Tag Archives: Chaliyam

Sandpipers Wintering in Kerala: Kutipuram, Kadalundy and Chaliyam

Tereck Sandpiper at Chaliyam beach, Calicut. 6 Jan 2013.

Tereck Sandpiper at Chaliyam beach, Calicut. 6 Jan 2013.

A Common Jezebel gliding away from the blossom at Kutipuram.  5 Jan 2013

A Common Jezebel gliding away from the blossom at Kutipuram. 5 Jan 2013

 

A solitary Marsh Sandpiper in Nila at dusk.  Kutipuram, 5 Jan 2013.

A solitary Marsh Sandpiper in Nila at dusk. Kutipuram, 5 Jan 2013.  Also saw around 1000 Small Pratincoles on the sand beds downstream further late in the evening.

An ancient sacred grove-shrine Kurumba Kavu, Sobha Parambu, Tanur.  Rare wild trees are still left in the grove though vanishing.

An ancient sacred grove-shrine Kurumba Kavu, Sobha Parambu, Tanur. Rare wild trees and medicinal plants are still left in the grove though vanishing.

 

Terek Sandpiper and Sand Plover at Chaliyam, 6 Jan 2013.

Terek Sandpiper and Sand Plover at Chaliyam, 6 Jan 2013.

Itty Achuthan Vaidyar Memorial Sasya Sarvaswam, Chaliyam

Itty Achuthan Vaidyar Memorial Sasya Sarvaswam, Chaliyam, Calicut.  Bass relief of Itty Achuthan and Van Reid on the gateway.  An asylum for endangered flora built on the old Chaliyam railway yard. Now with Forest Dept. of Kerala.

 

A Green Shank at Puthiyam beach, between Vallikunnu and Kadalundy.  6 Jan 2013.

A Green Shank at Puthiyam beach, between Vallikunnu and Kadalundy. 6 Jan 2013.  The migratory shore birds have decreased considerably this winter on these coasts says Vijesh a nature photographer from Kadalundy.

River mouth of Kadalundy where it empties into the Arabian Sea.

River mouth of Kadalundy where it empties into the Arabian Sea.

 

Gulls in Kadalundy community reserve. 6 Jan 2013.  Mostly small gulls including black and brown headed ones.  Vijesh says that their numbers have drastically declined.  A view from the road bridge.

Gulls in Kadalundy community reserve. 6 Jan 2013. Mostly small gulls including black and brown headed ones. Vijesh says that their numbers have drastically declined. A view from the road bridge.  Increasing pollution and encroachment could be the reason for the decline in number of birds and species.  Vijesh reports Curlews and whimbrels from the sea shore.

At the river mouth of Kadalundy, 6 Jan 2013.

Self portrait at the river mouth of Kadalundy, 6 Jan 2013.

 

Terek Sandpiper feeding crustaceans with its long slightly  upward curved  bill at Chaliyam beach.

Terek Sandpiper feeding crustaceans with its long slightly upward curved bill at Chaliyam beach.

Old British bungalow now turned in an interpretation centre at Chaliyam Itty Achuthan Sasya Sarvaswam.

Old British bungalow now turned into an interpretation centre at Chaliyam Itty Achuthan Sasya Sarvaswam.  This was part of the old Chaliyam railway station and yard abandoned with the extension of the rail line to Calicut in late 19th century.  Chaliyam to Tirur was the oldest railway line in Malabar in the 19th century.

 

A group of Terek Sandpipers at Chaliyam beach, 6 Jan 2013.

A group of Terek Sandpipers at Chaliyam beach, 6 Jan 2013.  I remember seeing a couple of them some two years ago in Chandragiri and Manjeswaram estuaries in Kasaragod during 2010-11 winter season.

 

Riding into the sea.  Wave breaker or Pulimuttu at the mouth of Chaliyar that allows the Bepur port and fishing docks in Chaliyar estuary.

Riding into the sea. Wave breaker or Pulimuttu at the mouth of Chaliyar that allows the Bepur port and fishing docks in Chaliyar estuary.

A Western Reef Egret by the wave breaker at the mouth of the Chaliyar.  Pacific Reef Egrets were also seen but could not shoot as I was riding.

