Coastal region has its own charisma dominated by the clouds, sunshine, sea shore , coconuts and waves. Everything adds to a beautiful presentation at the perfect moment. I tried to capture minor glimpses of clouds along the coastal line and for me it was magical. The massive waves approaches the sea shore carrying all the unwanted stuffs of the ocean and dump along the shore. Apart from all the philosophies, I believe that it reminds us that every beautiful object needs purification after some time. Perhaps we feel the sense of peace and fulfillment along the sea shore.
It is almost eight months since my last visit to Kashmir and I still could not get over the emotions and love which I got from the people over there. Obviously how could I, when my chat box is still filled with all the images of apples and plums from the orchards of Kashmir. I spent some 6-7 days among those girls of Kashmir . I could feel that sense of belonging. It felt to me very easily that all they wanted was peace and their freedom like people in other part of country. Normal people would expect to treated as any other normal human being . Well, while browsing through those messages , a thought just came into my mind that a little approach can change a lot of things. It can be easily passed by and taken as a regular chat but I believe this small gesture means a lot to change few perceptions. Why do we cultivate so much of hate when there is an option of love and affection. I never thought that in this age when people hardly care about neighbors , I would get daily well wishes from those girls with whom I spent few days. Since there were lot of regional and cultural differences among us, so I was bit apprehensive about my acceptance among them. Well, those days were no less than a family treat and even after I have returned to my place, I could still feel those affection in their messages. I am unable to acknowledge every message but still it is treated without any offence, so unlike most of us.
Accept somebody without any judgment and prejudices and it plays a positive note on mind. We learn to hate and judge very easily but do not take the stand to love someone. Nurturing negativity can obviously destroy many things. Acceptance without any judgement is the most important part and I am privileged to be the part of that circle. Although I was a guest in their house but the love and affection which is still there in those voice seem like I did some honor. This feeling is amazing.
Today we are living in the land where value of land is much more valuable the human lives. Kashmir is one of those worst affected areas. The normal human lives are torn apart between two different lands. Such lives need acceptance and love rather than pre-conceived notions and isolation. Only land itself is not important , rather the people inhabiting those land are more valuable. Those who have to fight the battle on the field are doing so, to prevent the harmony of the country , but we can also fight the battle against the hate by mutual acceptance.
It’s going to be a month since I returned from Leh- Ladakh. When I was moving along those amazing terrains of the mountains, the stories and literary lines were building themselves. The moment our flight entered the zone of the giant mountains, till the second we moved out of it, everything was picturesque. It’s true that beauty extracts the writer out of you. I thought that I won’t be able to write much about it since it’s almost a month now. But, still, when I close my eyes, the beauty of the mountain, cloud, desert, land, and river unfold itself. A single land holding every asset of the nature; mountain, river, desert, and greenery. The jewel of this scenic beauty is the enchanting play of the colors of the clouds. The crystal-clear clouds made the vision exotic. From the deserts of the Nubra valley, the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus to Pangong & Tsumoriri lake, every piece of the natural heritage seemed a blessing to the eyes.
I had never seen the more magnificent version of the Himalayan mountains than the various ranges over here in Leh- Ladakh. The pattern of the colors of the mountains, changing from Grey to red, to green at some places. It felt that somebody had painted on a canvas, to get the correct color contrast of a scenery. Indeed, it was the perfect canvas created by God himself.
We drove from Leh- Nubra – Leh – Pangong – Tsumoriri, the entire journey accompanied by the Himalayan ranges. The charismatic confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus, where the shining blue water of the Zanskar and the dirt green water of the Indus distinguish themselves very explicitly. I remember, our camera and phones were constantly full in memory because we were not having the option to delete any of the captures. We were amazed that suddenly we turned into extraordinary photographers. But obviously, it was the muse, not the photographer, who was brilliant.
Once you land before a beauty, you also learn the skill to appreciate it and admire it. The luminous blue waters of Pangong and Tsumoriri gave the mirror image of the mountains and clouds in its vast space; perfect mirror image. Pangong lake at 4 pm was treasure to the eyes. ‘Blue ‘, everything was blue till one could stretch eyes. I feel blessed when I get the opportunity to encounter such visions that leaves me speechless. Perhaps, speechless beauty is the reason that it is situated high up in the Himalayas which is not easy under normal reach. You have to endure a little bit of pain and strength to survive the twist and turns of roads to get here, but I guess that is the thrill. And off course every good thing comes with a price.
Monasteries add divine touch to the land of Leh-Ladakh. You can always find monasteries at some distances, which can be easily recognized by their peculiar tombs. Prayer flags and wheels all over the mountains make you relate to the traveler magazines where we find such captures.
