Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2007

Featured Post

Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Jaisalmer-Of Camels and Sand Dunes

A Camel Safari Sand and water have much in common.....One always associates the sea with the seaside, that is, the beaches. When we had been to Bordi, we were amazed to see only sand as far as eyes could see. It was low tide then, and the water was far far away. Yet, one also associates sand to deserts. For there also, there is sand as far as eyes can see. Truly, Sand and the Sea have much in common. From where one stands, one can see only the same view, stretching, maybe to the end of the world. As we stood on the sand dunes of Jaisalmer, surrounded by sand on all sides, we felt really small... It was so easy to get lost in the never-ending desert...if it wasn't for the guide with us..It was scary, but so beautiful...nature at her rawest... One admires the people who live there. It is probably only because they have been born there, and have it in their blood that they can survive there. It is so easy for an outsider to succumb to the vagaries of nature in that land....un

Jodhpur- A Journey into the Past

The first thing that strikes you when you come out of the railway station at Jodhpur , is the aura of bygone days the place still manges to have, Of course, the old havelis have given way to modern buildings, but the city eludes modernization. In fact, this seems to be quite common in Rajasthan , which has more heritage hotels and resorts than any other state in India. We ourselves were staying at the Ajit Bhavan Palace hotel at Jodhpur . The hotel is affiliated to RCI Holidays, of which we are members. It is a well maintained hotel, which makes you feel like royalty. It was an enjoyable and unique experience, which I shall never forget. At the entrance - Samhith with the staff Outside our room... regal isnt it? Samhith cant be far from animals can he? Imagine riding in one of these carriages! The Ajit Bhavan Palace Hotel The Ajit Bhavan is supposed to be one of the earliest heritage hotels in India, which has pioneered heritage tourism in the ar

Akkalkot-A spiritual quest with surprises in store

Akkalkot is a small town about 45 kms from Sholapur, known mainly as the place where the renowned saint Swami Samarth attained Samadhi. We took the overnight train to Sholapur and then hired a jeep to Akkalkot, though we later realized that there are a huge number of buses of the MSRTC plying between various places in Mumbai and Akkalkot regularly. In fact, we were quite surprised by the frequency of buses in that region, and thereafter, we used only ST buses for traveling to and from Sholapur. All the buses and jeeps drop you at the Bhakta Niwas, built by the Devasthan for the convenience of pilgrims. It has basic lodging facilities, with small and big rooms, but only common bathrooms for the whole floor. The premises and the toilets are surprisingly clean, considering that the charge for a whole family (up to 10 people) is around Rs.150.There is also another Bhakta Niwas, recently built, for people who like to be comfortable, even during a pilgrimage. Here, the rooms all have att

SaptaShrungi Devi Temple, Vani

The Saptashrungi Devi temple is located at Vani near Nashik in Maharashtra. This temple is one among the 51 Shakti peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta-in Sanskrit) peaks (shrunga-in Sanskrit), hence the name- Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks). The image of the Devi is huge-about 10 feet tall with 18 hands, holding various weapons. The idol is always coated with Sindoor, which is considered auspicious in this region. She is believed to be Mahishasur Mardini, the slayer of the demon Mahishasur, who took the form of a buffalo. Hence, at the foot of the hill, from where one starts climbing the steps, there is the head of a buffalo, made is stone, and believed to be that of the demon. It is believed that the Devi Mahatmya, a sacred book which extols the greatness of Devi and her exploits

AN UNFORGETTABLE TRIP TO THE HIMALAYAS

It was May 1990. I had just written my10th Std exams, and my mother had promised me a trip somewhere interesting as a treat for all the hours I had put in all year for studying. The place we were to go remained uncertain, until my grandfather suddenly announced that a group from his temple was going to Badrinath and Kedarnath, and he had booked us for the trip. Badri and Kedar were interesting, no doubt, but a 15 year old girl with a whole busload of 60 plus people! I was aghast! “There goes all the fun from my vacation”, I thought. I couldn’t excuse myself out of the trip without hurting my grandfather, so I resigned myself to my fate and busied myself getting everything I needed for the journey. When the D-day dawned, I was happy to see that there were 4 teenage boys in the group-some change from all the others, who, as I had expected were 65 plus. The first few days were not really exciting….Hardwar and Rishikesh, I had seen earlier, and the boys treated me like a kid. I was bore
I have always enjoyed travelling. When I was young, we always had to travel on a tight budget , so we always took the trains and buses, and stayed at simple lodgings where ever we went. In fact, we always tried to look for a relative or friend at whose house we could put up. it never seemed like an inconvenience to anyone, as that was what almost everyone did! As a result, my mother has a huge list of friends/relatives/acquaintances at various places, all of whom she actually knows quite well! we usually went to temples, or my uncles' or aunts' places, but as there were so many of them, we went out for every single school vacation, and spent quite some time at each place. today things are a lot different. with affluence has come more travel, that too with more comforts. Since my marriage i have been travelling almost 4 to 5 months in a year. many of my journeys are still spiritual, as we usually travel along with my in-laws, but once a year, my husband takes time out for a mo