Pamban island, the sacred secret of India

Oṃ tryaṃbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā’mṛtāt

I believe Shiva,the three eyes God(tryambakam),the destroyer, the balance to the creations in this Universe. It is so difficult to pen down the feelings that are so close to your heart. You have all the words, but you fail to put them together. The trip to Rameshvaram in the South of India (I call it Dakshin ) was one such event. From Madurai,it is a 3hrs journey by road or railways to Pamban island where,we were destined to visit Rameshvaram temple located in Ramnathapuram .We preferred the train travel ,as the view from the Pamban bridge was important, you know😊😌

Rameshvaram is one amongst the 12 jyotirlingas situated in the South of India. It is believed that Lord Rama, after defeating Ravana, took a halt at this place called Gandhamadan Parvat. Ravana ,being a brahmin by religion,was killed by Lord Rama. The brahmins present their explained Lord Rama, that he is being cursed of this crime and should perform a hawan and pooja in the name of lord Shiva to get free from the sin. However, there was no Shivlinga present at this place,hence lord hanuman went to kailash to bring it, but due to the delay Goddess Sita made the linga out of her hairs, which justifies the black colour and shape of the linga. Hence this place holds so much importance to the mythological history of India and is considered as one of the jyotirlingas .

The holy bath at the 22 wells /kunds is the fun part of visiting this temple. Right from Laxmi teeratha,Saraswati teertha ,Gaya teertha ,Surya,Chandra and Koti teertha at end ,these 22 kunds hold water of different sacred places and significance which claim prosperity, Intelligence, long life etc.

Panch mukhi Hanumanji

Rameshvaram is also home to Dr APJ Kalam’s life and memories. We went to the Dr. APJ Kalam National memorial and saw the entire life journey of this great personality.We visited few of the temples nearby. One of which caught my attention was the Nataraj temple and the amazing interior and light work done there.

Next up was the Srilanka – India border ,where we saw the Indian emblem right in the middle of the road signifying the territorial limits of India.

Seeing the merger of the silent and peaceful Arabian Sea with the wildly gushing Indian ocean is yet another scenic affair.We did halt on the spot where once stood the historic architecture of Dhanushkodi Railway station. The place now displays the magical floating stones used by the vanar sena to build the Ram setu.

The remains of the church which survived the destructive Tsunami beholds the historic beauty to attract tourists . I was left spellbound travelling on the road that divides the two gaint water bodies contradictory in the nature of flow, one wild and the other silent.I was lucky enough to see and admire this nature’s beauty all by my eyes

The impeccable views,the journey on the opening railway bridge,the soothing sound of water,travelling by the roadway and railway bridge built over the Arabian blue waters,and sinking in the beauty of this peninsula is the best feeling I proudly fail to describe.

OCEAN BLUES ARE THE ANSWER TO YOUR MONDAY BLUES

~~Beaching all life

Dolly Mokati

Pachmarhi: The Painted Paradise

Har har Mahadev, bum bum bhole, Harihar, Jai Shiv Shankar chalo Pachmarhi

Pachmarhi is one of the prominent places in the heart of the country known for its pilgrimage “Mahadev”. It is said that Pandavas had spent their part of exile in the Pandav caves and from that Pachmarhi derives its name.
The scorching summers of Nagpur demanded a place far enough to beat the heat due to delayed monsoons but close enough to be around the city. Pachmarhi is one such place longing to a 250kms approx. distance and a weekend getaway to get rejuvenated.

We finished off our work early, charged ourselves with the noontime tea, filled up our bags with snack packets. Chocolates and chewing gums occupied the jeans pockets, the playlist was made ready with the road trip and romantic genre. I with my super excited fellas boarded the cab one by one at the decided stops and we commenced our trip, the most awaited trip to Pachmarhi.

We started at 5pm from Nagpur and reached Pachmarhi by 12am. Taking a dinner halt at the Dhaba where we were bluffed about the network availability and we paid calling charges to the Dhaba owner for letting us call our families using his phone. When we reached Pachmarhi we realized that the Dhaba guy fooled us so easily 😛

We reached our resort, Khalsa Lake View and dozed off as soon as we saw the beds. Refreshed in the morning we started our trip with Jata Shankar. Booked the Jeepsy for covering the major spots of the place.(for Rs 3000) .

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Our Jeepsy
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Swag, so much
Jata Shankar

So about Jatashankar, it was our first stop, we were awestruck seeing the huge mountain-like stones forming the walls of the caves of Jata Shankar. The Naga formed by the overhanging stone is the significance of the origins of Jata Shankar.
Next, we headed to the Apsara falls but were misrouted to the road going to silver falls. Yes, the silver fall looks exactly line a silver lining amidst the wild and greens. Apsara fall, oh beauty… tough path but worth the while.