It is said that People belonging to the mountains are simple and clear at heart and yes they were. Their simplicity and innocence were evident in their hospitality of the travelers. They deserve the clean and pious beauty of the place. God has chosen these people to preserve the natural heritage and keep all the destructions aside which emerge out of the human desires.
There are countless feelings but everything which can be written about this land is less to justify the varied feelings which you experience after moving along these terrains. When you encounter something which is mesmerizing , then you are also lack of words to compliment it. Such is the magic of this land upon me.
Bridge – an epitome of connection, which in itself defines beauty. However, I never wondered about it philosophically , it never seemed to be more than a marvelous construction. Living in India , I have seen some of the stunning constructions among them . Worli Sea Link is one among those stunners. It has always been a means of fast transportation , so I could admire the fantastic technology behind the construction of cable-stayed bridge connecting Western Suburbs to Mumbai’s main business center. But you have to stay at a place for a while , to connect to the soul. And this connection I felt for “Henderson wave bridge” in Singapore . This could be attributed for several reasons. One and foremost reason is that I was already connected to this place because this is one of the favorite destinations of my best friend, secondly minutes of walk along the waves of the construction with cool breeze will make you surrender. Far from the bright lights of the city of Singapore lies the highest pedestrian bridge of the Country. Very true to its name, the bride mimics the shape of waves and surrounded by lush green forests. There are shell-like niches where pedestrians can sit and capture the beauty of the surroundings. Hours could be spent on this bridge enjoying the panoramic view of the city. I believe it gives big solace to people who want to experience a different side of the technology-ready nation. And then, rest all is to do is to stay at the place for a while to connect to it and wait for its magic that will calm you down…..……via Photo Challenge: Bridge
Ever since I visited this land, it feels that whatever has been written or described about this land is not sufficient to justify the cosmic beauty of Valley of Kashmir. War over the geographical boundaries could not destroy the blessed beauty of nature. Moving through the valley seems like moving through the path which is covered by snow laden mountains all around the corners. View of Himalayan mountains and the constant companionship of river Jhelum would never leave anyone alone. Sometimes humming and sometimes roaring, but the presence of Jhelum would always be there. Leaves of Chinar are as fascinating to watch as it always feels while reading about them in the books. For me, it is like unfolding the pages from my books. I wish I could have also seen the apples in the apple valley, white flowers have covered the entire orchards. It is so exciting to imagine the presence of apples in those orchards, just in a few months. And there is not one or two orchards, but there is valley called apple valley while going to Pahalgam. While driving through the valley, I feel that those perfect paintings and photographs in the books and websites are part of my vision too.
Tulips, I have seen them alive for the first time in my life and I fall in love with them. Massive collection of Tulips in almost every color I can imagine it to be, are there. There are rows after rows dedicated to different colors of Tulips. Forget the colors, there are also contrast in the color combinations of these flowers. When you follow the end of these tulip’s rows, your eyes would meet the clouds almost dropping down from the mountains. When you follow these clouds, you would meet the snow-covered zenith of Himalayan ranges. That’s like a never-ending process, seems like treasure to the eyes and peace to the mind. But above all, solace to the soul comes from the warm approach and hospitality of the local people. In a true sense, they treat their guests as their God, as per our own tradition. They are delighted to receive you as their guests. I stayed with a local family for few days I spent in Kashmir and I would never forget the honor and happiness which they expressed by making me as a part of them for those days. Geographical boundaries have not succeeded to create any marking or boundary in the thoughts of normal people who want to be the part of normal lives.
History and future, both the aspects of this valley are soulful. War over geographical boundaries have injured the lives of normal people. Kashmir is said to be heaven on Earth and off course the natural blessings to this land is divine which is even difficult to document. But the common civilians who want to be the part of common lives shall never be judged and given the opportunity to be the part of them. It is dreadful to live in an environment that is constantly under the rage of fire. Paradise on the Earth cannot be remained as paradise until or unless the population of beautiful human beings living under the roof of Himalayas start living like any other human being in different part of the same country. Then I guess that this saying would be true in real sense “People call it heaven; we call it home “
History has its own beauty which is always vintage. No matter how rugged everything looks , but there is always a legendary feel attached to it. I think beauty lies in the stories hidden beneath these structures. Beauty of the historical places need to be decoded from the stories and the feelings attached to these stories.
I went to Amer Fort in Rajasthan , few days back. I think the feeling of royalty touched upon me , the moment I saw the staircases towards the Fort. And then, the huge and massive structures and the historical figures and stories attached to those structures , everything makes the place a historical treat. Amer Fort is recognized by the name of Raja Man Singh and his descendants . Even after centuries we retell the stories of the king , descendants, family and everything attached to him because everything is intricated in these structures, somewhere. Such places have the quality of taking us to that era and feel the essence of that genre.
