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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

Navaratri 2010 - Day1 - My 300th Post!

Today is a special day, not just because it is the first day of Navaratri, and also my sister's birthday! What an auspicious day to write my 300th post! I have been writing this blog for almost 3 years now (it will be 3 years old in a month), and over this time, I have not just found an outlet to my creativity, but have discovered so much more about myself. Since I started writing, I have found an interest in birdwatching, an activity I wasn't the least interested in, before.... I have written book reviews, travelled so much, and even got a few articles as well as stories published. Seeing my name in print was a dream which has come true, all through this wonderful medium. But most importantly, I have made new friends, most of whom I haven't yet met, but with whom I connect so well that its almost like I know them so well! I have made more friends in  these last 3 years than I have made in the last 30!! Thank you so much, each one of you! I look forward to your comments, your opinions, your blog posts..... A day spent without this interaction is really unimaginable now!

Anyway, getting along to the first day of Navaratri, we spent all of yesterday setting up the Golu, and we are finally done in time for me to post pictures..

For those of you who have no idea of a Golu, here is some information for you..... Bommai Kolu or Golu is a series of steps we make during the nine days of the festival of Navaratri. This festival is dedicated to the Mother Goddess in all her forms - the first three days are dedicated to Parvati, the goddess of strength, the next three to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and the last three to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. The  tenth and final day is dedicated to the triumph of good over evil, commemorating the goddess's win over the evil demons - and the steps are filled with dolls representing the creations of the goddess, from animals, humans, Demi gods and Gods.The dolls representing humans and animals are kept at the lower levels, while the Gods are placed at higher levels, indicating that one should always aspire to achieve the highest levels and salvation.  

So, here is what my Golu looks like this year...

Here is an overall view....


and here are the steps....


A closer look at the steps...the top two first.. with all the deities.... and the traditional wooden dolls called 'marapachis'


The next two steps... with a Pongal (Sankranti) scene, house, etc... and lots of wooden vehicles...


And finally, the special section this year..... Shivaji Maharaj and his fort.....


This one is extra - for Samhith.. A mountain road.... These are the stones the two of us have been collecting...there are stones from all the places we have visited..... they were neatly segregated and kept in boxes, but now, all are mixed up! Lots of work to do when we dismantle this!


And here is the decorative section.... the tunnel and mountain.....

The other side of the tunnel.. for the train to come out from...

A park.... courtesy Navneet Publications, which made our work easier...


A closer look at the park...


A Merry go round - also thanks to Navneet.... They have some really good paper models.. try them out..


And finally, a tree - lined avenue!


So, what did you think of our Golu this year?

P.S. Some of you have asked me to take a video of the train running through the tunnel, so here it is, a bit late...


Comments

  1. Fabulous Anu!! Lots of ideas that I can shamelessly copy next year:) The fort, the tunnel, and the mountain road is class work!!

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  2. Amazing decorations.

    Many many congratulations for the 30th post and hope to see many more happy posts.

    I agree that the interaction that blogging brings is priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations !
    Golu is looking very nice. :)

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  4. Hi! Happy Navratra!

    I love your enthusiasm and traditional ways to celebrate festivals! The Golu is beautiful! Just perfect!

    I'll look forward the see the festival through your eyes...I shall also of course make sure to find places to celebrate it in Bangalore :)

    Do you remember me by the way? :) I was in Manipal...now I'm in Bangalore...for almost a year now!

    Congratulations on the 300th post! Its truly liberating to have a persistently pursued passion!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Vidya: thanks a lot... and you are welcome to copying whatever u like... on one condition that you post pics so that we can also enjoy them :) and in any case, mine are also copied from somewhere or the other.. the most ideas are from the POGO show 'MAD'.. that chap has some great ideas!

    @Mridula: thanks so much! it is the interaction which makes blogging really worthwhile!

    @Nisha: thanks a lot!

    @Tulika: Of course, I remember you.... I saw an article about Manipal Univ recently, and remembered u... and wondered what you were doing now., you havent written for a while, right?? and thanks so much! and I am also looking forward to seeing some bangalore celebrations from you...

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  6. lovely, Anu! thanks for posting these pics of the golu - beings back happy memories from childhood :)

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  7. Lovely! and lively, I am sure I am going to be late to college today lol , i had a good time staring at ur golu and patti's creative one.

    I love the first step and the small aandal , saraswathi dolls, I think my grandma had similar saraswati doll ( this year we dont have, she passed away recently)


    I see loads of improvisation in the golu and the park, looks like u have mastered the art of park :) kudos to samhith he has done a very good job, he has outbeaten himsself :)


    I love the way the train track goes inside the golu steps, the two units merging beautifully.

    Give my hearty wishes to him. Love u kiddo.

    Would check out the space for more kolu related posts :)

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  8. Stupendous
    I love the tunnel bit, all the ins and outs are so well laid out

    Kudos to the team...and for yr 300th post!

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  9. Hey! So glad I was there to see the last leg of the process this year too! Beautiful installation once again!

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  10. I like golu's very much. You have done a good job. Thanks for sharing this information.

    ReplyDelete
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  12. Amazing blog, I am regular visitor of this website, keep up the good work.

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  13. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  16. Hi Mam, where did u get the dahi handi doll from? thts so cute... want to buy one for my Golu....need to plan my trip soon to Nasik for ths wooden toys....

    ReplyDelete

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