Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pabna: Hardinge bridge over river Padma

Saturday, 29 September 2012

A train just entered into the bridge.

After visiting the Ishwardi train station, we have hired a cng auto rickshaw to visit the Hardinge bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ) from Pakshey(পাকশী). After a bargain, we have fixed the auto fare at 100 taka. It took only 25 minutes to reach near to the Pakshey(পাকশী) station, at the Pabna(পাবনা) side of the bridge.

It was very early of the morning. We have started walking, and reached at the mouth of the bridge. Two train lines were through the entire bridge. Its strictly forbidden for any traveler to go such near to the bridge. But it was very early at the morning, and the guards were nowhere around there. So we didn't face any hindrance initially.

But very soon, a civil dressed police guard spotted us near that place and started scolding us. To calm him down, we have climbed down from the bridge. Later we convinced him about our purpose. So he didn't mind about our trespassing. He was talking about a permission for higher authority. If anyone can manage such a thing, s/he will be given a full access for exploring the bridge.

At the mouth of the bridge.

Anyway, the river had some water due to the previous rainy season. But still very poor in condition. Vast area of land was still visible over the river. Also, first few miles near the bank had a nothing depth of water. But after that shallow portion, it was ferocious like old time.

There were very few boats available near the bridge for sight seeing. Also, for the early morning, only one boatman was available. But alas! that boat was taken by another group who have reached there just few minutes before us. So we four were waiting around the empty boats, and cursing the other group. During that half an hour of waiting, I have collected photos of several new flowers from the proximity.

I was expecting a very high rate for the boat fare. Its near to the town very easy to come. In fact, its a popular travel destination for local people. One of my team member was interested to hire the boat as hourly. But I have previous experience on that. Instead of hourly rate, we have hired him for 120 taka. He was agreed to ride his boat through few several areas which we have pointed him.

Entry restricted portion for tourists.

The name of the boatman was Nayeb Majhi(নায়েব মাঝি). He was a mid aged good guy. Though he was a boatman, but he is nonetheless of a guide. He was informative, and accompanied us with his best. According to him, lot of tourists use to visit here every weekends. During the Eid festival, or anything similar to that, millions of people use to gather near the river bank.

Anyway, It was an excellent feeling while the boat was slowly wandering around two massive bridges. One is the rail bridge, and the other one is the newly built road bridge. Also the lands amid of the river were covered with Kash full. Only the white carpet were visible from the far. During our boat stay, we have seen three trains just passed through the bridge. It is such a huge bridge that it made the train a tinny one inside of it.

We had a plan to take a bath at the river Padma. But the water was too much buddy. It wouldn't be a wise idea to have a bath. So after more than an hour, the boatman returned us to the bank of the river. Paying his amount, we have started for Pabna(পাবনা) town, leaving the mammoth bridge behind.

About the Hardinge Bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ):

Hardinge bridge(হার্ডিন্জ ব্রিজ), its a rail bridge over the massive river Padma(পদ্মা) that was entirely built from the steel. This bridge is now around a hundred years of old. Possibly around at 1890, a plan was proposed for the bridge, and twenty years later the construction had begun, and finished it within only two years. Finally the transportation started during 1915. The bridge is named after the Hardinge(হার্ডিন্জ, known as Lord Hardinge(হার্ডিন্জ) to English people), a governor of East India during 1910-1916. Length of the bridge is around two kilometer.

Though the river is right now in a moribund situation, but a century back it was vehemently powerful. And construction of something over that river was not easy. Such an old bridge over the river is still standing firm and serving like a charm. Though during the war of 1971, the bridge was damaged by the allied force for tactical purpose. Later with the help of Japanese government it was repaired.

Few steps inside the bridge.

Side view from the bridge.

Beneath the bridge, still dry.

Two bridges are on the same frame.

