Monday, June 23, 2008


We love to watch birds. And we are lucky to see a lot of them around our home ... sadly their number is going down due to indiscriminate cutting of trees and clearing up shrubs, mostly for dumping of waste by builders. Just next to our home there has been a small clearing that has a nallah and some plants and shrubs. Just that much is enough for our feathered friends ... they don't ask for much ... to build there homes. The whole place is always alive with restless,
twittering birds ... some of them so small you can hardly focus on. But most of the these poor birds get disturbed and lose their homes when thoughtless people break down branches of the trees or burn leaves and garbage underneath them. All our requests have fallen on to deaf ears.

We came to know of Bhigwan from hubby's colleague . He suggested that we go there as the Flamingos arrive there in winter. So we set off. It was quite warm for January and we wondered if we will be lucky enough to see the flamingos. Earlier we have had the good fortune of seeing flamingos on our trip to Orissa ( post coming up later).

Bhigwan is around 120 kms from Pune. We started while it was still dark and got to see the sun coming up right in front of us as we were driving east.

We reached at around 10 in the morning. The road was good ... so driving was not tiring ... but it was hot and dusty. We had breakfast at a restraunt on the right of the highway ... just where you turn left and take the smaller road to Bhigwan.

Since the place is very remote and interior, we doubted we would get anything to eat or drink there. So we packed Puri-Bhaji and bought drinking water from the same restraunt and set off.

The smaller road was a relief ... it was filled with holes and it was a bumpy drive ... but at least we were out of the way of the menacing trucks on the highway.

Bhigwan is beautiful. The lake was on both sides of the single, straight road that led from this village to another.

And there were the birds. Lots of them. All of them busy looking for food ... I assume fish ... in the water. We saw herons, storks, the golden breasted brahmin duck, black stilted wrens ... and many more.

A lot of bird watchers were around too. It was a quiet place and everybody respected that. Except the locals who wanted to make a fast buck by inviting people to take a ride on their boats. They assured that way we can see the birds from up close. Nobody fell for that ... thank god ... and the birds were left in peace.

Meanwhile we got a puncture in one of our tyres. In that narrow road hubby had to replace it. Then we went on to see the dam. It was nothing much except a quiet water body ... and some more birds. Got to see a whole bunch of snakes swimming. And hubby got an awesome click of a bird with it open beak and a fish inside it. It was great!

We unpacked our lunch to find the sabzi has gone bad (I think it was the hot weather) but the puris were fine. There were onions and pickles too. So we unpacked a pack of my favourite munchies Kurkure and made Kukure roll for lunch.Delicious when you are in a new place and starving. :-)

The return journey was uneventful .. and peaceful. We reached back by late evening. Just that we did not get to see the flamingos. Shall try the Sewri fort near Mumbai next time.

A few things to keep in mind for a trip to Bhigwan :
Go only in late winter if u r going to watch birds. By then the flamingos would have arrived.
Carry enough food and plenty of water.
Always make sure your vehicle is in good condition ... and have spare tyres. The road is in a very bad shape and there can be multiple punctures. So the moment you change your tyre go to the highway and get the other one repaired. It is not too far.
Carry a good camera.
Keep a cap and sunglasses.
Wear light clothing with full sleeves. The sun can be both bright and mercilessly hot.
The place is beautiful. Keep it that way. Don't play loud music and talk or call out loudly.
Don't dump litter in the water.
Let the birds be.

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