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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

The Elephant of Elephanta

The first time I visited the Elephanta caves, I remember being told that the caves were so named because the island on which they stood resembled an elephant. It was only much later that I learnt that the name came, not from the imagined shape of the island, but from the sculpture of an elephant which once stood at the jetty welcoming visitors to the island.



The elephant sculpture was probably  installed by the kings who built the cave temples, but they were first noticed and mentioned by the Portuguese invaders.


When the British arrived, they tried to take the elephant back with them to England, but the crane carrying the sculpture broke and it shattered. The pieces were brought to the gardens we now know as Jijamata Udyan in Byculla, where they were put together.



And that is where the elephant stands today. At the Jijamata Udyan in Byculla, just outside the Bhau Daji Lad Museum.


Today, the Elephanta caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elephant deserves to be part of that distinction too. Unfortunately, its state probably prevents it from being restored to its original site. However, it is worth making a trip to Jijamata Udyan to see this relic of our history.

P.S.
Knowing all this still doesn't stop me from looking out for the imaginary elephant shape of the island every time I visit Elephanta!! How the stories of our childhood stay back with us!

Comments

  1. I never knew about this, I too was still fascinated with those stories...!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Santosh! these stories are the only things we remember sometimes :D

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  2. I hardly have explored Mumbai so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this bit.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Mridula! guess its high time u come to Mumbai... and there are lots of us here all set to help you explore!

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  3. Dint know that. Thanks for sharing this Anu.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  4. The Elephant of Elephant, now the Elephant of Bhau Daji Lad Museum, is quite something. And in spite of its rather squat proportions looks quite real.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Sudha.. its now the elephant of the museum.. and yes, at first i was a bit surprised to see how squat it appeared. but it did look rather real, too.. once i had got used to it!

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