 

 

Apsara Fall
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Silver Fall

The next stop or better say the destiny was Beefall, I mean the sound of the waterfall, the view, the flora and fauna that is all I wanted from the place like Pachmarhi. The water at Beefall strikes an edgy stone and then the droplets fall with an intensity same as a bee pricking on you, which very much justifies the name of the fall. Beefall was a bath of a lifetime, the water was so cold and so satisfying that I sat under the waterfall after every 5mins. All I could feel were the droplets hitting me and taking away all the negativity in and around me. I strongly feel that I should do this often. We climbed up to again enjoy the mini Beefall and we were more than surprised by what awaited us… fish spa, natural oh aye. The pond just alongside the stream made a home for 100s and 1000s of fishes. We dipped our legs into the water and enjoyed the giggles as the fishes invaded our toes.

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Fish Spa

The lunch at Rasoi Dhaba was one such fulfilling treat to the hungry tummies out on adventure. Next up was an amazing activity, which I never thought I would do in Pachmarhi, Parasailing, oh yes on the ground. We were pulled by a fast-moving jeep and an air balloon /parachute tied overhead. Sailing through the winds in slow motion, enjoying the view just like a queen on the moving throne, I so much wish all my flights make me feel the same.

Swad  of Astronauts riding through the winds
Parasailing

End of the day was planned for Dhoop Garh. This place is the first to see the dawn and the last one to see the dusking sun. Clouds looking just like cotton candies made way for the sun to form the orange lining all over the sky and the photo lovers were on duty to capture this mesmerizing view. All this while I was busy trying my hands-on panorama shots, which sure was an epic failure.

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Some Photo Bombing

A long day full of adventure and activities called for a party to give it a better closure. The stage was set with Dj, Punjabi numbers, rounds of the musical chair and all the old school talks.

Well, girls can twin on anything, Nail painting this time

Next day was a pack up day with a few spots to be covered here and there. Gupt Mahadev was one such place where only 6 were allowed at a time in the cave, the way to Lord Shiva’s abode was so narrow and dark, I was almost stuck with my backpack behind. It was pitch dark with a ray of light visible from the other end, when we reached the other end, we saw the pandit sitting in front of the naturally formed Shiv Ling. It really felt like a secret temple hidden inside the cave. This was the last stop of our trip, we wrapped it by 12noon and headed to Nagpur, back to the daily grind with a soul much more content and grateful.

iPhone Shot

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What, do I read it right..Kaise ??
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Jai ho Jai ho Shankara, Bholenath Shankara

Star Fruit

The green valleys, waterfalls, parasailing, Jeep ride, tough climb, endless talks, all this would stay with us like a memory in our photographs.

 

Keeping all these memories inside the pocket of my ripped jeans,until we adventure next time.

Xoxo

Dolly Mokati

Vaishnav Devi : A trek to tranquil

They say, you can only go to Vaishnav Devi if you get the calling. Well then, I got mine. Until I reached inside the temple right in front of the abode I was not sure of a successful pilgrim program that I planned. Even the water drops falling from the cave surface over the led light fittings made me feel nervous about a probable mishap that I could imagine of.

Vaishnan Devi is not a destination. It is a process of fulfillment, a signage of achievement, and a symbol of courage Too heavy words I know, but they are undeniably true. It was a family trek to be precise.I am a kind of a person who doesn’t really enjoy pilgrimages, reason being the money business that is made out of the emotions of the devotees. Vaishnav Devi is a different story all together in all the sense. Before the climb none of us were sure of completing even half of the distance. It was so unusual that even at 2 am we were boosted up with so much power and strength to keep walking.The spirit never really went down .I again want to repeat, that it is the climbing process which makes you a feel different and not the destination because the air around is full of positivity, the thought you process are constructive and you suddenly start looking forward to good things in your life.I did spent my climbing time thanking God ,for my amazing family,for they taking so much efforts to walk 10kms of distance to contribute to a successful trip and my newly found interest in pilgrimages.

Delhi is the point you would want to reach to board the train to Katra. Well when you search IRCTC type ‘SVDK’ to search for Katra station.12 hrs of journey and you see the best railway station of India (I might hype). Best for the view that you get to see just when you get down from the train. Choppers flying everywhere and the spiritual vibes in the air,oh that rhymed. 😉

Get the ‘yatra pass’ immediately, from the railway station which is free of cost and valid for 6hrs,TnC ofcourse .We preferred climbing entire night considering the summer heat. Oh my my, for first 3kms you will hardly realize the purpose and difficulties awaiting you ahead. But when you cover 6kms of the distance to the holy shrine ,you start feeling exhausted, that feeling of blood pressure getting low by each step and the extra efforts required to catch your breadth. The climb gets steeper and the view gets better .

