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Showing posts from September, 2009

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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

Memories of bangs and scares.....

I have been tagged by Sujata  and the rules of the photo tag are: 1. Open your first photo folder. 2. Scroll to the 10th photo. 3. Post the photo on your blog and tell the story behind it and 4. Tag people to do the same. So here is mine……. This one is certainly not one of my better shots, and the only excuse I can offer is that I was just learning to use my new digital camera. My sister-in-law had come to Bombay for Diwali and we had headed off to Shirdi for the Diwali holidays. All of us wanted a break and a proper vacation, something which Shirdi does not offer, and decided to head to Bordi…..you can read about our trip here . Anyway , there we were, on Diwali…….. on a beach drier than anything we had ever seen, and Sandhya and Shankar headed off to find fire crackers. Samhith was thrilled at the idea, but once we began, he was so scared that he refused to participate, and huddled behind us in fear!!! I am not too fond of crackers either, and I occupied myself takin

Vijaya Dasami 2009

After the nine nights and days of navaratri, the festival culminated with Dusshera, or Vijaya Dashami. For us, the highlight of the day was our visit to the Fine Arts Society, Chembur for Guru Vandana and Vidyarambham – where we pay our respects to our teacher and begin a new year of musical education, or rather, Samhith does, progressing from the junior music level to senior this year….. I complete this series of festival blogs with my photographs of the Fine Arts Kolu, one of the best in this area…. Here is the main Kolu.. This is the side decoration – this time, Tirupati , with a cave underneath…. I couldn’t get more details about this since everyone was tied up with the Vijaya Dashami celebrations….. Here are some detailed shots of the dolls…. Well, thats all for this year, folks.... Shall be back with something new... till, then, keep reading my blog and suggest topics for me to write about!!!!

Navaratri 2009 - the last two days - Ashtami and Navami

The last two days of navaratri have been as hectic as the first……. I have tried to visit all my relatives, and return in time to be home to receive those who come to my house, and it has been a race against time, with my wishing for a few more hours each day. However , I have some interesting kolus for you today. The first is the one at the Marubai Gavdevi Mandir, Wadala . I have heard of this one for years from my aunt who visits it every year, and this year, I decided that I just had to visit the temple. The golu is not too huge, just 5 steps, but beautiful, with some old and wonderful dolls… Take a look… Look at the Ganesha holding the lingam – an unusual doll… The Dashavataram set is beautiful, with great detailing, but the Vamanavatar one is missing….. Samhith was fascinated by the fruits and vegetables, especially the tiny ones…. Now here’s a Kolu of one of our neighbours – they are an old couple who still take the pains to make a

Navaratri 2009 - Days 6 and 7

Shashti and Saptami passed by, as if in a dream, for it was full of visits. Samhith was thrilled with everyone coming home and appreciating our work. The sixth day being Shashti , a special day for Karthikeya, the temple decoration was Skanda Matha – the mother of Karthikeya, who is also known as Skandha…. She is depicted here as giving her son the Vel – the spear – with which he proceeds to destroy the asuras Surapadman, Tarakasuran and Simhamukhan. Saptami was on Friday and I had invited a whole lot of people home that day, Friday being an especially important day for the Devi. To welcome people home, I made a new Kolam to replace the earlier one. Here it is……. At the temple , the decoration was of the Devi as Sakhambari – covered with vegetables. According to the Devi Mahatmayam , there was once a terrible famine, and the rishis prayed to the Devi for deliverance. In her compassion, she produced grains, vegetables and fruits from her own body to sustain the wor