Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary|Rajasthan

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Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary|Rajasthan, situated at a distance of 180 km from Delhi, 55 km from Agra and 35 km from Mathura and 195 km from Jaipur. Ranthambor National Park is 235 km from here.  This park is also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, spread over in an area of 29 square kilometers. One can combine its visit by road with Agra, Mathura, Jaipur, wildlife sanctuary Ranthambor and Chambal Alligator and Birds Reserve Park  is a World Heritage site since 2002 as “Habitat of Rare and Endangered Species” Keoladeo is Lord Shiva temple in the Sanctuary.





This park is a low land situated between the confluence of two rivers Gambir and Banganga, Jat King Maharaja Surajmal who ruled Bharatpur constructed high-rise mud bund on the western side of city , a bund at the confluence of two rivers and filled the ground with water. This marshland was created as an additional measure for the protection of Bharatpur from the invaders coming from Agra, Alwar and Jaipur side.


Bharatpur city use to get flooded during the monsoons, In 1760 AD an earthen Dam was constructed to protect the city, the soil removed for the purpose left more space for water to be trapped, series of small dams, dykes and gates controlled the level of water, this area afterwards started attracting lots of birds due to the favorable vegetation, small fish, weeds and low depth of water and became the best water duck shooting game wetland in the world. The birds hunting started around 1850 AD and regular duck shoots were organised by the Bharatpur Royal Family to honor the British Viceroys.


The Royal Family had hunting rights till 1972 after which It became a Bird Sanctuary/Protected area on 13 March 1976. It got its National Park status on 10 March 1982 and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.



A huge variety of Flora and Fauna throughout the year and suitable climate in winters makes Bharatpur a favorite destination for birds coming down from  Central Asia, Siberia, Russia, Northern Europe and North eastern Asia to spend their winters and start their return flights around the end of February



This marshy wetland is on the edge of Thar Desert and experiences extreme hot summers (around 48 Centigrade )  and not very cold winter ( around 5 Centigrade). There are grasslands of Khus Khus ( Vetiveria Zizanoides) , trees of Babul , Kiker ( Acasia Nilotica),  Kadamb (Mitragyana) , Jamun (Jambula) , Kandi ( Prosopis), Berberry (Zizyphus), Aquatic weeds like Water Lillys (Nymphya Species) , Duck weeds (Lemna species), Water Ferns, Hydrilla, Naga Species and Chara Species. Many birds feed on roots, fruits, nuts, seeds and build their nests on thorny trees for safety .





There are over three hundred species of birds in the 11 sq. km. of marshland, rest is the grassland and shrub trees the migratory birds species are Grey Heron, Geese, Sarus Crane, Pelican, Eagles, Ducks, Hawks, Shanks, Stints, Brown long ear Bats, Wagtails, Warblers, Garganey Teal, Fly catchers, Larks, Pipits, Larks etc. Permanent residents are Peacock, Crows, Wood Sand Piper , Indian Shag , Parrots, King Fisher,











The Siberian Crains use to spend their winters here are no more arriving due to hunting in Afghanistan where on way to India they were spending 2-3 days.  The Neelgai, wild boars, Cheatals, Indian Mongoose Sambhar, Fox, Fishing cats, Leopard cats, Jackals, Hyenas and Small Indian Civets, Rhesus monkey, Langur etc. Reptiles Rock Python, Cobra, Russel’s Vipers and Monitor lizards. Amphibians are Tortoise, Bull Frog, Skipper Frog .


In addition to the above, when few villages within the park area were relocated they left their cattle behind, they are now permanent residents, feed , breed in open like the wild animals since 1971.

Best bird watching times are early morning just around the sunrise when birds leaves their nest in search for the food and then around the afternoon when birds return to their nests to feed their young ones and have rest.

There is a entry ticket , Naturalists / Guides are available, only paddled rickshaw , bicycles and battery operated carts are available or one can walk in the Bird Sanctuary.

