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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Victor Goonetilleke: A Life of Knowledge

Today, the 29th Day of November 2011, our beloved DXer and friend Victor Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka is celebrating his birthday. Victor is a Technical Monitor at Frequency Management (IBB) at Voice of America and a veteran Dxer from South Asia who started playing with radio sets at the age of 13 and till today he is serving the international radio community from his heart in many ways. He is a keen BC-DXer and Amateur Radio operator and operates under call sign 4S7VK. Radio is like another religion for this man and today he is inspiring many young DXers and Shortwave listeners around the the to experience the romance of radio tuning. This great teacher and friend of many new generation DXers is a precious resource for DXing as well as he is a very kind hearted, humble and culturally very sound person, which is really rare in today's world.



Several days back I requested Victor Goonetilleke to give me an online interview and today on his birthday he surprised me by spending hours in answering my questions in this interview. As a DX student of Victor sir, this gives me immense pleasure in publishing this interview on this special day in his life and this is my birthday gift to our beloved Victor Sir. Hope you all will enjoy this and also eagerly looking forward to your comments on this. 



Prithwiraj: Tell us how you have been attracted towards radio hobby of SWLing and DXing?


Victor:
I think DXers are born and not made. That love for radio, the romance and excitement of contacting or hearing distant signals is in our blood. It has to take something to make it come into the open. My father was an avid listener to foreign stations, and foreign lands always fascinated me and before getting into listening to foreign broadcasts I used to correspond with pen pals because we did not have a radio at that stage. The US Presidential election of 1960 and John F. Kennedy made me listen on my own. I was 13 years old then.


Prithwiraj: In those days the Digital receivers and modern means of communication like Internet and email were not available and people did everything by those analogue equipments and by post, but still they were more successful as DXers. Can you please share with us your experiences as a DXer in those days?

Victor: Our first radio was a 3 band domestic, valve radio with 2 SW bands and a magic eye for tuning. You could be as much as 200 kHz off the real frequency. But as you get along you improvise. A strip of graph paper even subdivided would be pasted over the front panel and marking known station and their frequency enabled me to be about 20kHz closer to the real frequency, but it was impossible to calculate frequencies. You had to first hear the station, unlike with today's digital portables even where you tune to the frequency and wait for the station!

I wouldn't say we were more successful those days. Definitely not, but there were many more stations, especially domestic SW broadcasters on the tropical bands. Therefore picking up new countries was easier than today. However, we had to work very hard. We learnt the art of propagation, thus we knew as experience gathered when a station could be heard. So after the easy stations had been picked up we had to plan our dx catches on the drawing broads as it were, and wait for them to propagate because we had exhausted our radios capabilities more or less. Before I got my first communications receiver in 1970 August 18th I had heard 117 countries and QSLd most of them. Of course stations would readily QSL those days compared to today.



Victor receiving Award from Dr. Adrian M Peterson for AWR First DX Contest 1980s.


Prithwiraj: Would you like to share with us your memories as a SWL and DXer? Also tell us something about UADX and other associations which you formed in the past to promote DXing.

Victor: The years were thrilling as well as very frustrating. I would dream of getting a better radio but I just couldn't ask my father to buy me a radio. That was unheard of, almost like today asking a parent for a computer, and definitely not a second computer!! It was also very despairing when I saw foreign DXers reporting catches from my neighbourhood and mentioning frequencies when I could hardly hear them leave alone measure a frequency close to +-5 kHz. But the thrill for a teenager to hear a new country and to get a new QSL lasted many weeks and was some compensation for the lack of a good receiver. The domestic sets could not handle big antennas as they would produce images and cross modulation and you wondered whether you heard some image or mixing product and not a new station.

