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Asia » India » Andhra Pradesh » Chittoor District » Tirupati November 29th 2021

The temple is said to be 2000+ years old. The deity is a 5 feet shiva linga with Shiva standing on the shoulders of an asura (ignorance) who is kneeling down. Gudi means temple and Mallam means underground. The temple apparently has an underground secret entrance leading to a 10000+ old Shiva linga radiating the energies of Shiva himself. There are 9 moving secret stones leading to this entrance. Interested people can research on YouTube for the secret entrance. This temple has one of the oldest Shiva linga in the world and the energies are still pure and divine. Any mediator doing daily sadhana can feel the energies on just closing eyes and meditating near the linga.The temple also has a Subramanya, Devi and Surya Bhagwan ... read more
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Asia » India » Gujarat November 19th 2021

Gujarat state in western India is geographically and culturally divided in to at least four regions: Saurashtra, Kutchh, North Gujarat and South Gujarat (with Central Gujarat in between). I have lived in Saurashtra for 36 years and North Gujarat for 27 years. Interest in re-(re)-visiting some parts of Saurashtra is therefore natural. I have copied some information (mostly legends) from sources available on internet (not necessarily authentic – I have used them only because I liked the contents). I have also given links to these sources. You may use hyperlinks to read more about the place. I have not re-written the description wherever good source is available. Saurashtra (also known as Kathiawad) is further divided into different areas (which are more relevant historically): Halar (present day Jamnagar), Sorath (Jun... read more
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Asia » India » Maharashtra » Dapoli September 19th 2021

After 18 months of no vacation and stuck at home in Pune, India, we (make that as I !) really wanted to travel. Perhaps it was revenge travel but I was hell bent on going to nearby beaches, even though the weather was not perfect and neither the roads. Had booked a simple home stay in Dapoli for a July trip but due to incessant rains this year, had to put that on hold. When the weather opened up a bit in September, made concrete plans. It helped the the kid's school also gave a long weekend for Ganesh Chaturthi. The weather again became bad and the forecast on the planned days was all wet and rainy days. But we didn't want to postpone and went ahead. We took the Mulshi-Tamini Ghat route after weighing other ... read more
Misty Madness !
Trekking for petrol...
The village that came together 🙏

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Leh September 3rd 2021

Leh - Ladakh: 23/8/21 to 29/8/21 There are three mis-matched regions of “Jammu & Kashmir” state: (1) Hindu dominated ‘Jammu’ region, (2) Buddhist ‘Ladakh’ and (3) predominantly muslim - ‘Kashmir’. This is not a political commentary on why and how they came together, but now some sense is being brought in by separating ‘Ladakh’ as a Union Territory with Leh as its capital. Leh-Ladakh has many strange ‘world-records’ to its credit. It is in fact a (world’s highest) desert (rain-shadow area) in the Himalayas. Technically this region opened for tourists sometime in the 1970s but has developed as a major destination in the last two decades only. I will arbitrarily divide Himalayas in to six regions (for tourism purpose only) - (1) Snow clad mountains of Kashmir, (2) Deserted mountains of Ladakh and Kargil, (3) Green ... read more
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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Alchi September 3rd 2021

Day-2: 24-08-2021 - Sham Valley Sham valley tour includes Gurudwara Pathhar Sahib, Magnetic hill, Confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers, Alchi monastery and Lamayuru monastery. These are on Leh-Srinagar highway. We had not included Lamayuru because of the distance and travel time. Leh to Alchi is ~70 km one-way and Lamayuru is 125 km one-way. Our driver squeezed in local sightseeing on Day-2. It became more tiring but in hind-sight, we would have missed local sightseeing altogether as there was a strike in Leh on our Day-6. We started with Shanti Stupa. One should visit in the morning as evenings become very windy up there. You can see the whole of Leh from here. Our next stop was at the “Hall of Fame” - a war museum by the Indian Army. . The museum is very ... read more
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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Hemis September 3rd 2021