A Western Reef Egret by the wave breaker at the mouth of the Chaliyar. Pacific Reef Egrets were also seen but could not shoot as I was riding.

 

The laterite projection guarding the southern shoulder of Kadalundy river mouth.  It formed an ancient way in for the ships and became renowned all over the world as Kadalundy Nagaram.

The laterite projection guarding the southern shoulder of Kadalundy river mouth. It formed an ancient way in for the ships and became renowned all over the world as Kadalundy Nagaram, the port city of Kadalundy. It was famous as Tyndis or Thondi during the early common era. Road bridge also in the right backdrop.  I remember visiting the place way back in 1995 some eighteen years ago as I was teaching in a school in Kottakal for an academic year soon after my TTC, just before my BA. The road bridge was not there then.  Vijesh Vallikunnu the native says that the bridge is also scarring away the migrant birds  from distant shores.

Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper (upper right) at Chaliyam.  Common Sandpipers have become extremely uncommon this winter on the Malabar coast.

Common Sandpiper and Terek Sandpiper (upper right) at Chaliyam. Common Sandpipers have become extremely uncommon this winter on the Malabar coast.

 

Ruins of the old British structure at the mouth of river Kadalundy.  Kadalundy Nagaram was known as Tyndis or Thondi during the Sangam age.

Ruins of the old British structure at the mouth of river Kadalundy. Kadalundy Nagaram was known as Tyndis or Thondi during the Sangam age.  Roman, chinese and Arab ships used enter Malabar coast through this river mouth.

Bepur port from Chaliyam.  Bepur was made his second home by Bepur Sultan Basheer in the 20th century and Chaliyam was made into a strategic vantage by Tipu Sultan in 18th century.

Bepur port from Chaliyam. Bepur was made his second home by Bepur Sultan Basheer in the 20th century and Chaliyam was made into a strategic vantage by Tipu Sultan in 18th century.  The Zamorin raised down the fort at Chaliyam built by the Portuguese in 1503.  The relics are still seen in Chaliyam beach.

 

Puzhakara Pally founded by MaliK Dinar in AD 7th century (Hijra 22).  This ancient Islamic monument was rebuilt several times later and was originally part of the ten seminal mosques established by Hazrat Malik-ibnu-Dinar in various regions of Kerala including Thalangara/Kasaragod, Cheraman Pally/Kodungallur and Thazhathangady Jumath Pally/Kottayam.

Puzhakara Pally founded by MaliK Dinar in AD 7th century (Hijra 22). This ancient Islamic monument was rebuilt several times later and was originally part of the ten seminal mosques established by Hazrat Malik-ibnu-Dinar in various regions of Kerala including Thalangara/Kasaragod, Cheraman Pally/Kodungallur and Thazhathangady Jumath Pally/Kottayam.

A view of Chaliyam beach from the wave breaker projecting into the sea.  Tipu Sultan's fort was located towards the right.

A view of Chaliyam beach from the wave breaker projecting into the sea. Chaliyam fort was located towards the right.

 

Certificate given by Itty Achuthan Vaidyar for Hortus Malabaricus in Kolezhuthu script in his own hand in the 17th century to the Dutch.  Displayed in Chaliyam Sasya Sarvaswam, Calicut.

Certificate given by Itty Achuthan Vaidyar for Hortus Malabaricus in Kolezhuthu script in his own hand in the 17th century to the Dutch. Displayed in Chaliyam Sasya Sarvaswam, Calicut.

The gate of Puzhakara Pally, Chaliyam.  AD 7th century.

The gate of Puzhakara Pally, Chaliyam. AD 7th century.

Chaliyam fish landing.  6 Jan 2013

Chaliyam fish landing. 6 Jan 2013

 

Marine crabs at Kadalundy river mouth.

Marine crabs at Kadalundy river mouth.

Old oval pond in Chaliyam.  Could be an ancient pond and water source.  The British made it part of their railway yard, now protected by the Forest Dept.

Old oval pond in Chaliyam. Could be an ancient pond and water source. The British made it part of their railway yard, now protected by the Forest Dept.