UADX was formed after the Ceylonese SWL Club. As the name suggests the SWL club was just a listeners club did not last long as there was little participation from members. They expected us to provide schedules and information and even help to rig antennas. After 3 years of the SWL club we closed it down and gathered the few dedicated DXers and formed a specialised DX club, called the Union of Asian DXers. We concentrated on the harder to hear stations, reporting new stations, frequencies and other developments. We were no more a club listening to what other people reported, but setting the pace for others. We felt that there was a need to provide dxers worldwide with good and fast information. By then my mentor Sarath Amukotuwa and I had graduated to communications receivers, had ample experience about the International dx-scene and I would say even sought after by the freign dx community as reliable experienced dxers. We were also invited to take part in foreign dx magazines and club ads guest members. That gave us a launching pad and friends all over the DXing world. So UADX was the source of Asian information.


Sharing Lesson on Tsunami disaster communications, as guest of JARL at The Japan Ham Fair 2005 was held at Tokyo. 


Prithwiraj: You are one of the most experienced broadcasters and DXers from South-east Asia and you must have seen many ups and downs in this field till date. can you please tell us the difference between the radio scenes of yesteryear and today? Which period of time would you consider the Golden era of Shortwave broadcasting and why?

Victor: Well before the Internet and Satellite TV radio was the only means of information other than the print media. So, naturally radio was the king of the media. Radio was not only a source of information and education, but a powerful weapon in the cold war era. There was a lot of jamming and even crude propaganda on the airwaves. Millions were spent and invested in short wave broadcasting as opposed to the cut backs we see today. Clandestine broadcasting was also at its peak and I would say the crumbling of the Berlin wall was a watershed in international broadcasting. From then onwards it has been a bit down hill. However, broadcasting has become more sophisticated now than 35 years ago while losing its unchallenged position.


Prithwiraj: Sir, you were associated with RNW and its great DX program Media Network for a very long time. Would you like to share the story of your association with RNW and those lovely days when you were a regular contributor to Media Network? 


Victor: Short wave listening had a boom in South & South East Asia with the introduction of the transistor radio and the dx programme of Radio Nederland started to receive a huge response from Asia. Before an Asian DX Report was introduced there were only Pacific DX reports by Arthur Cushen, North American DX Report by Glenn Hauser, African dx report by Richard Ginby and a Belalux dx report by Marten Van delft as far as I can remember. They invited Greg Calkin who was the first secretary of the Canadian H.C. in Karachi to produce a dx report for Asia in 1973 or so as a stop gap until they could find a regular reporter from the region. When Greg was leaving for home he asked me to take over. After a voice test I was selected and my first DX report for DX-Juke Box was in December 1974.

A couple of years later Jonathan Marks was commissioned to change it to a media programme and we all know how he revolutionized the programme as Media Network. I think that is a story in itself.


Presenting Media Network DX Report at RNW Studios August 1989


Prithwiraj: Are Media Network past programs still available in the archival form on the web? If yes, please guide how one can listen to them.


Victor: Yes many of the programmes are archived by Jonathan Marks in http://www.jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/. I am sure anyone will enjoy the programmes as they were just not dx tips but real media stories which are still so current and exciting.


Prithwiraj: You are still associated with IBB monitoring team. Would you like to share your experiences monitoring IBB and other radio stations? Please tell us how IBB system works.

Victor: Serious Monitoring is quite different to DXing, though being an experience ed dxer is a tremendous advantage. Here we are not talking about catching rare dx, but working with the major broadcasters like IBB(VOA/RFE/RL/RFA/Radio Marti) to guarantee a good listenable signal to the average listener. I think a detailed account can be accessed at http://monitor.ibb.gov/IBB.pdf


Prithwiraj: Sir, I have heard that you are a HAM as well and you are also the owner of only Persuas receiver available online from the Subcontinent. Tell us about these. Why did you decide to become a HAM after pursuing DXing for so long? Also would like to know about that HAM society of yours in Sri Lanka and its contribution towards society.


Victor: I think it is natural for any serious dxer after picking up signals from stations to also want to transmit and experiment with radio signals. I always think that first you have to be a listener before going into transmitting. Today with the abolition of the Morse Code as a requirement for a Ham(Amateur License) any body with a smattering of electronics can pass the examination in a matter of weeks. It not only degraded the Amateur Service, but also saw people becoming radio amateurs who soon lost the interest as they were not dedicated people who wanted to get into communications through sheer love for it. Easy come easy go as we say. Amateur Radio is not just a hobby but a service and it can play a vital roll in disasters like the Radio Society of Sri Lanka(RSSL) showed in the Tsunami on December 2004 that when all other modern communications fail, simple HF radio can play a life saving part. The RSSL was awarded the coveted "Golden Antenna Award" for disaster communication for 2004.