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Yatra Chardham for the year 2016

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 Yatra Chardham for the year 2016 starts from 08 MAY , Kapats ( Doors) opens Sri Yamunotri Dham 09 MAY  Sri Gangotri Dham on 09 MAY , Sri Kedarnath Dham on 10 MAY and Sri Badrinath Dham on 11 MAY

The Yatra Chardham which is the devout wish of an any Sanatan Hindu , Shivaite or Vishnuite is done in the Gharwal region of Uttrakhand state of North India, since 1980 we are making the travel arrangements for pilgrims in this area, I have seen the Senior Citizens accompanying their families and trying to keep a pace with the youngsters to make their pilgrimage to these holy places, not knowing about the difficulties, unpredictable weather and the high altitude sickness because of thin air and less oxygen,  in travel and quite often it is the high emotional feeling of doing it by foot as a devotional duty towards the God.

Puja at Hardwar












The entire journey which is performed by the people from all over India gathers at Haridwar or Rishikesh starts the 12 -14 days journey within the Himalayas with almost every day travelling around 200-250 kms. on single road which are prone to land slides, falling rocks, heavy rains or may be simply the heavy traffic in both directions on road and once we reach the destination may be one is to wait in a queue to have a pooja or just a darshan of few minutes,  choice of food is the major problem, fresh vegetables and milk are rare, one is to compromise on whatever is available and most important the good comfortable place where one can have full rest at night and facilities of daily use.

Sri Badrinath Ji Temple at night

Quite often, Senior Citizens are unable to travel because someone from their family is not accompanying them, the entire  journey is comfortable and our experienced representative is with the Seniors, hiring of a vehicle with good ground clearance and comfortable seats, there are breaks in the journey at places where there are good facilities and good refreshments available, a prior information about the medical needs of person travelling, contacts of medical facilities available on the route which may be helpful in case of any emergencies. Food served on this route is vegetarian, the accommodations is on ground floor with hot water in the bathrooms, beds are soft and warm, places are at high altitude, heaters and fire in the rooms are not allowed, providing guests with hot water bottles to keep the body warm in the bed. Accommodations are selected close to the  roads .

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Yatra Chardham – Hardwar

Yatra Chardham pilgrimage in Gharwal Himalayas Uttrakhand is a devout wish of a Sanatan Hindu since 8th century the establishment of temples or Dhams by the Adi Shankarcharya to make the Sanatan Dharma more strong which was loosing its prominence because of influence from the Jainism and Buddhism which originated from India and had patronage from many kingdoms in the Indian sub continent also because of the strict disciplined form of Sanatan Dharma described by the Brahamins, all these places were rediscovered and reconstructed  by him  which we see as on today, one wonders as to how a man could have reached here and these temples were constructed at  the places with limited resources and the area which are accessible only for about 5 months in a year . Most of the pilgrims visits the main shrines and ignore the other places which are equally important and part of our Purans and Mythology, I will be introducing my readers to these places and associated legends with it.

Hardwar – Har Ki Pauri

Hardwar Har-ki Pauri

This is the place visited by all the pilgrims , a holy dip in the river Ganges here is considered to be absolving of all the sins, legend is, as a result of Churning of Sea by the Asuras and Devs, the Amrit ( Ambrosia) came out and there was a dispute as to who should have it, in between the Garuda took the urn  from the battle field and flew away, the four drops fell on earth at places Ujjain, Nasik, Prayag (Allahabad) and Hardwar , it is at this place in Hardwar the devotes take a bath on the banks of holy river Ma Ganga.

Chandi Devi Temple

It is the most ancient temple of India didicated to Chandi or Chandika , it is said that Ma Parvati assumed the  form of Chandi as a attractive beautiful women to attract the Demon brothers Shumbh and Nishumbh who wanted to marry her, she had to kill the demon chieftains Chanda and Munda before killing the two brothers, after the battle was over the Ma Chandi took rest at this place known as Neel Parvat , near by there are two peaks known as the Demons Shumbha and Nishumbha peaks, here  is another  temple dedicated to Ma Anjana mother of lord Hanuman .

