Dusk at Machiyal
It is November and the Winter season has begun in India.
In the Dhauladhar Ranges of Himalayas, since the temperature is falling on higher altitudes, birds have started migrating towards the plains, and the soundscape has started becoming quaint and empty.
This dusk chorus was recorded at Chhota Machiyal Lake or Little Machiyal Lake in one of the villages near the Tibetan settlement of Bir.
The other human made structure surrounding the lake is a Hindu crematorium. ‘Machli’ is the Hindi word for Fish, and the name of the lake is synonymous to a small temple at the bank of the lake, partly dedicated to the Fish God. The lake, physically, is a stop dam in a glacial stream coming from a higher altitude which would continue downstream and join one of the bigger Himalayan rivers as a tributary. Fishing is not allowed in the lake’s water due to the religious significance, and one can observe a good number of Himalayan fresh water trout in a sanctuary of their own. The winter season will lead to an even sparse human population visiting the temple, and the migration of birds will result in an even quieter dusk chorus in the upcoming months. This soundscape is a precursor to the beautiful geological silence to come.