A Tiger at the Ranthambhore National Park

The fight for conserving wildlife and the habitat of tiger is on. Click to checkout my series of articles over the Aircel Save our Tigers Campaign !

Purna Kumbha Mela - 2013 (Allahabad)

A Sadhu (Ascetic) sitting by the banks of the Sangam (Confluence of the Rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati). Click to read my travelogue over this ancient and enduring event.

Sikkim Sojourn

Perched on the lap of Eastern Himalayas and next to Mt Kangchenjunga is Sikkim, one of the most pristine places on the planet. Click to read my informative travelogue over this beautiful destination.

Picture of the Week (Friday's)

Pic Info - Jal Mahal (Water Palace), Jaipur (India)

Bastions of Tughluqabad Fort

Built by Sultan Ghiyath ud din Tughluq around 1323 A.D., and abandoned within 4 years, it was the fourth city of Delhi. This fort is remembered by many to have been cursed by Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Auliya.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Evening to Remember

Come Saturday the 17th and  Microsoft Devices and Indiblogger would come together yet again to organise an event 'The Nokia XL Indiblogger Meet' at The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi. In certain terms a follow up event of Your Wish is My App - S2 this event would be a golden oppurtunity for bloggers to check out and perhaps suggest various innovative, thoughtful and useful apps which we could use in our daily lives to make it even more simple and enlighten their readers about.. 'Apptasting' to be precise.

Microsoft Devices continues to charge ahead in the search for even more innovative applications for Nokia handsets which could come extremely useful for all Nokia Users (like myself). Apps like 'Building or Destination Recogniser' and 'Face Recogniser' (you hold your Nokia Lumia mobile camera to the face of the person or in front of the building you need to recognise and the app will do the rest) are a result of these brain-storming but fabulous events..

Hosts for the Day - Vikas Khanna and Rajiv Makhni

Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna and Gadget Guru Rajiv Makhni would be coming together to host this event and along with all the other Indibloggers would make this event a magical one (technologically speaking).

I have written many articles about Indiblogger events but have, somehow or the other, always missed out on mentioning the in-house host from Indiblogger - Vineet Rajan. Come tomorrow and he will ensure that all the geeks, book bugs, and bespectacled writers (like myself turn into some sort of military personnel) and will be swinging our fists and yelling 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' 'Hurrh' after him !! Very Subtle, ain't it Anoop ?!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Save Our Tigers - Kids for Tigers Express Initiative

(This is the second article in my series on Save Our Tigers)

In my Previous Article I had mentioned the importance of spreading the message of wildlife (and tiger) conservation on the ground (especially amongst the people who live in the periphery of the National Parks). Aircel Save our Tigers Campaign and its partner Wildlife Conservation Trust have undertaken such an initiative called 'Kids for Tigers Express' where an effort is made to get in touch with the children living in the villages which are located right next to the Ranthambhore National Park.

Children participating in Kids for Tigers Express Educational Campaign

I had an oppurtunity to have a one-on-one chat with Mr Goverdhan who runs the Kids for Tigers Express program in the villages around Ranthambore.. He mentioned that over a period of time he has been able to educate and create a better understanding amongst the rural children's minds with respect to the importance of tigers in the ecosystem. 

Such efforts, said Mr Goverdhan, were bearing fruits as children would now call him up, the moment they spot a tiger which strayed out of the jungles instead of panicking. Goverdhan, in turn, rings up the forest department officials (who also know him very well, by now) and alerts them about the situation and thus prompt action is taken.

The Kids for Tigers Express

The Kids for Tigers Express bus has all the equipment necessary to educate the children about wildlife conservations and tigers (in particular) like a mobile library, projector for showing documentaries over tigers e.t.c. 

Equipments inside a Kids for Tigers Express

The benefit of running the Kids for Tigers Express bus has been that children have now, started to understand the reasons as to why the tiger are needed in the ecosystem, the position of tiger in the food chain, why do tigers come out into the cultivated fields (loss of habitat), why do tigers attack humans e.t.c. Addressing such doubts in the minds of children has ensured that children understand the situation the tigers are in today and not believe in rumours and hearsay vis a vis the tigers..

(This article of Save our Tigers series is dedicated to the 'late' Macchli - The Tigress. She was the pride of Ranthambhore.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Save Our Tigers - Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife Conservation is a topic which has being brought into the spotlight by conservationists time and again.. One of the main reasons behind it is that despite repeated efforts man in his tearing hurry of deforesting a region or rather should I say changing the natural habitat of an area (for the purposes of industrialization, housing e.t.c.) tends to ignore the rights of the other living beings living on this planet along with him. Also, man in order to satiate his requirements (mostly unjustified) tends to trample on the right to life of the other living beings (i.e. the flora and fauna) of this planet..

