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

Fort Kochi - Part 1: First Impressions

What do you do when you visit a place for the first time? Do extensive research, or go unprepared, ready to be surprised? I chose the latter on my visit to Fort Kochi this summer, and within a day, I was so enchanted, I wished I could spend more time there! My experiences were too varied to fit into one post, so this is going to be a series... and here is the first one….



We knew we would enjoy our stay at Fort Kochi, the moment we entered the quiet bylanes and saw the quaint houses, seemingly from another era. The peace and quiet was a welcome relief after the bustle of Ernakulam, and it was difficult to believe we were so near the city! The number of boards advertising homestays clearly proclaimed it to be a tourist hub, though we discovered that it was mostly foreigners who came here, not the average Indian tourists. Maybe it is this which has helped Fort Kochi retain so much of its colonial past.



The Silverweed Homestay, tucked away in a narrow lane, greeted us with a profusion of flowers, which brightened the cloudy day. With just two newly built rooms over the original house, it was homely and comfortable. Our hostess was out on a medical emergency, though our host, grappling with the domestic arrangements, welcomed us warmly, and made sure we had everything we needed, even making breakfast for us singlehandedly! Chatting with him about his family, and Kochi itself, over the years, was certainly one of the highlights of our stay here!



Flowers seemed to be a dominant part of our Fort Kochi experience. From the many flowers our hostess carefully tended to….





To the many rooftop and balcony gardens we saw as we walked around the town….





Flowered creepers growing over abandoned walls, adding an extra dash of colour to the graffiti….



Even the trees formed a flowered canopy for many of the small lanes we walked by, as we explored the town.




Kochi welcomed us with flowers, but also showed us so much over in the one short day we spent here. Look out for many more posts about Kochi and its attractions in the coming weeks! 

Comments

  1. Beautiful! Being surrounded by so much natural color and greenery is very relaxing and soothing. I liked the bird graffiti too! More like art to me! :) I'm looking forward to more pictures and commentary about Kochi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natalie! I will post more pics of the bird grafitti soon. the place was full of grafitti but it rained so much i didnt click many of them.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. you have been there during the biennale right? it must have been great then! I completely enjoyed my time there!

      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

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.

The Power of 8 - The Ashta Dikpalas and Ashta Vasus at Khajuraho

The four cardinal directions form the axis on which a temple is built, and are thus the basis of temple architecture. Leading from them are the eight directions, which are believed to be guarded by the eight guardians, or Ashta Dikpalas . In the temples of Khajuraho, great care has been taken by the sculptors to carve the Ashta Dikpalas on the walls, both inside and outside. They not only guard the temple, but also look over us as we circumambulate the shrine, protecting us by their presence. They are augmented by the Ashta Vasus , celestial beings which represent natural phenomena. Together, they enhance the idea of the temple as cosmos, enfolding within it, all the aspects of nature, both, on earth, as well in space.