Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

Dreaming of Antarctica with Mridula

Have you ever watched the National Geographic channel or any other travel programme for that matter, and wished you could go to all those wonderful places? I certainly have. I might be an avid traveller, but I have yet to set foot out of the country.... There are few places I have actually visited... I am no good at walking long distances or climbing even the smallest mountains. The only ones I do climb are those which have steps or a proper road, and even then I have a hard time... Yet, it doesnt stop me dreaming about all the wonderful places on earth, and wishing I could be one of those who actually go there! 

One of the reasons I started my own travel blog was that I enjoyed reading about other travellers' experiences, and wanted to add mine to all those on the net. Among the bloggers I have followed for a long long time, is Mridula.... I have loved reading her experiences, especially those about her treks, which are something I will never even think of attempting. Recently, she trekked to the Everest Base Camp - and came back with a series of posts which had me wishing I was fitter and readier to trek! 

Now, Mridula is planning another trip - this one really special! She is joining the International Antarctic Expedition 2013 with Sir Robert Swan's 2041. Sir Robert Swan is the first person to walk unaided to the North and South Poles. The International Antarctic Expedition is all about raising awareness about Antarctica under his leadership.  As to why 2041, that is the year the no-drilling no-mining treaty comes up for review. The expedition also aims to address the key issues related to the treaty and how it will impact the environment. 

As the 2041 website says -

The Antarctic continent is one of the most remote, inhospitable environments on earth. Harsh and inaccessible, covered by over 5 million square miles of solid ice, it is the world’s highest, driest coldest and windswept continent. The lowest recorded temperature in Antarctica was -89 Celsius (Volstok Station). No place on earth provides a more demanding environment to face the ultimate leadership challenge. Here the Inspire Antarctic Expedition (IAE) program focuses on leadership, teamwork and personal development. 
Robert Swan and the 2041 team will lead an international team of corporate leaders, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, teachers and young people on a journey through the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting incredible locations and sharing his insights and personal experiences of this unique continent along the way.
Working with a group of on-board experts, IAE team members will take time to truly become inspired by the unique experience that is Antarctica.Team members will not only enjoy an ideal setting for personal development, but they will also be uniquely positioned to share their experiences and knowledge gained with their colleagues, friends and families back home.

This is what Mridula will be a part of. However, before she actually sets off, there is much to be done, and among the biggest challenges is raising the funds needed! 

She needs to raise about 22,000 Dollars, plus airfare and gear. This is not a small amount, and certainly not easy to raise, but every small drop counts, and every single contribution, no matter how small, will help. Not all of us will be able to go to Antarctica during our lifetime, but our contribution can help send a friend there.... and we can enjoy reading all about her experiences when she gets back! 

Mridula is not the first Indian to be part of 2041. Last year, Dr.Priya Venkatesh was part of the same expedition. I heard about it too late to contribute then, but following their blog as the group explored Antarctica and reading all about the members' experiences was just too good! This time, I am sure it will be even better, and I guess we can then truly say that we know someone who has been to Antarctica!! 

Mridula has set up a page on, so that all contributions go straight to 2041... So, people, go ahead, click on the link and do your bit!



  1. Anu thank you so much for all your time and effort. I am deeply touched.

    1. Mridula, it is a pleasure to be able to help! just hoping that it does help and you are able to collect the amount soon!! Its a wonderful opportunity and something we would love to read about and experience through your lens and words once you get back!!

  2. Wishing Mridula all the best. She is definitely going to be a part of the team. Let us do our bit.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment for me so that I will know you have been here....

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavanteshw

Rama Temple, Gokarna

To my right , the waves rush to the shore, eager to merge with the sand. To my left, the same waves crash against the rocks, their spray diverting my reverie as I ponder over the beauty of nature, and wonder what first brought people here. Was it this beauty that encouraged them to build a temple here, or was it the fresh, sweet spring water flowing from the hill here that made this place special? No matter what the reason, I am glad my auto driver brought me here. We are at the Rama temple in Gokarna, just a few minutes away from the Mahabaleshwara Temple, yet offering so different a perspective.

Pandharpur Yatra 2023

The first time I visited Pandharpur was back in 2007 . The names Vitthal and Pandharpur, were just names to me. I had heard of them, but that was about it. Seeing the lord standing on the brick, hands on his hips, was memorable, but more memorable was the sight that greeted us as we walked out of the main sanctum of the temple. In the mandap just outside were a group of devotees singing abhangs , and dancing. This was the first time I had heard abhangs , and even almost 15 years later, I can remember the welling of feeling within me, listening to the songs, and how fascinated I was by the sight of the devotees dancing, lost in their love of the Lord. Over the years, as I have read more about Vitthal, and participated in Ashadi Ekadashi programmes at Puttaparthi, that first experience has stayed clear in my mind and heart. Every time I tell my Balvikas students of the saints who sang of Vitthala, it is that experience that I re-live. I visited Pandharpur again, in 2010, but that experie