Receiving the "Golden Antenna Award 2004" for Tsunami Disaster Communications on behalf of the RSSL as President of the Radio Society of Sri Lanka, from the Mayor of Badbethiem DNAT (Association of German & Netherlands Amateur Radio Clubs. Germany June 2005


Prithwiraj: These days many people officially or individually monitor frequencies of different radio stations, but so many end up only filling up the reception report forms as prescribed by a particular station. Can you please give some tips to our new generation of DXers on how to proceed to monitoring any station frequencies and how to write an useful reception report.

Victor: Well there are two types of Monitors. One who undertakes to voluntarily and regularly watch the station's frequencies on a normal radio set and inform the station on a regular basis, as stipulated by the station for which the station will reward by sending gifts and souvenirs. You do not need vast experience and sophisticated equipment to do so and you can report when ever you have the time.

Professional monitoring is a totally different thing undertaken with a firm commitment and when you have the skills to really help the broadcaster. The IBB article will enlighten people about this aspect of monitoring.

Prithwiraj: In the Subcontinent the SLBC was the pioneer in radio broadcasting. Would you like to tell us about the Golden days of SLBC and its contribution to radio broadcasting in the Subcontinent? How is SLBC doing at present?


Victor: Radio Ceylon was a pioneer in external commercial broadcasting. In a way it happened accidentally one could say. When SEAC Radio was closing down after the war years from the Ekala transmitting site the transmitters were gifted to the Ceylon government. Ceylon had an excellent English commercial service on the "local beam" as they called it then, which was listened to by many in South India and as far up as Goa and Bombay. Therefore it came naturally to go in for commercial external broadcasting and it was an instant success. Listener's letters and postcards for musical requests came in bags of several hundred a day from India. Reception was excellent and broadcasting standards were set, I might say for the whole of South Asia. Radio Ceylon was a household word.

Well SLBC is a ghost of what it was then. Mainly because of changing media delivery and India picking up with commercial broadcasting with the Vividh Bharthi programme and vast improvements in the domestic broadcasting scene in India. This resulted in a steep drop in revenue and along with poor management I might add that the SLBC's All Asia Service in both English and Indian languages is on the verge of total collapse. The emergence of commercial private broadcasting hasn't helped the situation either.


Prithwiraj: Sir your wife has always been a great source of inspiration for your work and heard that she helps you a lot in every aspects of life. Tell us about her and how she has been your inspiration in the way of your life. If you don't mind tell us something about your family and your loved ones.



Victor: Yes my wife and meeting her I would say was also a turning point in my life. She is a very educated English teacher, a terrific personality, not only as a house wife but a professional in many fields. She has been very supportive and also a great hostess when I have my radio visitors in our home-Shangri-la.

Here is a video made by Jonathan Marks  at the time of visiting Shangri-la in 2003. You can see the video clicking the following link : http://vimeo.com/7924483

I have three children, the eldest who is a qualified architect and a novice class radio amateur as well, is married to an IT specialist who is a full class radio amateur and live in Australia with their 4 year old son. My daughter though is more into professional photography.

The elder of the two son's is a crazy motor racing enthusiast and also works in that field working as the General Manager in a motor firm and my youngest son is close to finishing his masters in Counseling and university administration in the USA.

Prithwiraj: You are a very active member and mentor of Indian DXing Corporation Forum in the Facebook and always encouraging many young SWLs to become quality DXers. In your opinion how these present day DXers should nourish their art of DXing and what they should not do? Shall be happy to get your valuable advise. Do you have any future plan for these young DXers or for the DX forum in Facebook?


