On our Kashmir vacation, we spent a considerable amount of time on road. Looking back, I now realise this is the part of the trip I loved the most, more than visiting any "must-visit" place! Both Dad and me love going on road-trips, as you get to learn a lot about the place. That apart, you also get to experience great views. In Kashmir, thanks to the hostile weather (and political?) conditions, the state of the roads in many areas isn't very good. There are some really rough patches that need to be carefully manoeuvred across. And driving slowly also means being able to click away to my heart's content. Continuing with the forty shades series, here are a few pictures that were clicked en route Pahalgam. Forty shades ofgreen
(Picture sourced from HERE) It's almost like I've been waiting to write this piece. So, who's that one movie character who has inspired me or managed to leave a mark? I'm not a huge movie buff. However, there are a few characters that have left a lasting imprint. And amongst all characters, the one that stands out is the Joker, played by Heath Ledger. Yes, he's a comic book character (and not strictly a movie character per se) played by an actor, but how! He exudes evil, pure unadulterated evil. Each time I watch him on screen, I get goosebumps. And why would a negative character influence me so much? Well, if one were to cut the negativity out, and concentrate only on his dialogues, would it not make so much more sense in the present day, than probably even Batman himself? Most thoughts are so pragmatic. Many of these seem to strike the right chord, more than what the ever-right superhero would say. Here are some of his thoughts that I love the most.
Part 9 The temple at Mosale leaves us wondering how many more such hidden gems are spread out across Hassan, and India at large. The architectural genius has left us awestruck. It is still early to start our journey back home though. So we decide to visit another Hoysala temple, at a village called Doddagaddavalli (try pronouncing that fast!). It is in a totally different direction from Mosale, on the way to Belur. So we head back to Hassan, and drive further on to Doddagaddavalli. The drive is a nice one again, though not as beautiful as the one to Mosale. We again pass through old villages, and also some hilly terrain. At one point our path is blocked by a huge crowd approaching us- a herd of sheep! The man minding the herd looks fresh in a crisp white dhoti.
This picture of the statue of Shivaji Maharaj, opposite Gateway of India, Mumbai, was taken on a hot Summer day, four years back. Being surrounded by lush frangipani and other flowering trees, the statue looks nice. If you look straight into the horse's eyes, it almost feels like he's charging at you! Most people miss it, since everyone heads straight to the Gateway, without looking around much. This place is worth stopping by. Read also:The Gateway Stands Tall, Nana Chudasama's Pearls
This is the stretch of the national highway 17 (now called NH 66) beyond Suratkal, at a village called Pavanje, where the backwaters of river Nandini run by the highway. Watching the sunset from here over the river is a pleasant experience. NH 17 is a wonderful route that passes through picturesque locales- rivers, by the sea, paddy fields, lush thick forests, and pretty little villages. Plan a roadtrip via this highway soon, and make sure to stop and savour such pretty sights!
(For more pictures from around the world, click HERE)
FortyShadesMore! Last evening we'd been to our village for a Spirit Worship ritual. The drive was quite smooth, save for a particular moment where I braked all of a sudden, to save a small snake slithering slowly on the tar road. I got quite a shouting for it! In the past few days, the village had seen showers, and everything had turned green. Patches of grass were seen by the road, and the parched countryside looked hungry for more. There was a peacock strutting rather proudly in the middle of the road. By the time we reached the village, dusk was falling and the sun had disappeared behind the trees that make the horizon at the edge of our fields. There were lot of heavy clouds too, and the evening light filtering through them looked glorious. As the sun went down, the colours kept changing. In a span of just fifteen minutes, I lost count of the number of hues that appeared; it was as if there was an artist sitting on the other side and secretly painting the sky! Below are a few p…
Part 8 Mosale is what a crocodile is called in Kannada. Now I don't know why this village is named so. Maybe the village pond had a lot of crocs earlier, and the village itself came to be named Mosale? The title represents the Kannada version of the The Boy Who Cried Wolf, where the wolf is replaced by the crocodile. (Banthu = Came)
I found myself longing for monsoons, and posted a few pictures from last year, yesterday. Well, it looks like peoples' prayers are being heard, and today we found dark clouds gathering slowly. I shot these pictures a few minutes ago; the sky looked so pretty from my balcony, I immediately rushed up to the terrace. What a clash of colours in the sky! Continuing with my Forty Shades series, here are a few photos, of the sky today.
Last year the Monsoon was quite deficient, and we are facing the repercussions this year. Even a coastal city like Mangalore, which is surrounded by so many rivers is gripping with major water issues. Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink! From the past three days, it's been raining briefly in the evenings, with isolated thundershowers. Hoping for good rains this year, I found myself going through the photos from last monsoon, and found these hidden away. Sharing a few here. Clouds loom large over the countryside
Anyone who goes to Kochi would take time off to visit Fort Kochi, to see the famous Chinese fishing nets. On my first visit six years ago, since our schedule was packed and we had just about an hour to spare, and we couldn't spend much time there. We had just enough time to visit the St. Francis Church, and pose for a few photos with these nets in the background! And I remember planning then to make a second visit soon. The next time we were in Kochi, we rectified our earlier mistake, and spent a considerable amount of time just walking about Fort Kochi. I wanted to see how these unique contraptions work. The history behind these installations is not very clear, with theories that these were introduced by early Chinese traders, or sailors from Kochi who traded with the East, or it might have been the Portuguese settlers too. And these continue to be used even today.
