Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tallest statue of Buddha in India!

On my recent visit to Hyderabad, this April, I happened to pass by MG Road overlooking the serene Hussain Sagar lake which was created in the 17th century.

MG Road bisects Hyderabad and Secunderabad and stretches along three kilometres. Many of the city dwellers enjoy the cool evenings
strolling along the sidewalk of this road, overlooking the lake. The other side of the road is lined with statues of eminent persons from Andhra Pradesh history.

Due to continuous traffic on the busy road, we could not stop by the lake; however I caught a fleeting glimpse of the imposing statue of Buddha in the middle of Hussain Sagar lake.

Here the statue of Gautam Buddha stands at a height of 56 feet in height (17 metres)
at the centre of the lake on a rock. It is the tallest monolithic statue of Buddha in India ! Made of white granite rock, it weighs a whopping 350 tonnes…. Indeed very heavy.

A fleeting glimpse of Buddha in daylight.
Lighted surroundings....
  And is ranked amongst the famous Buddha statues in the world.
The Buddha statue lighted at night in various hues....

The below link, list’s the top 10 famous Buddha statues in the world:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pigeon fancying !

Did you know ?
Pigeon flying is an established tradition in Agra, some parts of Old Delhi and Lucknow, since many decades. Even today, four or five flocks of pigeons fly above Taj Ganj in Agra every evening around 4 pm.

Agra’s kabootarbaz or pigeon fancier’s just don’t race one or two pigeons but fly them in stocks, and control them with a code comprising of high pitched whistles and calls.

It’s time to head to Agra to witness this event…..

And I recently came to know that many people, not only in India but across the world - fancy pigeons!

Ganeshnotsav - Festive fervor in Marcel

Last Wednesday, I visited some of the famous and the best Ganesh pandals in Goa. A visit to the six of the famous dekhawas (pandals wherein large idols of Ganesha are exhibited) of Marcel, which attracts a large number of crowds, was an enriching experience!

Each creative idol of Ganesha which was made meticulously, showcased the tremendous artistic talent of the youth.
Here is an overview of the various Greeen Ganesha’s various pandals we visited in Marcel:

The ecofriendly Ganesha made out of conunuts and various parts of coconut tree only, even the background fence !
1) Ravalnath Sanskritik Mandal made Ganesha of coconut tree and its parts only! A small quaint pandal, a true ecofriendly Ganesha.

2) Navelkar Bandhu Ganeshotsav Mandal – Sanjay Navelkar, Devulwada made a dekhawa (pandal with a huge Ganesha idol) of musical instruments. 8 ghumots (membranophone which is recognised as Goa's State instrument) – an important instrument during festivals have been used alongwith other musical instruments have been used to make a beautiful orange colored Ganesha. Unfortunately I could not take a photo of this idol, as photography was strictly prohibited at this pandal. However, I did get a glimpse of the Ganesh idols made by the creative duo Sanjay Navelkar and Sanjay Navelkar.

3) Shree Mallinath Sports and Kala Mandal depecited Ganesha as a playful Krishna surrounded with cows (made of paper) in serene surroundings.

Lord Ganesha depicted as Lord Krishna in Brindavan

4) Vithal Sanskrutik Mandal, Bazarwaddo- displayed an ecofrieondly, cotton Ganesha in the form of the famous saint Saibaba, in Dwarakamai, the place where Sai Baba lived. Last year this mandal had made a Ganesha of wax.

White Ganesha amidst the serene and austere surroundings.

5) Mashel Kala Premee – made a Ganesha in the form of toy entirely of cardboard. Besdies this one of the other attraction is a mega sky lamp – made with traditional winnow, which was placed at the entrance.

Ganesha depicted in the form of a toy.

The huge lantern made of Goan traditional winnow welcomes the devotees.

6) Sai Kala Mandal, Tariwaddo – creatively made Ashtavinayaka Ashtagandh, eight Ganapatis and the main Ganesha idol, from a variety of ashtagandh like such as sindhur, vermillion, turmeric and sandalwood powder in caves. Each of these eight Ganesha’s are depicted in caves.

Ashtagandh Ganesha's.

Be there to experience and admire the talent of artistic folks of Marcel !

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Blue flame - Jwalamukhi !

Did you know ?
One of the famous Shaktipeeth temples, is at Jwalamukhi, located in Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh.

Here the Goddess Durga (Shakti*) manifests in a natural blue flame emanating from a holy rock sanctum that has been burning for centuries ! The temple does not house an idol.

As per legend, the half burnt tongue of Goddess Sati fell at Jwalamukhi. It is located 473 kilometres from Delhi.

Shakti: Source of all Cosmic energy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome Ganesha !

Dear Readers
Wish you all a Very Happy Ganesh Chathurdhi!

Ganesh puja at my home

May the Lord of wisdom, understanding, auspiciousness, strength and intellectual prowess bestow his blessings.

Gajanana - the elephant faced Lord!

Jai Ganesha!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Monsoon Magic!

Every child and adult is amused and enthused to see the rain pattering away!

During our childhood days, the monsoon season seemed to last longer. This year the monsoon season started receding from August onwards…(Is this attributed to global warming.. I guess so!)

A couple of days back, I read a beautiful essay written by Ruskin Bond about the monsoon and about the essence of water. And thought of sharing some excerpts of this article with you as the monsoon season transitions to the winter season.

Raindrops prettily resting......
The Joy of Water (Author: Ruskin Bond)
Each drop represents a little bit of creation – and of life itself.
When the monsoon brings to northern India the first rains of summer, the parched earth opens its pores and quenches its thirst with a hiss of ecstasy. After baking in the sun for the last few months, the land looks cracked, dusty and tired. Now, almost overnight, new grass springs up, there is renewal everywhere, and the damp earth releases a fragrance sweeter than any devised by man.

Water brings joy to earth, grass, leaf-bud, blossom, insect, bird, animal and the pounding heart of man. Small children run out of their homes to romp naked in the rain. Buffaloes, which have spent the summer listlessly around lakes gone dry, now plunge into a heaven of muddy water. Soon the lakes and rivers will overflow with the monsoon’s generosity.

Be like water, taught Lao-tzu, philosopher and founder of Taoism. Soft and limpid, it finds its way through, over or under any obstacle. It does not quarrel; it simply moves on……