THE ARTISAN

The featured image shows the beautiful Spinning wheel with a wooden Parrot and the omnipresent and multipurpose utensil Lota ( do read my blog  http:.//travelwithmukul.wordpress.com titled LOTA).

The weaving artisans of Rajasthan convert the fluffy cotton snow balls into beautiful pieces of textile or art.

brilliant colours
A blast of colour woven by the magical Artisans

Pictures of the master crafstman  were taken near the village of Ranaser near Kichan , Rajasthan.

He sets up the spinning wheel and warping machine in his courtyard to take advantage of the glorious Winter Sun.

the spinning wheel
Getting Organized

The cotton is dyed into colours and then woven into fabric on this PitLoom. Observe the beautiful rope in the foreground.

pitloom
The Pit loom

The Lovely Eco friendly Barn and Home made from twigs and mud.

the eco friendly home
Organic Home and Barn

The Weaver or Artisan above lives in the harsh and arid Desert of Rajasthan located between Phalodi and Jodhpur .

THE MANDOR LOTUSES

The Mandor Gardens are home not only to Beautiful Monuments ( do see my previous blogs Magnificent Mandor and Amazing Mandor ) but to these gorgeous flowers as well.

An Egret in flight  and Water Hen ( foreground)  share space with these wondrous flowers which inhabit the waterways at The Mandor Gardens.

waterhen and egret in flight
The Lotus Waterways of Mandor

A close up reveals the Dinner Plate sized leaves which provide shelter to Fish and other aquatic animals.

They in turn attract water birds like Egrets and Herons for whom they are  food under the dinner plate.

The Flowers rise above the water levels with the rising Sun. One lotus is still struggling to make space for itself.

baby pink.jpg
Baby Pink Lotuses

This architects of the past were probably inspired by the Lotus while creating this memorial to the Kings and Queens of Marwar.

the inverted lotus
Mandor architecture Inspired by the Lotus

Besides the baby Pink Lotuses there are many which are Purely White and have not even a tinge of Pink.

water hen and lotuses
Snow White Lotuses

The buds of the Lotus emerge from the water supported by sinuous stalks and bloom as the Sun rises.

the bud amongst leaves
A Solitary Bud

This post was created at the request of a fellow blogger.Thus keep sending your views as the interaction inspires to seek and search for beauty in our surroundings.

MAGNIFICENT MANDOR

 

Nestled in the palm of Rocky mountains is a conglomerate of beautiful Memorials, forts , temples and a Museum  called Mandor.

sleepy mandor
Mandor Station today

A mere 9 kms from Jodhpur, Rajasthan  lies Magnificent Mandor.

This sleepy village-town was once the capital of the powerful Rajputana Kingdom of Marwar before it shifted to Jodhpur in the 15th century.

rocks of the past
Remnants of the Past

The majority of the fabulous buildings are located within the Mandore Gardens. The Lotus waterways dissecting the Gardens were beautiful as the flowers were blooming in various colours of white, pink and blue.

Bees can be seen seeking the sweet nectar of the flowers and waterbirds look for fish which hide under the large plate-like leaves of the lotus.

waterways of lotuses
Waterways adorned with Flowers dissect the Mandore Gardens.

The  spectacular memorials/cenotaphs or Devals ( in the local Language) are a tribute to the brave Rajput Kings who ruled over this once rich and prosperous land.

The typical sloping arches are a signature feature of Rajput architecture.

cenotaph 3
The memorials of a glorious past

This well preserved and magnificent Cenotaph made from Red Sandstone resembles a temple and exhibits a gorgeously decorated  central spire.

towering memorials
Towering Cenotaphs

The interiors and temple like memorial follows the ancient Indian principles of “Vaastu” which keeps in mind the five elements of Nature.

The Winter Sun permeates every niche and corner of the decorated interiors eliminating the need of artificial lights.

 

inside view of the deval
Beautiful Interiors

The glorious past of the region is truly and well represented in Mandor.

The featured image is a stone  sculpture of one of the several Hindu Gods that adorn and protect the Deval of Maharaja Ajit Singh ( do see the previous blog for details)

Fortunately better sense prevailed and we did not give it a miss despite being constrained for time as we rushed to Osian and beyond.

( do read THE ENCHANTING GOATS OF OSIAN at http://www.enchantingforests.wordpress.com)

 

AMAZING MANDOR

Mandor is today a tiny township located about 9 kms from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.

Strategically cradled between rocky mountains it was once the capital of  the mighty Kingdom of Marwar in the 6th century.

The Mandor Gardens which houses numerous monuments from the past is a delightful destination for any traveller.

the mandore cenotaphs
Mandor Gardens

Ruins of a Fort still adorn the hill to remind us of an era long gone.

The featured image  is of the magnificent Cenotaph or Deval dedicated to Maharaja Ajit Singh and was built in the 18th Century.

This blog is focused on the  stone sculptures of animals that adorn the temple like  Deval  ( Cenotaph) of Maharaja Ajit Singh of Marwar.

Stone sculptures adorn the exterior of the Deval in a systematic and well thought out manner. Crocodiles adorn the base and double up as Rain water spouts as well.

 

crocodiles form the base level
The Crocodiles form the base

Elephants are placed at the edge of every corner as if to guard the departed from Intruders.