Part 7 Day 2 arrives fresh and sunny. We skeptically switch on the TV and get to know India has beaten Pak (yay!). When we had started from home, the rough plan was to visit Shravanbelagola and then head back, since this was a visit of just two days, and extending the weekend was out of question, owing to other commitments. However, going to Shravanbelagola means walking up hundreds of steps. Driving back after that would be quite strenuous. We decide to give it a skip. Luckily I have googled a bit earlier (and gone through a few blogs, especially THIS one). Also, instead of the typical Belur-Halebidu-Shravanabelagola circuit, we want to visit some lesser known places in the district. Therefore, we decide to visit a village named Mosale, where the Nageshvara-Chennakeshava Temple complex is located.
Everyone knows how bad the Indian Summer can get, and this year is no different. It's getting worse by the day, and everyone is hoping for the arrival of a good monsoon. So is there anything good at all about the Summer, apart from school vacations? Of course, Mangoes! The golden, juicy, sweet fruit is one of the best things about the harsh Summer. I remember as kids (and even now), how we'd gorge on these delicious fruits throughout the day- be it at breakfast or lunch or dinner. Not to forget the various mango-based recipes.
Last weekend, my Grand-aunt called to inform that the large tree at the edge of our field had a lot of mangoes this year, and every morning 20-25 ripe ones could be found under the tree from the past week. We wasted no time, and set off to try and pick some. This was my first such experience of picking mangoes, and boy, wasn't I excited!
What Mangalore looks like, on a hot humid day, with the sun burning down our necks. This is the view from my place of work, and we periodically tear our eyes away from the computer, to gaze at the blue shining sea in the distance!
(Find more pictures from across the globe, HERE)
On my trip to Kashmir, one of the things that struck me through the trip was the varied colours of flowers, in the various Mughal Gardens across the place. There were simply so many. Amongst the different colours, I liked the various hues of pink the most. I had never been a fan of photographing flowers in macro, but on seeing the stunning colours, I went berserk! With floral prints making a comeback this summer, sharing a set of photographs, what I've dubbed, Forty ShadesofPink!
Today's post is 'hometown special', considering I've only been putting up stories on places from across the State and not put up anything based on Mangalore in a while.
Mangalore used to be a charming old town, with narrow lanes and streets. And then came development, and old tile houses made way for swanky new malls. And looking at the way things are going, one cannot predict where we're headed to. I'm not against development, but then it's equally important to make an active effort to retain the essence of each place. One area in Mangalore that still partly is similar to what it used to be many many years ago is Carstreet. One can still find vendors selling traditional street snacks, sugar-cane juice being made in the hand-turned machines, old men sitting and gossiping under the Peepal tree ("ashvatha katte"). And standing at the head of it all, is Sri Venkatramana Temple. The yearly 'car festival' (kodial theru) held in the first quarter …
Part 6 After having had our fill of studying the stone-work at Belur, we set off to Halebidu, which in Kannada, translates to old city. There is a direct road to Halebidu from Belur, and is just 10 kms away. However we have been advised not to take this road as it is under repair. And my Dad being a stickler for good roads, doesn't mind driving the extra mile. Therefore, we come back to a village called Hagare, and then take a deviation to reach Halebidu. By the time we reach Halebidu, it is too hot and bright for comfort. Getting out of the car feels like climbing into a furnace, straight from a refrigerator. I spot a jacaranda tree close by with very pretty purple coloured flowers, which look glorious against the blue sky.
This is the Karanji Lake in Mysore, located close to Mysore Zoo. It is a large water body, with a nice park attached. There is a walk-through bird aviary too. This is a perfect spot to unwind in Mysore, and is usually less crowded than the other tourist attractions in the city.
(Picture sourced from here) Mário João Carlos do Rosário de Brito Miranda. Or simply, Mario Miranda. The name brings fond memories of every vacation spent in the place I love- Goa! He created a style of art depicting scenes from routine day-to-day life, with a touch of humour. And this style went on to become so popular, you can find it anywhere (urgh! Plagiarism!), including cute little Azulejo paintings sold at various tourist spots across Goa. The Wikipedia page on him says how he was asked by the then owner of one of South Bombay's iconic cafes, Cafe Mondegar to create something for the bare walls of the eatery. And he created pieces that went on to become very popular. On one side the cartoons depict the essence of Bombay, and on the other side, the scene is typical of that at Mondys'. Everything is summed up in two words, the spirit that makes this great city run, Salaam Bombay!
Rituals & Beliefs (plus superstitions). Do this on a Saturday. Don't do this on a Tuesday. Don't get admitted to the hospital on a Monday, you'll never get cured. Does all this really make sense? This is a very debatable issue, which is why I will not be judgemental. As is my firm belief, to each his own. After all, it's all about viewing the issue from different angles. It's all a matter of perspective.
Marine Drive is one of my favorite spots in Bombay; no visit to this mega city is complete without a stroll by the sea. These photographs are from one such evening, on a crisp Summer evening, four years back. Note the Wankhede Stadium in the right lower corner, lit up for the IPL. (Find more of such beautiful pictures of the sky, HERE) See also:Nana Chudasamas Pearls, Dhansak Diaries, The Gateway Stands Tall, Tendulkar Spotted