Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary
The Earth is 4.6 Billion years old. Scaling to 46 years us humans have been here from the past 4 hours, the industrial revolution began 1 minute ago, and in that time we’ve destroyed more than half the world’s forests.
In this huge planet of millions of creatures, we live in a small city named Kolkata. With lakhs of people fighting to survive and make it big, the city and its people are left with almost no time or space to cherish what the almighty has poured us with.
In such a city, living on a borrowed eco-space, we share spaces with some little creatures, whose ancestors were the Archaeopteryx -having coloured feathers and their youngsters hatching from the eggs they lay, they are the ‘birds’ having wings to fly in the open air.
In our city of joy there are little spaces for them, but still they live and also migrate from different parts of India & surroundings. Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary, located just a few kilometers from Garia in the Rajpur area of Southern Kolkata is a place for many resident & migratory birds.
Locally known as ‘Kayaler Bagan’, the area was originally notified as a sanctuary in 1982 but could only be converted to one after the acquisition of land by the Government of West Bengal at a significant cost in October 2005.
It was renamed as ‘Chintamani Kar Bird Sanctuary’ after the noted artist Chintamani Kar who, along with local residents and NGO’s, fought for decades to obtain ‘wildlife sanctuary status’ for ‘Kayaler Bagan’. It is a cradle of more than 150 species of birds including a number of winter migrants that enrich the avifauna of this beautiful sanctuary.
Other than the birds there are numbers of butterflies, spiders and a few who mammals reside in this orchard of mango, jackfruit, coconut palm, tamarind, guava, ficus & other trees.
Photographs and write up: Ananda Banerjee.
The author is working on his book– WINGS OF KOLKATA. Volume I contains 70 species of birds out of more than 150 species residing in Kolkata itself.
The book is authored by Ananda Banerjee & Subhajit Das.