October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali

Picture borrowed

joyfully wishes its readers and loved ones a very happy Diwali. I wish all my friends in this virtual world a wonderful time during this festive occasion. Cheers!

- celine

Last year's post: Diwali in Kuwait

October 23, 2008

Garhwal: Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of the World

Diagram borrowed and made over

After a captivating Morning Stroll in Haridwar of 3-4 kms, I was hungry but I wished to get away from the crowd to breakfast in quieter surroundings. So I hopped on a tuk-tuk (a jitney like contraption) to reach Rishikesh. The distance from Haridwar to Rishikesh is about 25 kms. As the sun began its ascent, it began to get warmer. As I jaunted in the tuk-tuk, the breeze blowing around was a welcome relief.

Outside Chotiwala

Once I reached Rishikesh, I was so fascinated with the place that I forgot about my hunger. It was only after another lovely stroll lasting for more than an hour that I finally settled down at Chotiwala, a popular restaurant for breakfast.

View through the famed suspension bridge of Rishikesh

The scenic beauty of the place, the freshness of the cool air, the sporadic chiming of the temple bells, the spectacle of the river Ganga flowing through the Himalayan foothills with temples dotting its banks created unforgettable memories. It is no wonder then that so many pilgrims, yoga students and tourists are drawn to Rishikesh and its ashrams from all over the world. I stopped over briefly at the Triveni Ghats, where devotees take holy dips and offer prayers. It was then that I made up my mind to spend more leisure time on my return journey.

Rishikesh, widely acclaimed as the Yoga capital of the world, reminded me of the Maharishi who was closely associated with the Beatles and was reported to have died in yoga posture earlier this year.

Lakshman Jhula

I passed through certain learning center for science, arts and culture and came across many so called holistic yoga retreats. Supposedly a scientific technique that is 5,000 years old, it is meant for spiritual and overall personality development, and I can vouch my experience with Yoga has had a vibrant and rejuvenating effect on me.

The Ganges, Rishikesh

Rishikesh is pretty popular for adventure sports and that includes river rafting, trekking, kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling etc. I was particularly interested in trekking to a place with a hidden waterfall that I had read about but my destination for the day was to head north to reach Rudraprayag before it got dark. In any case, Garhwal is a region I’d like to go time and again on endless treks I've dreamed about and hence, with Rishikesh being the gateway to the upper Himalayan regions, I’m confident of reaching the hidden waterfall during one such trip.

I enjoyed the misty morning in charming Rishikesh though I could not capture very good pictures. I decided to stop over for a longer time while coming back and spend an evening there.


As my rendezvous with Rishikesh was on my return journey, including the Aarti at the Ganges, I intend to write about that part of my emotional experience in a separate post.

On my return journey during the Ganga Aarti

How to reach Rishikesh:

The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant situated at a distance of 25 kms from main Rishikesh town. One can travel by train till Haridwar and then take a road journey to Rishikesh. A road journey from Delhi, 250 kms away, takes about 6-7 hours.

Related posts:

October 21, 2008

Honcho in a Wheelbarrow

The muscled honcho brags:
"I can outdo anyone in a feat of strength."

Elderly Sam rises:
"I’ll bet a week's wages I can haul
something in that wheelbarrow
over to that outbuilding
that you can’t wheel back."

The braggart accepts the challenge:
"You're on."

Sam reaches for the wheelbarrow by the handles:
"Okay, get in."

Other Fifty-Five posts:

October 16, 2008

SWF: Wild Daisies

Enjoy skies and views from across the globe here.

Wild Daisies of Mana

Himalayan Mana Village
Indo-Tibet Border
Uttarakhand, India
August 2008

I shot this picture as I approached the Mana Village after a small trek - on a cold misty morning - approximately 4-5 kms away from Badrinath. Many places famous in Hindu mythology lie close to the Mana Village. The Village shuts down in winter for 6 months or so as it gets snow-bound with sub-zero temperatures. The inhabitants of Mana are mainly Indo-Mongolian tribals and it is the last village on the borders of Indo-China region. The backdrop of snow covered mountains and glaciers in Mana is a captivating sight.

Earlier on this blog, I've posted another picture on the way to Mana Village where I've set in a nutshell my Journey to Garhwal in July-August this year.

Previous SWF:

October 12, 2008

A Day at the Dunes

Desert Safari
Dubai, UAE
October 2008

It was fascinating to hear stories of the desert from the friendly locals. To wade in the endless soft sands and then to turn back to watch the footprints left behind has been a memorable experience.

Like the beautiful sand patterns in the desert, the memories of my experience in the sands have been imprinted in my mind.

It's my pleasure to share a few of the many pictures of a day well spent in the deserts of Dubai. Through the course of the day, it was fabulous to note the changing colors of the sand dunes from white to brown, to bronze to gold that depended on the ambient light and in case of these photographs, also in the direction in which these shots were framed.

White Sands: It's another world out there

Silky Smooth Sands: Gleaming in sunlight

Cruising Jeeps: Unforgettable Experience

Incursion: Machine Power in Nature

Solitude in the Golden Sands: And Equanimity of the Desert

Bronze Beauty: Peace and Serenity

Sunset: In the Ocean of Sand

Marked 1 to 7, which of these do you like the best?

October 7, 2008

The Emirate and the Sultanate

Greetings from the Emirate of Dubai...

and the Sultanate of Oman.

I hope to return to the blogworld shortly.

Have a lovely day!