Day-3: 25-08-2021 - Leh Palace, Hemis, Thicksey, Rancho, Shey: Leh Palace. A lot of renovation has been carried out to make it possible for tourists to visit. There are 9 levels (stories). Tourists are allowed up to 5. Palace conveys the simplicity (or lack of wealth) of erstwhile rulers. Moving on the Leh-Manali road we went up to Hemis monastery first (last point of our itinerary for the day). From Hemis, the road bifurcates to go to Pangong. Those who go to Pangong, Hemis side can be covered on the way, however, you need 3-4 hours to visit all these spots. Hemis monastery has students of Buddhism. We also saw a banner announcing ‘convocation’. There is a very good museum on Buddhism. It has many idols of Buddha collected from different parts of the word, belonging ... read more
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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Nubra September 3rd 2021

Day-5: 27-08-2021 - Hunder to Turtuk and back: Turtuk is the second northernmost village of India, captured from Pakistan during the 1971 war. Prior to that it was a part of Gilgit-Baltistan. Four villages of Baltistan are now part of India and Turtuk is one of them. The Line of Control is just about 2-3 km from this village. This entire region is very crucial from the military point of view. Warriors in Siachen glacier (world’s highest battlefield) are maintained through this area. The tip of Ladakh is sandwiched between Pakistan on one side and China on the other. Road from Hunder to Turtuk passes through strategically very important Partapur, forward air base of Thoise and Chalunka. Turtuk (9800 ft) is a small village with beautiful green surroundings. It is the lowest point in Ladakh. Most ... read more
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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Nubra September 3rd 2021

Day-4: 26-08-2021 - Leh to Nubra Valley: One of the most exciting parts of the Ladakh tour is - crossing the world's highest motorable pass - Khardung la (La = Pass) at 18350 ft - to enter the Nubra valley. Apart from Leh, its surroundings (Sham valley and Hemis), two most frequented places are the Nubra valley and Pangong Lake. Few tourists also go to Tso moriri. Leh - Nubra - Pangong makes a triangle. Leh to Nubra via Khardung La takes about 4 hrs. Nubra to Pangong takes about 7 hours and Pangong to Leh via world’s second highest motorable pass - Chang La takes about 5 ½ to 6 hrs. In Nubra valley, attractions are Diskit monastery in Diskit village (~120 km from Leh), 6 km further is Hunder village famous for sand dunes ... read more
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Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Khardung La September 3rd 2021

Day-6: 28-08-2021 - Nubra-Hunder to Leh: The last day of the Ladakh tour included a return journey from Hunder to Leh. Crowded it was, as we had seen while passing through two days back, but the people were simply going mad. There was a real traffic jam at 18000+ ft! Vehicles were parked at will wherever there was some space (see video). We stopped a few feet after crossing the peak and did enjoy the snowfall for a while. It was our first experience of snow. Entertaining it was, but it raises serious issues about sustainability of the environment if such behaviour is allowed to continue. If we can restrict the time a vehicle remains inside the airport pick-up/drop-off zone, why not at such crucial and delicate points? On either side of Khardung La there are ... read more
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Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore » Koramangala August 21st 2021

"If there is a Heaven on Earth, it is in Kashmir." I realised the age-old proverb after completing the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. When I was young, my dream was to be a wanderlust and travelling to Himalayas. Like many Bengalis I was influenced by the epic travelogue written by Parimal Dey and Umaprasad, the legendary travel-writers of Bengal. But now I am 60 plus and around six months back, when our family friend Mr Basu offered for participation in the Himalayan Trek of “Kashmir Great Lakes”, I did not take it seriously, at least initially. He was a seasoned trekker and participated in many trekking tours at different parts of Himalayas. Age creates physical disabilities. We became slow, our muscle and limbs do not function as it should be. My fear was I should not ... read more
Melting ice ridge nourishing the mountain river
Approaching the Pine Forest far away
Picturesque trek route following the mountain stream




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