AMAZING WOMEN

Behold the Amazing Turquoise Attire of these Women of Ladakh.

These Amazing Ladies in  Traditional Dresses were Photographed during the Winter Hemis Festival at Shrey, Ladakh in February.

rear view
Absolutely Gorgeous Rear View of The Turquoise Headgear

The Ladies are carrying Gifts for His Holiness , the Spiritual Head of The Hemis Monastery in Ladakh.

the face
Happy adorning the Magnificent Headgear

A fascinating expression of faith can be witnessed during the Winter Hemis Festival when devotees line up in hundreds to Offer Gifts to their Spiritual Leader His Holiness and be blessed by him.

gifts for his holiness
Beautiful and Happy Faces

Is it a coincidence that today also happens to be Women’s Day ( 8th of March 2016) ?

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LEH TEASER

Ladhakh is a unique region within the Northern most state of Jammu & Kashmir, India.

Leh is the capital of Ladakh and located at an altitude of 11480 feet ( 3500m)  in the lap of the lofty Snow Clad Himalayas.

This was my first trip to the region and was I excited.

A short one hour  flight connects Leh  to New Delhi .

Delhi T3 Airport
 0530 hrs at New Delhi Airport

Each region of India is wonderfully diverse and unique. Ladhakh is no exception and the change in attire and faces is apparent at  New Delhi Airport itself.

changing dress
The change in faces and clothes are apparent at the Boarding Gate itself

The Pilot announced the temperature was minus 10 degrees Centigrade, however I was overwhelmed by the snow covered Himalayas.

first look through the window
First Awesome look

Do observe  the Mountains in the foreground have no Snow and are absolutely barren.

The region of Ladhakh is known as a COLD DESERT.

 

snow peaks
Breathtaking view

Do await  more blogs here as well as at http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com.

This is as the Title says but a TEASER.

RED HEADS

In the vast riot of colours at Pushkar, I now select  Vermillion

( Red)  after Saffron as the centre of attraction.

All  pictures that follow  have Red Turbans won by the Men of Rajasthan as the central point of Focus.

Two other threads link all these pictures. One being that the people in the photographs are unaware they are within the cross hairs of a camera and the second is that besides the Turban another object in the Frame is Red too.

vermillion heads

Splash of Red

Diversity in a crowd.

red head
Red Eye watches

The men sport earrings too.

red turbans
Red Turbans

Hope you had fun in the splash of colour. Pictures speak, hope you are listening.

 

COLOURFUL SADHUS

Two kittens find comfort in the lap of a Sadhu in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. ( featured Image) .

Sadhus  usually renounce the world, adorn saffron clothes and are in many ways similar to Monks.

They are fascinating in many ways and a treat for photographers.

under the arch

Under the Arch

Seen through the doorway these Sadhus concentrate on an intense debate under the  Divine Tree ( do check out my blog bearing this title in my post http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com) .

The Trishul ( three pointed metal staff directly under the tree) and the Drum symbolize Lord Shiva.

Sadhus through a doorway
Under the Divine Tree

Narayan ( see the billboard in the background)  is a synonym for God in Hindi.

This  Colourful Dancing  Sadhu adorns a string of Skulls and balances himself on his toes.

He adopts the Cosmic dancing posture of Lord Shiva who is symbolized by the the drum and trishul ( directly above his head) .

Saffron Dance
Dance of Joy

All the pictures have been taken by me in Pushkar in order to celebrate the many facets of LIFE.

SAFFRON

The explosion of Colours at Pushkar is hard to capture through the lens of a Camera held by a mere mortal.

Selecting only one  colour, Saffron,  I open a small window to the amazing and Colourful  World of Pushkar. 

( Pushkar is a tiny town in the state of Rajasthan in India)

Do observe all the pictures carefully, they speak volumes. I have intentionally held back any explanations and comments.

