The Winding roads

When you look down from a hilltop, you would find the roads gently winding their way across the mountainside.

That is precisely what I saw and captured during my holiday in Bhutan a few months ago.

Bhutan aka the Happiness Kingdom is  heavenly.

 

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Rounded

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Through the viewfinder

When you look at something through something else, the entire perspective changes. I realised this when I clicked images through the viewfinders at the Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne.

The Eureka Tower is a 297 metre (975 ft.) gold plated skyscraper by the Yarra River in the heart of the Southbank precinct in Melbourne.

It is Melbourne’s greatest point of view, and one of the most stunning observation decks in the world.

This the Sea Life Aquarium as viewed through the viewfinder. Below that is the same building viewed though the normal glass.

 

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This is the view of a street artist painting on the harbourside in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

 

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Experiments do pay off…

 

Experimental

Eco village at Sundarbans

We went on a two day trip to Sunderbans with Backpackers Tour de Sunderbans in early August. Checked into the cottages at their eco village. The eco village is built on the second largest island Satjelia. The journey to the island was an adventure in itself. We travelled in a Tempo Traveller for 3 hours reaching the last road point Godkhali. From there on a short 20 min ride on an open local ferry to the island of Gosaba, the largest island.

Boat ride

This was followed by a bone rattling ride in a suspensionless contraptionthat the locals call a rickshaw. After having every bone and joint shaken, we got into the ferry boat ELMAR, which took about 5 minutes to transport us to the eco village.

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The Eco village is beautifully conceived, giving the entire place an earthy look.

#sunderbans #ecovillage #westbengal #backpackers #tourdesunderbans#traveldiary #traveldiaries #mangroves @ Backpackers Eco Village, Satjelia Island, Sundarban

On the road through my lens

 

A road trip promises a lot of unexpected and strange surprises too. My husband and I did a 2500 km road trip from the North of India to the South. We took in a few touristy places but the sights along the highway or bang in the middle of the highways caught us by surprise.

“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.” – Wendell Berry

Some of these pictures stand testimony to this quote.

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Cows on their way back home after grazing in the fields (shot from the speeding car, hence the blur)
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Buffaloes along with their owner lazily crossing the highway
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Can you believe this cow was ambling on the busy streets in Agra?

 

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Cyclist on his way to a cycling  expedition

Highways are dotted with Dhabas that provide yummy, spicy and hygienic food to the travellers.

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One also finds such mobile food stalls especially near factory gates or busy juctions.

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The Road Taken

Nothin’ But A Good Time

 

#highway #animals #cowsonroads #food

Bylekuppe- The serene seat of Buddhism

We left around 4 AM  by car from Bengaluru and reached Bylekuppe at around 9 AM. Located to the west of Mysore at a distance of 90 km, is the Buddhist Golden temple at Bylakuppe, the largest seat of Tibetan Buddhism in South India.

Bylakuppe, along with Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, is home to thousands of exiled Tibetans since many decades.

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The monastery 
In Bylakuppe is situated the Golden Temple, aka Namdroling Monastery, established in 1963 by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after his exit from Tibet in 1959. It is the second seat of the Palyul Monastery which is one of the six great Tibet Nyingma Mother monasteries.

The forest land for the temple was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetan exiles. Initially it was an 80 sq. feet bamboo construction and was called by its full name The Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling monastery.

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The statues of Lord Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitayus
The temple has now grown into a sprawling complex. It is now the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. It houses training facilities for many monks and student-monks and is said to be the largest teaching centre  of ‘Nyingmapa’ which is a prime lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

It also houses three captivating golden statues, namely of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Amitayus. Each statue is about 40 feet high.

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The beautiful paintings on the walls and ceiling
The walls have been decorated with intricate paintings illustrating stories of Gods and demons from Tibetan Buddhist mythology. The aroma of flowers, incense sticks and candles permeate the entire temple. The captivating and serene landscapes around it make the Golden temple mesmerizing.

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Prayer time

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Turning the pages of the book containing the transcript of the prayers

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Beating the drum
The temple resonates with the soft chanting of the hymns by the Buddhist monks and the timed beating of the drum.