They represent the second tier of defense and are placed at one level above the crocodiles.

elephants
The elephants

The tigers( or lions)  are placed at the highest level of the Cenotaphs and are given due respect as they protect the departed souls of the Kings.

Tigers on top
Tigers on top

This hierarchy of animals is replicated in temples representing the wonder of Ancient Indian architecture across the Indian subcontinent.

Mandor  was known as Mandavyapur in the times of the Ramayan ( 1500-2500 BC) and was the fabled home to the Queen of Ravan, Mandodri.

CONTROVERSIAL BYET DWARKA

The following pictures have been prompted by a debate raging  in the Indian Parliament for the last week. The debate is focussed on this Island, Byet Dwarka in the state of Gujarat, India.

Am shocked that ministers of the Central Government have been here and yet this is the state of a lovely region left to ruin.

 

Okha
Boats abut the road at Okha
Jetty at Beyt dwarka
The crumbling jetty and the ferries
Transport at Beyt dwarka
Transport at the Jetty
Agony
Agony for the Old and Infirm
Beyt Dwarka
On way to the temple
Main Entrance to the temple
The entrance to the main temple
garbage on the Island as seen from the ferry
Garbage decorates the coastline of the Island

Obviously Democracy has crumbled as the Parliamentarians are blind to this appalling state of Affairs.

ARCHWAYS OF TIME

The beautifully painted  doorway and  numerous ARCHWAYS lead to the outer courtyard of the  OLD RANGJI temple at Pushkar.

The main doorway and multiple arches
The main doorways and the archways of time

People come and go through these ancient arches of time . Each archway is symbolic and you must cross each one of them to reach the Lord.

The lady in florescent Orange adorns three symbols of a married woman a Bindi ( on the forehead) , a Mangalsutra (a necklace of gold and beads)  and bangles.

Through the arches of time
Multiple archways built over the centuries

The final archway frames the  sanctum sanctorum . You can glimpse the brass flagstaff through the doorway as musicians sing in praise of the Lord under the final arch.

A beautiful larger than life statue of Lord Vishnu  inside the temple depicts him lying on a multi headed serpent afloat the Ocean of Time. ( Hinduism is steeped in symbolism)

through the final arch
View of the temple under the final Arch

The Old Rangji Temple in the heart of Pushkar City is an old temple dedicated to Lord Krishna the 8th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Built primarily in the Deccan style of Architecture it has been influenced  by  Rajasthan as well.

The wall around the  inner courtyard has numerous sculptures and paintings which depict ancient myths and  fascinating tales from the scriptures.

the final gate to the sanctum sanctorum
The doorway to the Inner courtyard

Do observe the three symbols above the doorway. You will see them repeatedly at Temples devoted to Lord Vishnu.

The picture is of a wall painting above the arch photographed in the Featured Image.

Shank Chakra Tilak

Chakra Tilak Shank

Leaving you with these auspicious symbols about which I will write in a blog at a later date.

 

 

 

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.

FERRIS WHEELS

The Camel plus Cattle Fair at Pushkar is a magnificent representation of Rural Rajasthan .

Colours, religious fervour and the predominant agricultural way of life are showcased beautifully in this annual festival.

As Rural India pours into Pushkar during the month of Kartik , so do International visitors from across the Globe come to witness this marvelous spectacle unfold.

Ferris Wheels are part of the Celebration of Life at Pushkar.

A stall selling agricultural implements in the foreground of a Giant Wheel.

the ferris wheel during the day

The Ferris Wheel during the day

You could hardly recognize the Ferris wheel at night as lights dominate the landscape.The caption below is the translation from the signboard.

mahalaxmi mega trade fair
Mahalaxmi Mega Trade Fair

Could be a scene from Encounters of the Third Kind.

ferris wheel at night
Dazzling Lights of the Giant Wheels

The Charming Fair at Pushkar does not permit you to rest your camera for even a second.

The amazing visual sights will overpower your senses relentlessly.

Keep a watch out as I share the explosion of Colour and Joy through these blogs.

GHATS OF FAITH

Pushkar is a tiny town near the city of Ajmer in the state of Rajasthan in North-West India.

Steeped in legend it a Holy City and home to the only temple devoted to the Creator of the Universe, Lord Brahma.

One week during the month of Kartik ( usually November) and the town is bursting at its seams as devotees flock in thousands in an unparalleled expression of Faith.

the bridge over the lake

The bridge or dam at one end of the Pushkar lake

Prayers are offered to the Gods and a dip in the Holy waters during this time is supposed to wash away the sins of the past.

Devotees throng all   52 Ghats ( the steps leading to the lake) of Pushkar turning them into a riot of colour.

the colours of the ghats
The colours at the Ghats

The intense devotion and Faith can only be experienced if you are at Pushkar during the annual  Pushkar Fair.

The Old throng the Ghats to take a dip in the lake and attain salvation.

bathing at changing at the ghats
Changing after a dip in the Holy Lake

A trip to Pushkar is a feast both for the eyes and the soul.

Be logged on as the Magic of Pushkar is unveiled.

Pushkar is accessible from Delhi and Jaipur by Road and Train ( upto Ajmer which is 11 km away) . Both Delhi and Jaipur have International Airports.