 

Self portrait from the end of the wave breaker at Chaliyam, one mile off shore. 6 Jan 2012

Self portrait from the end of the wave breaker at Chaliyam, one mile off shore. 6 Jan 2012.  Not much pelagic life, just a few terns and gulls…

Revisiting Beypore Sultan

Beypore: Mouth of river Chaliyar and new fishing harbor

Beypore or Bepur is one of the ancient port cities of Kerala only after Kodungallur or Muziris.  Even today it is the second port of Kerala after Kochi which came to prominence in the 15 century after the flood in river Periyar that ruined the fame of Vanchi or Muziris.  In terms of people and cargo handled this  jewel of Malabar is competing with Kochi and Mangalore in the west coast.

Beypore port gate: a canon towards right bottom

It is a unique estuarine port on the northern banks of river Chaliyar that takes the waters from Nilambur forests and empties into Arabian see between Beypore and Chaliyam.  This historic site that has attracted Romans, Chinese, Arabs and Sumerians for thousands of years having a continuous maritime history of atleast 1500 years is just 10km south west of the city of Calicut or Kozhikode.  It was also famous for Uru or Dhow or small trading vessels built with Nilambur Teak and coir.

Projecting into sea: New walkway on break-water in Beypore

But today the shipbuilding cottage industry is no more.  the space formerly occupied by the native marine architects and ship builders and master carpenters has literally vanished and a new fishing harbor has come up near the breakwater in the Beypore beach.  I remember visiting the place in 1996 while working briefly at a Muslim primary school in Iringallur near Kottakal, Malapuram.  The whole landscape had changed and today there are only miniature vessels for sale here.

A Tern in flight one km out-shore by the walkway at Beypore

In ancient times it was called Vaypur or Vadaparappanad with Parapan Angady and Kadalundi Nagaram (a port annex) to the south.  In the 18th century Tipu after capturing Malabar renamed it as Sulthan Pattanam.  In the second half of 20th century another brave warrior this time a warrior with a pen rather than a sword in hand popularized the place all over Kerala through letters as his second home.  He was hailing from Vaikom in Kottayam and later rooted himself in Malabar at Beypore and became well known as Beypore Sulthan.

Basheer’s worldly paradise: Beypore Sulthan’s home near Beypore town, Calicut

He is none other than Vaikom Muhamad Basheer the author of scores of best selling classics in Malayalam fiction.  It was my dream to meet the great Sufi at his second home in Beypore.  In my 1996 visit I could not make it.  But on April 2, 2011 I visited Beypore Sulthan’s home and met his life partner Fabi Basheer.  Though his physical presence is lacking the man of letters for all times is there in every waving green leaf and smiling little flower.

Basheer’s sufi-garden: Dearest Pavizhamally on the left which he nurtured with his own hands

We had a refreshing talk about Basheer and his life.  She showed me all the flowering plants and trees that were nurtured by Basheer with his own hands.  The rare trees are still there and are green and richly flowering.  The lonely Mangostin tree seems to be gloomy with dark but lush foliage in loosing its soul companion who used to sit beneath it in his old easy chair while playing his gramaphone and singing aloud occasionally.

Fabi Basheer before their home in Beypore

All the big ink pens, writing pads, easy chair, record player, writing table and portraits of Basheer are preserved hear for posterity by his son Anis Basheer.  The house is renovated without loosing the old ambiance and without harming the trees.  It is cool and green in the richly shaded plot.  I felt like entering a wet sacred grove as I was coming from Kozhikode city from the heat of National Theatre Festival 2011.

Basheer’s Sufi-sacred grove: Asoka, Champaka, Cinnamon and much more nameless plants…

The Basheer family must be appreciated for preserving the memories of the legendary writer and maintaining the house and green surroundings  for visitors and researchers all the time.  The flowering hibiscuses and other herbs planted by Basheer still welcome children and adults with a keen eye and sense  for the little wonders and delights of the world.

Basheer’s Mangostin: The living tree that lost its soul-mate but still giving shade and chill to others

Flowering shrubs and perennials and Fabi Basheer reading newspaper in the backdrop

Resonant shade: Loneliness of the Mangostin tree

Visible presence: Fabi beneath the portrait of Basheer at Beypore home