TRADITIONAL MILKMAN

Travelling within India is like viewing a scene through a Kaleidoscope.

The sights and attire change dramatically as you move from Indian State to another.

Shifting from the Freezing Cold of Ladakh to Warm Rajasthan reveals Interesting  Views taken from a moving car near Ajmer, Rajasthan.

The featured image captures an elderly Milkman with Beautiful Brass Utensils, pushing his Bicycle on a bridge.

His Splendid  headgear called “SAAFA”  or “PAGDI” is replicated by two of the Three Wise Men enjoying a cup of Tea . They are seated on a wooden bench besides a busy street. Do not miss the Handmade Leather Shoes called “JOOTIS“.

three wise men
Three Wise Men

While the headgear remains Unchanged, the Bicycle has transformed into a Motorcycle alongwith one of the Brass Milk Containers into a lighter and larger Aluminium Container.

The Hand towel over the shoulder is a unique Multipurpose Garment much like a Fouta in Tunisia or Hammam Towel in Turkey.

 

on a bike
Milkman moving with the times

The picture above was taken through the windshield of a Car and thus slightly milky. 

INDIAN DESIGN

All the pictures showcase transformed Traditional Indian Articles or Symbols.

A visit to the India Design Fair held at Okhla , New Delhi showcased a bit of Traditional India in new robes. ( do check out my previous blog titled EYE)

These Lovely kettles in Copper  retain the the shape and look of a Tea Kettle you could spot on every Roadside in India. Keep your eyes peeled ?

copper kettles
Transforming Traditional Kettles

The Bed or Khattiya ( in Hindi) is a must in every Rural Home and Highway Dhaba in most parts of India.

khatiya
A traditional bed with a colourful Carper Design

The Hookah is used to smoke Tobacco and is an accent in the setting below to highlight the Rural Origins of the Colourful Transformed  Khattiya .

with hookah
Rural India’s tryst with Urban India

These Ceramic Containers called Amritbaan  ( in Hindi) were once a Must in every Home in India. They are primarily used to store Pickles and we still use them in my Home as well.

 

amritbaan
Traditional Containers for Pickles

On your travels look for Interesting shapes and articles you  find Unique to this amazing part of the Planet we call India.

ANONYMOUS

The India Art Fair is annually held in January at the NSIC grounds, Okhla  in New Delhi.

It was an amazing opportunity to see some fabulous works of Art brought together under one Roof.

The threads that bind the four works of art selected by me for this blog are:

  1. The Artists of all the paintings are Anonymous.
  2. They are all almost 200 years old dating to the 19th Century.
  3. All of them are expressions of Faith and reveal tales from Hindu Mythology.

The Colourful and detailed featured Image of Maa Durga ending the terror of the Rakshas ( Demon) Mahishasur portrays so many symbols and tales that it would take me years to understand and pen them down.

The large almond shaped  eyes are a signature of the artists of Bengal and Maa Durga is portrayed as such to date.

The painting below beautifully illustrates Lord Shiva with his wife Parvati  seated on their vehicle the Bull, Nandi. Mount Kailash in the the Himalayas is his fabled abode which is depicted in the picture below.

lord shiva and maa parvati
Lord Shiva with his consort Goddess Parvati

An unusual potrayal of  Goddess Parvati depicted as Mother with her younger son Lord Ganesha.

The crown in the painting seems to be an influence from the Mughal Period  and is repeated in all the pictures above as well.

Maa Durga is an incarnation of Goddess Paravati who assumes a Fierce and Powerful form armed with various weapons to end the Evil of the Demon Mahishasura.

Symbolism and  Philosophy  is deeply entrenched in all the depictions and portrayals in the paintings.

Maa and Ganeshji
Mother and Child

The painting of the Goddess Saraswati below  is distinctively different from those above.

The headgear and attire are more in tune with depictions from Southern India. The style was made extremely popular by the famous artist Raja Ravi Verma from Travancore ( now in modern day Kerala).

The attention to detail is simply mind blowing as the Jewellery is visible through the extremely fine and translucent Saree that drapes the Goddess of Wisdom.

The Veena ( musical instrument in her hands) , the string of White Pearls and the Vedas  ( Holy Books ) symbolize the Goddess of Fine Arts and Knowledge.

 

Maa Saraswati
The Goddess of Knowledge , Maa Saraswati

All the paintings show the fascinating minds of the Anonymous Artists who have unfortunately been lost in the Mists of Time.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Treat yourselves to this secretive getaway  NAZAR BAGH near Jaipur.

A view of Nature FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

The write up will be updated in a while. All Good things take time, so hold your breath as I will unveil this treasure in the midst of Rajasthan, India.

