West Bengal (PART-V)
Cooch Behar (2)
This is a small sub-urban area of Coochbehar district. The name derived from a rivulet called "Jorai Nodi" which is a tributary of the river Sankosh. Danio rerio and Danio dangila species of fishes are available in Jorai Rivulet. Borealis spp., the rare fishes of Himalayan foothills are available here apart from Raidak and Sankosh river.This fish is locally called "Boirali maach".The small suburb is famous for Raas-mela (Fair based on Radha-Krishna's life). The railway station, named Jorai, has uniqueness in it. There are three railway stations, named Kamakhyaguri, Jorai and Srirampur, comes in a consecutive row which belong to three separate districts, named Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar (both are of West Bengal ) and Kokrajhar (of Assam), respectively.
Baneshwar Shiv Temple
Situated at a distance of about 10 km to the North of Cooch Behar town, the temple has a 'Shivalinga' (the symble of Lord Shiva) 10 feet below the plinth level. Also present in the temple is 'Gouripat'. By the side of the main temple is another temple which has the statute of 'Ardhanariswar' installed.
On the occasions of Madan Chaturdashi and Dol Purnima this statue is carried temporarily to the Madan Mohan Temple of Cooch Behar town. This has given it the fame as ‘Movable Baneswar'.There is a big pond within the temple campus having a large number of tortoises. Some of the tortoises are very old and big in size. At Siva Chaturdashi a big mela is held here for a week.
This temple situated at a distance of about 35 km west of Cooch Behar Town, the original temple is now destroyed. The present temple has been established by Maharaja Pran Narayan in 1665 the throne of Devi is situated here. Beside the main temple 2 smaller temples also exist at the back-side of the temple courtyard. At the gate a Tarakeswar Sivalinga exists. A large number of festivals are observed here of which the Bath Festival of Debi in the month of Magh is worth mentioning.
Situated in the Cooch Behar Town itself; the huge tank was excavated by Maharaja Hitendra Narayan. It is a popular rendezvous in the evening, surrounded by heritage buildings including Victor House and a War Memorial where a tank is kept. During winter months one can spot migratory birds on the water surface and the nearby trees.
It is a recognized bird sanctuary, situated about 42 km from Cooch Behar Town. It has a deer park and a recently built aquarium where fishes, turtles, seven nos. of leopards, Peafowl are kept. You may spot Chinese Fishing Nets on the way to Rasikbil. Rasikbil is a complex of wet land, the name of important water bodies are Bochamari bil, Rasik bil, Batikata Bil & raichangmari bil. In Bengali, ‘bil’ means large water body.
|Watch Tower at Rasikbil|
The main migratory birds found in this wet land are Lesser Whistling Teal, Common Teal, Cotton Teal, Dapchick, Bronze winged Jacana, Pheasant Tailed Janacana, Shoveler, Barheaded goose, White Eyed Poacher etc. Except this a lot of other aquatic birds like small & large Cormorant, four spp. of Kingfisher, open bill storks etc. are found. The area of water dobby complex is 178 hec. The whole area comes under protected forest & managed by Coochbehar Forest Division. In January 2009, a beautiful watch tower of 70 feet height was constructed by Coochbehar Forest Division.
|Birds in Rasikbil|
There is a mini zoo at Rasikbil; the zoo is recognised by Central Zoo Authority, Govt. of India. There are Tortoise, Gharial, Leopard, Spotted deer, Peafowl and other birds in the zoo. In 2009, Coochbehar Division in collaboration with Zoological Survey of India conducted bird census in the wetland complex, 66 species of birds were recorded.
Image courtesy: https://www.google.co.in/search?q=cooch+behar+photos&hl