When the call of mountain arises, it become irresistible to ignore the calling. Sometimes I wonder that what else we achieve other than the serene beauty of nature, after conquering the peak with all the bruises and physical pain. And it comes straightforward that is the immense satisfaction of conquering our own challenges and fear. This journey itself teaches us lot many things, in a nutshell probably the journey of life where we walk, run, trip, arise, have fun and sometimes set apart from loved ones, but subconsciously we all are moving towards own goal in our own path. Certainly, this is the reason I enjoy hiking because somewhere it relaxes the nerves of brain to relate to new things which we casually ignore and never feel related to in our daily lives.
Recently I went to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. Although I was excited to deal with the snow but unfortunately snowfall started the day I left the place. But there is something in the aroma of hills and mountains that ultimately soothes my nerves. And I guess it happens with everyone. This is some sort of meditation which is difficult to explain in words.
Nature has its various versions of beauty but I always have crush for its raw version of beauty which is found in watching the sunrise and sunset sitting on the edge of a cliff. And I am sure its worth all the attention and pain endured to reach this.
Every land has its own tale. It has its own aroma and freshness. Bhutan is one such land that has the taste of happiness and peace along with serene calmness of nature. And certainly this is the attraction of this beautiful Country which can’t be left unnoticed. Another attraction is the peculiar culture and tradition of the country that can be felt in almost everything; be it the chanting of the lamas in the monasteries, prayer flags all over the land, traditional clothing of men and women or even the exclusive architecture of the country.
The Journey started with Phuntsholing and marked across Paro, Thimpu, Punakha and Wangadu. And every land has its own distinguish identity; Phuntsholing and Paro are subtle towns reflecting the preserved heritage; be it in terms of culture of the city or the architecture . Whereas, Thimpu being the capital city has the bit of modernity thrown in but still holding the essence of original Bhutanese identity. Punakha holds the peace and serene feeling of a Hill – Station. But no matter where ever the feet move, journey is always accompanied by the beauty of the pink flowers of cherry trees, positive vibes of the prayer flags, recitation of mantras with the rotation of prayer wheel and off courses the beautiful traditional cottages over vast stretches of hilly land. The pleasing beauty gets further amplified with the flow of rivers along the hills.
Tale of Bhutan is untold and inexperienced in absence of Trek to Tiger’s Nest. Dedicated to the devotion and belief of the country to its King Rinpoche, Tiger’s Nest is a Monastery situated at a height of about 3000 ft. above the Paro Valley. Legends are associated with the monastery that King Rinpoche destroyed the devil and negativity and protected the country from evil at this holy place. So, local people always trek to this prominent Himalayan monastery in their traditional clothing Gho (Men) and Kira (Women) in order to pay respect to the sacred land. Although it’s high up in the mountains, but one can never get over with the prayer flags and so its blessings.
Among several memories, the royalty of the kingdom can be experienced at the Palace visit and the amazing Flag down ceremony. It’s always special to feel the patriotic touch; no matter you are in a different country.
Celebration of Tsechu festival with the performance of Cham dance is also something which should be seen in order to make the image of Bhutanese culture memorable . Costumed and masked dances depicting the legendary tale associated with Guru Padmasambhava are definitely to be captured to understand the glory of Bhutanese culture.
There are several places with their own significance either the gigantic Buddha Dordenma in the mountains of Thimpu or Chime Lhakhang at Punakha district known for its founder Lama Kunley “ Divine Madman” and his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism and outrageous behavior. But the reflection of cultural heritage of the country is quite evident in almost everything. And it is very pleasing to the eyes and good to find that the land is still holding its distinguished identity and grooming it constantly.
Elephanta caves had been introduced in my wish list since the day I gathered a bit of it in my school course books.There had always been an itch to know more about it. Basically, the name itself is more captivating and being a kid the childish imaginations were more adventurous. Years passed but it was still in my imaginations. But when I finally shifted to Mumbai I can’t hold my excitement to visit this heritage.
It was an almost two-hour journey through the deep waters of Arabian sea. But upon reaching the entrance, I was astonished to see the massive structures. The splendid rock-cut architecture of the caves whose creator and origin is still unknown and a subject of mystery definitely deserves all the admiration and attention. Although these are said to be caves but to me, it seemed adobe of lord Shiva. This adobe houses various statues of lord Shiva which depict several significant instances from Indian mythology and Scriptures. Although most of these statues had been damaged several centuries ago but it’s not easy to destroy the admiration of the travelers who still find it more impressive, massive and subjective. Several legends and archaeological facts are linked regarding the originator and as well as the origin of these huge caves, residing sculptures of Hindu and Buddhist sect. Well, it could ever be revealed or not we can’t say but whoever has created it several centuries ago has indeed built a masterpiece.