Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A gift from Susan Wise Bauer

Blogger's Block
Writer's block is a common phenomenon which we all have read some point of time. I wonder if anybody has faced a blogger's block. I am sure some  must have.
While lack of creativity seems to be the primary reason for the writers, I believe bloggers may attribute it to the today's fast paced life, professional and other challengers in life. This period was the longest I had to endure. Couple of months ago  PNS Sab ( was so kind to enquire about my absences from the blogging world, his enquiry moved me so much, inspired me to back and here  I am.

Susan Wise Bauer
I  received a request from Ms. Susan Wise Bauer, a American author  (, seeking to publish my photographs taken at the Gulbarga fort in her up coming book. I readily agreed and requested her  to send a copy of the published book. But guess what! Susan magnanimously sent me all six published books. For some one who loves history this is a treasure.

Reading the first two book pictured below, reminded me of reading Jawaharlal Nehru's Glimpses of World History in my teens. So beautiful researched and presented  are these books.

The books pictured  above, presents the whole gamut of world history  in four volumes. Written in a lucid manner for children in the all age group, these books  gives an   extraordinary foundation for children. I am glad my children love to read these books and are using in their school too.  Thanks Susan.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mundgod Tibetan settlement

Mundgod is one of the three settlements of Tibetans in Karnataka and is situated about 50 kms from Hubli in Uttara Kannada District, A huge settlement with villages scattered in camps and many Monastery dotted  all along, this place is a mini Tibet all along

We were lucky to be visiting on a auspicious day to see the monks in their regal attire saying their prayers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kolkata-The City of Joy

What can one see in half a day in this wonderful City of Joy -The sprawling grounds of Ramakrishna Ashram and the Kali Temple along the Ganga,

 some time at the Victoria memorial 

And the best of all see the place where the great Man  of India Gurudev Rabindarnath Tagore lived. Its a delight to see all paintings of many great artists here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The last leg of this NE tour and  to spend a night at Mirik. The Journey again winds through beautiful mountains, tea gardens and then one can opt to stop at Pasupathi market and on to  Nepal. As no Passport is needed,  just have to enter in a register and take a cab for distance of 2 Kms and lo! you are in Pashupathi Market in Nepal. Though in today's liberalised India, all the imported stuff is very much available. 

Mirik, located on the way to Bagdogra from Darjeeling  is a very small beautiful town ideal to unwind for a day. The beauty lies in the Sumedu lake, its meadows, trees and then the Bokar  Monastery perched atop a hill

The beauty of the lake is at the best when its foggy, I chose to take the lake in the first hours of sunshine and late in the day, when it was lovely to walk around the wood encircing the lake.

Riding the horse into the woods is good another option. I believe true beauty can be experiences and not seen. while Mirik can be done is a couple of hours, It is altogether a different experience to spend a whole day and night - enjoying the beauty of the lake in the early morning and late evenings,  trekking up the hill to the monastery and walking through the tiny towns, shopping and of-course having some Tibetan food-  Tupka,  Momos......real bliss.

Monday, May 21, 2012


A Major part of the drive from  Gangtok to Darjeeling is along the Teesta and provides a opportunity for River rafting. Not for nothing is traveling equated to spiritual experience,. I am sacred of water and river rafting is something I would not imagine to do in my dream, but then had to give in to the wishes of the family and yes it was a life time experience and by the time I reached the shore I wanted more.

Enroute are many such tea gardens

The best  at Darjeeling apart from the train (we could not take this, did not book the tickets early) is Tiger hills. One as to be up at 2.30 AM to reach Tiger hill by 4 AM to catch the first rays of the sun on Kanchenjunga. I have seen some spectacular pictures of sunrise, but this being  a cloudy day this is all we could manage/

The Batista loop, The Small train make a round of this location

Some attraction here - The Japanese Pagoda, the Buddha Temple., The Darjeeling Zoo and the Mountaineering Institute  are all worth a visit

An enterprising Bear
And a watchful Red Panda

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yumthang, Yumesamdong

                                                                                               It  takes about 6-8 hours journey to reach Lachung-which serves as the base to  Yumthang and Yumesamdong or zero point. The journey can be tiresome but enroute are many spots like  Singhik View point, Seven Sisters Water falls.  It would be wonderful to spend a day at Lachung itself devouring the  beautiful, small village nestled in  the hills.

