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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Skywatch Friday : Nature v/s Development

For Skywatch Friday this week, here are our winged visitors, the flamingoes, seen against the backdrop of the Industrial skyline...




I have always wondered about what it is that brings the Flamingoes to Mumbai, year after year. The city is among the most crowded, a concrete jungle, always in a rush, and not always very hospitable. However, even more baffling is their choice of location - the Sewri mudflats as well as the mangrove forests near the creeks. Neither of these appears, at first glance, like a place birds would flock to. The mangroves are disappearing by t he day, filth is dumped into the creek, and as to the mudflats, they are messier than I had imagined them to be. And yet, the birds come here, year after year, though their numbers do seem to be dwindling. On the other hand, those which do arrive seem to be staying longer. A few years back, they disappeared with the first onset of summer, re-appearing only after the rains were completely over and done with. This year, it is already April, and the birds are still here. And take a look at the place they have chosen.... the shore is almost completely occupied by industries, most of which directly dump their waste into the sea. These photos were clicked during my recent Sewri Walk with the Travel-Logs. The first is the view from the Sewri Jetty, and the second from atop the Sewri Fort. And this is just one bit of the shore that can be seen. 


Its indeed a sight which restores our faith in nature... that she can, and manages to hold her own in spite of all  obstructions. Its indeed up to us now, to lend her a helping hand..... so that we can keep seeing such wonderful sights for years more. 

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Comments

  1. Insightful commentary Anu. I only wish we managed the environment better! And what a picture!

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    1. Thanks Mridula. I wish we at least made the effort of keeping things clean...

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  2. Awesome shots! It is a sad situation for the environment everywhere.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/04/the-waterfalls-of-thusharagiri.html

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    1. Thanks Niranjan! thats so true.. its the same story everywhere.

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  3. There must be a food source that continues to draw them. I'd love to see flamingos in the wild, even if it is a mud flat with industrial towers in the distance.

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    1. There is. actually, they come for the algae which grows here in these mudflats. plus, the water and the clay is alkaline, which suits them perfectly. And they say the filth helps since it increases the growth of algae, but obviously plastics dont help... and people are dumping more and more plastic, thus endangering the place as well as the birds. But its such a beautiful sight we head there every year to see them!

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  4. Beautiful shots. Happy sky watching.

    My sky.

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  5. What I have read is the algae that flamingos are fond of thrive in the polluted water. But also the pollutants could affect them in the long term.

    Nice shots, Anu. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Bindhu. I have heard that too. and the long term is what is scary..... and its so beautiful to see them here year after year. just hope they keep coming!

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  6. What a contrast! Hope they continue to prosper.
    Thanks for the comments on my blogs. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Indrani! thats our only hope! and you are welcome!

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  7. Nice to see the good photos,comments so far and your replies.Keep it up

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  8. I so wanna go bird watching in Mumbai once... then I know I would continue doing it :)

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    1. Yes, Aarti! you really should! and i promise you will be hooked!

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  9. Amazing to see the flamingos thriving despite the industrial pollution. Lovely shots.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ladyfi! Its a beautiful sight, and has not yet ceased to surprise me!

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  10. First of all nice shots. Nice to see and know more about the flamingos of Sewri. The thing about the pollution and the algae and the lovely pink birds coming for it, is something I learnt today. Thank you. :)

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  11. nice catch. First I thought it must be an oil spill- white birds on a black river...closer look cleared up things

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  12. What a lovely set of photos, Anu! I felt the same whenever I have visited Sewri, probably 3 times.

    But I think it's a matter of a few years that they'll all vanish from here.

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    1. thanks Nisha, but I really hope they stay longer

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  13. I believe the birds are still in Mumbai. Incredible isn't it? As to why they are staying longer and longer, is it because the place that they returnto is worse than what Mumbai has to offer?

    At Kheechan too, the Demoiselle Cranes have apparently stayed back longer than they usually do.

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    Replies
    1. thats an interesting point of view, sudha! we really dont know the situation where they come from, tho i have been told it is a protected area.

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