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.

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ROOTS TO TABLE: FOOD & WINE

Monsoons are a wonderful time to visit the region around Nashik, home to  majority of  the Wine makers of India. The lush green scenic valleys, mountains  and countryside are a sight to behold.

We are at the top of the mountain which is home to  the Pause Vineyards.

Vineyards in India

Vineyards of Pause Wines

vineyards drape the mountains

Vineyards drape the mountains

A gentle cool breeze , natural beauty and a glass of the finest Wine from Pause Wines: what more can you ask for? Hema this is the land for you.

The picture that follows was specially  taken with you in mind.This is the Pause Vineyard , 25 kms from Dindori.

Sauvigan Blanc, my friends favourite

Sauvignon Blanc, my friend Hema’s  favourite

The grapes for wine are relatively smaller than the grapes cultivated for consumption as fruits. They are marked and segregated based on the type of wine they would be used to make.

close look

close look

small grapes for wine making

small grapes for wine making

While the reason for the trip was to visit the vineyards what amazed me was to see how our vegetables were grown. I share this joy with you. The winery of Pause Wines is home to these vegetable farms as well.

A large number of the vegetables are grown in enormous green houses which are irrigated by  modern drip irrigation systems.You can see one such green house in  the picture on the right .  A  brinjal farm can be seen in the  foreground .

brinjal

brinjal

the flower of brinjal or aubergine

the flower of brinjal or aubergine

brinjal farm

brinjal farm

It was educative to see  Capsicum/Bell Peppers grow on creepers growing up to 21 feet.( 7 m) . Do observe the beautiful flowers. In Hindi we call them Shimla Mirch.  The weather is as in Shimla; comfortable  24 C.

capsicums/ bell peppers

capsicums/ bell peppers

capsicum or bell pepper flower

capsicum or bell pepper flower

We have often seen vegetables sold in markets, but seeing them being cultivated on this  scale  was a first for me .  Now seeing the brinjals and capsicums  being sold by these charming vegetable vendors  on the way back had donned a  new meaning.

these vegetables are then sold by these pretty vegetable vendors

these vegetables are then sold by these pretty vegetable vendors

Shimla Mirch or Capsicums

Shimla Mirch or Capsicums

Could we leave without tasting the wine which was paired with the local cuisine using these Farm fresh vegetables.

poster outside the cafe inspired the title of this article

poster outside the cafe inspired the title of this article

The chef from Pause Wines  insisted on pairing the wine  with the local Maharashtrian food.It not only looks great , it was the best meal of the trip. The Brinjal was the best I have ever had .It is the second dish from the left in the picture below.

An award winning wine with super food

An award-winning wine with super food

The Local bread is called Bhakri, which  is hand rolled and then cooked over a wood fire. It is made from Indian millets called Jowar or Bajra. We were fortunate to see them grow as well. They are rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

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Bhakri

Bajra or Pennisetum glaucum

Bajra farm

It is very rare to be able to experience  food and wine  from Roots to Table, the wine tasting festival had enabled precisely that.

Exit from highway to the Winery

Exit from highway to the Winery

These lovely  cows  in rust accompany us  on our way back to Nashik.

back home

back home

The natural beauty will leave you spellbound. Hundreds of waterfalls and rivers gurgling will keep you mesmerized on the drive back. Take a break and visit the vineyards NOW .

waterfalls

waterfalls

monsoon rivers

monsoon rivers

VAMPIRES VEGETABLES and VINEYARDS

We are off to the vineyards of PAUSE wines  located near Nashik to take part in a wine tasting festival/ event.The vineyards are located ( as are most famous Indian  vineyards)  near a village town called Dindori .( 15 kms from Nashik)

It’s my first trip ever to a Vineyard and a Winery in India.Thus was  bubbling ( pun intended)  with excitement.

there are vineyards all the way
there are vineyards all along the way

Travelling by road enables you to discover so much more than other modes of travel.This trip was no different and we were in for many wonderful and scary  surprises.Do see the mynah bird to the left of the buffalo.

Indian water buffalo beckons
Indian water buffalo beckons

The closest translation of  the Hindi word ” Vetal “  I can think of is “Vampire”.

Folklore mentions that Vampires or Vetals hand upside down ( like bats) on the branches of large Ficus ( Banyan, Peepul  etc.)  trees and possess travelers if they stay overnight under the tree.This tree does look very eerie? What do you say?

abode of vampires
abode of vampires

It was not a figment of my imagination as the board reads ( I translate) ” Holy Abode of the Vampire Baba “.

the board clearly states it's the abode of a vampire baba
the board clearly states it’s the abode of a vampire baba

The driver stepped on the accelerator as he declined to stop the car at this spot.

I barely managed to photograph these fellow travelers who were rushing to the vineyards and away from the “abode of vampires”.

sheep
sheep

We decided to stop and  have a chilled glass of Chenin ( white wine)  paired with delicious roasted ” papads” and peanuts.The papads are made of a millet called Jowar and thus gluten free and very healthy.

somras
somras

Somras is the name for the drink of the Gods , we mortals call it Wine.

The head is a bit cloudy now as the one glass turned into many glasses of wine. Thus this  posting ends for now  and we will continue in a merrier mood.

Vineyards and Vegetables need to wait.

Capsicum Annum
Capsicum Annum

The featured image is the flower of a vegetable called Capsicum/ Bell pepper/ Paprika .More on it in Chapter 2.

MAGIC UNFOLDS ON NASHIK HIGHWAY

Lord Ganesh or the Elephant headed God is the first God to be worshiped as he is the remover of obstacles. The featured image was photographed on the mountainside of this magical drive.

Nature and it's Rock Gardens
Nature and it’s Rock Gardens

As we travel by road to Nashik, the beautiful countryside opens up like a flower blossoming.Do read Chapter 1 of this series on my blog: http://www.enchantedforests.wordpress.com.

the magic of nature
the magic of nature

It is extremely fertile land and its like driving through a fruit orchard and vegetable garden closely entwined.

The drive is in large measure through the Western Ghats which had me bedazzled.

rolling fields as we descend from the ghats
rolling fields as we descend from the ghats

It is possible to have an amazing feast from the land. I am left ogling as we drive past  various fruit and vegetable farms .

I spotted this fish farm with a peacock ( do spot it on the left in the open grounds)  dancing in the drizzle as we approached the valley.

fish farm and peacock
fish farm and peacock

The western ghats are the catchment zones  for many rivers one of which I photographed with a lovely bridge across it.

rivers
river with a bridge across

The monsoons have been bountiful and the countryside reflects its best in a coat of green.

sheep
sheep as fellow travelers

I had still not recovered from the sight of seeing Pomegranates when I spotted these   fabulous farms of tomatoes.

Am compelled  to add on a  Chapter 3 of this magical drive. So remain with me as the magic unfolds its wings.

tomatoes
tomatoes till as far as the eye can see
a closer  look at juicy tomatoes
a closer look at juicy tomatoes