Yumthang is famous for the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary and is to be visited in Spring to witness the bloom of about 24 varieties of Rhododendron, we could though see a couple of varieties.
Its nice to spend some time in the freezing water of the river which joins the Teesta down stream.


After spending some time here on the river side - one is given the option to travel  to Yumesamdong or the Zero Point at a distance of 25 Kms. Perched at a height of around 16000 Ft and close to China border, this is would probably top the most magnificent locations, I have seen. Snow clad mountains all around, snow melting into the river- It was an exhilarating experience  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gangtok, Tsonga Lake

Sometimes the best plans go wary, on our vacation to North East, we planned  many destinations, but  slipped to   spend  time in Gangtok itself. Albeit it was a great delight to walk on the Mall road daily in the late evenings and early morning.  

The Mall Road at  10 PM (above) and 5 AM (below)

Close to Nathula Pass is the Baba Mandir at an elevation of about 13000 feet, this is a simple temple built in honour of an Indian Army Solider.  People make a beeline for Gantolk braving treacherous road, landslides and snow to visit (hats off to India tourists and the BRO who do their best in building road at this heights).      But Alas, we couldn't visit Nathula Pass which is just 3 kms away, but requires special permission, again improper plan.

A lake shaped like India on the map on the way down from the Baba Mandir                                             

Ths Tsonga Lake lies in between the Mandir and Gangtok. A beautiful lake surrounded by hills  

and many Yaks, provide a  a good photo op

We could though manage to make it to Rumtek Monastery. Said to be the largest in Sikkim.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nagarjunakonda and Ethipothla Falls

NargarjunaKonda-named after the famous Buddhist monk Nargujana is a island situated at  about 130 kms for Hyderabad. Reachable by a launch from the main land (always overloaded, hats off to Indian tourists to undertake journey, I felt the same when I toured Sikkim, The roads in such bad shape add  rain to it- all the same we  go ahead) another one hour journey, but worth every bit of it. This area is is purported to be a big learning center for Buddhist studies and ruled by  Ikshvaku  dynasty.

The construction of the dam submerged the valley along with many of the ancient sites. But then the authorities (ASI) have done a fantastic job in relocating many of the ancient sites to this island. Much Like Abu Simbel in Egypt. The museum  here is a treasure house of artifacts belonging to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain. Some of the Buddhist sculptures thought are out of the world. The along with the many other monument on the island make it a worth wile visit

The photographs clockwise show a ancient cyst burial site , the sacrificial spot where the aAshwamedha Yagana is performed, one of the many remains of the Vihara and a Hindu temple.

This is an interesting pond in the shape of a tortoise called Kurma Chiti the spot where the horse was sacrificed.

The Buddha stands in one of the open viharas as majestic one can imagine

And just a hours drive from this place is the Ethipothla falls-The board here says " the rain water of Nallmallai hill travels underground and emerges here and falls down the gorge....." A nice enjoyable place with the Banjaras dancing as the twilight falls........

And the falls is illuminated


Monday, April 16, 2012

Glimpses of Hyderabad

Got to spend some time in Hyderabad and get some lovely pictures
 Taramati Baradari 

The famed Numaish (Exhibition) of Hyderabad happens in December-January every year

The Charminar Ofcourse

The Mecca Masjid just across the Charminar

The Chowmohalla Palace : Possibly not known much-but is a treasure house-got to see a custom built Royce
The  sound and light show at Golconda-A must witness event