Every time I saw a well lit building, I assumed it to be the Temple, but again it was 2kms ahead of the place I stood with all those expectations loosing hope after every while.

Walking without footwear on the super chilled marble floor,standing in the queue facing the cold winds and the endless wait ,despite all this we finally climbed the terrain with all our heart and soul and were nothing but mesmerized seeing the holy adobe(the 3 pindis). That feeling of accomplishment is beyond comparison. The continuous chants of ‘Jor se bolo Jai mata di’ made the feeling more content.Ohh view, so picturesque. We made our return on the E-van which also was a challenge, to get the tickets I stood for 3hrs in the queue when I later came to know that only 3 tickets can be issued to a single person.(as we were 4 ,I had to do some jugaad ).The remaining half way ride on the pony(Pitthu they say) was a bumpy jaunt, I got to sit on the pony named ‘Vandana’ , yeh cool it was?

And that was a wrap to the holy pilgrim which was then accompanied by lots of local market shopping.We bought big bags of Walnuts and almond, and many other dry fruits, including some world famous kesar(pure I believe) .

After one half of a spiritual journey, we began our scenic trip to Nathatop, covering Patnitop midway and enjoying the route besides the Jammu Tavi river. The valley views, snowcapped Himalaya ranges ,wind chills and the music became the perfect combination to relax after a 13km climb.

What I recommend to do when you visit Vaishnav Devi is to enjoy the ‘tel maalish’ with ‘sarso tel’ of course if you climb. One famous sweet from Jammu called Patisa was an interesting take away from North. It’s made up of ‘Kud ka pani’ which is a natural source of water which comes out like tap water 24/7 when you dig the mountains. The taste in incomparable even with the filtered Bailey bottles.I have never had such cold and sweet water in my life time.

Bhairav temple

Himalaya ranges

Highway huts
Highway huts

Nathatop was my first encounter to snow .We did numerous slides on the snow blanket and nourished ourselves with pahadi style maggie. Seeing the mud huts just the same as we saw in ‘Highway’ were a thing to me considering my love for the movie.

And now I get the intent behind the saying “Chalo bulava aaya hai, mata ne bulaya hai” .

P.s. SVDK stands for Shri mata Vaishnav Devi Katra

The trip to SVDK was indeed a memorabilia to cherish for the lifetime.

Winter of Adventure

Amongst all the carb-loading done this Christmas it was time to shred some fats. That’s when we planned for a Cycling ride all around the top stops of Nagpur.

Starting from IT park we made our first top at the Zero Mile capturing ourselves with the Nagpur metro sculpture and then the troop forwarded to Futala Lake . We grabbed our breakfast at the Nagpur’s world famous Samosas in Telankhedi.

Zero Mile Nagpur

Heading to get the serene lake view we saw many enthusiastic people on the roads of Futala painted in Tricolour celebrating the Republic Day spirit in all that high josh.

Mission Accomplished – Happy faces

This ride was such an addiction that another one had to happen . And the next plan was a Jungle Safari to Gorewada . Cycling was a great fun amidst the jungle.

The ‘Barasingha’ angle

One with bro

Spotting wildlife and being so close to nature was such a mesmerizing affair which was continued by seeing the dears and peacocks at every turn of our ride . We climbed the wooden roof structure ‘Machaan’ erected just near the lake to get an amazing view of the flora and fauna around the place.

Gorewada lake
Wildlife

Jeepsy Ride

The vectors created by the perfectly standing leafless tree made us climb up and capture our photogenics. The winters were ofcourse nerve freezing but the experience was worth all the efforts .

This was all the adventures made this winter.Between how can I forget my Happy Sundays made much happier by the Happy Streets event ,organised by the Times group .

Dancing to the grooves on the sexy zumba moves , playing around with the hulla hoop, shouting out loud listening to the band performances and feeling that fire in the belly responding to the energy created by ‘vaadan pathak’ and many more things that I had been reciting to 100s of people around me. Adding up these adventures to make a fabulous and delightful winter season, I feel contented.

Making friends with adventure is the best way to keep away pains

Wonder is woman

When you ask the question “how is success measured?”, you will often find that the majority of people reply “by wealth”. We need to consider how appropriate these terms are as it places the wealthy nations above and the ones with higher poverty rate at the bottom of the hierarchy. We know that to fuel growth, it is imperative to empower women and promote gender equality. While shooting this attire my mind was in an another world thinking all about empowerment ,feminism and girl power etc.

