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

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.

The Dalai Lama wasn’t in residence when we visited, and even if he had, a glimpse of him would only be a matter of chance. Resigning ourselves, we instead spent the time wandering around the monastery, remembering all that we had learnt about Tibetan Buddhism at Sikkim. We were about to leave when the sounds of chanting began, and they seemed to beckon us to stay. And stay, we did, through the prayer, simply sitting down and breathing in the spiritual atmosphere all around us.

Inside the temple, as usual, it were the scrolls which I was most fascinated by, and the resemblance of the deities to our Hindu ones.

Once outside, we made a beeline to the Tibet Museum, right at the entrance. We had spotted it on our way in, but had decided to head to the temple first. That turned out to be a good thing, because we spent a lot more time at the museum than we had ever intended!

The Tibet Museum, as the name suggests, is all about Tibet. It chronicles the history of the region, starting from ancient times, to the Chinese occupation, and the plight of the state under Chinese Rule. It also tells us the story of the struggle that is still going on, and those who have played important roles in it – from the religious and spiritual heads, to those who gave up their lives to the cause. The photographs – recent ones as well as rare ones from the archives – are eye openers, at least to those of us who know so little about it.

This is certainly one of the best museums I have visited. They not only have an excellent exhibition going on, there is also a documentary running through the day. They hold regular lectures based on Tibet and its issues, and also sell postcards of the region at reasonable prices. Plus, this is one of the very few museums where they have put up an excellent timeline of the history of Tibet. It makes events stand out, and you actually get a good idea of events as they unfurled.

If you plan to visit Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj, keep aside a few hours for the museum. I assure you, its worth it!

Check the website of the Tibet Museum, for more information. It is extremely detailed and informative, just like the museum itself. I especially appreciate the fact that they organize travelling exhibitions for schools and institutions. 

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 Himachal Series- 


  1. Yes, ma'am, Will do. Didn't know of its existence when I went there. I need to get my friend to explain why I was not informed about this on my trip.

    1. It is quite a recent museum, Usha. Plus its right there at the entrance of the Dalai Lama monastery. I dont think you would have missed it if it had been there then.

  2. Nice post.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience with us. Loved your blog!


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