Nazarbagh is located in the pristine rural countryside of Rajasthan about 5.5 kms  off the Jaipur-Ajmer Highway at Jaisinghpura.

It is strongly recommended to walk the  the last mile if you wish to be soaked in the Enchanting countryside that encompasses this discretely located Palace.

The picture below reveals the unique  lansdscape of the region with interesting Shrubs and biodiversity unique to the arid lands of Rajasthan.

glimpse of nazarbagh
Through the eyes of Sheep and Goats

Luxurious and plush Nazarbagh is unveiled  through Trees and the bounty of Nature that surround this Palace.

A lovely Lily ( commonly and incorrectly refered to as  Lotus)  Pond surrounded by Flower beds ( do see the blog titled ICE DAISY at http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com and Trees far in the Horizon soothe your eyes.

view from the porch

A view through graceful arches at the Porch

For me Nature leaves signs to show if an area ,home or Palace is conducive to human well being.

If Birds , bees and butterflies inhabit a region it indicates that all is in harmony with Nature. Nazarbagh gets a big approval as it is located in the lap of Nature.

See the picture below which reveals a Bird’s Nest seen from the amazing marbled Verandahs of the Palace.

trees throught the archways

A Birds Nest

The lovely Rooftops with the typical signature  Chatris ( literal translation is an Umbrella) reveal two contrasting countrysides.

One is Green till as far as the Nazar ( eyes) goes and showcases Golden Fields ( do read the blog at http://www.enchantedforests.worpress.com) and Carpets of White Flowers ( Calendulas)

 

fields on the left
Fields of Flowers and a Solitary Leafless Kejri Tree

As you shift your Glance  you will be fascinated by an arid and parched land along with an ancient River Bed which would have been the Original Landscape prior to the Introduction of Water through modern Irrigation methods.

The Flora and Fauna in both both the Green and Brown Lands would be interesting to compare and detail.

I did hear the  tell tale bird calls of the Partridges ( English), Teetar ( Hindi)  or Grey francolins ( Scientific Name) at Nazarbagh.

a river dried up
An ancient river bed and arid brown lands

As we descend from the Rooftops adorned by Chattris and walk around the Sprawling Green Periphery of the Palace am spellbound by the Avenue of  Neem  ( Scientific Name Azadirachta Indica) trees.

Neem is an endemic tree native to India which works as a natural Bio filter of Air as well besides having numerous Germicide properties.

neem lined avenues
Neem Lined Avenues

Nazarbagh Palace was a wonderful date with Nature , away  from the crowds that thronged the Jaipur Literature Festival at Jaipur.

THE VILLAGE OF CORN

The Himalayas are all about experiencing the Joy of Nature. When man adapts and moulds himself to nature the Joy is enhanced manifold.

A perfectly organized trail by the nature loving staff of the JW MARRIOTT Walnut Grove Spa Resort ,Mussoorie to a CORN VILLAGE  located in the Himalayas was just that, a memorable experience.

The trip beautifully integrated an experience of the local Gharwali way of life with the thrill of a joyful ride on a motorcycle .

The  extremely  skilled driver on  a Royal Enfield bike enabled me to  have an uninterrupted and breathtaking  360 degree view of the enchanting  landscape.

Royal Enfields are the mode of transport

Royal Enfields are a great mode of transport in the Hills

It was indeed wonderful to go on a motorcycle as the fresh and cool  mountain air  rustles up your hair and massages the face as well.

Corn ( or Maize)  is the third most important crop after rice and wheat  in the hills and forms the staple diet of the  village folk as well.

The Gharwalis ( as the locals are called)  over the ages have perfected the art of drying the corn within their homes.

September to  October is the time for harvesting Corn ( Scientific name: Zea mays) in the Hills of Mussoorie, Uttrakhand and thus the perfect time to visit  Bhatoli the CORN Village.

An enchanting view of the stepped farms of the Hills.Can you spot the Corn on the roof?

Himalayan Village of Corn
Himalayan Village of Corn

Homes in the hills have been traditionally made of Wood. The sturdy  though now endangered Himalayan White Oak ( Quercus leucotrichophora)  covers most of these Hills and has been a source of timber for generations.

This traditional carved wooden  door welcomes us to the  quaint village of CORN.

a 100 year old beckons

A 100-year-old wooden door  old beckons

The first  stunning view of corn bunched up and hung upside down leaves me gazing in awe.It stunned my camera too which simply stopped working thereafter.