Mansa Devi Temple

It is said that Chandi Devi and Mansa Devi are two forms of Ma Parvati and the temples didicated to each one is always be in close vicinity . The Mansa Devi ( Wish) temple is across the river Ganga on a Bilwa Parvat , Mansa Devi is sister of Nag devta Vasuki and it is a form of Shakti emerged out of the Muni (Sage) Kashapya. It is a Sidh Peeth and people tie a thread to get their wishes fulfilled and return to untie it .

Maya Devi Temple

The ancient name of Hardwar is Mayapuri , the Maya Devi is the Adhisthatri deity of Hardwar , it is said that the Naval and heart of godess Sati fell here and it is a Shakti peeth. It is one of the oldest temple built about one thousand years ago, The goddes Maya with three heads and four arms is in the center the other deites are Ma Kamakhya on the right and Ma Kali on the left .

Saptrishi Ashram

It is said that seven Rishis (sages)  Kashyapa, Vashisht, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Bharadwaja and Gautam. meditated here , the river Ganga never wanted to distrub the meditating Rishis thus splited into seven streams .

It is from here the Yatra Chardham starts with a holy dip at river Ma Ganga and ends with the Aarti at Har Ki Pauri.


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Jaisalmer | Kanoi Sand dunes

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Jaisalmer Kanoi Sand dunes are in West of Jaisalmer at about 35 Km.  This place is now the best location for the virgin Sand dunes away from the noise of main Jaisalmer – Sam Highway . These Sand Dunes were open as new destination for the visitors in the year 2014.

Camel cart and Camels at Kanoi Sand dunes

The villagers of Kanoi are taking care of this area by not letting it littered by self and the tourists , the camel men and the cart men carry a bag with them and collect all the garbage , keep it at one place at the camel boarding point to be disposed off in a proper way .

Camels and Desert Spring Camp Kanoi , Jaisalmer

In the vicinity of Kanoi village there is only one camp called the Desert Spring , staff is well-trained and also training the local villagers about the Eco – friendly daily products , protection of Wild life and Sand Dunes of Kanoi 

Sunset at Sand dunes of Kanoi , Jaisalmer

The weather and sand becomes cool as soon as sunsets in the West and  best thing about this place is that there are no man made obstructions which are an eyesore in the natural view. Kalbelia dancers and Mirasis singers are present here to have a private exclusive  performance at a Sand Dune selected by you with your own privacy .

Virgin Sand at Kanoi Sand dunes , Jaisalmer

The only place to stay near Kanoi Sand Dunes is the Desert Spring Camp , it has 11 Royal Tents and 15 Comfort tents with Rajasthani folk dances , Puppet show and Manganiyar singing the Rajasthani folk songs . One can enjoy the Sunset and Sunrise in the desert from here.

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Pathar Sahib Gurudwara , Leh, Ladakh

Pather Sahib gurdwara is located on Leh-Nimu road 25 km from Leh , this place is equally respected by Buddhist Lamas , Hindu and Sikhs .

Image Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji In rock

Guru Nanak Dev Ji traveled to Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim during 1515 – 1518,  on his return to Srinagar he stopped here and came to know about a demon who troubled the people in this area and wanted his help , to bring  him on the right path Guru Ji sat here in meditation, upon knowing , the demon rolled a big rock from the height to kill him but the rock upon touching Guru Ji’s body became soft as hot wax   the demon thought he had killed him and came down to kick the rock away , to his surprise his own feet got embedded in the soft rock and also saw Guru Ji alive , he realized his mistake  touch Guru ji’s feet , asked for the forgiveness and promised to serve the people for good , since then until 1965 the local people preserved the rock and worshiped it they fondly call Guru Ji as Nanak Lama .

