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Showing posts from October, 2016

Udupi On Foot - Laid Back & Organized

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Introduction

Udupi is a small city on the Karnataka coast famous for three things: the cuisine, the Krishna Mutt and the Manipal Institutes. We explored this neat and beautiful place during the Diwali season; it was pretty much non-festive though. The plans were to be based in Udupi and explore some places close by, but the intermittent rains meant that we had to ditch other plans and focus on Udupi for a good two days. What that lead to was a steady liking for the place and now a latent wish to 'settle down' there in the future.

The expanse of the Krishna Mutt ... ... the Chariots on the left and Madhav Pond in the foreground

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The Untouted Bus Stop

It was 5:30pm on the day of the Diwali Padva (new year) by the time we got down from the bus at the Udupi Bus Station - the upper one where the intercity buses halt - merely two and a half hours from the bustling tourist centre of Murudeshwara. It was already a long day. We had left early in the morning from Haldipur (near Hon…

Ujjain Simhast - An Experiential Experiment

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The Experiment

As far as I know myself, I've never been excited for attending a major religious congregation of any kind. Frankly, I've never been excited to be anywhere close to places that expect massive throngs of people. I prefer the quiet and the calm almost as a rule. Despite all this, in the scorching heat of May, I found myself in the middle of a crowd of millions who had thronged by the banks of the Kshipra at Ujjain - a part of the Simhast Kumbh Mela, 2016.


The flag flies high ...

A procession of tribal folk from Gujarat makes way through the crowd
I'm not sure why I accepted the invite - Shilpa, a traveler/photographer friend was traveling there - maybe, just maybe to let go and explore my limits unhindered. I'm not sure. All I know now is that for one and a half day I was part of something huge.

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The Start Of Something ... En-masse

We arrived at Ujjain by lunch-time. The hordes of pilgrims were already streaming in along with us. The barricaded traffic…

The Majestic Sun Temple Of Modhera

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Introduction

The Solanki Dynasty of Gujarat has left behind a sample set of amazing architecture. The Rani Ki Vav of Patan has already made it to the World Heritage Site list. The Sun Temple of Modhera, artistically and in scale, is not far behind too. The monument has three sub-structures: the Kund (stepped-pond), the Sabhamandap (assembly-hall) and the Gudhamandap (sanctum). The structures are aligned in perfect symmetry in the east-west direction.

The view of the complex ... ... Kunda in the foreground, Sabhamandap follows ... the Gudhamandap can be seen through the Sabhamandap
The construction of this temple, located by the banks of the river Pushpavati, is attributed to King Bhimdev (1) Solanki from the early 11th century. The temple was damaged during the raids of Mahmud Ghazni. As of today, the temple is just a monument devoid of actual worship. A smaller, modern temple exists next to the Sabhamandap where the worship is now practiced.

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The Kund

The Kund is the first struc…