Olive Ridley eggs hatch in thousands in Ganjam

Olive Ridley eggs hatch in thousands in Ganjam

Thousands of hatchlings are coming out of the nests buried under sand on this coast to venture into the sea. The Rushikulya rookery coast near Berhampur city in Ganjam district of Odisha is a major mass nesting site for Olive ridley turtles in India. This year, over 3,85,000 mother turtles reached the coast to lay eggs. Each nest contains around 100 eggs. This means over three crore hatchlings are expected to come out of the nests. On an average, 80 hatchlings come out of each nest.

Olive Ridley, microstat

“As the rate of mortality among the hatchlings is so high, the Olive Ridley remains an endangered species,” Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera said.

Forest range officer Dilip Kumar Martha said the hatching had started in a small number of nests on April 2. The process picked up on the night of April 7 and is expected to last for the next five days. This year, hatching was delayed by a few days because of the rains on the night of April 2.

Bivash Pandav, a scientist of the Wildlife Institute of India, pointed to an interesting fact. The hatchlings come out of the sand 48 hours after they hatch. During this period, they remain under the sand, getting oxygen through the porous sand, their shells turning hard for them to cope with the condition outside.

The Hindu, Sib Kumar Das


Indian Navy honours Tara-Tarini hill shrine by naming sailboat

Indian Navy honours Tara-Tarini hill shrine by naming sail boat

Tara-Tarini was the traditional patron deity for ancient Odisha sailors

Induction of the Indian Navy sailboat INSV Tarini, named after the Tara-Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district of  Odisha, has become an event of joy and pride for the inhabitants of the district.

TariniThe first all-women crew on board INSV Tarini will set sail in August this year to circumnavigate the globe. But for the people of Ganjam district, naming of the sailboat is an honour for the Tara-Tarini shrine and Odia maritime history. In Sanskrit, the word Tarini means both boat and saviour. Tara-Tarini was the traditional patron deity for sailors and merchants of ancient Odisha, who worshipped it for safety and success at sea.

The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Odisha’s Ganjam district. Tara-Tarini is the patron deity for sailors and merchants and is worshiped for safety and success at sea from ancient period it self. Only for that mega ports like Manikpatna, PALUR, DANTAPURA, SONAPUR, KALINGA NAGAR and PITHUNDA flourished in Ganjam region very near to the Tara Tarini Shakti peetha.

Even the earliest reference to Palur port appears in the work of the Greek sailor Ptolemy during the 2nd century CE who has named it as Paloura.

Tara-Tarini of Odisha is known to have historical linkages with the river Goddess Mhadei — the exclusive boat deity of Goa’s Mhadei river. In Ganjem of Goa, Tara Tarini of Odisha have been worshiped as Tarini Tara vis since ancient times. Both the deities have sculptural similarities and similarities in their puja system.

In order to promote ocean sailing activities and to encourage women empowerment, the Indian Navy conceptualized the idea of the First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe. A team of six women Officers led by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi was selected for this project. These officers have done basic sail training courses at INWTC Mumbai followed by Navigation, Seamanship, Communication and Meterology courses at various naval training schools at Kochi. After completion of theoretical courses, the officers sailed INSV Mhadei to Vizag for the International Fleet Review 2016 and thereafter to Mauritius and back. Following that, they sailed the boat on a grueling voyage to Cape Town in Dec 16.

Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB) secretary Pramod Panda said the Tara Tarini shrine represents reverence for mother deity and acceptance of mother nature as the protector. Mr. Panda thanked the Indian Navy for naming the new sailboat after the hill shrine.

According to him, this small but great gesture will surely draw attention of people all over the country towards this famous hill shrine of south Odisha.

Rich maritime history

In a statement, cultural organisation ‘Utkal Parishad’ expressed joy over the homage to the deities of the Tara-Tarini hill shrine through the naming of INSV Tarini. According to the organisation, it recognises the rich maritime history of Odisha and Ganjam district. Members of civic organisation ‘Forum for Ganjam’ also celebrated this naming of naval sailboat. J. Suresh of the organisation said this will surely make the young generation become proud of the rich culture and heritage of Odisha and Ganjam region.