Actually the bridge is having a train inside of it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bitter squash (করল্লা) - Momordica charantia

Bengali Name : করল্লা, করল্লা, উচ্ছে
Common Name : Bitter squash, Bitter melon, Bitter gourd.
Botanical Name : Momordica charantia
Family : Cucurbitaceae(Pumpkin family)
Photo Taken : >Bangladesh

Bitter squash is a vegetable plant. In our country Bangladesh we call this as Korolla (করল্লা) or simply Korola (করলা). In Sanskrit it is known as Karvella. English people know this in many names but bitter squash, bitter melon, etc are most popular names. Botanical name is Momordica charantia from the plant family Cucurbitaceae. This is widely cultivated at Asia, Africa, and Caribbean region.

Bitter squash plant is a crawling vine that can grow up to five meter. Leafs are arranged alternately around the vine. Flowers are bright yellow and male, female flowers are different. It has five separate petals. Female flower has the ovary at the base of the flower. Fruits are green initially, but changes into orange when mature. It has seeds having bright red pulps. The whole fruit is bitter in taste.

Despite of bitter in taste this vegetable is very popular in our country Bangladesh. We cultivate this in a large scale more or less throughout the whole country. Fried Bitter squash with potato is one of my favorites. Some people also make curry using this (specially with some small fishes). Its bitterness can easily control the glucose of blood, so it's popular amongst the diabetics patients. It can be useful against the worm as it is very bitter in taste.

Palm like leaf of the plant.

A Bitter squash hanging in the vine.

Photos of this article were taken from Rupganj of Narayanganj during February 2015, and from Jhenaidah (ঝিনাইদহ) during 2012.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Jhenaidah: Marjat Baor(মরজাত বাওর)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Marjat Baor(মরজাত বাওর) is located at the Kaliganj(কালীগঞ্জ) Upozila of Jhenaidah(ঝিনাইদহ) district. Before this trip, I was doing a homework on this district over the Google map. Suddenly an arc shaped lake caught my attention. Later came to know it is actually a Baor(বাওর), named Morjot baor(মরজাত বাওর). So I have added this at my visiting list, and later accomplished.

After visiting all the mosques from Baro bazar(বারো বাজার), we have moved for the Marjat baor(মরজাত বাওর). Our van puller was not familiar with the route(though he is was local guy). We had to take help from local bazaar, and also depended on my map on mobile. It was around 10:45 of the day when we have reached to the Marjat Baor(মরজাত বাওর).

At the Kheya ghat(খেয়া ঘাট) of the baor(বাওর), several local peoples were gossiping under a tree. Our getup depicted us an investigator to them, so lot of whispering were going on. Lot of crime use to happen around Baor(বাওর), including murders. All those crimes happened based on this baor(বাওর) as its a great source of fishes(means money). Anyway, we have convinced them that we are just a traveler and our only intention is to visit that place. Then those guys became free with us and we have passed few moments by chatting about the Baor(বাওর) with them.

Using their help, we have hired a boatman from there. He was asking for 100 taka. It was cheap, and we could bargain further. But would it be too much beneficial by paying 20 taka less to that poor guy? So we have agreed for 100 taka. Name of the boatman was Punam(পুনম মাঝি). Later we came to know his 8 months infant boy died a week back. He was born with a hole at his lung. He has spent 80 thousand taka to save him, but couldn't. The gift from heaven returned back to the heaven.

Anyway, It was a small single man rowing boat with no shade. Oh god, it was terrible hot around there. I was thinking what the earth I was doing there on such a scorching day? I believe people at the bank were thinking us just mentally ill. Our first few minutes of the ride was boring. A single boat just pushing through water and we were frying on the boat by sun. Basically its a place for afternoon traveling. I was thinking whether I was there on wrong time or not??!

After a while things were getting changed. Its basically the marsh under water, floating hyacinths and other bushes around the water. Lot of native birds were sitting idle on those things and waiting for the prey. Pankouri(পানকৌরী), Heron, Egret, Kingfisher, Fingey(ফিঙে), etc were the birds available there. It was a viable ambient there. Lot of variations were available, and it was only possible for those floating stuffs around the water that hosts the birds.

The water of the Baor(বাওর) was black, but we could see 2/3 ft depth clearly, specially the marshes underneath. But somehow, lot of fishes were dieing around. Its probably due to the rotten water from the Baor(বাওর), or may be something else.

