First time I passed through Naggar was way back in summer of 1990, while returning from Manali during my first ever trip to Kullu-Manali region. Barely I had any idea at that time that it was just the start of my fascination and association with this magical place. Since then, there have been number of trips for trekking, camping, biking, leisure, et al. Each of them have been unique in its experience. While pursuing a career as a full-time journalist, I had started trekking as a serious passion in 1992. It was in January 1993 when I came across the news of death of Svetoslav Roerich. News of his death was associated with follow-up news of his wife legendary Devika Rani, grandniece of Rabindranath Tagore, and their Tataguni estate on the outskirts of Bangalore. The view from Ro...Read More
Where a 180 million year old history is fossilised
This is another of the Jaisalmer’s most underrated places after Desert National Park. This is a park as well, a parkin desert of real trees which were here just about 180 million years ago, only difference being that they all are fossilised now. You won’t find any tourists here too, but then who will come to see some caged fossils resembling some unknown graves covered in iron enclosures, lying around in a rocky and barren terrain of the Thar desert. Slice of 180 million year old history Akal Fossil Wood Park isn’t a usual place though. It is one of the only seven geological parks in India. It houses some of the most important remains of geological history from the Indian deserts. Actually, we have 26 National Geological Monuments in India and out of them seven have been declared as...Read More
You can find elephants everywhere in Kerala- from forests to roads and temples. They make a fascinating sight and also some excellent stories. They have always been integral part of legends and mythology. There is no temple festival in Kerala without elephants. Kerala also has a good number of wild elephants as well. As per a rough comparison Kerala has almost 600 captive elephants and almost 6000 wild elephants. One of the highest peaks in the Nilgiris the Anamudi peak literally means 'elephant's forehead'. In India, elephants are always in news, thanks to our mishandling of one of the most graceful and intelligent animal out there. Still sight of a herd of wild elephants is good enough to stop the traffic on road and turn everyone into curious onlookers. They too keep people amused w...Read More
How all the fountains at Taj got their water from Yamuna!
So like me, many of you would have visited Agra and Taj Mahal a number of times, may be. And, each time you would have been so engrossed in admiring the beauty of the marble marvel that you might have easily ignored all the other details of this huge Taj complex, such as its beautiful fountains. Quite unjustified, isn’t it! Gardens, fountains and the channels add to the glory of Taj Mahal Although nothing can undermine the beauty of the white mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, but you can’t deny that surrounding gardens and the fountains add to the glory of whole structure. That is the reason, why Taj Mahal is also a ‘rauza’ as per Persian principles- a tomb with a ‘charbagh’ (four cornered squared gardens), fountains and channels. So were the many other tombs of the M...Read More
Chaukhamba : A peak on four pillars and it is not our democracy!
I couldn’t have missed the satire in the present context as all the four pillars of our democracy are currently on terribly shaky ground. Having said that, this post is definitely not about our democracy but about one of the most beautiful peaks on Uttarakhand Himalayas. It is the World Environment day and what else can we talk about than the most precious gift our nature has given to us! Sunrise on Chaukhamba peak as seen from Almora town in Kumaon The inspiration for this post came from an impromptu comment on one of my Facebook post couple of days back by a renowned photographer friend Jaimitra Singh Bisht, based in Almora. Post was a photo of sunrise on Chaukhamba peak, which I captured a few years ago from Almora. While appreciating the photograph, Jaimitra said that, “Chaukham...Read More
So after the double rainbow delight of Sunday in the national capital, tempers were again on rise in the sky on Monday. However, it was never close to the sweltering heat that we had early last week when the temperatures crossed 46 degree celsius. Still, hot and humid days are not over and this weather makes you thirsty all the time… and, these birds as well. Isn’t it! A call for the water or the partner! Actually this is the weather and these are the images that make you wonder how essential are these little things to be done around our city homes to keep the nature around live and chirping! These birds which give us joy in our balcony views daily, need to quench thirst as well in this peak summer. What, when there is no open water puddle or pool for them? These little pots a...Read More
Lockdown effect | A yatra without yatris!
Chardham yatra is one of the India’s major pilgrimage and it is second time in last eight years that it has to be shelved. Last time in 2013, it was due to an altogether different reason as Yatra has to suspended and finally called off due to devastating floods in Uttarakhand. But that year, Yatra started in usual manner with all customs and rituals, but met a catastrophe on 16th & 17th June when extremely heavy rainfall and sudden melting of glaciers created a havoc like never before. Thousands of lives were lost and villages after villages were washed away. So, that year Yatra didn’t resume. Now this year again Yatra has been suspended because of lockdown due to Corona pandemic. The temples have been opened but routes are closed for yatris as no travel is allowed for this purp...Read More
Missing Ladakh : Let’s go for a photo journey!
May is about to end and many of us like me will be getting restless as Ladakh season gets closer. For many, Ladakh is an annual ritual, for many others it is an ambition of lifetime and you definitely can't doubt the feelings of all of them who are terrified with the prospect of the season getting a corona wash-out. Although, limited transportation seem to be resuming but actual travel doesn't seem to be happening in the near future. Good, if it happens this season at any point of time. I am sure many will rush with their bikes. But till then, lets go on a photo tour of Leh, a glimpse of it. Flying over Ladakh is an experience in itself But honestly speaking, covering Ladakh in a single feature or a post or a gallery is not justified. It is so vast and vivid, that you need umpteen ...Read More
Lockdown Chronicles : Last 10 days which weren’t the last
What were presumably supposed to be the last ten days of a 40 day nationwide lockdown in two phases- a 21 day first phase and a 19 day second phase. Ten days of hope and anticipation, which actually concluded in start of another phase of distress. Altogether a big human tragedy has unfolded in all this, which reflects in the first image. Experiments with camera continued but many other things keep happening! Let's travel through these ten days. Also read: Lockdown chronicles : Photo diary of first 10 days of forced sit-in DAY 31 Lockdown Chronicles Day 31! : Life in a metro! With nowhere to go in the lockdown, this migrant labourer has nothing else but shade of an under-construction flyover to cook his daily meals! DAY 32 Lockdown Chronicles Day 32! : While everyone was...Read More
Lockdown chronicles : Another 10 days passed and ten more to go
So as expected, what was supposed to be the last day of initial 21day lockdown period, actually brought the confirmation of taking this to a 40 day sit-in. Now, another set of ten days has passed. It has been a month of being stopped into walls of the house, besides some bare minimum steps outside to get things for daily needs. There have been few other reasons to move out as well, such as providing relief to some very needy people around and field trips owing to journalistic profession. But, what continued unabated was putting camera to regular use. So here is the snapshot of third set of ten days into lockdown. Also read: Lockdown chronicles : Photo diary of the first 10 days of forced sit-in DAY 21 Lockdown Chronicles Day 21 : Looking back to the first phase! When life w...Read More