tree from Banyan Avenue


The Great Banyan

The Great Banyan is a banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, near Kolkata, India. The great banyan tree draws more visitors to the garden than its collection of exotic plants from five continents. Its main trunk became diseased after it was struck by two cyclones, so in 1925 the main trunk of the tree was amputated to keep the remainder healthy; this has left it as a clonal colony, rather than a single tree. A 330-metre-long road was built around its circumference, but the tree continues to spread beyond it.

The Great Banyan tree is over 250 years old, and its date of birth is doubtful. There is no clear history of the tree as to the time of planting etc. but it is mentioned in many travel books of the nineteenth century as a very spectacular element. It survived two great cyclones in 1864 and 1867, when some of its main branches were broken. With its large number of aerial roots, which grow from the branches and run vertically to the ground and looks like it has so many trunks, The Great Banyan looks more like a forest than an individual tree.

The tree survives without its main trunk, which decayed and had to be removed in 1925. A monument has been erected to the dead trunk, but is hardly accessible to visitors, who only have access to the perimeter of the tree. The area occupied by the tree is about 18,918 square metres. The present crown of the tree has a circumference of 486 m. and the highest branch rises to 24.5 m; it has at present 3772 aerial roots reaching down to the ground as a prop root. Its height is almost equivalent to the Gateway of India.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We parked on the Banyan Avenue, at the boat renting place. I got out of the golf cart to get a picture before we continued back on the Banyan Avenue. We stopped after 50 meters to watch a few White-throated Kingfishers. A little further down the road we spotted a Cattle Egret.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Banyan Avenue

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - White-throated Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - White-throated Kingfisher
White-throated Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Cattle Egret

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret

We continued on the Hooker and we turn left on Roxburgh Avenue and we continue down to the River Hoogly. The park is full of Rufous Treepies, but they are very scared and I have not manage to get any pictures. What a difference from Ranthambhore National Park where the Rufous Treepies came landing next to you in the jeep.

We passed some gardens on the way but no birds among the beautiful flowers, at least not what I could see. We came down to the very disappointing river front. Why have they put the fence there? Now it is not possible to see the river.

I could see a Black Kite sitting in a tree outside the fence. Well, it was two Black Kites but one took off when I got out of the golf cart. But one of the kites stayed behind and I tried to get a picture through the fence.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black Kite

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black Kite
Black Kite

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black Kite
Black Kite

We continued along the river until we reached the Colette Avenue and we turned right at the Kyd Avenue and we drove the same way to the gate as I had been walking last time. We passed the gate and I asked the driver to drop me back at the toilet again. I handed the driver 500 Rupees and he told me that he would not give me any money back when he understood that I was waiting for the change.
- 500 Rupees he said
- No! 250 Rupees I said. That is what they told me
- 250 is for Indians

I got angry and we returned to the gate and the twat told me that it was 250 for Indians
- Do I look like an Indian? I asked

They gave me 250 Rupees, so much trouble and at the end they have to give me the money, and yes, I was furious. I left the gate and I walked along the Palmyra Avenue. I was soon running in to a Black-rumped Flameback. I could have sneaked right up on the bird, but when I was 6 meters away there were two guys coming out from the bushes and the flameback took off.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Ticket for the golf cart

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Palmyra Avenue

Black-rumped flameback, Dinopium benghalense
Black-rumped flameback

Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Black Kite

Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Black Kite

Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Black Kite

Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Black Kite

I was happy with the Black-rumped flameback at the same time I was disappointed with the guys coming out from the bushes scaring the bird. I continued towards the toilet and I was soon spotting a beautiful Black Kite sitting on a trunk next to the walk path. A beautiful bird and this day turns better by the minute I'm walking around here in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden.

The toilet area was empty from birds and I crossed the bridge walking to the right following the Grifpith Avenue passing some ponds and a garden. I reach an intersection and all the concrete blocks with directions have fallen in to decay. If they charge you to come inside you expect them to at least maintain the garden, and that includes removing all the garbage people are throwing in the park.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Passing a garden

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
The park are falling in to decay

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Thomsons Avenue

To open map in new window click HERE

Thomson Avenue is just a walk path leading to the north end of the Botanical Garden. This is also the Sub-Himalayan Region of the garden. Coming to the end of the walk path and there is a Spotted Owlet sitting in one of the trees. Turning left reaching the “Ring-road” around the park and if you continue walking along this path and you will soon be back at the Great Banyan Tree.

I had my picnic snacks when I was back at the Banyan Tree. The plan is to walk from the Banyan Tree to the Kyd Monument to look for the Stork-billed Kingfisher and from there walk via the toilet and the Palmyra Avenue back to the gate.

I saw the Stork-billed Kingfisher again and that means that I have seen the Kingfisher 2 times out of two = 100%

There were nothing at the toilet, of course, now it was very hot and most of the birds is most likely taking cover in the shadows. Palmyra Avenue and I was running on to a Black-hooded Oriole

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Spotted Owlet

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
Boat rental place - The tree I thought was the Great Banyan Tree the first time

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Stork-billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Stork-billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed Kingfisher

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black-hooded Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black-hooded Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black-hooded Oriole
Black-hooded Oriole

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black Kite
Black Kite

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata - Black Kite
Black Kite

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata

Coming closer to the gate on the Palmyra Avenue and there is a pond on the right hand side. There were two Black Kites sitting in the trees and they tried to take cover from the sun. Well, I was very happy with my day in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden. No taxi at the gate so I had to do quite a bit of walking.

I stopped a golf cart looking vehicle and he took me to a taxi stand. I was soon on my way back to Pipal Tree Hotel. I told the driver to take me to Holiday Inn as I wanted to have dinner.

Birding/ Bird watching in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata
On the way to the taxi stand

Kolkata Taxi
Crossing the bridge

Walking from Holiday Inn to Pipal Tree Hotel and I had a power nap. Waking up at 10 and the taxi would take me to the airport at midnight. Most likely the very last time I sat for at Pipal Tree Hotel. If I come back I can as well stay at Holiday Inn or Novotel, same price. Anyway, Thai Airways flight back home in NEXT.



General election in Sweden September 2018. Sweden is already beyond rescue and this is most likely the last free election in Sweden. They are already changing the “Free speech” laws in Sweden. Censorship and it only show how desperate they are to keep the population in the dark, as by now they have (must have) realised how they have destroyed what might have once been the best country in the world.

State media blasting 24/7 on how well Sweden is doing when it is obvious for everyone how health care, education system, police, judicial system and the welfare state have collapsed.

Where it is now allowed to be married to children, rape is a normal thing that the Police don’t even investigate thanks to the world’s first feminist government. What a sad joke this country have turned in to.


English subtitles available - Click on settings


English subtitles available - Click on settings




       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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