A pair of kingfisher were sitting idle over a small bush amid of the water. Despite of our boat being so near to them, they were not moving. I suspect they have laid eggs there and protecting those from any invaders. Kingfisher is one of the most colorful bird from nature, and it was a great experience to observe those from so close.

On the other hand, the large egrets were too much cleaver. We couldn't reach near to those by any means. The more we were getting closer, the further it has pushed back. Other birds were more or less shy. In terms of count, the Pankouri(পানকৌরী) was having the majority.

If you say about black beauty, Fingey(ফিঙে) is such a bird. It is known as Black Drongo bird in English. Despite of black color, it's feathers are too much shiny and can reflect the sun shine easily. Though this bird preys on insects, you can find this around the pond, or lakes. I believe it looks for floating insects around.

Possibly we have spent 90 minutes at Morjot baor(মরজাত বাওর), whoa a football match time. After paying to the boatman Punam(পুনম মাঝি), when we have landed to the bank, the people over there were having a peculiar look to us.

This Baor(বাওর) is located slight further from the road. During returning, we had to walk to return to the main road. But luckily we have found a motorbike after few minutes of walk, and hired that one. It dropped us to the Hakimpur(হাকিমপুর, 23°20'41.51"N, 89° 2'12.03"E). We have fixed him for 80 taka. After half an hour we have reached to the Hakimpur bazaar(হাকিমপুর বাজার). From there we have hired a battery driven vehicle for 120 taka for Kotchadpur(কোটচাঁদপুর) Upozila. We visited the Joydia Baor(জয়দিয়া বাওর) and Boluhar baor(বলুহার বাওর) from there.

About a Baor(বাঁওর):

A Baor(বাঁওর) is an arc shaped lake that is formed at a bend/turn of a river/canal. Basically the river is dead/changed it course since several decades. But the water at the bend of the river is still prominent. So it just turned into a lake and having a shape of arc. The length of the arc can be 10% to 95% of the circle. But never a circle. More about a Baor can be found at Banglapedia.

How to Go:

1) First come to the Barobazar(বারো বাজার) of Kaliganj(কালীগঞ্জ). You can go there from Jessore(যশোর), or from Jhenaidah(ঝিনাইদহ) town either.

2) After that using a van you can directly reach to the baor(বাওর). GPS coordinate of the baor is (23°18'39.22"N, 89° 5'2.54"E).


** Morjat baor(মরজাত বাওর) has a specialty. It is the widest Baor(বাওর) from Jhenaidah(ঝিনাইদহ) district.

An awaiting egret.

A flying egret.

Boatman Punom, he talks a lot.

Stuffs around the baor.

A kingfisher couple on their nest.

Even its lively under water too.

Jute fiber extraction going on.

Pani Poka(পানি পোকা), very fast moving creature.

Morjot baor(মরজাত বাওর) on Google map.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yellow spider flower(হলুদ হুড়হুড়িয়া ফুল) - Cleome viscosa

Bengali Name : হলুদ হুড়হুড়িয়া ফুল
Common Name : Yellow spider flower.
Botanical Name : Cleome viscosa
Synonym : Polanisia viscosa
Family : Capparaceae

English name of this weed is Yellow Spider Flower. It's botanical name is Cleome viscosa. It belongs to the plant family Capparaceae. In Bangladesh we call this as Holud Hurhuria(হলুদ হুড়হুড়িয়া), as it's color is yellow. This plant is widely available at tropical Asia, and Africa. I have an article about another Hurhuria plant recently.

Color of this Hurhuria flower is bright yellow. Number of petals are variable from 4-8. All the petals are at the upper side of the flower. Lower side is having the reproduction system of the flower. Filament of the flower is black in color. Fruits are long seedpod and seeds inside are dark brown in color.

This is an annual erect plant that can be a meter of tall. Complex leafs are having three to five leaflets. Leaflets are ovate, elliptical in shape and middle one is the larger. The plant is more or less hairy everywhere.

Though this plant is a weed, but it can be use in many ways if cultivated properly. Seeds of this plant can be used as condiment. Also it has several medicinal uses. To know more, you can search on internet by mentioning those keywords.

Photos of this article were taken from Jhenaidah during October 2012.

ফুলের জন্য ভালবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...