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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Badrinath June 7th 2020

Badrinath and Kedarnath As per the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Vishnu has incarnated himself as sages Nara and Narayana and has been in deep meditation at Badrinath since time immemorial. Close to Badrinath, is the wonderful Shiva temple at Kedarnath. During the Dwapura Yoga, after the Kurukshetra war, Rishi Vyasa told the Pandavas to pray to Lord Shiva and beg for forgiveness for killing the Kauravas in the unavoidable war. The Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva, but Shiva was not willing to forgive them and hence went into hiding underground at Guptakashi (which came from the name - Gupt meaning secret and Kashi – abode of Shiva). The Pandavas still managed to find him but Shiva then rematerialized himself in the form of the bull’s body parts at 5 different locations – namely Panch Kedar ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Chopta March 31st 2020

Tungnath temple (12,073 feet) - world's highest Shiva temple According to our Puranas, Rishi Vyasa told the Pandavas to pray to Lord Shiva and beg for forgiveness as they were going to kill their cousins – the Kauravas in the unavoidable war. The Pandavas went in search of Lord Shiva, but Shiva was not willing to forgive them and hence went into hiding underground at Guptakashi (which came from the name - Gupt meaning secret and Kashi – abode of Shiva). The Pandavas still managed to find him but Shiva then rematerialized himself in the form of the bull’s body parts at 5 different locations – namely Panch Kedar – the places being Tungnath (bull’s hands), Kedarnath (hump), Rudranath (head), MadhyaMaheshwar (navel) and Kalpeshwar (hair).... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Chopta March 31st 2020

When the Pandavas were in exile, they were once very thirsty. The youngest of them Nakul set out to get some water for all. He saw this beautiful lake and walked towards it to drink some water. Just then he heard the voice of a Yaksha who told him that he is the owner of this lake and hence Nakul can have the water only after he answers the questions asked by Yaksha. Nakul ignored Yaksha and began drinking the water, however dropped dead after a few drops. His brothers started looking for him and one by one reached the lake and in thirst drank the water – all ignoring Yaksha’s command. Sahadev, Arjun and Bheema dropped one after the other. Finally, Yudhisthira landed there and was in shock seeing all his brothers lying beside the ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Chopta March 31st 2020

Hiking is becoming very popular in recent times and trekking/hiking in the Himalayan ranges in unparalleled. The beauty of the snow-capped ranges, quietness, peace, serene surroundings, peaceful villages and villagers in those areas is addictive for most trekkers. If one is looking for a good beginners’ trek with incredible spiritual significance as well – one of my favourite one is the Chopta-Chandrashila 5-day trek. The trekking path is easy for reasonably fit people and has absolutely gorgeous beauty – where you get to camp beside lakes and on lush green meadows overlooking the mighty Himalayan ranges. How do you get there? Day1 You can start your trek at Rishikesh (which is my all-time favourite location for a trek start due to its spiritual + modern atmosphere – Yoga and Aarthi by the Ganga and at the ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh March 31st 2020

ishikesh HotelsMap This holy town got its name from the Sanskrit name Hrishikesha – which means “Lord of the senses”. Several rishis and saints have lived here due to its aura and spiritual significance. The holy Ganga flows through the entire town purifying the entire town. There are temples which are hundreds of years old and yoga centers throughout the town. Apart from being a spiritual town it is also the “International Yoga capital of the world”. Being the Yoga capital, the town is filled with multinational people and yogis, and thus wonderful international foo... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Dehradun March 24th 2020

Gaumukh glacier is the source of river Bhagirathi – which ultimately merges with river Alakananda at Dev Prayag to form the holy river Ganga. The Gaumukh Tapovan trek is a Must-do for every trekker due to its unpredictable challenging conditions and stunning beauty. To top it, for spiritual people, it is of incredible significance as it is the source of River Ganga; and Tapovan is the abode for several yogis and rishis till date. Being a Yogini myself, these were huge reasons enough to get me excited for this trek, but as every moment during the trek passed, I realised I was in a place with astonishing history and could just feel it. It starts with a 10-hour drive from Dehradun to Dharali – a small town close to Gangotri. Dharali is one of the places ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh January 5th 2020

A trip to Uttarakhand was in my mind for a long time but the chance never came. Until December of 2019. It was always meant to be a solo trip. The kind of one where you do soul searching and try to understand the great mysteries of life. The starting point for my journey was the beautiful yet chaotic town of Dehradun. My stay there was short. A local friend helped me with the accommodation and offered a ride to Rishikesh. I politely declined because I wanted to experience this all by myself right from the start. After a night's stay in Dehradun, I took an early bus to Rishikesh. The journey was beautiful and freezing and I reached the bus station of Rishikesh at about 8 a.m. There was not much crowd at the station, ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttarakhand December 8th 2019

So, I think it was in May, we were talking with our niece Kelli, from Boston, when she told us she had been invited to a friend's wedding in India. I piped up with "I would love to go to a wedding in India..." and that is how we ended up returning to India!! So, after celebrating our 2nd early Thanksgiving, this time in Boston, we left on Nov 25th flying to one of our favorite cities, Istanbul, for a one night stopover. I do love just wandering the streets of Sultanahmet, enjoying a delicious gyro at our favorite gyro stand, that always has a long line to it. Toured the Cisterns and then into the Hagia Sophia. Such a beautiful interior, but wondering if it will ever be scaffold free! Arriving in Delhi, early morning ... read more
Beautiful clear day with a view of the Himalayas
Buddha statue at Happy Valley Mussoorie
Streets of Old Delhi

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh March 21st 2019

We took the night bus to Rishikesh from Delhi. It took about 10 hours, so we arrived there early in the morning. We went to a guesthouse and first slept for a few hours. The bus ride wasn't really comfi so we needed a bit more sleep. Once we woke up we went for a walk through the town. We crossed the bridge, sat on the stairs next to the Ganga river. There I called mama because it was her birthday. Meanwhile, behind me a monkey was eating a papaya and in front of me there was a calf begging food to other people on the stairs. It was pretty funny. After I finished calling her, we walked through a street on the other side. We got sugarcane juice, which is really delicious. It's super refreshing ... read more
Sugarcane juice machine
Waterfall
On the bridge

Asia » India » Uttarakhand January 22nd 2019

You can't go all the way to India for work and not have an extra few days to look around. The work up in Uttarakhand was great; the few days looking around Madhya Pradesh was typical of travelling in India with occasional glorious bits (temples, palaces, forts, etc) mixed in with horrendous bits (open defecation, ubiquitous odour of urine, trains that inexplicably stop in the middle of nowhere for 3-hours, a lot of rubbish everywhere, constant spitting, appalling Delhi air quality, food-belly collisions, a lot of hassle, shouting at plus once getting physical with tuk-tuk drivers, etc). Unfortunately, perhaps inevitably, and entirely predictably, this particular blog has ended up being similar in format to my India blog of a few years ago. That one was titled “The Ups and Downs of Travelling in India” and alternated ... read more
The view from the study site
Raja Mahal, Orchha
Sunrise behind Mehman Khana




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