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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Armchair Birdwatching - Hoopoe at Ooty

The Hoopoe is a common bird, but not so common where we live. Thus, its always a pleasure to watch one, whenever we do get to see it. Like at Ooty, when, sitting on the lawn outside our cottage, I spotted this pair, busy catching worms for their breakfast!

Over the next couple of days, I saw them each morning, about the same time, but never did manage to capture them in the same frame as I did, that first time I saw them!

This was also the first time I heard their call, and realized that their name resembles their call! Over the next few days, the clear 'Oop oop' sound had me rushing to the window to see if I could spot the pair again!  

It was peak summer when we visited Ooty, and unseasonal rains cooled the already pleasant hill station enough to make us shiver! There were few birds around, but these hoopoes were busy. Probably the rain brought out the insects and worms from their burrows to the ground, for, whenever I saw them, they were either foraging, or had a worm in their beak!


  1. Lovely captures Anu. It has been ages since I managed to capture a few decent bird shots and I miss it now.

    1. Thanks Mridula! But you have been capturing such interesting places as well as events and people!am sure the birds turn will come back soon!

  2. Beautiful clicks, their crest give them amazing look..

    1. Thanks, Meghana! You can understand how excited we were, the first time we saw them! We thought they were some rare exotic birds!

  3. They are quite showy, aren't they, with those crests and the bars across their wings and backs! We have some woodpeckers here in the SouthEast U.S. that have quite dramatic plumage too and that remind me of these hoopoe's. I love seeing your pictures of all the birds from your part of the world; you take great shots of them!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! Yes, they do look showy, but are quite common birds! And we have woodpeckers like that too, with crests. Will post a photo soon!

  4. Saw the hoopoe at kabini . they have a very distinct call which reverberates around .
    Lovely pics.


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