Tara-Tarini shrine is located on the Kumari hills on the banks of Rushikulya river in Puriushottampur block of Ganjam district. According to historians, this holy shrine may be linked to the worship of Tara, the primordial deity of the Mahayana Buddhism. Later, it became a major shrine of Tantra.

Buddhist links

A small idol in meditating posture found in the sanctum sanctorum of Tara Tarini temple hints at its ancient Buddhist links. ‘Sadhabas’, the ancient sea faring merchants from Odisha revered Tara-Tarini and worshipped at this shrine before starting their sea voyage.


Village children join hands in Ganjam to protect sparrows

Village children join hands in Ganjam to protect sparrows

Fifty children of Purunabandha village near Rushkulya rookery near Berhampur city in Ganjam district of Odisha have taken on the mantle for sparrow protection at their village.

Children of Purunabandha village showing the artificial nests provided to them for sparrow conservation and eight-year-old Jogendra Behera (right).

Children of Purunabandha village showing the

artificial nests provided to them for sparrow conservation

and eight-year-old Jogendra Behera (right).

Sparrow protection was started at this village in in 2007 by activists of Rushikulya Sea Turtle Protection Committee (RSTPC). Experiments in sparrow conservation including use of various types of artificial nests here have been replicated at several other places in Odisha as well as outside the State. Artificial nests designed by sparrow conservators of Purunabandha are being used in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam outside the State as well as Banei, Tensa, Rourkela, Athagada, Sonepur, Balugaon in Odisha.

In a bid to motivate young generation to continue with the sparrow conservation efforts, the RSTPC and inhabitants of Purunabandha have selected 50 children of 10 to 12 year age group. Rabindranath Sahu of RSTPC said all these children were too friendly with sparrows as they grew up seeing successful attempts in sparrow conservation at their village. Eight-year-old Jogendra Behera is so close to sparrows that these tiny birds perch on his shoulders when he moves around the village. These children were provided specially-designed earthen artificial nests, which they would hang up at any place of their choice. When sparrows start living in their new artificial nests, these children would be in charge of their protection and feeding.

Priya Sahu (12) said that she is looking forward to the day when some sparrow would come over and start staying in her nest to lay eggs.

“We feel children would surely take active interest in sparrow conservation in competitive spirit,” said Mr Sahu.

Parents of these children are happy that they would get some creative pastime . According to Jogendra, sparrows are livelier, more entertaining and friendly than any toys that children can have. Children and elders of Purunabandha village have realised that artificial nests are major catalysts for sparrow conservation as thatched roofs which were natural dwelling places of sparrows have started to vanish from rural areas.

 -The Hindu, BERHAMPUR, January 25, 2016

Special pujas to avert threat of cyclone, tsunami in Ganjam, Odisha

Special pujas to avert threat of cyclone, tsunami in Ganjam

Gossips and rumours regarding threat of cyclonic storm or tsunami in October have led the inhabitants of coastal villages of Ganjam district in Odisha to resort to special rituals and puja to appease the sea.

Residents of coastal area offering prayers to sea god.

Since past one week, such rituals and pujas by villagers of coastal villages near Gopalpur beach resort (Berhampur) are continuing. Inhabitants of villages like Bauxipalli, Golabandh, Kirtipur, Laudigaon, Hatipada, Kamalapur, Kadarpalli, Nuabauxipalli, Enkatraipur near Berhampur city have performed this special puja to please the sea god. Hundreds of villagers are offering new clothes, fruits and other things to the sea.

According to administrative officials, a mock drill to test preparedness to face natural calamities in Rangeilunda block may have triggered this panic. Posters and banners meant to increase awareness regarding preparedness for natural calamities like cyclone or tsunami added fuel to the rumours in the area. Some persons may have taken them to be cyclone or tsunami warning. Most of these gullible villagers claim a cyclone named ‘Dolphin’ is expected to hit Ganjam coast in October. But it is a rumour as a tropical cyclone named ‘Dolphin’ has already happened in May this year and impacted Mariana Islands.

As per the meteorology department, till now there is no prediction regarding possibility of any major cyclone hitting eastern coast of India including that of Odisha during October 2015. But since 1999 super-cyclone, inhabitants of Ganjam district are panicky about cyclones in October. Phailin cyclone in 2013 and Hudhud in 2014 had occurred in this month.

 – The Hindu, BERHAMPUR, October 7, 2015