Pic taken on April 25th 2014 at 1753 hrs in Zone 5. The male tiger in pic is one of the sons of T-17, the daughter of T-16 (popularly known as Macchli)

One of the finest examples of this man-nature conflict is the dwindling population of tigers in India (and the World ) in particular.. From the turn of the 20th century when the tiger population in India was around 10000-20000 to the turn of the 21st century when the tiger population in India dwindled down by more than 90 % to 1200 (approx) the tiger who was once found in abundance is an endangered species now !!

Tigers are coveted for each and every part of their body (their skin, their claws, their bones e.t.c.) and in the black market their body parts are sold for millions of dollars as there is a huge demand for tiger products.. And as tiger products do not hang from trees they are mercilessly butchered irrespective of the fact that they are an endangered species because there is so much money involved in the trade.. If you are looking of any fine example of how money can over power the sense of judgement, sense of morality and the sense of humanity in a man it is the tiger trade.. But then it should'nt come as a surprise to us because when man can kill another man for money then what chance does a living being who does not have the ability to speak have ??

But in such a dark atmosphere wildlife conservationists (who are as stubborn as the enemies of flora and fauna of this world or perhaps even more) come as a ray of hope to the future generations.. We have a moral responsibility to ensure that the nature and wildlife which we have today can be seen by the future generations in their actual state (and not just in textbooks)..

Late Mr Fateh Singh Rathore (India's Best known tiger conservationist)

Wildlife conservationists who put in their sweat and blood (quite literally) like the Late Mr Fateh Singh Rathore are the beacons of hope in the dark scenario which we face today.. Mr Rathore mentioned of an incident where he was brutally attacked by some men, because they hated his wildlife (and Tiger) conservation works, and left him for dead.. When Mr Rathore gained back his health we went up to those men and made it amply clear to them that he would not stop doing, what he was doing..

Some of the many challenges which wildlife conservationists face today are -
1. Reducing Man- Animal Conflicts
2. Reducing (to the bare minimum) incidents of poaching
3. Ensuring that the habitat of wildlife is not threatened
4. Ensuring that the forest service staff is aware of these challenges and is trained enough to deal with them
4. Ensuring that the political will to sustain and ultimately help the wildlife bloom remains..

Rapid Response Unit Vehicle

One of the significant campaigns in contemporary times to help sustain wildlife and especially the 'Tiger' population is the Aircel 'Save Our Tigers' Campaign.. This campaign (run by Aircel, in partnership with WCT) has been moving on for some years now and  has been doing an effective job in developing and deploying Rapid Response Unit vehicles, revamping Anti-Poaching Camps and training foresters across all the major wildlife sanctuaries (with a tiger population) apart from creating wildlife awareness amongst the local populace (the 'Kids for Tigers Express' Initiative) and the masses in general

Kis for Tigers Express

I was invited by Aircel to participate in this campaign and do my bit to spread the awareness about the issues faced by the 'Save Our Tigers' campaign and which is why I am here in the Ranthambore National Park to look closely at the achievements and the challenges faced by wildlife conservationists and the 'Save our Tigers' campaign in particular..

Aircel has been pursuing the 'Save Our Tigers' campaign for quite some time (and not let the campaign fizzle out as others might have been tempted to do) and as their track record proves they really want to make a difference to the wildlife scenario in India.. 

Kudos to them, and as long as they continue to do the great work which they have been doing, people of different kinds will come forward and help them by giving a hand so that their efforts can bear fruit in the time to come because ultimately we are not doing this for ourselves, we are doing this for our future generations.. We owe them something, we owe them our planet !!

- Posted from Location


(This article is dedicated to India's pioneering wildlife conservationist, the Late Mr Fateh Singh Rathore)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Shrine of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti, Ajmer (1236 AD) - POTW #76

Revered by people belonging to all faiths, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was the most famous Sufi Saint of the Chishti Order. He was succeeded by Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak, Ajmer - POTW #75

'Chaar baas, chaubees gaj, angul ashta pramaan, yete pe sultaan hai, ab mat chukeo Chauhan' - Lines from Prithviraj Raso, written by Chand Baradai

This commemorative statue (and a gallery depicting the life and times of Prithviraj III) which overlooks Ajmer was raised on the Taragarh Hill (near the Taragarh Fort, which was the capital of Prithviraj III).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tomb of Najaf Khan Baloch (Const 1783 AD) - POTW #74

Arguably the last powerful Mughal General, the period of time (1781-1783) when he held the reins of the Mughal Army, it was deemed as the second most powerful army in India.. One of the important reforms he introduced during his time was to 'ensure that his soldiers got paid on time'.. The suburb of Najafgarh (in Delhi) was named after him..

Bada Darwaza, Shergarh (New Delhi) - POTW #73

Bada Darwaza is one of the three gates of Shergarh (Purana Qila/Old Fort). The other gates being Talaaqi Darwaza and Humayun Darwaza.