Asian Koel:

Asian Koel birds photographed in natural Habitat. Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

Asian Koel male & female

The word “Koel” is derived from the Hindi word which is onomatopoeic in origin. The Sanskrit root is “Kokila” and the words in various Indian languages are similar. It is traditionally held in high regard for its song and held in reverence with the Manusmriti, an ancient decree protecting them from harm. The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as Anya-Vapa which meant “that was raised by others”. This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism. Being familiar birds with loud calls, references to them are common in folklore, myth and poetry. It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Puducherry or Pondicherry.

Asian Koel2

Asian koel3

The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but are heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in coloration and size. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak. They are very vocal during the breeding season (March to August in South Asia), with a range of different calls. The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik… call. Calls vary across populations.

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The less known egg fruit:

During my recent trip to Thekkady came across some rare and less known fruits. Here is one of them, the less known egg fruit.

Thekkady has one of the largest wildlife sanctuary in India is a dream destination. The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Periyar, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is situated in Idukki district of Kerala, India.

Egg fruit1

The fruits are yellowish to orange with somewhat meaty pulp resembling a cooked egg yolk. EGG FRUIT (Pautaria campechiana), belonging to the family sapotaceae, is a large, symmetrical, bushy, much branched, evergreen tree. The taste of the fruit is unique, rich, sweet and highly nutritive with about 2000 IU/100g of carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

Egg fruit2

After photographing had one bite, tastes exactly as that of boiled egg ;-)., Taken at Thekkady woods,Idukki,Kerala,India.

 

Tiger Caves – rock cut temple:-

Tiger caves is one of the oldest monumental places near Mahaballipuram, East coast road, Chennai India belongs to the period between 7th century AD and 9th century AD.

Tiger cave’s is a perfect picnic spot and ideal place for nature photography. You can laze around, climb small rocks and enjoy a breath of fresh air over here. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and art lovers. If you visit Mamallapuram to see the popular Pallava sculptures belonging to 7thcentury AD, ensure that you visit Tiger’s Cave too. Tiger’s Cave has got its name from a cave set apart among the rocks with a crown of carved tiger heads around the temple. In fact, it is a misnomer as you cannot find tiger’s figures but massive Yazhis (a mythological animal).

You cannot find any deity in this temple which is believed to be dedicated to the goddess Durga. There are large and impressive figures of yazhis located in front of the caves. The rock has carvings which tell some events related to the goddess Durga, and hence it is believed to be a temple of Durga. It is photographer’s delight to climb up this rock and pose for photographs.

This historical place is believed to be one among the sculptures and temples in Mamallapuram built by Pallava kings Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. The complex also houses a rock cut Shiva temple and an ancient Muruga temple unearthed by Tsunami in 2004 AD. Another attraction of the place is calm, serene and neat beach. The complex, which is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, is dotted by palm, casuarinas and other trees.

 

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