Benaras Along the Ghats – Part 1

Mark Twain truely said,

“Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”

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Benaras or Varanasi(one of the cities in the Indian state, Uttar Pradesh) has many names. This place is also known as Kashi (not to forget the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple) – one of the oldest city in the world and has many Hindu mythological stories to be related with.

Most of the photos were taken along the banks of the Ganges which are lined with an endless chain of stone steps. You can observe the Hindu way of life along these ghats.

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The best time to walk along the ghats, which I personally felt is ‘dawn’. Get up before sunrise and experience the mesmerizing life along these ghats.

You get to see quite an interesting crowd out there who come to take a dip in the ‘Holy Ganges’. You can also witness few ‘Sadhus and Fakirs’ who start their day in the most spiritual way and few in an unusual way.

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The white color mask that you can see is called ‘Vibhuthi‘(or ash) which is applied by the sadhus all over their body. This is considered to be as ‘holy ash’.

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to be continued…..

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Buddhahood

Buddha
….Buddham Sharanam Gacchaami….

This picture was shot at Bodh Gaya in Bihar(An Indian state). Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree.

Sunset Drive Along the Highway

This is National Highway 37 (India). The highway runs from Panchratna (near Goalpara) across Assam to Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. The total length of this highway is 740 km. It is also known as A.T. (Assam Trunk) Road in Assam. This highway  also connects the Asian Highway 1 (AH1) from Numaligarh passing through Kaziranga and Nagaon to Guwahati.

And AH1 is the longest route of the Asian Highway Network, running 12,845 miles (20,557 km) from Tokyo, Japan via Korea, China, Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran to the border between Turkey and Bulgaria west of Istanbul where it joins end-on with European route E80.

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The white lines on the highway lead you out of the town
Get the window down and the music playing loud
Who knows where you’re going??
Just keep rolling on and on singing

“Life is an open road…It’s the best story never told
It’s an endless sky…It’s the deepest sea
Life is an open road to me”

NH-37These pictures were taken along the Nagaon-Jagiroad stretch.

Now this is Gulmarg..!!

Gulmarg is a hill station in Kashmir Valley and Gulmarg means “Meadow of Flowers”.

The town is within the Himalayas and is within miles of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.

Lots of memories to reminisce…the horse-ride, the flowers, the scenery, LOC, etc etc..Gulmarg

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Gulmarg

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Gulmarg

Nohkalikai WaterFall

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This photo was shot way back in the year 2006 at Cherrapunji in Meghalaya.

When we reached the site, initially we could not view anything at all but could hear only the sound of the water. The complete view was covered with a thick mass of cloud and a local man there told us that if we are not lucky we might have to return without experiencing the beautiful view of this amazing waterfall. Just then, when the man had finished his conversation, the cloud started to move slowly making its way for this perfect view. So without any delay, I just managed to take a picture before the cloud came and had covered it again.

This fall has the record of being the tallest plunge waterfall in India.

P.S. The photo was shot with my Dad’s still camera.

Trip to a Mini Tibet…

            Bylakuppe, home to two of the many Tibetian settlements in India was established by Lugsum Samdupling and Dickyi Larsoe. This place is located to the west of the Mysore district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is 220km from Bangalore. The twin town is Kushalnagar, which is 6km from Bylakuppe.

As one of our college friend, Tenzin Dhekyong lives here, we, the all girl gang always wanted to check out her town once. We could not make it in our four years of graduation (B.E) however, last year on 1st January, 2011, we did set out on a trip to Bylakuppe. The journey was exciting and long too because the cab driver didn’t know the route. Oops!! (We didn’t know that before hiring.. :-P)

It took almost 6 hours to reach the place (it shouldn’t have taken that much long), but at last, there we landed…

As we entered the town, I felt as if I was somewhere in the Himalayas. Don’t be misinterpreted; it is neither a cold place nor a hilly place. This feeling was because of the facial features of the Tibetan people there. This is a small town which has a police station, commercial banks, a post office, lodges and hotels.  Not to forget the Monasteries and Nunneries.

Without taking any rest, we went to the Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple as they call it). The way to the monastery was so serene with green pasture fields on both sides of the road.

This monastery is a big one! It is home to thousands of lamas, monks and nuns, making it the largest Nyingmapa teaching center in the world. This is also a major tourist attraction. We spent most of the time there clicking pictures here and there.

Here is the Golden Temple…

Inside the temple…

There’s also a park behind the Temple…

The Bell…

Here you can see a mini model of Tibet…

The girl gang…

The gate…

On our way back we went to another monastery (forgot its name). This was a peaceful one as there were not many outsiders. The monastery was closed; we had to go inside from the back door.

The monks taking a stroll in the evening…

As it was getting dark, we had to make our return journey. Though, we couldn’t be there for much longer time, we liked it so much that we thought of going back to the place once again and atleast stay there for a day and feel the place and the lovely people out there. Hope we can make it again..