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Showing posts from October, 2016

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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

Khajuraho - Forms of Shiva

Shiva, at Khajuraho , like almost everywhere else, is worshipped in the form of a Lingam. No matter how elaborate and intricate the temple and its sculptures, in the sanctum stands his aniconic form. Lingam in the sanctum of the Vishwanatha Temple

Khajuraho - Forms of Vishnu

I have written about the temples of Khajuraho , and as the philosophy behind them . Yet, there is so much more to see and appreciate, so let me show you the temples through a different lens - by taking you on a visual journey of the temples through their amazing sculptures, identifying some  of the many forms in which deities are portrayed. I begin with the various Forms of Vishnu.. ....

Khajuraho - The Temple as Cosmos

The temples at Khajuraho are , at once, awe-inspiring by their size and architectural splendour; and overwhelming by the profusion and intricacy of the detailing. There is something to admire at every level – from the minutest details only seen up close, to the overall effect as seen from afar, or, in a modern parlance, from the micro the macro scale.

The Magnificent Temples of Khajuraho - Looking beyond the erotic

Jaws dropped in astonishment when I announced that I was taking my 12 year old son to Khajuraho. A barrage of questions followed. “Are you sure?” “Isn’t he too young?” “How will you explain all those erotic sculptures?” Even family members shook their heads and sighed in resignation, as I stood resolute, secure in my assertion that there was more to Khajuraho than just the erotic sculptures!

Khajuraho - The Unexpected

Khajuraho . The very name conjures up exotic images of erotic art on temple walls. However, there is so much more to Khajuraho than just the erotic, or even just temples. Last December, Samhith and I spent three days at Khajuraho, exploring as much of the ancient town as we could, and over the next few weeks, I shall try to show you the Khajuraho that we saw, beginning with this photo clicked at the Kandariya Mahadev Temple. The Kandariya Mahadev is one of the most impressive temples at Khajuraho, and it’s the details which make it so impressive. This particular figure is of Agni, the God of Fire. Here, though, he is one of the Ashta-Dikpalas , the guardians of the 8 directions. Agni guards the South-East, and it’s his placement on the South East wall of the temple, which allows us to identify him here. Notice the finer details, such as his beard…. These photos are among my favourites; among the hundreds I clicked at Khajuraho, thanks to this female Plum-Headed