NOT SO POPULAR, BUT A TRUE PARADISE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS – THE WET...

NOT SO POPULAR, BUT A TRUE PARADISE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS – THE WET LANDS OF SON BEEL, ASSAM, INDIA

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NOT SO POPULAR, BUT A TRUE PARADISE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS - THE WET LANDS OF SON BEEL, ASSAM, INDIA
Let the Silence Prevail
MAGICAL SON BEAL, ASSAM, INDIA
Not so popular, Son Beel in Assam, India is a paradise for Photographers. A travel story shared to us by Dibyendu Das with some amazing pictures and rare information about the place, which makes it a must read.Son Beel is a freshwater lake or can be said wetland situated in the southern part of Assam. Though it is situated in Karimganj district but the fact is that, the lake connects both Hailakandi and Karimganj district. The specialty of this beel(water body) is that, its used as farm land where the habitats of the locality cultivate rice during winter season and after the winter from March/April onward this land gets filled up with full of water and become a gigantic lake. As the depth of the beel is very less so due to heavy rain the lake overflows and the excess water channels through the Kakra and Kushira river which eventually flows into Bangladesh. Son Beel is very famous for its fishery and it is one of the main producers of fish for the entire district in Southern Assam. The Bhujia fish(mixture of various types of tiny fishes) of Son Beel is very famous and once you eat this bhujia fish with proper preparation you will fall in love with it. It is also famous for its flora and fauna as so many scholars from outside India and also of this part has done their research work on Son Beel.Debodwar, Sonebeel

Son Beel is about 79.4 km from Silchar if you go via Karimganj then you will get the west Son Beel and if you go touching Hailakandi then it is about 58km. and you will reach the East Son Beel.  Son Beel is not only famous for its fishery and flora & fauna but also it is one of the most favorite spots for the photographers. It is also a very famous place of one day family picnic and leisurely outing.   The sunrise and sunset of Son Beel is spectacular. Photographers from nearby district often come here to shoot and take away with inexplicable view of Son Beel.

Floating Cloud over Sonebeel (1)

I had the opportunity to visit Son Beel few times during winters and rainy seasons. Recently, I managed a 2-day trip to Son Beel in July, 2014, with four friends of mine. We started from Silchar at about 9:30 am in a gloomy overcast morning by a private vehicle and reached at Son Beel Kalibari at about 11:00 am and by that time the sky became clearer, slowly with some structures of cloud. As we planned it earlier, so one of my co photographer friends who belongs to Son Beel had booked a large boat which was weather protected and diesel motor operated, he also ordered lunch for us. We carried our lunch and other necessities on the boat and began our journey of exploring Son Beel. After a 15/20 minutes sail we reached a place which is called Kakdwip. Kakdwip is a very special place because during winter it looks like an island and during rainy season it gets submerged completely under water.  The Hizol trees (Barringtonia Acutangula) on little island like land can be seen as they are standing on the water stretching their necks over the water. It is one of the very breathtaking views of that place. We anchored our boat with one of the Hizol tree and took half an hour rest under the shadow of the Hizol tree and finished our lunch with Roti and chicken before going for our photo shoot. Because of the sun over our head we waited for few hours there so that we can get the side light which is perfect for photography. By the time all of us went down to the water (level was chest height) did few compositions with the Hizol tree around us. But more than photography actually we enjoyed the time in the water of Son Beel. At about 4:00 p.m. we left the Kakdwip for another beautiful spot named Mokam-Kalibari from where we planned to shoot sunset for the day.

Duska ta Sonebeel

At Mokam-Kalibari  as we were preparing ourselves for sunset but soon realized that the sky was not very interesting for photography but just at the time of sunset suddenly the sky took a dramatic turn around and we were blessed with extraordinary color we hardly ever got, I then got busy with capturing the color of the sunset, the color of the sky, the reflections of the trees and at the end got few satisfactory shots. I was very happy with the result. Before returning to Kalibari Bazar from where we started our Son Beel journey we went to the Mokam-Kalibari, did our prayers and returned back to hotel at Hailakandi at about 9:00 pm. After little discussion about photography we took our dinner and went to bed early for the next day photo shoot.

Evening Son Beel

On the second day we actually planned to shoot the sunrise but it could not materialize due to an early morning rain. So, we got up little late about 8:00 am and having our breakfast we started for Son Beel for another hectic photo shoot. It is hardly about 20 minutes drive from Hailakandi and on the way we entered into a beautiful Saraspur Tea Estate which is in between Son Beel and Hailakandi. We went into the tea garden took some portraits of the lady workers in the garden also took some shot  of the tea plantation till 11:00 am morning and then we set our foot again for Son Beel, the ultimate destination. After reaching at Kalibari Bazar we decided to take rest and by the time we finished our lunch with pulao and the tastiest ever Bhujia fish dry fry (I can still feel the taste). About 3:00 pm we started our photo shoot and planned to go to Devodwar (Door of God) but unfortunately due to harsh sunlight and lack of photography potentiality of that place, after spending an hour decided to leave the place and went in search of a good spot to capture the beautiful Son Beel sunset.

Solitude

Surveying few spots later we decided to shoot our sunset at Anandapur. Anandapur looks like a tiny beach, little sandy too. Like sea beach you can see lots of boats anchored in the shore with which the fishermen went into the beel water during night to catch fish. We waited in our boat for the sun to get down and by the time we had a little discussion on basic photography amongst ourselves. Then we one by one got down from the boat and started our preparation to capture the sunset. Luckily once again we got a beautiful sunset with lovely clouds and colors in the sky. I was very happy and put all my efforts to capture the best and happily we all had come out with at least one good shot. We returned to Son Beel Kalibari Bazar after a 20 minutes sail through the dark in the water. After having a cup tea for one last time of that trip, we dropped one of our member at his residence who belongs from Son Beel, we started our journey back for home. It was a very successful trip for us, I was very happy with the result and the hospitality of the locals.

The Trio

I will recommend people of this valley visit the beautiful Son Beel once at least and suggest you all to visit during rainy season take a boat on rent, spend the whole day on water, visit MokamKalibari, Nagendranagar, Devodwar and Anandapur enjoy the scenic beauty of the place, the sunset. I am sure you will remember it for the rest of your life.

Water Color

 

Sleep with the Stars

 

Last Light, Sone Beel, Assam

If you are an avid traveler, and you have an interesting story to share, do write to us at lightartacademy@gmail.com

 

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