I wanted to get shooting permission at the location. I asked my male friends around but they denied to do so and told me that “if you go they will see your face and we can easily get in and do shoot ,but if we go the owner will hunt us out from the door as we are boys” . But instead of feeling good about this, I somewhere felt a gap .

So closing this gender gap can prove to be a driver for development in many neglected domains; education, employment, healthcare and social welfare. It’s high time that potential of a woman is being judged only by her beauty but not by her intellect.

Research shows that women who are able to earn their own living and stand for themselves are more likely than men to plough their resources back into education, health care and community welfare; the whole community benefits. Hence when we empower women, there is a ripple effect .You know you work in a patriarchal society when the word feminist has a weird connotation.

Considering all the laws , community support, and policies that empower women rights,what is the greatest lesson that a woman should learn?Think… That since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself, it’s the world that convinced her she did not.

Feminism is not about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength. So using the photographs from the same shoot as they don’t just display emotions but also build perspectives .

Raise up your voice not to shout but so that those without a voice can be heard .

We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Last shoot of 2k18

It felt all usual ,when I went all the way to Bangalore for shooting at the best place of the city ‘Lal Bagh Bangalore ‘ which is the host for the largest flower show in the country. But today when I am writing this blog ,I realised that this was my last shoot of the year ,and just then things started flashing in. Out of the 3 very gorgeous dresses,I decided to stick upon black .

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Trouble was no less as the Mua denied to dress me up on time, and I was still holding on the confidence to get shot on the make up I managed to do .

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Plus I had no idea about the trek I would be required to do to climb up the rocks in my 4 inches heel. But then you got to do what you got to do.

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The black dress, talking about that pretty one, gives me goals to keep moving. The dress was just everything which made me rock the show .The black sexy gown, which every girl wants in their wardrobe was the one I chosed.

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After the pack up we decided to visit the Leela Palace Bangalore ,yes the place where Ranveer and Deepika Padukone had their Bangalore Reception. I was awed by the beauty. The grandeur of the Leela left my eyes wide open to adore the wonderful place. No doubt it is called a Palace.

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The queen like feeling after every step that I forwarded inside the palace was just overpowering my urge to explore it more and more. I wanted to stay there forever, walking around like a princess, shopping,eating and enjoying the spa .

The fresh flowers, the day light playing silently with the trees in the lawn area, the drizzling water from the fountain and the huge architecture combined together made a combination called the Grand Leela Palace. Soon I was brought to reality by the last sip of my latte and the cookie I was munching on. I wish, God gave me more power to stay much poised at such amazingly, fantabulously rich place. Thank you Venkat for being so grateful and taking me to the place.

 

The only way to measure a love is by the grandeur of the beloved.

 

 

 

Wine a little, laugh a lot

I don’t know anything about wine and yes I am still writing about 🍷. After attending the Wine and food festival 2018 held in Nagpur, I can’t say that I am completely in love with wine, but definitely the one thing that happened to me was ‘change’, change in my perspective to lot many things, to wine as a drink in particular.

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Wine is a rich drink ,by that I don’t mean rich people’s drink.I only knew about Sangaria before I entered this crowded place of highly enthusiastic people,the night had a winter chill, the stalls were set up lit to attract the buyers, and then I saw the wine counters, full of people holding the glasses(sponsored by Design Inside ) waiting for their turn .

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The wines available were from Sula,Grover Zampa ,Rio etc both with Red and white in option. Each one of which was a bet for the other. My taste buds really admired the one from Sula which of  course was a red wine.

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I also got lucky to enjoy the live band called Atript.They were a bunch of handsome guys right over the center stage (with guitar to add on to the swag) bringing dance to all of my nerves while I consumed every sip of the Grover Zampa white wine.

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To add on to the high,there were stalls serving delicacies right from Potato Twisters,Sandwiches,Chinese,Italian to the loveliest Cup cakes (Coffee cream) .I was amazed by the dedication displayed by all the suited up uncles and the beautiful aunties for the orange crushing competition and the dhinchak dance performances.

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The entry ticket was Rs.400 which was worth all the money.It was an amazing night adding 30ml of delight to life from each of the 4 wine stalls. All thanks to the Nagpur Agro Development Association for this initiative.

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Art Exhibition section

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The anchor

Disclaimer – Few pictures are taken from social media so keeping them original, I don’t claim any copyrights to that stuff.

While I was thinking of a proper finish line to the write up, I wondered on how to put an end to a journey which just began. Hence leaving the loop open…till then, Cheers to life.😉🍷

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilized pleasures.

– Micheal Broadbent