Victor: To be a good dxer one has to be dedicated like in any field. You must read a lot and learn from the experiences of your predecessors and also contemporaries. You must grow with your hobby and not be static. Don't let your equipment limit you. As you gain experience you must get better equipment and also your knowledge must advance. Learn the technical side of the hobby, at least to use a soldering iron and learn antenna theory and above all radio propagation.

Face Book is a tremendous interactive forum. Some older people frown at Face Book and similar social media., but when used well with proper privacy setting is a wonderful way of exchanging information and being in touch with people. To be very honest my interest in serious dxing has been somewhat rekindled thanks to Face Book radio related groups. I am sad many of my long time DX associates are missing the fun of the hobby due to not being on Face Book. To an extend the Yahoo Groups replaces the printed bulletins and Face Book related groups have even replaced Yahoo Group type reflectors due to the ease with which information, pictures , video and sounds can be uploaded. I hope people will look at these groups in a renewed perspective.


Prithwiraj: Last but not the least, in your opinion what is the future of radio broadcasting, specially shortwave broadcasts, in the world?


Victor: It is hard to answer this question in a phrase or two. It is a case of money as many traditional broadcasters struggle with their economies and resultant budgets. There will always be a good market for excellent programmes with a good signal be it via analog or digital DRM. Whether the broadcasters have the will to do it is another matter. Management like to believe that going on the Internet is cost effective and also transferring a part of the of the cost to the listener is the answer. However I think otherwise. As I have always said when a major broadcaster goes off the airwaves they go from being one of the 5 or 6 strongest signals on the air to being lost among the millions of websites or voices on the Internet. The day they go off the airwaves they cease to exist like many European broadcasters.

The Rapid-fire Round

=> Your Favourite radio station: Voice of America

=> Your favourite radio program: All VOA Special English programmes.

=> Your Favourite DX program: AWR Wavescan amongst the very few left.

=> Your best earned QSL: A few very hard ones. Falkland IBS. 4VEH Haiti on SW

=> Your favourite station signature tune: Hard to say.

=> Your favourite Interval signal: Vatican Radio.

=> Your idol DXer: Its not fair as many helped me along the way and I admire many from whom I have learnt much and still do.

=> Your favourite broadcaster: Jonathan Marks

=> Your favourite receiver and antenna system: Perseus SDR and LF Loop designed by 4S7RO my brother.

=> Your best moment in DXing: My first visit to EDXC Stockholm as guest of honour of Radio Sweden.

=> Your worst moment in DXing (if any): DXing has brought me endless joy.

=> Your most cherished award: International DXer of the year 1993 by the ANARC Association of North American Radio Clubs.

=> Your DX philosophy: In my hobby pursuits "Be honest to thyself that thou be not false to others"



Prithwiraj: Sir thank you so much for spending your valuable time for me and this interview and also thank you so much for being with us as a friend and mentor always.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Radio World's Tribute to Bhupen Da..

As he did during his entire life, after his death also musical mayestro from Assam Bhupen Hazarika still creating bridge between different cultures and communities by his immortal creations and golden voice. Bhupen Hazarika, the son of Assam and creator of many 'people's Song" has left us on 5th November but still people remembering him and his great works in different ways. And radio world, the medium with which Bhupen Hazarika started his musical journey, is also  not legging behind in paying tribute to the maestro in its own style on the waves. 




On 27th November 2011, the Bengali service of NHK World Radio Japan and its listeners from around the world paid their tribute to the legendary Indian singer and musical maestro Bhupen da by playing his immortal creation in Assamese "Manuhe Manuhor Babe" followed by playing the Bengali version of this song "Manush Manusher Jonnye". It is the first occation when this fifty years old and historic radio service transmitted far away from Tokyo, Japan has played an Assamese song in their program. Interestingly one of the host of that program, Mrs. Ajanta Gupta, is originated from Duliajan, Assam and she remembered her memories of Bhupen Hazarika with great respect. The Bengali version of the song was requested by one listener in Bangladesh who equally loves Bhupen as we. This symbolizes how great was Bhupen da and how deep his reach among the world community.  Here is a recorded file of that special program broadcast by NHK World Radio Japan from Tokyo this evening. (As the reception quality on Shortwave bands are not so satisfactory these days, so you may find the voice quality poor)



