JEWEL AMONGST TREES

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.

beauty along urban life
The Jewels Line the Highway to Greater Noida near New Delhi

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.

the tree
Indian Coral Trees

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 scarlet tree
Splendour of Coral Blossoms

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 blooms
Cluster of  Curved Coral Blooms

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 ?

tiger claws
The Jewels are protected by Spiny Tiger Claws

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.

 

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KANTO MATSURI : FESTIVAL OF LANTERNS

It is almost thirty years since I first traveled to Japan.

Had never heard of Sushi  , let alone any other Japanese food type.

How the world has changed, Japanese restaurants have mushroomed in my hometown of New Delhi. Sushi has become a mainstay of all buffets in  fancy hotels  and a must like for all  socialites ( read Page 3) . I have even seen Sushi bars in the malls. Is the day far when they are available along with momos at every street cafe ?

Now in Sakura, New Delhi  celebrating “Kanto Matsuri” , the pole lantern festival .

entrance
                            entrance

The  Red Lanterns and colour red seem to be the main theme of this restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, located on the first floor  within the Metropolitan Hotel  , New Delhi.

seating inside
seating inside

A well stocked bar with the sea food prominently displayed on the counter.

We were however the ‘only foreigners’ in this restaurant, all the tables were occupied by Japanese guests.

the bar
the bar

An introduction to the festival of lanterns and the menu( by the talented chefs ) for the evening  was placed on every table.

lantern festival
              pole lantern festival

A unique feature in many parts of the Far East including Japan is  the display of “faux food”. Thus  only for looking, not eating .

decorative food
                               decorative food

Sea Food is a cornerstone  of Japanese cuisine . The various types are displayed in the  restaurant .

octopus
                       octopus( centre) 

salmon ( peach coloured) is on the extreme right.

sea food

The vegetarian and non vegetarian menus.I kept a careful watch so as not to miss a course.

veg menu

Non Veg menu
                  Non Veg menu

I love Edamame beans.The tofu ( extreme left)  was super soft and simply melted away in the mouth. Japanese momos ( Yaki Gyoza) are in the centre.

edame beans momos
            edamame beans and  momos

Can any food be complete without drinks ? Beer seemed to very popular amongst all the guests.

mixologist not mysoginist
              mixologist not misogynist

The sauce with the salad was fantastic.

salad
                                        salad

Sushi has become the chic food now.

sushi in progress
             sushi in progress

The Miso soup was a surprise  add-on by the chef . It was not listed on the printed menu.

Japanese cuisine is always aesthetically presented and looks like a piece of art.

miso soup plus sushi
                miso soup plus sushi

The tempura.( similar to  the Indian pakoras)  Did the faux tempura look better? Please do comment.

tempura
                               Yasai Tempura

Hot noodle soup or Shoyu Ramen.

final course of noodles
                   final course : noodle soup  

I was ready to burst. Skipped the ice cream and the tea as well.But you can have it.

Sayonara. Leave you with more of the colour Red.( picture is straight off the camera, no filters, no editing)

More lanterns
                More lanterns

PINK AND WHITE ON WAY TO HEAVEN

Am taking you to Heaven. Travel with me, hop on.

All in white? Door is Blue
                        All in white? Door is Blue

Watch out for series of blogs this weekend. It is 9 steps to … what to say…but HEAVEN.

First and foremost are these wonderfully coloured Modes of Transport.

PINK SCOOTER
                     PINK SCOOTER

Keep a watch for the rest in the series.Remain ON BOARD

THE WHY OF A BOUQUET OF ART

As mentioned in a previous post, Indian highway are a visual delight.

These pictures were captured  at a place called  WAI ( not WHY)   , off the MUMBAI EXPRESSWAY.

I was soaking in this gorgeous sight of a TURMERIC field, with a few wildflowers in the foreground when….

a sprinkle of red in a turmeric field
           a sprinkle of red in a turmeric field

……this lovely bouquet caught my attention.

A bouquet of... CARROTS
                    A bouquet of… CARROTS

Dedicated to The artists behind this BOUQUET OF CARROTS . This for me is ART.

ONE, NO TWO, OH THREE, SORRY IT’S A PARTY OF FOUR

Romance near Delhi

ONE, NO TWO, OH THREE, SORRY IT’S A PARTY OF FOUR.

via ONE, NO TWO, OH THREE, SORRY IT’S A PARTY OF FOUR.

Artifacts and Luxury in Bandavgarh Tiger Reserve

This is the third in the series on Bandavgarh:  LUXURY, VILLAGE & THE TROPIC OF CANCER .AS is human have not set off to the  village from the lap of luxury.

Digressed a bit into Paintings & Artifacts. Though  i think  now , I shall make it a part of each place I visit as I loved the diversion.

However they were are so fascinating as they reveal  stories  ( fact and mythical) of the past. While you carry memories of the forest with you in the form of pictures or thoughts,  artifacts on the other hand  can be placed in our homes.

