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04/28/2011

Majuli Island - Part 1

After Kaziranga, we went to Majuli island, in the middle of the Brahmaputra river.

 

Brahmaputra. A fascination name.

Brahmaputra means « Son of Brahma ». According to a legend (there are plenty apparently), Brahma wanted a son, "for the benefit of humanity" so he contacted a couple of pious people. The wife bore the child. When he was born, the husband took the baby and left it at the epicenter of 4 mountains where he took the shape of a big water mass where Gods and divine virgins used to come to bath. Hence, a masculine name for the Brahmaputra. 

 

TheBrahmaputra, A mighthy river (which is said to bring 30% of the water ressources of India), flows in Tibet, India and Bangladesh - changing its name at every border... 

 

Majuli island (a river island) has been disappearing, carried away by the Brahmaputra... Its superficy has reduced by half since 19050 - today it is 800 km2.Inde,Assam

Inde,Assam

Inde,Assam

Inde,Assam

 

04/26/2011

Assamese break!

2 years ago I went for work to Guwahati, in Assam. I had strictly no idea where Assam was but since there was work there, why not go?

I realised fast enough that I was far, far away from Mumbai. No internet (except in private houses) even with the datacard, constant electricity cut-offs. An incredible number of insects. I was there for work remember, so all this was quite unexpected!!

Then I saw on a map where I was and I thought that it was the first time and the last time...

Inde,Assam,Kaziranga,parc naturel,rhinocéros,nature

Till the moment my distributor said 2 magic words. Rhinoceros and Brahmaputra. Done, one day I'll go back to Assam...

 

It took me two years but I did it!!

No need to say, Assam is a difficult place to reach but maybe it is part of what makes it so unique. Probably the most beautiful place I have seen in India!

About 5 hours by plane to reach Guwahati then 6 hours by car to get to the natural park of Kaziranga.

 

This is the place with the most number of uni-corn rhinoceros in the world. And Indians did a fantastic job: there were only a dozen rhinos left 50 years ago and now there are more than 2,000!!

And they are so confident they won't be disturbed that they don't mind the elephants (carrying the tourists), nor domesticated cows - a good companion to chew grasse...

2,000 is even a greater number when you know that gestation lasts 15 months for a rhino and that they reproduce only once in 8 years (they have to wait for the baby to be grown-up and independant before starting again!).

 

It is SO peaceful there. Just needed to tell one (Indian) family jabbering on an elephant to please be silent. They got so surprised!! Maybe no one told them that on a wildlife safari it is better to remain quiet?? Minor incident anyway... 

 

Photos speak for themselves...

 

 

Kaziranga, Assam - April 2011

 

03/01/2011

India outside India - Part 2

And then, Nepal!! 

The first day, in Kathmandu, under heavy rain, I felt like in India.

And then, I realised people were quite different. The Indian doctor accompanying it understood different as “backward” (seriously!). But I meant it like more “relaxed”, more comfortable with tourists. Well that is just how I felt after 4 days! 

Anyways, the reserve we visited, the Chitwan, is really different from any reserve I visited in India.

“At the foot of the Himalayas, Chitwan is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the 'Terai' region, which formerly extended over the foothills of India and Nepal. It has a particularly rich flora and fauna. One of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros lives in the park, which is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger.” (dixit Unesco) 

The only “vehicles” you meet there are elephants… A royal peace!

Well, the vegetation prevents you from spotting tigers but what a peace… 

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