On the same day the All India Radio's General Overseas Service, which produce and broadcast programs for foreign listeners, broadcast a 25 munites long program on our beloved Bhupen Hazarika, India's cultural ambassador to abroad. The program was titled "The Bard of the Brahmaputra - Bhupen Hazarika" was scripted by Rezley Sabu and presented by Dominic Thomas. This program include a brief biography of Bhupen da and his works accompanied with immortal creations of the Bard. So it will be a great opportunity for all who want to know more about Dr. Bhupen Hazarika who always sung the song of the people and for the people by his golden and immortal voice.


I have recorded the entire program from Short Wave radio and as a DXer want to pay my heartfelt tribute to the musical maestro by circulating this program among friends who I believe also have immense love for Bhupen da in their heart too.



If you want to read more about this great soul of Assam then please visit the following website dedicated to the maestro.




Bhupen Da you'll remain in our hearts and in the hearts of millions in the time immemorial. You may not be alive in body but you voice will keep infusing spirit in all those million souls who find culture more important than life. As we mourn the passing of the Bard of the Brahmaputra, in your songs.. we'll keep you alive.

Prithwiraj

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Country QSLd Till November 2011

List of international radio stations I have successfully contacted and got reply from (QSLd). Some of them have regular correspondence with me! This art of listening to international radio stations and establishing relations with them is known as DXing.

Station Name Country Origin
Voice of Mongolia Mongolia
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Iran
WYFR (Family Radio) USA
Deutsche Welle Germany
Radio Netherlands Worldwide Netherlands
Radio Pakistan (PBC) Pakistan
Radio Santec Germany
Advebtist World Radio (AWR) Guam
Radio Canada International Canada
Radio Prague Czech Republic
NHK Radio Japan Japan
China Radio International (CRI) China
Radio Free Asia (RFA) USA
Radio Taiwan International (RTI) ROC Taiwan
Voice of Turkey Turkey
Radio Romania International Romania
HCJB Global Radio Australia
Polskie Radio Poland
KBS World Radio South Korea
Voice of Korea North Korea
Voice of Malaysia Malaysia
FEBC Phillippines
All India Radio India
Bangladesh Betar Bangladesh
Voice of Russia Russia
American Forces Network USA
Radio Cairo Egype
Voice of America USA
Voice of Vietnam Vietnam
Radio Damascus Syria
Radio Tirana International Albania
Radio Austria International Austria
Radio Thailand Thailand
Vatican Radio Vatican City
Radio Veritas Asia Phillippines
RDP International Portugal
PAB American Broadcasting (MB) Germany
Radio Bulgaria Bulgaria
RTE International Ireland
FRS-Holland Holland
ABC Radio Australia Australia
Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) New Zealand
Voice of Nigeria Nigeria
Bible Voice Broadcasting Co. Canada
Voice of Greece Greece
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Sri Lanka
Phillipinas DX (via AWR) Phillippines
Japan Shortwave Club (JSWC) via AWR Japan

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DXing at Karimganj

Few days back I visited our ancestral house at the Sadarashi village in Karimganj District of Assam. Karimganj District is located in the Southern tip of Assam - a state in the North-eastern corner of India. Together with two other neighbouring districts - Cachar and Hailakandi - it constitutes the Barak Valley zone in Southern Assam. The geographical location of Karimganj district is between longitudes 92°15' and 92°35' east and latitudes 24°15' and 25°55' North. Located strategically, the district shares 92 Kms. of International Border with the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. 41 Kms of this is demarcated by the river Kushiara while 51 Kms is land border.




DXing is my love and life to and how could I miss the opportunity to hear radio with out much electricity noise disturbance in that slow village set-up, which is extreme in our city areas. So I took that great opportunity and did some experiments with with my Degen 1103 digital receiver accompanied with the Kestral W31MS loop antenna. Some station logs are mentioned in the later part of this article. But the great experience I had during that visit to our native village was that my cousin brothers got attracted to this hobby of DXing and they were curious about that digital type of receiver which they never seen before. One of my cousin even requested me to help him get a such receiver soon. I also tried to tell them about Shortwave radio listening and how we DXers all over the world doing things these days.







