This statement is underlined and highlighted many times over at THE RANCHO SCHOOL at Shrey, Ladakh.
A huge blockbuster of a movie titled THE THREE IDIOTS highlights the creative educational practices followed at this Himalayan School in the desolate landscape of Ladakh.
The school is managed by the Hemis Monastery which was founded in the 11th Century. The Naropa Temple ( seen in the picture below from the Rancho School) is dedicated to Naropa, the founder of the Drukpa lineage of the Hemis Monastery.
The school was closed during the Winters when I happened to visit the Region.
The Rancho School Coffee Shop doubles up as a restaurant or Dining Area during the Winter Festival which coincides with the Birthday of His Holiness . ( do read the previous blog titled SEA OF MAROON)
The building blocks of the entire school are Locally available Stones and not Bricks.
The entire school premises are powered by Solar Energy .
The School is surrounded by the Lofty Himalayas , Buddhist Temples and Stupas.
The picture below was taken from one of the Hostels at Rancho School.
The Rancho School makes Movies come to Life.
Domestic tourism from other parts of India to Ladakh increased 500% after the movie rocketed to the top of the Charts.
The Frozen Ice on the Bucket Chairs outside the CHARMING LEH AIRPORT ( please do check a previous blog thus titled for continuity) were a clear Sign of the sub zero temperatures in Leh, Ladakh during the Winters.
Barren Hills and Poplar Trees overlook a Ladhaki Home adorned with fluttering Buddhist Prayer Flags.
The Rays of the Sun at an high altitude are Welcoming and Intense as they keep you warm and comfortable.
Thick layers of Grass are stacked on rooftops so that the Homes remain warm once the Sun Sets and temperatures dip to minus twenty or thirty degrees centigrade during the winters in Ladakh.
The Cows in the region are small and of have a dense fur to keep them warm. The Magpie glistens in the Sun and finds food amongst Heaps of Snow.
Picture was taken outside the entrance to our Hotel Mahey Retreat in Leh, Ladakh, Jammu& Kashmir, India.
Mud Packed stone walls are a great ecological alternative to Cement and Bricks.
A Quiet peaceful alley lined with Snow is the Hallmark of Leh during the Winters.
Remain aboard as I keep unraveling the telltale Signs captured by the camera at the Charming Leh Airport.
The Beautifully landscaped Highway from Noida ( an industrial suburb of New Delhi, India) to Greater Noida is a Classic Example of an Urban Forest amongst Skyscrapers and Industrial Factories.
Announcing the arrival of Basant Panchmi( Spring) are these Clusters of Jewels which adorn the leafless Trees of the Indian Coral Tree ( English), Parijat ( Hindi) ,Erythrina indica ( Scientific Name).
Native to India , The Indian Coral Tree belongs to the Pea family or Fabaceae.
Adorning the ends of each twig are these brightly Coral coloured blossoms which contrast beautifully against their leafless branches.
As the seasons change , new leaves will sprout on the deciduous branches of The Indian Coral Tree.
The Inflorescence is a cluster of Brightly Coral coloured Blossoms each of which flexes its spine and Curves upwards towards the Blue Skies and the Sun.
Do the Jewels resemble a Tiger’s Claw??
The Corals are not unprotected as they have sharp spiny thorns along the branches.
Is the Tree called The Tiger Claw because of the beautiful Blossoms or the Spiny thorns, both of which resemble the Curved Claws of a Tiger ?
If you live in the vicinity of New Delhi or are visiting, be Enchanted and take the Slow lane on the Highway to Greater Noida .
Be Witness to these Jewels amongst the Trees, which are adorning The Indian Coral Tree this February.
The ARDH KUMBH at Haridwar takes place once in 6 years and millions express their faith by thronging the banks for a dip in the Holy Ganges.
Hindu Mythology states that the Holy Ganges descended from Heaven into the flowing locks of Lord Shiva ( see the picture below) , from where the Goddess Ganga gently flows onto Planet Earth via the Himalayas.
A larger than life statue of Lord Shiva blesses all the pilgrims who arrive at Haridwar ( Doorway to the Lord)
The Aarti ( Prayers) to the The Goddess Ganga is held every evening at Har Ki Pauri, ( At the the feet of the Lord) , Haridwar.
However this evening is special as it on the eve of an Auspicious day ( Mauni Amavasya) when a dip in the Ganges is considered extremely beneficial.
The Faithful assemble in thousands along the banks of the Holy River eagerly awaiting the Sun to Set and the Aarti to commence.
The River shimmers in anticipation and the perceptible religious fervour reaches a climax as the lights are turned on and first of the Lamps are Lit.
The heat from the lamps warms my cheeks as the flames from the Oil Lamps reach the Black Skies and the mammoth crowds sing in Unison in praise of the Goddess Ganga under a Moonless Sky .
Lo, Behold the magnificent AARTI at the Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar, Utrrakhand, India.
The Ardh Kumbh has commenced at Haridwar and will continue till April 2016. It is an experience of a lifetime I would not wish to miss.
The mammoth crowd magically disappears within minutes of the conclusion of the Aarti at Har Ki Pauri, leaving the River alone to reflect the lights of the temples.
There is a website you can access to see the Auspicious dates or you can go on any suitable day to behold the spectacle at Haridwar.
Do watch the Power of Faith during the Ardh Kumbh.
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.
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 athttp://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com) and Trees far in the Horizon soothe your eyes.
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.
A Birds Nest
The lovely Rooftops with the typical signature Chatris ( literal translation is an Umbrella) reveal two contrasting countrysides.
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.
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.
Nazarbagh Palace was a wonderful date with Nature , away from the crowds that thronged the Jaipur Literature Festival at Jaipur.