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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

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

Travelling with the WD Wireless Passport Pro

Happy New Year, friends! A post shared by Anuradha Shankar (@anushankarn) on Dec 31, 2017 at 4:28pm PST 2017 brought me lots of travel , to new destinations, as well as lots of inspiration. However, it also brought along a massive writer's block which I am still trying to overcome. So here I begin this New Year with my latest attempt to break the jinx, hoping this is the year I finally manage to bring the blog up to date with all my travels! If you have followed me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you would know that I have just returned from two trips - one to the Konkan with my husband, and the other to Ahmedabad with my son, a friend, and her son. The two trips were very different, to different types of destinations, what different points of interest as well. However, as usual, they included a mix of nature and heritage, since these are my two main interests these days. A post shared by Anuradha Shankar (@anushankarn) on Dec 24, 2017 at