But the most memorable moment came to me during that trip on 30th October when I was listening to my first DX report on AWR Wavescan sitting along with my in-laws at their home at Karimganj town. My father-in-law was so much impressed and happy with my success that he immediately offered his old Philips receiver to me which I at last denied to bring with me as I believe that he loves that receives from his heart. But I said that one day I shall definitely bring it to my radio museum (!). By the way my father-in-law, who is also a good radio lover, later arranged a vintage Philips receiver from his neighbour which I did brought back to Jorhat.

My Father-in-law's receivers...


The vintage receivers collected and gifted to me by my fater-in-law..




Here are some station I logged during my stay at Karimganj.

On 26th October (Location: Karimganj Town)

Radio Romania International in English from 0345 UTC on 15340 kHz with SINPO 34333
Video Link : http://youtu.be/uC2ff312gBQ


Radio Deutsche Welle in English from 0350 UTC on 12005 kHz with SINPO 45344

On 28th October (Location: Karimganj Town)

Voice of Korea in English from 0220 UTC on 15100 kHz with SINPO 45333
Video Link: http://youtu.be/N6YyO2Z8ofM

Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation broadcasting in Hindi from 0225 UTC on 11905 kHz

Video Link: http://youtu.be/88szFFxy11Y

Radio Thailand in English signing off at 0229 UTC on 15275 kHz with SINPO 32333
Video: http://youtu.be/zlNneNaW_Io

Radio Phillipinas in English from 0231 UTC on 17700 kHz with SINPO 45444

IRIB in Hindi from 0237 UTC on 13750 kHz with SINPO 45444
Video: http://youtu.be/tqwYmY7Xbq8

On 28th October (Location: Sadarashi Village, Karimganj)

Vatican Radio in English from 0305 UTC on 15460 kHz with excillent SINPO 55444
Video Link: http://youtu.be/6LP7U82d9NA

Radio Taiwan International in English from 0310 UTC on 15320 kHz with SINPO 33333
Video Link: http://youtu.be/owiOVYhgoJ0

Adventist World Radio in Bengali from 1240 UTC on 17535 kHz with SINPO 34333
Radio Cairo in English from 1255 UTC on 17870 kHz with SINPO 22222
Bangladesh Betar in Bengali from 1300 UTC on 4750 kHz with SINPO 55455
NHK Radio Japan in Bengali from 1314 UTC on 11685 kHz with SINPO 45344
IRIB Bengali from 1525 UTC on 12085 kHz with SINPO 45334
Sudan Radio Service in unid language on 17745 kHz from 1527 kHz with SINPO 25222
Radio Canada International from 1530 UTC on 11675 kHz with SINPO 55444

On 29th October (Location: Sadarashi Village, Karimganj)

CVC India from 0120 UTC on 9975 kHz with SINPO 45444
VOA in Urdu from 0125 UTC on 11975 kHz with SINPO 55545
NHK Radio Japan in Hindi from 0150 UTC on 11740 kHz with SINPO 45444
BBC Oman relay from 0200 UTC on 15310 kHz with SINPO 55555

You can listen to some of the recorded files of some stations during this DXing by clicking on the link below:

http://www.box.net/shared/mjioyib3md5yhd5fg2d0


During my stay in that district which is attached with the Bangladesh border I tried the MW frequencies of Bangladesh Betar and found that on 963 kHz Syleth, 693 kHz (Dhaka A) and 630 kHz (Dhaka B) kHz the Bangladesh Betar was crystal clear. And on FM bands I heard two Bangladeshi private stations very claerly audible in Karimganj and they are FM 89.6 Radio Today and FM 88.0 Radio Foorti. The Bengali majority town of Karimganj is really blessed with these two Bangladeshi FM stations and they already made them a part of their daily life.