Guru Nanak Dev Ji meditated here

The construction of road by the army in 1965 it was seen as a  hurdle in making the road and wanted to remove it but this rock could not be moved , mean while the driver of bulldozer and Army Officer Commander of the team  dreamed of some one instructing them not to remove it from this place, upon knowing the story from the locals the Indian Army constructed a Gurudwara and till now it is managed by the Indian Army.

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Ghantiyali Mata Temple Tanot Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Ghantiyali Mata temple is situated on main  Jaisalmer – Ramgarh – Tanot highway , 110 km from Jaisalmer ,  just 09 Km. before Tanot , situated between the beautiful yellow Sand Dunes .

Sand Dunes at Gantiyali Mata Temple Tanot Jaisalmer

Sand Dunes at Gantiyali Mata Temple Tanot Jaisalmer

It is considered must  to visit this temple first before Ma Tanot Temple . Ma Ghantiyali is sister of Ma Tanot and showed miracles at the same place before the temple was established and then in 1965 AD war with Pakistan.

Ghantiyali Mata Mandir , Tanot , Jaisalmer

Ghantiyali Mata Mandir , Tanot , Jaisalmer

How did the temple come at this place? According to a legend , a village nearby was overrun by a rival community and every one was killed except for one pregnant lady who was away at her mother’s village , this lady gave birth to a son , after few years when this boy grew up, started inquiring about his family and father , mother narrated the whole story to his son. This young boy was full of anger and pledged to take a revenge.  One day this young boy took his sword and left his house to take his revenge , after few days, thirsty and tired, when he reached this spot, he saw a little girl who served him with a pot of water , the boy thanked her and asked her who she was, as there was no village nearby. The little girl told him that she knew about his arrival and blessed him  ” his mission will be successful “. The boy said she is not aware of for what mission he has left his home , the little girl replied that “she knows every thing “ she also instructed him that he will kill only one person . The boy reached his destined village where he saw a marriage celebrations was on , he quietly killed one of the guest and went in hiding , when guests saw one of their member is killed , in the confusion they accused the host villagers and in fighting killed each other . This boy’s mission got accomplished and returned to the place in search of the same little girl , not finding her there he wanted to kill himself as a gratitude ,  little girl who was Ma Ghantiyali appeared and instructed the boy to make a temple and let the people know about her.

Broken Idols by Pakistani Army in 1965 War

Broken Idols by Pakistani Army in 1965 War

Second miracle happened  in 1965 AD during India’s war with Pakistan. The Pakistani army had invaded and captured the temple , they left a few soldiers here , and then proceeded to capture Ramgarh further ahead , few of the Pakistani soldiers at temple started vandalizing the temple and the idols. Some of there fellow soldiers objected  and they killed many of their fellow comrades , it is said when some soldiers who tried steal the gold and silver ornaments from the temple, they somehow became blind. The remainder soldiers marched towards Ramgarh to join their army, nearing Ramgarh the Pakistani soldiers who were already there misunderstood their men as Indian soldiers and approaching soldiers misunderstood that there are Indian soldiers at Ramgarh and in firing from both side killed each other .


Ghantiyali Mata Temple Tanot Jaisalmer

Ghantiyali Mata Temple Tanot Jaisalmer

The management to look after for day to day affairs , Aarti and other arrangements are with the Border Security Force (BSF) of India , there no villages or shops nearby ,  one can spend a night here only after the permission from the BSF .

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Tanot Rai Mata Temple Jaisalmer Rajasthan

Tanot Rai Mata Temple is situated very close to the India Pakistan border about 120 km from Jaisalmer . In Vikram Samvat 847 (792 AD) the City and Fort of Tanot was made capital by the Bhati King Tanu Rao and the Goddess Mata Tanot Rai , the incarnation of The Mata Hinglaj whose main temple is in Baluchistan now in Pakistan,  was established as a Siddha Peetha in Vikram Samvat 888 ( 832AD)  , since then the generations of Bhati Rajputs , people of Jaisalmer and surrounding areas pay respect to Mata Tanot Rai as their Kul – Devi . In 12th Centenary the Bhati King Maha Rawal Jaisal, shifted their capital to Loduvra, Jaisalmer for strategic reasons but the temple of Mata Tanot Rai remained here .