 

Saffron Hard Rock cafe
Saffron Marigold
saffron turbans
Saffron Turbans and more

 

Back Side
Saffron Drapes

Do share your observations and I shall reveal a tale behind each picture.

Have a blast.

 

The Flight to Victory

Built about 1000 years ago , the QUTUB MINAR at Delhi is a UNESCO World heritage site.

You can check out on the history and other details on Wikipedia, hence will not repeat.

The pictures that follow track the FLIGHT to THE TOWER OF VICTORY.

approaching

Approaching the magnificent Minar.

If you are flying into Delhi you could be lucky to see the impressive Minar from your window.

moon
The Qutub Minar dwarfs the Moon and the Plane.

The tower was built to celebrate victory over the then ruler Prithviraj Chauhan.

Ruins of the monuments destroyed can still be seen in the Qutub Minar complex even today.Another blog on this aspect will follow.

plane
The Tallest Stone Tower of INDIA.

Delhi has seen many Maharajas, Sultans, Kings and Emperors.

The crown does not rest easy on the head.

Even the crown of the towering  Qutub Minar has  fallen and no longer adorns it’s head.

qutab
The crown as seen today.

The original Crown in Red Stone has today been installed in the furthest corner of the gardens in Oblivion.

Crest fallen
Crest fallen

The plane pulls away from history and gets ready to land at the airport of New Delhi.

landing lights
landing lights on.

Have a marvelous time in Delhi.

THE DEMONS

What is in  a name?

 A lot In India, miles of History , myths and fables which would give Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Avatar a run for their money.

Mahabaleshwar is a small town located in the hills  within the Western Ghats and 120 kms from Pune.

Mahabal literally means of GREAT STRENGTH. Atibal means EXCESSIVE STRENGTH.

Thus begins the story of two Demon brothers/ Rakshas ( Hindi) or Asuras

( symbolising evil) ,    Mahabal and Atibal.

Both the demons were brothers and as the names suggest extremely powerful and strong. Obsessed and drunk with power they wreaked havoc on all of humanity.

The God of Atibal
                                                            The entry to the  Atibaleswar Temple

Invoked by the prayers  of  the oppressed, LORD VISHNU slays the mighty Atibal after a prolonged and exhausting battle.( moral being that even great strength can come to naught if misused )

Now a shift to the present. There is a temple even today  called ATIBALESHWAR ( see the picture above)  near a far larger and revered MAHABALESHWAR temple in Kshetra Mahabaleshwar.

The architecture of the  temple is however unique and makes it stand apart from other temples of the Kshetra Mahabaleshwar.

Built like a Pagoda it even has the edges tweaked upwards. Have a look

Unusual to say the least
Unusual to say the least

Furthermore, mysteriously it is dedicated to Lord Siva, not Lord Vishnu.

The Nandi (the name of Lord Shiva’s vehicle in the form of  a BULL)  clearly indicates the ruling deity is LORD SHIVA.

Inside the temple premises

Inside the temple premises

The entire temple is made from a volcanic black stone . A characteristic of most temples of the region.

What is highly unusual  and surprising is the interiors are pitch black. Not a ray of light penetrates the thick black walls.

What is hidden inside?Was the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in former times ?  Have I read correctly?

The Nandi from inside the Atibaleshwar temple
The Nandi from inside the Atibaleshwar temple

It rains incessantly during the monsoons  in Mahabaleshwar and you can probably see this in the pictures as well. The rains are wonderful as they keep the tourists away too.

This statue is rather unusual and a presentation I have never seen in any other temple in India.

Cow with a calf
                                                                                Cow with a calf

It is indeed a mysterious temple and raises many unanswered questions.

The location of the  exit is equally strange and seems to be an improvisation to facilitate a thoroughfare.

The Exit and a beginning for some plants
                                                                      The Exit for us but a beginning for  plants

I  have to go back to Mahabaleshwar to tell you the story of the demon Mahabal and the other mysteries that cloak the Kshetra Mahabaleshwar.