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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Lavasa Trip Part 3 -The Nature Trail

The nature trail at Ekaant is one of the big attractions at Lavasa, and is open for all visitors to Lavasa. The trail takes over 2 hours to cover, which is why we planned to start early, so that we could be back in time for breakfast. Unfortunately, due to matters beyond our control, we were delayed and had to give the trail a skip. However, the trail exit was where we rushed to take photographs of the rising sun (see my earlier post), and couldn’t resisit taking a sneak peek into the trail itself. While all of us ventured in a little bit to indulge in a photo shoot, Nisha and I, being enthusiastic travel bloggers, took a short detour inside to take even more photographs!


The trail itself has been created in a very interesting manner, taming the wild topography of the mountainside and the foliage into a semblance of order by means of well paved pathways. This makes the whole walk quite an easy affair for the tourists, instead of the brisk trek it would have been otherwise. Instead of wasting more words, let me take you along with me through my photographs…..


This is supposed to be the exit, but we entered the trail here…..



And the first thing I see is a birdhouse!


There is a canopy over this part of the trail… I wonder why…..


Here are some sections of the path...



And this looks like a tiny postbox, but is actually a holder for a board, which seems to have disappeared!



The beautiful view seen through the stalks….


Look at the view from here…


The sun peeking from amidst the leaves…


The path curves downwards…. See how well steps have been laid in…



Fungi are all over…..




And so are spider webs – these seem to be the only things I see when I walk on nature trails!


One portion has been declared as the butterfly garden….


There is a concrete bench to sit on, here…..


As well as a board mentioning the difference between butterflies and moths......


And lots of flowering plants (to attract the butterflies, I suppose!)





We did see lots of butterflies…. But not in the butterfly garden! You can’t enclose the butterflies can you?









There is another place to sit here…. With a thatched canopy this time….



And the area around a lone termite mound has been cleared and labeled….




There is a board here too, for people who like to learn on a vacation!



There's even a board pointing out the service exit, which reminds us that it’s time to go back……


I was rather disappointed that in the 2 hours that we had been awake, we hadn’t seen a single bird! Not even in the nature trail! But as we waited for the car to go back to the Waterfront Shaw, I heard some bird sounds and went to investigate. It just turned out to be a pair of bulbuls which I see all the time at home, but since they were posing so prettily, I couldn’t help take some pics…. So here they are…..




This was just one short section of the nature trail, which took us about 10 minutes to cover, even with all the photography. The whole trail would surely have taken us 2 to 2 ½ hours, but it would surely be worth it, so if any of you go to Lavasa, don’t forget to wake up early and visit the nature trail!
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