Fort Cochin during monsoon - unbelievable sights and sounds

Fort Cochin is the old part of Cochin, established by Europeans who came in as traders. It has the oldest standing Church of India and magnificent old buildings which have been beautifuly and tastefully preserved, keeping the heritage character of this region in consideration. Fort Cochin during monsoons was one of the most beautiful places I have visited in India. The Jewish settlement is also closeby.

Gulmarg snowed out. Nature at its most beautiful

We are the luckiest souls in this universe to have been given this beautiful earth to live on. The only song which comes to my mind is - `ye kaun chitrakar hae?

Along the Highway

Maharani Temple with the Mohineshwar Shivalaya

St. Mary's Church

The Beautiful Kumbalgarh Fort

The construction of the Kumbalgarh Fort was started by the great ruler of Mewar, Rana Kumbha, in 1443. It is one of the largest fortifications in the world, its outer perimeter walls extending for 36 kilometers. The great warrior Rana Pratap was born in Kumbalgarh. The fort has the distinction of not having been won by any adversary. At present it is the most beautifully lit monument in India with one of the best light and sound shows in the country.

A watch tower.

An ancient Shiva temple in the fort probably built by Rana Kumbha.

Flowers in an ancient land of warriors and heroes

Kumbalgarh fort in the distance from the approach road.

Started for Dibrugarh in early afternoon, the delay was caused by my sleeping till 10.30 in the morning, the breakfast thus having to be converted into a brunch.

Surprise of surprises, we could spot the rare one horned Rhinoceros from the highway itself. You can see them in the distance in the swamps which is their natural habitat.

The Aravelis all around.

The blue of a small village within the fort complex contrasting with the ancient buildings.

The building where Maharana Pratap was born.

The citadel of the fort and the front walls lit up in the dark night. It is an unbelievable sight.

The fort walls lit up for kilometers on end - a golden necklace lying on the dark sands of the Aravilis

The front walls of the fort are lit for a duration of half an hour in the night, just after the light and sound show is over. It is a spectacle to be seen to be believed.

The plains of Marwar lying in the distance, the fort itself lies in Mewar.

The road which leads to the fort as seen from the top of the citadel.

The tea gardens are one of the most beautiful sites on earth. Nothing can beat them in beauty, the dark green of the tea plants imparts them a unique colour and beauty.

The walls of the fort and the gateway in the center. From the distance the fort walls shine out like a long golden necklase.

The walls of the fort and the monuments within.

The whtie of the temple contrasting with the golden of the fort. A star is also seen in the left upper part of the photograph, just above the bastion

The zig zag walls going off into the distance

This photo has been added to show the fort walls as they are seen in dayligh. These are the one which are lit up in the night.

Walls and fortifications

Rishikesh and Rajaji National Park, Feb' 2012

Our short trip of Rishikesh and Rajaji National Park. It was a wonderful trip which rejuvinated us all. We were very lucky to be able to spot a leopard while on a safari through the park, though it was at quite a distance from us and we could not take photographs. But the overall experience of being with green trees, a blue sacred river Ganges and mountains covered with forests was what was needed after spending months in the grind of a concrete city.

A group of Sambar deer looking at us in amazement

On a machan at the Rajaji National Park. We had an afternoon drive through the park lasting three and a half hours.

The ashrams along the banks of the Ganges, all coloured pink, have a mesmerising influence on the mind.

The beautiful and magical Ganges coming down from the mountains onto the plains at Rishikesh.

The drive through the forest in an open Gypsy was one of the best experiences of my life.

The evening Arti at the Parmarth Ashram on the Ganges at Rishikesh as seen from our hotel. Its sounds reverberated throughout the place enlightening the whole atmosphere.

The Ranakpur Temple Complex, Dist. Pali, Region Marwar, Rajasthan

The Ranakpur Temple Complex, District Pali, Region Marwar, Rajputana (Rajasthan)

The main Jain Shrine at Ranakpur. No wonder, Arab travellers to India just before and around 1000 AD, while looking at the beautiful temples dotting the whole landscape of the Subcontinent (from Kabul to Madurai), commented that `these do not appear appear to have been made by the hand of man, but by jinns comming from the sky'. Sadly most of them are lost forever due to the ravages of time and man but Rajasthan was relatively more lucky.

A great work of art.

A part of the beautiful temple.

Another unbelievably beautiful ceiling.

