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Demoiselle Crane

Anthropoides virgo


The Demoiselle Crane is known as the Koonj (कूंज, کونج, ਕੂੰਜ) in the languages of North India and Pakistan, and figure prominently in the literature, poetry and idiom of the region. Beautiful women are often compared to the koonj because its long and thin shape is considered graceful. Metaphorical references are also often made to the koonj for people who have ventured far from home or undertaken hazardous journeys. The name koonj is derived from the Sanskrit word kraunch, which is a cognate Indo-European term for crane itself.[1] In the traditional telling of the history of Valmiki, the composer of the Hindu epic Ramayana, he composed his first verse when he saw a hunter kill the male of a pair of Demoiselle Cranes that were making love. Observing the lovelorn female circling and crying in grief, he cursed the hunter in verse. Since tradition held that all poetry prior to this moment had been revealed rather than created by man, this verse concerning the Demoiselle Cranes is regarded as the first human-composed meter. The flying formation of the koonj during migrations also inspired infantry formations in ancient India. The Mahabharata epic describes both warring sides adopting the koonj formation on the second day of the Kurukshetra War.


Saw thousands of cranes around Nalsarovar .....Thanks to Satyen and Atul for very memorable trip....

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YogeshSave 7 years ago

THanks Sachin.

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 7 years ago


Atul 7 years ago

beautifully captured Yogesh! really a fun trip!

Wild Things
Wild Things 7 years ago

Wow! I will never forget the beautiful scene. Seeing thousands of them together was a dream come true.

Spotted by

Gujarat, India

Lat: 23.00, Long: 72.00

Spotted on Mar 9, 2012
Submitted on Mar 9, 2012

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