A Trip to Karimganj- My Native Land

Few days back I visited our ancestral house at the Sadarashi village in Karimganj District of Assam. We reached Karimganj after a hectic bus journey which we started from Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Guwahati after reaching there overnight from Jorhat by train. We started our Journey at 6 PM from Guwahati by an ASTC night super bus and reached Karimganj town early next morning. During our jounney we came across Shillong in Meghalaya and we crossed this beautiful hill city during late night. The bus did stopped at Adabasti for dinner before reaching Shillong and then Ladrimbai. The bus was running in the hilly roads and its always exciting to travel in the roadways in this path. 
Beginning of a long journey...



Karimganj- Our Native Land

Map of Karimganj

Satsang Bihar at Karimganj


It is always a great feeling when ever I come to this town because this is the place where my parent's originality belong and by virtue I was also born in Karimganj before being brought to Jorhat at the age of only three months as both my parents shifted to Jorhat because of their job. So its an immotional connection I am having with Karimganj and adding more to this I also married to girl of this town, Barnali my wife. So lots of factors working behind my love for this place.

Karimganj District is located in the Southern tip of Assam - a state in the North-eastern corner of India. Together with two other neighbouring districts - Cachar and Hailakandi - it constitutes the Barak Valley zone in Southern Assam. The geographical location of Karimganj district is between longitudes 92°15' and 92°35' east and latitudes 24°15' and 25°55' North.


Located strategically, the district shares 92 Kms. of International Border with the neighbouring country of Bangladesh. 41 Kms of this is demarcated by the river Kushiara while 51 Kms is land border. On some stretches, there is no natural geographical demarcation for the border which cuts across open agricultural or grazing fields. However, on most parts, the international border with Bangladesh is marked by either the river Kushiara, or the sub-mountain tracts of the Adamail range. In a sense, Karimganj, along with the neighbouring district of Cachar demarcates the frontier between the plains of the Padma-Meghna basin and the hilly North-east India.

Shots of the Kali Puja and Deepawali Celebration in Karimganj


My Mother's ancestral Home at Sib Bari Road, Karimganj




Festivity continues...







The famous "Madanmohan Akhra" of Karimganj

Festivity Continues...



River Longai....



My Mother-in-law at work..


My in-law's house at Sattlement Road..



Sadarashi Village: My Father's Place


"Sadarashi Bhalobasi, Ponditer Desh"--- a popular saying in the locality meaning "I love Sadarashi, the land of intelligent". SADARASHI is the village from where our origin belongs. My father was born in this village, spends a large part of his life dwelling in this village until he shifted to Jorhat (our home town) due to his job. I still remember visiting this village with my parents during festivals quite regularly and I was always amazed by the beauty of this village set-up and freshness available in its air. Here we are still able to learn the origininy of our tradition and custom as well as our rich Sylethi culture. Also can recollects the memory of father and his beloved "Purkayastha Bari".

The Village Sadarashi is the only Revenue Village of its surroundings in karimganj district from British period.The village pay taxes to the British Govt. thats why the village is also known as "Kar-di" in its surroundings (Kar means Tax and Di means paying or giving, thus the village Kardi means Tax-paying village).

There is a incomplete Satsang Bihar aside the big Banyan tree shadow (popularly known as "Botortol") welcomes you to the historic village of Sadarashi.The population of Village Sadarashi is near about 1450 persons according to 2011 Census.There are two temples, one of these temples history is about five hundred years old. Near about five or six years ago the ruins of this historic temple was destroyed due to an earthquake. There three lower primary school,one higher secondary school. In Sadarashi the Renowned Higher Secondary School "Kushiarkul H S School" is situated which gives tremendous results every year and is the proud of this village. Near about 98 percent people are literate. Many of them are working in various part of the country in various field.There is a post office, one daily market name Girishganj,and there is a hospital with near about 30 seat capacity. There is a brisk industry also. That is why all the path of the village is made of brisk. So it is comfortable for journey in motor vichecle.It is near about 2.5 km west of city Karimganj.

My Village Sadarashi....



Our Ancestral House



"Botortol"










Barnali offering Bhai Fota to her cousin

Barnali at Village home




Barnali at work..

Yammyyyy....







I shall come back soon my dear land......