1. Festive mood: Ganesh Chaturthi
We picked Lakshmi's short and sweet right up,capturing the vivid colors and festive frenzy! In her words..
Frenzied drum beats as towering Ganeshas are paraded in autos ,crowds beating the rains and shopping for their puja paraphernalia,chaos wearing the cloak of a celebration - this is Ganesh Chaturthi,according to me the most frenzied festival.
Talking about her walk down Malleshwaram, which is the hub of all the action much like Jayanagar in the south of Bangalore, she watches as craftsmen give the final touches to the idols and people take their pick from the several sizes, designs and colors. She says
And this is just the beginning as the loud pandals, the processions and the immersions are yet to happen. Today however Bangaloreans forgot the slush and the rains and flooded the market, looking for their Gowri and Ganesha.I was in Malleswaram, where the action happens.
For her detailed write up, Click here
2. Terrakotta temples: Bishnupur
From gods to idol carvings of a different kind, Anuradha's travels talk about the Terrakotta temples of Bishnupur. An unexplored little town, she goes on to say
Bishnupur is home to many terracotta temples spread across the town, peeping out at every nook and corner and sometimes standing tall in vast plains, some by the numerous small lakes that punctuate the town and some amongst the town, a part of its daily life by way of play ground for children and meeting places for adults.
Her attention to details and quest for information, stands testimony to the intricate details mentioned in her write up, quiet like the intricacy of the carvings themselves. Like this one
Bishnupur was the capital of Malla kings of Mallabhum, or the warrior kings, which was an important dynasty that ruled Bengal for a long time with its beginnings in late 7th century that lasted till early 19th century. This is more than 1100 years and 55 generations. The intricate work on the walls depicting stories from Ramayan, Mahabharata and Puranas along with the depiction of daily life leaves you in total awe. The designs carved in these temples continue to inspire the Baluchari Sari weavers of the town, who even today pick up their designs from the walls of these temples.
Every detail so well put down, to read the complete write up Click here.
3. Sikkim: The land of Bhaichung Bhutia
From idols we move on to a state with a different kind of idolizing, a land very much a part of our borders but feels like a land unknown. A well weaved in experience penned down by Charukesi is my next read. Her words, her way
In the time I spend in Sikkim, India truly feels far away – and it is not just about what the people say. Like everywhere else in the country, kids are out on the streets but it is not cricket they are playing. It is football that rules here, the way it rules the streets of perhaps only Goa. It is Baichung Bhutia who smiles from posters and hoardings all over the market, kicking a careless ball and seeking votes for the reality dance competition he was once part of; from Soccer King to Dancing King, they proclaim.
As she travels across the state thinking about how different people here are from the rest of the country, she throws light on facts from election stats to the royal family rule in the state.Moving on she cant help but admire the beauty and landscape around her. She describes them...
The next evening, I am strolling on MG Road, the cobble-stoned promenade in Gangtok where locals and visitors, young and old alike meet, shop and drink. I am here to shop for souvenirs – local tea and cherry brandy mainly – to take back to ‘India’ with me. Kanchenjunga, the venerable protector deity is an invisible presence in the far distance, revealing itself only in the post-monsoon winter months.
A blend of experiences her own and the locals, shopping and luring landscapes; she wraps up with details for all those planning to take the high road to Sikkim soon. For the detailed write up Click here.
4. Mana: The "Last Village of India "
I wrap up this weeks top picks high up in the hills, 3 km away from the popular pilgrimage point - Badrinath, is the little hill town of Mana; believed to be the last village of India before the Tibet border. Aravind keeps it short, with pictures lining the blog, he describes this little hamlet
The village is also closely related to several Mahabharata events. It is at this place where Pandavas crossed over to heaven. While Yudishitira reached heaven alive, others died on their way. And there are Temples constructed at places where they fell down.
Mentions about Bhimpul, he says
An important place is “Bhimpul”, a natural rock bridge where Saraswati River gushes through a narrow gorge. It is said that Bhima put this rock on the River to Help Draupadi to cross the River!!
And one of the most interesting ones to catch my attention was this
Next to Bhimpul is a shop which claims as the “Last shop of India”!!
For the detailed writeup Click Here
Another week, with another set of interesting, unique and unexplored places has come to an end. While i get started on my next journey, get your hands on the map and start planning!
Photo: Lakshmi, Anuradha Goyal, Charukesi, Aravind GJ