Skip to main content

Featured Post

The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan


A week has gone by and I have not been able to write anything. A weekend looms ahead, and at the moment, I have nothing interesting to look forward to. Going over my photographs, wondering what to post, these were the photos that leaped out..... making me wish I was back there, right now! 

The mountains....

the lush greenery.....

snow clad mountains peeking through......

Nature at its best...

Flowers galore...

Shrines all along the way reminding me that I was not on a nature trek, but a pilgrimage...

These were clicked at Vaishnodevi, while I was labouring my way to the shrine......

Our Pilgrimage to Vaishnodevi was the result of months of planning - booking tickets, trying to make arrangements for staying there as well as going there by helicopter, etc. etc. etc.

As it turned out, I had to cancel all my tickets at the last minute and book new ones! While the goddess decided to call us to Jammu in all comfort, by flight instead of train, she refused to oblige us with Helicopter tickets (of course, it might also be thanks to the fact that we refused to pay a huge amount to buy the tickets from the agents ). We ended up walking the 14 Kms up the mountains, which is why I have been able to take all those beautiful photographs!!! It was worth every ounce of the effort we had to put in, though!! Thanks to an uncle with influential contacts, we did manage to get rooms at Bhavan, near the temple, which turned out to be the highlight of our trip!!! We shivered through the night in spite of the clutch of blankets and sweaters we had! And this was in the month of May!! 

Darshan was a cake walk compared to the walk uphill... the arrangements were excellent and we waltzed through the queue without a hint of trouble, pushing, or elbowing!! And this was in spite of a sizable crowd!

For more information about the Vaishnodevi Shrine, and bookings for rooms / darshan / helicopters, visit the Mata Vaishodevi Shrine Board Website

Wish I was there now! *Sigh*

For more beautiful skies from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday


  1. Great post. So good for Sky!
    Have a nice weekend!

  2. Wow, I can't imagine such a trek but I'm glad you made it and were able to share these lovely photos with us. I love snow covered mountains and the terraced hillsides are so lush looking.

    1. Thanks so much, Joyful!! It wasnt so hard a trek actually... there is a road and we can walk along it.. just thats its up and down mountains, so there is quite a bit of slope... i love snow covered mountains too..

  3. Thanks for sharing such beautiful images....

  4. It is said that only the fortunate souls get invited. Photographs are wonderful The first few remind me of places en route.

    1. Thanks so much, PNS!! we had been planning this trip for years, but it worked just this year!! and we had planned a completely different trip... all tickets had to be cancelled and re booked! !thats how she probably wanted us to come!

  5. Magnificent captures. Nature at its best.

  6. Beautiful series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  7. This is so clear and descriptive!How magnificent the peaks look and how welcome the flowers are. The goddess is in Paradise.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  8. Absolutely stunning. Makes me want to go there now.

  9. Wow.... Simly wow.

    The snaps are great.

  10. Jai Mata Di,

    Travel with me with complete detailed information on Vaishno Devi in two heavy duty posts on my blog

  11. it is like sona pa sona , first of all kashmir is like heaven and vaishno devi trip that give it more spritual bliss


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

The Havelis of Bikaner - A Photo Post

The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis

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

Bhedaghat - Home of the 81 Yoginis

The Narmada flows down the mountains , carving out a path for herself as she makes her way down to the plains of Central India. She cascades from the rocks, her fine spray making it appear as if billows of smoke (dhuan) arise from the flowing streams of water (dhaar), giving it the name Dhuandhar. Dhuandhar Falls The force of her flow creates a gorge , smoothening and carving out the rocks into fantastic shapes, the pure white of the rocks standing starkly against the shades of the water. It is a joy to cruise down the river in a boat, seeing the natural contours created by the river, now famous as the Marble Rocks. We are at Bhedaghat, located on the banks of the Narmada near Jabalpur, where thousands of visitors turn up to see these natural landscapes, creations of the sacred Narmada, and pay obeisance to her. However, to me, the most interesting thing about Bhedaghat, isn’t the falls or the rocks, or even the river. What makes Bhedaghat special is t