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Showing posts from June, 2017

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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

Paintings at the Pundrikji-ki-Haveli, Jaipur

I first read about Pundrikji-ki-Haveli on the ASI Jaipur circle website. It is said to be the home of Pandit Ratnakar Bhatt, the royal purohit (priest and advisor) at the court of Maharaj Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. As the story goes, the pandit, originally from Maharashtra, was studying Astrology and Tantra Vidya at Kashi, where he met the King of Jaipur. Impressed with his knowledge, the king brought him back to Jaipur, making him the royal purohit . He was also given the title of “Pundrik”, probably an association with the town of Pandharpur (where he might have hailed from). The king, it is said, built him a Haveli, which came to be known as Pundrikji-ki-Haveli. The Haveli has some excellent examples of paintings, of the Jaipur style, prevalent during the 18 th century. Our visit to the Haveli is a long story.

The Temple of Neelkanth at Alwar, Rajasthan

Deep inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve , a narrow road led us to the foothills of a mountain. There, it abruptly stopped, and we wondered how we were expected to go on. Our driver looked at me accusingly, surely blaming me for getting us all lost, in search of a temple he hadn’t heard of. Just then, a local on a bike appeared, hurtling out of nowhere. Seeing us, apparently lost, he stopped, and we asked for directions. He simply pointed to the mountain, and said the temple was up there. I was aghast, at the thought of climbing the mountain, in the heat. But then he pointed to a rough path ahead, and told us to follow it. We stared at the path, if we could call it that, in dismay. But having come this far, we didn’t want to return without trying our best. And by now, our driver had discovered his adventurous side. Metaphorically gearing up his loins, he got in, and assured us he could get us up the mountain. The next hour was a trial for our nerves, as the rocky path took us higher, an