Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

Shitla Devi Temple, Kelwe Beach

One wouldn't really go to a beach to visit a temple, but in India, it isn't surprising to find temples near beaches. And usually, most visitors to the beach end up visiting the temple too! We have often seen such temples near beaches, but rarely feel enthusiastic enough to visit them. However, the temple at Kelwe beach was interesting, For one thing, it was the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, and since we were off to a beach for the festival, it seemed strangely appropriate to stop at the temple first!! Secondly, our auto driver kept telling us how old the temple was, which led to me expect a decrepit temple in ruins. Imagine my surprise then, to see this bright and shining structure...





Apparently, the temple has been recently renovated. Of course, as with all temple renovations, this one too has involved a huge amount of plaster and paint, leaving nothing of the original structure, but it was among the cleanest temples I have ever visited.... and the tank there was actually inviting us to take a dip in! If only all such temple tanks were kept as clean! And then again, these are early days yet. Hope the tank stays just as clean for the years to come!



Shitla Devi is a goddess worshipped all over India, with various names. There are two explanations to the world 'Shitla'. One theory is that the name comes from the word 'Sheetal', which means 'cooling'. Another theory suggests that its the name for Smallpox. Both meanings work, because this deity is prayed to, for alleviation from diseases like small pox, chicken pox and measles, which are believed to arise from the heat inside the body, or fever. In many places, she is shown killing the demon 'Jwarasura' - who brings fever. This temple has a swayambhu (natural) idol of the goddess, as well as shrines to Lord Shiva and Ganesha. 




Not surprisingly, it was the temple tank which attracted us. It was clean, as I have already mentioned before, and the water was sweet, in spite of being so near the sea! 


Besides, the tank was filled with turtles!!


A small decorative pond in the temple complex had these beautiful lilies... unfortunately, people had already started throwing coins into it!


It made me wonder about the tendency we have, to throw coins in water, and make a wish!! Wonder how long the temple and the tank will remain this clean!

Kelwe beach is located just 80 Km from Mumbai. The nearest railway station is Kelwe Road, on the Virar-Dahanu line. However, Palghar, about 20Km away, is a bigger town, and more vehicles are available from there to the beach. Besides, many long distance trains from Mumbai Central or Bandra also stop at Palghar, which make it a more convenient place to approach the beach. 

Comments

  1. Lovely set of pictures Anu particularly those around the tank!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It looks more like a house than a temple. Nice narration, Anu.


    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, Niranjan!!! never thought of it like that, but now that you mention it, well yes... seen from the front, it does resemble a house!

      Delete
  3. Wow, a beach temple ! In spite of the 'newness', the temple looks really nice. And clean and inviting too ! Was it not crowded or were you careful to keep people out of the frame, like I normally do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankfully, it wasnt very crowded, Sudha.. esp since it was ganesh chaturthi and most ppl were busy praying at home... there were a few people around, but i managed to evade them while clicking :D

      Delete
  4. Nice set of beautiful photographs specially, I love the picture of Tortoise. By the way you've mentioned that "A small decorative pond in the temple complex had these beautiful lilies" but I guess this picture you've posted is of lotus, not lilies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THanks so much, James! but those arent lotuses.. those are lilies... they have narrower petals and are quite different when seen in detail

      Delete
    2. Really, I've thought this because of its petals. Thanks for your attentions.

      Delete

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

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

Kabini Part 3 - After the Rains

Visiting Kabini in peak summer, we hadn’t bargained for the rains, which dominated our three days at the Lodge. While animal sightings were understandably lesser than usual, seeing the forest in the rain was an interesting experience in its own way. However, as we headed back into the forest for our second and third safaris, we hoped the rains would let up, and allow us to see more animals! Winding jungle paths