The heritage  wooden home in the centre is  now gradually being replaced by brick and concrete homes.

old home made of wood
An ancient wooden home decorated with corn

As I  walk through this Organic and incredibly clean village I realize why it is called the CORN VILLAGE.

corn dries out
Corn dries out

Colourful sunbathing Quilts give the Corn company  in this house adorned by two dish antennas.

Quilts

Sunbathing Quilts

While wooden homes have been replaced by brick and mortar ( pucca homes as they are called in Hindi) , some traditions like drying the corn, thankfully  remain.

Do notice the spotless alleys.

new homes

new homes

Another breathtaking view of a house with corn hung from the roof and the hills in the background.

the side of the large house
Drying corns forms a beautiful trim of the roof

A far distance from its Mexican Origins , Corn has overrun this house in the scenic village of Bhatoli.

engulfed by corn
engulfed by corn

Signing off as I sit down for a typical Gharwali lunch and Chapatis ( Indian Bread) made of Corn flour.

A marvelous trail planned to perfection by Prateek and Vaidehi of JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort & Spa, Mussoorie. The bike ride was a steal.

A wonderful outreach by the luxurious Hotel  to the friendly and hospitable villagers who spread out a welcome feast.

Hope you have read the earlier posts ( THE SECRET TRAP and THE MUSHROOM TRAIL) , all part of the WALNUT TRAIL.

Be not impatient friends, the Walnuts will follow as well. Keep following.

GATEWAY TO INDIA

The Gateway of India was completed in 1924 and was conceived to welcome King George V to India in 1911.Located in the extremely fascinating Colaba ( Apollo Bunder)  area of Mumbai, it is also the point where you can take a ferry to the historical Elephanta Caves.   ( 300 BC)

It was also the year that New Delhi On Raisina Hill became the capital of British India. It is even today the Capital of the Republic of India.

gateway of india
Gateway of India

I have  read many blogs/ articles of visitors to Mumbai. Most comment about a visit to the Gateway of India, but none mention the lovely buildings that surround it.Many even stay in the Taj Mahal Hotel but do not even take a walk around the hotel premises.

This lovely heritage building goes back to the mid 19th century and was originally the Royal Yachting Club.

It is in all probability the oldest building on the waterfront.

atomic research centre
Current Atomic Research Centre and  erstwhile Yacht Club

The magnificent Gothic style  Yacht Club as viewed today is probably made from the same Basalt stone as the Gateway of India.

It is even today an exclusive, all members Club only.

Alas , my cousin Vivek  let his opportunity to be a member  go by.

yacht club
Current Yacht Club alongwith the  new Taj building  making the backdrop

The Gateway of India is squeezed in between the  two buildings of the Taj Mahal Hotel. ( do not mix with the seventh wonder of the world TheTaj Mahal in Agra). This was also the site of a terrible terrorist attack on 26th November 2008 which lasted for three days.

 the taj                     The Taj new and old with the Gateway of India in the Centre.

Buildings reveal the history of the land. A walk of 10 minutes around the Gateway of India will take you through hundreds of  years of history of Mumbai.

Mumbai is today the financial capital of India and probably the most populated city in the World.

Pictures were taken from my  mobile and a Nikon DSLR. Can you guess which picture taken by which device?

THE DOORWAY

Dwarka ( dwar in hindi )  literally translated means the DOORWAY .

DWARKA is an ancient city steeped in mythology and is located at the western edge of India and overlooks the vast ARABIAN SEA.

It is supposed to have been built thousands of years ago and was once  a thriving port city.It was the Door to the Seas.

A lighthouse reminds us of trading ships  laden with silk and spices once docking here from faraway lands of the Pharaohs in  Egypt.

The lighthouse represents  the western edge of  INDIA.

The lighthouse
The lighthouse

Dwarka finds a unique place in Hindu scriptures. It was the magnificent and prosperous capital of Lord Krishna thousands of year go.

Going back to 2500 BC , Dwarka is repeatedly mentioned in historical references  as well as in Hindu scriptures.

Recent Explorations and surveys of the sea bed near modern Dwarka  have revealed the existence of a  city (much like Atlantis) retaken by the sea.

The temple at Dwarka is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus and is one the four CHARDHAMS , each located at the four corners  of the county.

the sadhu
the sadhu at sea

This temple is called Samudra Mandir or the THE SEA TEMPLE.

Gazing out towards the endless waters of the ARABIAN SEA is a unique and  humbling experience.

samudra temple
Samudra temple at Dwarka

I peered through a small window inside the temple and watched the waters swirl and  crash against the rocks below as the River Gomti submerges itself into the Sea.

This temple is located at the confluence of the River Gomti and the Arabian Sea in Dwarka.

through the window
The Arabian sea glimpsed  through a peephole in the temple

I sign off with this heavenly view.