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Showing posts from June, 2015

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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

Egyptian Vulture near Dharamsala

We were on our way to a temple, with a hot spring. "It is a nice temple" assured our driver. "It won't be crowded at all." The single bus standing outside the tiny temple should have warned us, but we didn't pay attention till it was too late. The shrine, and the spring, were filled with people - who stared as we walked in. It was an unnerving experience, and we rushed to get out. A flash of white on a tree diverted me, and I hurried to see what it was. It turned out to be an   Egyptian Vulture. . the saving grace of the long journey it had taken us to get here!!!

A tea plantation walk in Dharamsala - a Photo Post for Skywatch Friday

This weekend promises to be a hectic one for me, and I am sure you have plans too. Therefore, instead of something for you to read, I have a photo post for you... These were clicked when we went for a walk in a Tea Estate in Dharamsala. The sight of greenery against the backdrop of the mountains, birds, butterflies and flowers never fails to inspire me, and I hope they will inspire you too!  It was supposed to be a Tea Plantation walk, but the first thing we saw were roses!!! lots of them! 

Faces in the Crowd - A Selfie Moment

Somewhere in McLeod Ganj.... A couple of monks with a friend were roaming around, the monks were bored, the friend was trying to click a selfie! It was a moment, just asking to be caught on camera! People-Watching is fun, though not as much to click them, at least for me! However, when they are so engrossed in their own selves, and least bothered about who is watching... or clicking... them, I sometimes give in to the impulse and capture them on my camera! What do you think of this photo? I would love to hear your thoughts! This post is part of my series on my #summertrip 2015, and I hope to take you along with me as I recount stories from my month long trip, which took me across the country. To get an idea of all the places I visited, and what you can hope to read about,  click here .   Related Posts: The Story of my Summer Trip The Himachal Series-  Learning about Tibet in Dharamsala A Glimpse into our Dharamsala Experience in 20 Photos Bhagsu Nag - More

Learning about Tibet in Dharamsala

McLeod Ganj and Dharamsala are now synonymous with the Dalai Lama. Our knowledge about him or Tibet was sketchy at best, which is why our highest priority during the  Dharamsala trip was to see if we could learn something more. Our first stop at McLeod Ganj was therefore, the Dalai Lama temple and the Tibet Museum.

Bhagsu Nag - More than just the temple

“Aapko mandir nahi jaana? Theek hai, mat jaiye. Par waterfall dekhne to jaiye! (You don’t want to go to the temple? that’s ok, but at least go to see the waterfall)” insisted our driver as he dropped us off at the parking lot of the Bhagsu Nag Temple. The three of us walked slowly along the narrow path, paying more attention to the stalls that lined it, Samhith grumbling that we had just started our trip, and were already breaking rule no. 1. “No Temples”.

A Glimpse into our Dharamsala Experience in 20 photos

From the jungles of Tadoba in Nagpur , Maharashtra, our Summer Trip next took us to the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. We spent a little over three days in Dharamsala, driving around, exploring the region, with just one caveat – no temples; at least, not big, popular, crowded ones. That was a promise we had made to Samhith, since this was part of his birthday trip! Much as I enjoy visiting temples, this was one decision we did not regret, since there was so much more to see! 

The Tadoba Experience

- Some Thoughts and Information You have read about all the animals and birds we saw at Tadoba, and our trysts with the tigers. Most of you have been asking for information about booking of safaris and accommodation. I chose to keep the earlier posts free of information, and just about my experiences, so here is one final, detailed post before I end the Tadoba series, with a few of my thoughts and some information which may help you plan your own trip.  So, Read on..... 

Birds of Tadoba - A Photo Post

Criss-crossing the jungle in search of the tiger, it was birds that we most often came across. I have already written about some of the birds we saw, but there were so many more, that I decided that a photo-post was in order, to show you just how many there are! And these are just the few I managed to capture on camera... there were many, many more, that I didn't. 

Our Trysts with the Tigers at Tadoba - Part 2

Our first encounter with the Tiger at Tadoba came after a long wait, but it was a memorable one. Read all about it here before you read on. Our hopes were high the next day, but the clouds continued to hover, and the tigers remained hidden. Once again, we alternately rushed through different parts of the jungle, and waited at water holes and ponds. No tiger appeared. Drivers we passed had suggestions, but none had sighted one yet. Our guide decided to make a second round of the water holes, and at one, we found a crowd. A tiger had appeared, but it had remained within the grass, and was fast asleep. We wondered at the sense and logic of simply waiting for the tiger to awake, and probably disturbing it with all the noise that would be the inevitable result of multiple jeeploads of people waiting. But our driver and guide were hopeful. We should wait, they insisted, and we obeyed. The flies were especially irksome, and I found myself wondering if the tiger was indeed still hi

Our Trysts with the Tigers at Tadoba - Part 1

“We saw a male tiger crossing the path!” “We saw a female with her cubs!” Such were the exclamations which greeted us on our arrival at Tadoba, by fellow guests who had just returned from their morning safari. From what we heard, it appeared to be their 5 th or 6 th safari, all within the core zone, and, each time, they seemed to have had amazing sightings of that elusive animal – the Tiger. Ours was a short trip, barely 3 safaris in the core zone, and wondered if we would be as lucky.  “Don’t worry, Madam, sightings have been good” assured our driver as well as our guide, as we set out on our first foray into the forest.

In Search of the Tiger, at Tadoba

“There are 65 Tigers in this forest” was how every guide began his introduction to the forests of Tadoba, or to give it its full name - the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. They knew most of the Tigers/ Tigresses by name, and were relatively sure of which ones could be seen, in which portions of the forest. We heard all about the amazing sights they had seen, of tigers of course, and the great deeds done by the heroes of the jungles; yes, tigers again. It was evident that the other animals were only secondary. This was, after all, a tiger reserve, and people came here to see tigers; us included. This focus on tigers, and the single minded dedication to spot them, led to some amusing, as well as some not-so-amusing moments during our three day stay at Tadoba… but I am getting ahead of the story, so join me as I re-live our jaunts through the jungle, in search of the tiger!

The Pillars of Tadoba

“They used to light a torch right on top of that” insisted our guide. “How do you think they climbed up?” I asked, amused at the thought of someone clambering up the smooth pillar without even a hold of any kind. “They must have carried a ladder” replied our guide, his tone implying that he had never been questioned before. “Or maybe they rode elephants, and stood atop it to light the torch” added my husband, and the guide gleefully jumped at the idea, satisfied that the discussion was over. It looked like only I had caught the underlying sarcasm in my husband’s voice, and we shared a smile, just between ourselves. Such were the moments which made our trip to Tadoba memorable.