Assam Wildlife Reserves Amritsar and the Raj in Calcutta.

Phil Cooper

Phil Cooper HistoricTravelTalks
East Midlands
Notice Period:
Short (maybe less than one month's notice)
U3A, Rotary, Probus, Schools
28th February 2019
Rhino | Calcutta | Amritsar | Wildlife Assam

The most famous reserve in Assam is probably Kaziranga, where there are half the worlds population of One Horned Rhinos whose numbers are now recovering.

Beneath the foothills of the Himalayas, Nameri has great views looking towards them and the birdlife extensive, with species such as the Red Hornbill. Down by the river, we found more wildlife such as the Assam Roofed Turtle.

On the banks of the Brahmaputra the villagers at Pobitora I came across the rare sight of a Hog Eagle feasting on a Cattle Egret. Manas was pleasant and we passed on jeep safari animals such as the Bengal Monitor Lizard, the Giant Squirrel and wild boars.

Amritsar of course is the holiest centre for the Sikhs, with the impressive Golden Temple. A journey out to the India Pakistan border at Wagah was an experience never forgotten!

You cannot visit India without encountering the footprint of the East India Company and the British Raj. Figures flit across the geographical and historical landscape such as Ranjeet Singh, the one time owner of the Koh - i - Noor and British rulers such as Curzon and Dalhouise.

The buildings relating to the time of the East India Company in Calcutta and the Raj, I found fascinating, particularly the Writers Building where the clerks worked away. Of course a trip without watching a day at the test match at Eden Gardens completed the sporting experience.

There is a sting in the tail, as I also found in London something relating to earlier British trading activity.

Some will have visited Delhi. However I focus on areas people may not necessarily have been to, relating to the Indian Mutiny, such as the Ridge and the Nicholson Cemetery.

" feedback from those there, they were very impressed with your presentation."

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About Phil Cooper

The accent is on the visual, with enough verbal to explain the story of where I have visited. I have accumulated what I feel are good photographs to illustrate my talks which relate to my travel experience. These are to places, often with a historical background and often not readily visited. These include Syria and Jordan, the Silk Road in Central Asia and Western China,, India, Cuba and Peru.

“Great presentation – I spoke to people tonight they were the cleanest photos seen at a Travel Club Presentation. Very good 9 out of 10. It must have been good, hardly anyone dropped off to sleep!” (Taradale Travel Club New Zealand).

My blog site is (Copy and paste)

One recent trip I undertook was to Northern India and the wildlife reserves in Assam, such as Kaziranga, where there is a large variety of wildlife, including the vulnerable One Horned Rhino. This is the basis of a talk which was well received at Havelock North Rotary Club, Hawkes Bay New Zealand in February 2018.

I look back at my trip in the Middle East - from Cairo to Istanbul and reflect on what I saw then and what I see currently in places like Aleppo. However the highlight for me was the crusader fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, which is shown on the photo I have included. This was described by TE Lawrence as "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world". Indeed he associated with many places along this journey.

I research the topics thoroughly and I provide a narrative and background to illustrated talks. I operate on a voluntary basis and am prepared to travel within reasonable distances from my home in North Nottinghamshire.

 Along the Silk Road in Central Asia Talk Feedback

This part of Central Asia included in particular Kunya Urgench, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The buildings are simply stunning and the area is historically very interesting. It is the arena where the Great Game was played out, the political and diplomatic confrontation between Britain and Russia in the 19th century, which was described by one of the audience as fascinating.

"Very interesting talk. I could hear every word. I knew nothing about this area and learnt a lot. Pleased I came!!"

“Your talk was extremely interesting and I do believe, if you had spoken for much longer   everyone should enjoy it, and no-one would be bored. I did like the aspect that you kept referring to the map when relating to the history this indeed helps when discussing reasons and timings when situations occurred in the distant past. I also feel that your talk appeals to almost all  age groups, and both male and female.”

I am a former graduate Biology teacher and also coached cricket for 24 seasons. mainly in New Zealand,Scotland and Amsterdam. as a professional.

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