Hooghly Today : nostalgia: After a long time i see this and i cannot help but share it with you.

In my childhood i tried to operate them also! I wonder if it was the same all over our country or people employed various method!

Perhaps all over with its own variations.

I remember in our M.Sc. excursion to a Sonamarg in Kashmir, there was a mountain stream with water flow so strong that it was scaring to look at. We had to cross it using a rope bridge about 100 feet long, swinging in the air (made of just ropes and pieces of sticks on floor (like we have in a ladder)). Imagine I crossed it several times to help others who were afraid to hold their polythene bags (with collection). Each time I crossed the stream holding polythene bags in both hands, and nothing to grip, just balancing my feet on sticks.
Those were the days.

I cannot imagine the scenario, surely i will go dizzy at the very first step and would fall down.
However, i remember that we also had a DHENKI, which i wish to see again, for one more time.

yes, almost no carbon footprint to this way of irrigation

Thats cute. I imagine thats a metallic thing, but why it is open on the other end.

I had similar experience and to add to it, I can’t swim.
One of the most risky but funniest experience was when me and Dr. Jana Sckornikova crossed a flooded river on foot with our bags raised high above our head as we had our photographic equipment. Obviously we were totally drenched. But it was memorable. She only said, “YOU ORCHID GUY MADE THIS GINGER GIRL WET”…..On that day we found some interesting orchids and ofcourse 3 Curcumas for Jana.
She is one of the toughest taxonomist I have ever known. We even slept on railway platform in Bilaspur during one of our summer trips to Achanakumar Tiger reserve. We found the true Curcuma angustifolia, and unfortunately, only one orchid during that trip in Chattishgarh !!!

I dont think its for crossing the canal or the puddle, its for irrigation, the other/fard end should also be in water, the bamboo end on the top gets pulled down by humans or animals that walk away from that pole, and the metallic ???ladder?/ pulls water up and dumps it in the ditch near the veggies growing in the filed….
Its not a foot bridge, I dont think  unless … says otherwise..
So tell us what is it? …

Ok yes, it might be meant for collecting water then pulling up with the help of bamboos to move water on the field.
Thanks for enlightenment 🙂

As … said, it is a simple means of irrigation without any carbon footprint, specially employed in those older days when there was no pump, deep or shallow submersibles.
But, there is another DONGA, DONGA-BOAT, to carry a person or two in water logged area or lowland or marsh.
DONGA works as a class-I lever, rather i would say, it is a combination of two levers. The one is the bamboo frame which works as a seesaw, one end is tied (with a piece of rope or another small piece of slim bamboo stick) to the far end of the elongated boat like structure made out of galvanized metal sheet (iron or tin or an alloy). The other end of the long bamboo culm is either attached with a heavy weight (wet sand bag, not seen in the photo) to act as an “effort“, or a person (in this case we need two persons to operate this simple machine) to exert “effort” on this end.
The second lever is the elongated boat like metal container where the ground itself acts as fulcrum. The close end of this “boat” is immersed into the water and then it is raised to make water flow down the channel shown in the fourth photo. To give firm support to this metal boat cross iron rods are soldered along its length (thereby, the ladder like appearance).
Long live the DONGA of West Bengal !!!

Thank you very much …, it was really fun in those days. We played around DONGA and caught many small fishes and shrimps, ate too!!! Later one or more of such fishes, like the zebra fish, were kept as ornamental. I am sure they are now in the red list of IUCN.

Donga ..boat… just saw one in a canal off off the Rupanarayan river over the weekend… no pic though… a dug out from a narkel gaachh perhaps..
and classes of levers,,, reminded me of 5th grade physics classes… way back when!!!

Yes, …, donga can still be found in places. But, i am not sure if it is coconut tree or a TAL. Banana plants are also used, a few tied side by side; and even heaps of water hyacinth!

Dhonga in Kashmir is a smaller version of house boats (which are fixed and used as hotels in water mostly in Dal Lake) which is mobile and used for travelling of Groups within Dal Lake. I have fond memories of it, as it is mostly used for local excursion of schools. My father being a teacher would take me along at least twice in an year during his school excursions. It involved travelling in dhonga two to three hours each way, spending some time in a Moghul Garden (Nishat, Shalimar), all meals including breakfast, lunch and evening tea were cooked and served in the dhonga. A really enjoyable experience.

I visited Kashmir between 1981-83, i fail to remember the exact year, i was a college student in those three years. I was with my parents, uncles and some other relatives. We had a round tour, Amritsar-Delhi-Pahelgaon-Kashmir-Gulmarg. We visited gardens, Dal Lake and others and i took photographs of my parents in one of those Dhonga boats. We had a minolta slr then, and since i was the photographer (i learned from my father) there was almost no photograph of myself!
Attaching three photographs, colour got faded by the time i scanned those to make digital copies, but the memory is still fresh.
Thank you very much, don’t know if i will ever be able to visit all those places once again.

During ’79 to ’84 i travelled other places too, Darjeeling, Puri, Lucknow, Ranchi, etc., There ends my present Bharat-Darshan, I hope to come out again from my tiny shell, say after 5/6 yrs., when my family would be able to do without me.

Thanks … for these memorable photographs of Shalimar garden (one with terraces, bara dari). In Dal Lake it is Shikara you are riding. Donga (or Dhonga) is much larger with rooms and kichen, moved with help of long bamboo poles stuck each time to bottom of lake and pushed back, instead of oars used for Shikara. It looks like a house boat but much smaller.


I remember now, it was Shikara, and there were many bigger ones, lined side by side and anchored, i think, with rooms to accommodate tourists. I fail to connect names of various places we visited, but there were this Shalimar, Mughal Garden, Gulmarg, Shonemarg and a few others i fail to remember.