The Artifacts are but a few of the treasures you can see at this resort. Most of them bring to the fore the rich heritage of the region and the arts and crafts practiced by the skilled craftsmen who reside in Central India.

The Samode Safari Lodge is one of the very few and rare places which merges  beautifully in its sylvan surroundings.

I relive the moments as i take you for a tour.

The stone wall, quaint windows and terracotta roof of the GUARD ROOM at the entrance to the sprawling property.

Do check the features which draw entirely from the neighboring  Village”Mardari  “( feature follows in subsequent blog).

Loved the guard room at the entrance
Loved the guard room at the entrance

I call him Snoopy ( from the comics of Tintin) as he bears a striking resemblance ( do you agree?) . For reasons best known to him, his preferred watch was  the Dining Room

Vigilant Guard Snoopy
The ever Vigilant Guard Snoopy

The principal or main building has two levels with the lobby, reception , bar ( watering hole)  , fireplace on the first floor.

The Main Building in the resort
The Main Building in the resort
A gorgeous  TIGER lobby in the principal building
A gorgeous TIGER lobby in the principal building

Striking similarity to my office table. This is the reception. Mark the high techie  typewriter and other nick knacks.The red books ( “Bahi”)  are the traditional accounting  books of the local businessman.

The Reception table in the lobby
The Reception table in the lobby

Not a trophy, its made of brass by the Tribal craftsmen  of Chattisgarh. Bulk of the artifacts relate to the forest.

brass wild boar
brass wild boar

Most homes in the village have an auspicious drawing/ saying on the exterior front walls. This one reads SITA RAM and is inscribed on the walls of  the cottages.

SITA RAM
SITA RAM

Inside view from the rooms keeps you connected  to the forest outside .

wooden birds and costumes
wooden birds and costumes

Tastefully done bedroom. Do note the bedside lamps.Do see the earlier article/blog where there are additional pictures of the cottages.

patchwork quilts to keep you warm
patchwork quilts to keep you warm

This lovely elephant walks on the traditional dinner plate, the Thaali.( in brass) 

an elephant in marble
an elephant in marble

These wooden peg coat hangers can be found in every home in the village. The wooden bell adorns  the necks of cows so they remain within hearing range.

cow bells and  wooden coat hangers
cow bells and wooden coat hangers

The wash rooms are delightful with an option of bathing  indoors or under the open skies.

They have traditional heaters powered by logs.

Bathe in the open
Bathe in the open

Food and drink are essential to a fun trip and can make or break properties.

The painted wooden statues showcases  the customs, society and  fashionable  attire of the people.

The featured image of Lakshman with the bow is from the epic Ramayan.

The name Bandhavgarh comes from him. “Bandhav” meaning brother of Ram ( the perfect God Hero of the epic Ramayan) and “garh”  meaning fort. : bandhavgarh.

staircase to food
staircase to food

Walkway from the Main building to the Dining Room.

Walk through the trees
Walk through the trees

Best is to eat outdoors as the weather in December is divine.

Dining in the trees
Dining in the trees

Menus in the spotlight.

Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu

For those who do not wish to share with the inhabitants of the forest, the indoors is an option.

will you share your plate with me ?
will you share your plate with me ?

The wooden beams are from a ship in Alang ( a port where old ships are broken up) in Gujarat.

Indoor dining area
Indoor dining area

The interiors are aesthetically done incorporating many articles used in Indian homes to date.

The table top is an Indian Thaali ( a large plate made of metal). The food is then served in small bowls of metal placed on the plate. Each region in India  has its own unique Thaali and food.

the tradiotal indian thaali converted into a table
the traditional  indian thaali converted into a table
Birds on a leaf
Birds on a leaf

Breakfast with the  birds.

lord Ganesha mask
lord Ganesha mask

Lions ( or are they tigers) adorn the walls of the swimming pool. The walls made of stone are so much as in the village.

Swimming pool and lions to watch
Swimming pool and lions to watch

The bar at the pool . The metal figures are  tribal craft at its best .

bar and changing area
bar and changing area

View of property from the Spa. The sails cover large beds near the pool.

view of pool from spa
view of pool from spa

Many flowers bloom at this time of the year.Walking to the spa.

full bloom
full bloom
trees in bloom
trees in bloom

The spa is made like Indian homes of the past, with a large open courtyard forming the centre.

The spa has a  central water body, a lily pond

welcome to the pool
welcome to the spa
Tribal metal craft
Tribal metal craft

Villager carry water in such utensils. Lovely shapes and sizes.

brass water utensils
brass water utensils

Care to detail is so important to the impression it leaves on the human mind. A fire extinguisher has a coat as well.

fire extinguishers
fire extinguishers

As the sun sets, the lamps are being primed to find their place . It’s also time for me to say ” good  bye”

tradional lamps
traditional lamps

Suitcase packed and transport ready.

time to go
time to go