Bartley Station was the nearest train station for me and only a 50 meter walk along Bartley Road before arriving to Bidadari (the malay cemetery section). It didn't take me long to spot the many variety of birds there. The first birds we saw was a group of 5 Black Baza flying in and landed on the branches of large Albizia trees above me.
There were plenty of cuckoo's spotted there, however i was very rusty in their identification. I hope i got the identification correct.
|Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo|
|Laced Woodpecker (Female)|
|A pair of Dollar birds|
|The beautiful trees in Bidadari|
Bidadari is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit widyadari meaning "nymph of Indra's heaven" or houri, a similar meaning in Persian mythology. Prior to it being a cemetery, the estate belong to one of the wives of Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor. Her palace, Istana Bidadari sat on the 18 ha land before the colonial government acquired it on 1904 to turn it into a municipal cemetery. The graveyard was separated in sections for Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Singhalese. Believed to have more than 140,000 graves, it was closed in 1972.
The Bidadari housing estate, according to a URA/HDB report, will have a park and be cyclist-friendly, retaining its hilly and lush landscape and incorporate the historical aspects of the former 93 ha former cemetery site and complement the existing Bidadari Memorial Garden. As mentioned earlier, Bidadari ceased burials in 1972 and the tombs was exhumed through the early 2000s. Some 12,000 private and HDB homes will be developed on the site bounded by Bartley Road, Upper Serangoon Road, Sennett Estate and Mount Vernon Road. The new township could come up as early as 2015, with flats completed in 2018.
In meantime, i will plan more visits there before this place goes forever and become a permanent concrete jungle.