That doesn’t mean one strikes sanctuaries and national parks off the itinerary all together. Maksam Tayeng, member of the Arunachal Pradesh State Board for Wildlife, claims there’s a world of flapping, chirping wealth to be found in and around less-treaded refuges like Daying Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, which straddles the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Perched on the rich flood plain between rivers Siang and Sibiya, it hosts more than 150 species of birds, including critically endangered ones like the Bengal florican. “But an obsession with bigger names like Kaziranga (National Park) leaves the birdlife in these sanctuaries unappreciated, and often unidentified,” he laments.
Of course, some traditional birding spots reel in loyalists for specific thrills. Asif Khan, programme officer at Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), would readily travel to Kerala’s Thattekad Bird Sanctuary to spot the ‘smiling’ Ceylon frogmouth, a curious-looking nocturnal bird with a broad bill, and an Indian stronghold in the Western Ghats. So where does a rookie head? We’ve drawn up a beginner’s guide.
NORTH: SNOW SOLDIERS
Every year, travellers make a beeline for Ladakh, its seasized lakes and poetic isolation irresistible hooks for their #wanderlust. Ask Shivkar, and he’ll direct you to Tso Kar, Shey, Thiksey, Hanle, and Nubra Valley—not for Instagrammable panorama, but the 20-25 species of birds you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere outside of the Tibetan Plateau region (the part that lies within India). Tibetan sandgrouse, Tibetan lark, Eurasian eagle owl, Mongolian finch, Tibetan partridge, or the show-stopping black-necked crane: you’re looking at some badass beauties that have hustled to thrive in this cold desert’s stern altitude and weather. Some, like the brahminy shelduck, bar-headed goose, or common redshank, are only summer guests, stopping by to breed before they glide away to the warm winters of peninsular India. A summer (July-September) of birding in Ladakh is likely to leave you flushed from the physical endurance it demands, and the thrill of spotting a Hume’s groundpecker hop around the salty blues of Tso Kar—“like it has a spring attached to it.”
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OF MIST & MYTH
WARRIOR QUEENS, LOCH MONSTERS, FAIRIES AND FEUDING CLANS—LEGENDS ABOUND ON THE HEBRIDEAN ISLAND OF SKYE. FOR CENTURIES, COLOURFUL TALES HAVE SHAPED THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO CALL SCOTLAND’S ‘MISTY ISLE’ HOME, AND ARE STILL DEEPLY INTERTWINED WITH ITS SOUL-STIRRING LANDSCAPES
Under the Sicilian Sun
Roaming through street markets and country vineyards, a writer is smitten by the sweet, salty and greasy headiness of Sicily’s tastes
School of BENGALI ROCK
ONCE A FLAMING PHENOMENON, ROCK MUSIC WRITTEN AND SUNG IN THE LANGUAGE BURNS BRIGHT IN KOLKATA’S CREVICES
ON THE WATER FRONT
THE PALM-FRINGED WATERWAYS OF KERALA TEEM WITH BIRDLIFE AND THE RHYTHMS OF RICE FARMING. BUT BENEATH THE SURFACE, THE PERIYAR NATIONAL PARK AND THE TRANQUIL VEMBANAD LAKE ARE FINDING A BALANCE BETWEEN THE NEEDS OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURE
ONE EGG TO BIND THEM ALL
STRIKINGLY SIMILAR YET DELICIOUSLY DIFFERENT EGG DISHES ARE THE ARTFUL ADHESIVES THAT JOIN SO MUCH OF THE WORLD THROUGH SHARED TASTES AND TRAVELS
ON THE EASTERN SHORES OF THE SOUTH ISLAND, THE NEW ZEALAND CITY MIXES CULTURE WITH OUTDOOR ADVENTURE—AND A PROUD LOCAL SPIRIT
A writer’s search for the epic poem’s hero ends at a hamlet in Denmark
Beyond the Grapevine
TUCKED UP AGAINST THE GERMAN BORDER IN FRANCE, ALSACE HAS BEEN SHAPED BY CENTURIES OF UPHEAVAL. TODAY, CHEFS AND WINEMAKERS ALIKE ARE CELEBRATING A LEGACY OF CULINARY DIVERSITY
Go Goa, Gobble
SPICY PORK CHILLY TO OMELETTE BATHED IN HOT GRAVY—TWO CARNIVORES CANTER AROUND GOA ON A NO-HOLDS-BARRED FOOD TRUCK TRAIL
10 Chutneys With Chutzpah
The relishes and sauces served on the side aren’t mere accompaniments to dishes. Try these 10 indian chutneys to jazz up everyday meals with flavour and texture
What It Takes To Sell Indian Saffron!
The saffron of Kashmir has long been considered the world’s finest, but drought is threatening the livelihood and traditions of its farming families.
PM To Meet J&K Parties Today; Polls, Development On Agenda
New Delhi: Ahead of the PM’s meeting with political parties from Jammu and Kashmir, the Delimitation Commission on Wednesday held virtual discussions with all 20 deputy commissioners of the Union Territory on details like physical, demographic and administrative issues concerning their respective districts.
Is Jammu & Kashmir Inching Towards A Debt Trap?
In the Kashmiri language when somebody eats too much, he or she is referred to as Bateh-Jin (glutton). It is very difficult to find the origins of this word. We can however guess that it describes a situation when a person or a nation consumes too much and still the wants are insatiable. The Kashmiri language is full of creative words and idioms that meticulously describe a certain situation. The word Bateh-Jin is one of these wonderful words.
End The Lockdown
A recent runaway surge in coronavirus cases temporarily threatened to plunge Jammu and Kashmir into the same chaos as was unfolding in Delhi through March and April.
From Cruises To Craft Gin Tours: Ideas For An Indian Summer Holiday
This year, skip the long flights for these dream vacations that will bring the world home says Arundhati Ail
Covid-19 Smart Strategy Required
The second wave of Covid-19 and its impact on Kashmir economy can be managed by peoples’ participation and smart strategy, writes Syed Suhail Yaqoob
JAGMOHAN MALHOTRA (SEPTEMBER 25, 1927 –MAY 3, 2021)
Jagmohan’s role as J&K governor again in focus after his death
THE COUNTER-COVID19 MOVEMENT
As the Covid-19 unleashes its carpet-bomb-morbidity in Kashmir, hundreds of individuals and groups have redoubled their efforts to restrict the possibly colossal costs. They are doing anything and everything and supplementing the efforts of government as well. Right now, Oxygen and food retains the top slots
MORE OXYGEN SUPPORTED BEDS
With the existing health infrastructure under massive pressure and nothing much to spare for additional load that the unruly pandemic is generating, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor has initiated the process of adding to the Oxygen supported bed capacity.
COVID-19 - JAIL WORRIES
With the septuagenarian separatist dying of Covid-19 in a Jammu jail, hundreds of families are worried across Kashmir. Now the political class has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to send them home on parole reports Saima Bhat