IMG_3280_edited.jpg Entry into the main hall is restricted during the prayer hours when the monks and the students assemble to chant the hymns in a beautiful chorus. Photography inside the temple is permitted. The complex is a photographer’s delight with lovely paintings and beautiful architecture. Shopping centres near the temple, offer an extensive range of Tibetan items such as statues, carpets, traditional costumes and exquisite jewelleries.

The Bylakuppe Golden temple Monastery is open to public are from 7 AM to 8 PM and is located at a distance of 6 km from Kushalnagar, in Kodagu/ Coorg which is the nearest town.

To reach Bylakuppe, you can either hire a taxi from Mysore, which is only 90 km away or opt for buses. It is about 250 km from Bangalore.

Along with Golden Temple/Monastery, there are many other sightseeing places in and around Bylakuppe, making it an ideal place to visit from Mysore and even a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore.

Transcript

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mystical/”>Mystical</a&gt;

A Moment in Time

The Happy Wanderer

#monastery #Buddhism #prayers #bylekuppe #Coorg #religion

Talacauvery- Where the river Cauvery originates

Talacauvery located in Coorg district of Karnataka, is the birth place of the holy river Cauvery. Cauvery is venerated and worshipped in India like the River Ganga.

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The entrance to the temple complex
There are a few stories in Hindu mythology about the origin of the river. All of them involve the Rishi (Saint) Agasthya. According to one of the stories, it is said that the southern part of India (Bharatavarsha) suffered from severe conditions of drought. This saddened the rishi who prayed to Lord Shiva and did severe penance seeking solution to this situation. Lord Shiva, pleased with his penance appeared before him and gave him a few drops of water (Holy Ganga) to be carried in his kamandal*. He advised Agasthya to travel to the south and upturn the kamandal at a place he thought suitable for the river. Agasthya was a little sceptical about the quantity of water, but Lord Shiva assuaged his fears and asked him to proceed on his mission.

Agasthya embarked on his journey and upon reaching the south of India, was uncertain about the right spot to upturn the kamandal. Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God, decided to help him in disguise. He took the form of a crow and sat on the kamandal. Agasthya chased the crow unknowingly upturning the kamandal in the process. The water fell to the ground and started flowing like a mighty river. The place was Talacauvery in Kodagu or Coorg as it is known today.

There are other tales too, but I am rather fond of this particular tale that I heard from my grandfather during my childhood.

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The tank said to be the originating point
A tank or kundike has been erected on a hillside by kodavas(natives of Coorg), at the place that is said to be the origin. The river originates as a spring feeding this tank, which is considered to be a holy place to bathe on special days. It is located on Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Coorg district, 1,276 m. above sea level. There is no a permanent visible flow from this place to the main river except during the rainy season. There is a small temple marking this place. The waters are then said to flow underground to emerge as the river Cauvery some distance away.

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Prayers being offered by the temple priest
The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. Other deities worshipped here are Lord Agasthiswara and Lord Ganesha.

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A view of the shrines of Lord Agasthiswara and Lord Ganesha
We visited this place early in the morning and were charmed by the serene hills and the scenic beauty around us. Being December, the weather in the morning was very pleasant and there was a cool breeze blowing. We witnessed the Pooja to the Goddess Kaveriamma.

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The view of the hills from the temple courtyard
Talacauvery is situated around 300 kms from Bengaluru and 45 kms from Madikeri. The drive from Madikeri is scenic, but the road is not very smooth and has a few potholes. In spite of that, a trip to Talacauvery is worth it for the religious minded as well as those looking for a getaway.

*Kamandal or kamandalam is a small water pot made of a dry gourd (pumpkin) or coconut shell, metal, wood or from clay, usually with a handle and sometimes with a spout. Hindu ascetics or yogis often use it for storing drinking water. The water-filled kamandalu, which is invariably carried by ascetics, is stated to represent a simple and self-contained life.

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Kamandalam
#Cauvery #Karnataka #Traveldiaries #photography

Resilient
The Excitement Never Ends

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mystical/”>Mystical</a&gt;