Beautiful descendents of those great souls who made what `jinns descending from the sky' could never have been able to create

It is really amasing how the craftsmen worked on stone so beautifully.

It was a wonderful feeling being inside this beautiful shrine and work of art.

Kumbalgarh fort in the distance from the approach road

The fort lit at night. It is one of the most beautiful spectacles in India. Rajasthan Toursim and Archeological Survey of India have done a wonderful job indeed

The main sanctum with the priest.

The whole building is lit by natural light, there were no points for artificial light within the temple.

Unbelievably beautiful ceiling.

Wonderful human figures on marble.

Bungalow where we stayed for our get together in Conoor in 2013

It was a bungalow of the colonial era in the midst of beautiful tea gardens on the slopes of the Nilgiri Mountains.

A beautiful flight of steps

The bungalow and its gardens. — at Conoor, Tamil Nadu.

The bungalow from afar on the slopes of the Nilgiris.

Udaipur Palace Museum

The City Palace Museum at Udaipur is one of the most fascinating places I have visited. It has two segments, the museum and the crystal gallery. The later is open to only a few visitors but is a must-see for anyone who visits Udaipur. The most wonderful part was the quality of upkeep of the whole complex and the extremely friendly guides as well as visitor's aids provided at the museums.

A room dedicated to Col. Tod. He was the first writer to document in detail the history of Rajputana while travelling around the region.

A series of doorways so beautifully made that they give the appearance of a series of mirror images.

A view of the palace and Udaipur city.

A view of Udaipur city from the palace.

Amasingly beautiful decoration on a wall.

Beautiful facade of a Jharokha

Beautiful glasswork in a room

Inside one section, an ancient courtyard.

Symmetry and beauty

The beautiful building of the City Palace Museum

The lake from the palace museum

The lake palace from top of Udaipur palace museum.

Symmetry and beauty

Dal Lake, Srinagar

This famous landmark of Kashmir is always so beautiful. This time most of it was cleaner then my earlier memories except the part that passes through habitation. The surroundings were equally enchanting.


Avantiswami Temple

Ruins of Avantiswami temple, Avantipur, Dist. Pulwama, Kashmir
A number of temples were built by king Avantivarman (AD 855- 883), the larger of these is a Vaishnava temple on the banks of river Jhelum (called Vitasta in the Rig Veda). It was destroyed subsequently and buried for hundreds of years till the British finally excavated it in the 1800s. Ruins of another temple dedicated to Shiva stand a short distance away.


Beautiful Coorg or Kodagu

Kodagu or Coorg is a district that nestles the Western Ghats in south western Karnataka. The people residing here have a unique culture different from all other people of the country, the Kodavas and Kodagu Arebhashe gowdas being the primary residents. Both men and women wear a unique traditional dress and they have certain religious practices which are also unique. Kodava is their primary language. The people of this district have a strong martial tradition and are one of those rare communities in India who can carry a light firearm (gun) without licence within their district. Coorg has given India two of its finest military officers one of India only two Field Marshals Field Marshal Kodandera `Kippera Madappa Cariappa (the other being Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw) and General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya who served as Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 in the crucial years leading up to the conflict with China in 1962. Gen. Thimayya was the only Indian to command an Infantry brigade in battle during World War II and is regarded as the most distinguished combat officer the Indian Army has produced. Our alma mater, St. Marys Academy, is situated on Cariappa Street in Meerut cantonment named after the renowned officer of the Indian Army.


Kashmir - What nature gave it and what man did to it

Nature gave it beauty, flowers, fruits, streams, lakes and rivers - man gave it guns, bombs, blood, religious fanaticism, deaths of innocent young men / women, terrorism, fear and oppression in return.


Assam - Travelling along Highway 37

I had travelled this road earlier also, but now going along it after 20 years was a new experience, some things remained the same, but some had changed forever - maybe just like me :) I had travelled on this road innumerable times, but as soon as I stood at this road marker, something stirred inside me on reading those names again¦..old memories rushed through my mind both these places are so close to my heart and will always remain so


Khursid Manzil...haveli of Baghpat Nawab Koukab Hamid ji

Khursheed Manzil, ancestral haveli of Nawab Kaukab Hamid of Baghpat. It is a beautiful example of Indo-Islamic architecture with some exotic work on stone. Nawab sahib is an aluminous of our school, St. Marys Academy and was the Minister of Tourism of Utter Pradesh during which tenure he launched the Mahabharata Project in Western UP...