Mata Tanot Rai , Tanot , Jaisalmer

The main Idol is the yellow mud colored rectangular slab,  it is a Siddha Sthanm established in Vikram Samvat 888 (832 AD) , the Idol of Mata ji which we see in front is installed by the Border Security Force of India (BSF) , this temple has earned a undisputed respect and special place from the Armed Forces and the BSF because of the miracles in 1965 AD and then in 1971 AD war with Pakistan  . There are temples of Lord Hanuman Ji , Lord Shiva , Ma Mansa Devi where pilgrims tie their handkerchief as a prayer to get the wishes fulfilled ,  Bhairo and a Mazar of a Pir Baba

The legend is that the Hinglaj Mata is a Shakti Peetha of Ma Sati worshiped in the form of Ma Durga or Devi , the main temple is in Baluchistan now in Pakistan , pleased with the worship of a person name Mamadia from village Chelak in Jaisalmer , gave him a Boon that she will take birth as his daughter,  in the year Vikram Samvat 808 Chaitra Sudi 9th day on a Tuesday ( 752 AD) took birth , daughter was named as Avad Devi  and then the other six sisters named Ashi , Seti , Gehli , Hol , Roop and Lang were born , Mata Avad Devi showed her miracles in due course of time and also came to be known as Nagrenchi , Kale Dungar Rai , Bhojaseri , Deg Rai , Tebher Rai and then the Tanot Rai .

The miracles shown during the war with Pakistan , in October 1965 the Pakistani Army entered  into Indian territory from  two places Kishen Garh and Sadewala but could not reach this place in spite of heavy Artillery Shelling and fierce gun battle . Locals claimed that Ma Tanot Rai appeared in the dreams of few Indian Soldiers and said she will protect them until they remain  in the temple area.  It is said that out of more than Three Thousand bombs fired , Four hundred and Fifty bombs fell within the temple complex  but either went blind or could not explode, encouraged by this miracle , Indian soldiers retaliated with Two Companies of BSF and One Battalion of Grenadiers with the blessings of Ma Tanot Rai repulsed and broke the backbone of One Brigade of Pakistani Army who retreated back leaving behind hundreds of their dead soldiers , Tanks and trucks .

Unexploded bombs fired by Pakistan army at Ma Tanot Rai Temple

Unexploded bombs fired by Pakistan army at Ma Tanot Rai Temple

After the 1965 War the Border Security Force established a regular post and took over the management and perform  the daily two time Aarti at Mata Tanot Rai Temple . Mata Tanot Rai is considered to be the guardian of all the sons of the motherland who are posted in this sector.  Any armed Forces personal, who joins for duty in this sector, irrespective of his religion he belongs to, first  pays respects at this holy shrine.

Again on the night of 4th December 1971 Pakistan army attacked from Longewala side with One Infantry Brigade and one Armour Regiment , the Indian army of One Company strength of Punjab Regiment and One Company of BSF with small weapons repulsed the attack with the blessings of Ma Tanot Rai , Pakistani army retreated , leaving behind the 34 destroyed tanks and over 100 other vehicles many killed soldiers , only two of the Indian soldiers got martyrdom in this battle.

War Victory Memorial at the entrance of Ma Tanot Rai Temple

War Victory Memorial at the entrance of Ma Tanot Rai Temple

Every year on 16 December Vijay Divas  is celebrated at the Memorial Pillar at entrance of Ma Tanot Temple to remember the heroic deeds of our soldiers . Twice a year during the Navratras ( April and September )  nine days Langar (community free kitchen ) and celebrations are organised by the Border Security Force .  

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