Walking tour of the bicycle capital of Europe – Amsterdam

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It was around evening and we were exploring Amsterdam and enjoying its beautiful canal side. Houses around canal started to get lit from inside. The crimson sun was getting overwhelmed by dark clouds on the azure blue canvas with canal houses in foreground. Its rays were scattered all over the canal waters. It was a picture-perfect scene – very soothing and very relaxing. We tried to click what our eyes were seeing, but in vain.

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Ghumakkar Insights: A Gavaksh to the Ancient Indian Temple Architecture

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A close look, in chronological order, at the evolution of sacred structures will reveal that The first structures of worship emerged in the form of caves around 2nd century B.C. It started with Buddhist and Jain monks carving their meditation cells (vihara) and meeting places (chaityas) on rocky mountain faces. These cave complexes were usually present at secluded places to provide isolation and quiet surroundings for meditation. There are no evidences of Hindu cave complexes of the early era. It is believed, at that time, yajna and vedic rituals were more popular among the Hindu devotees. There may have been temporary wooden, mud or brick structures, as symbols of piety, which got destroyed with time. However, there are no evidences to suggest that these structures were anything like the classical Hindu temples that followed.

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The Berry lores of Kumaon

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Soon after leaving Patal Bhuvaneshwar, we were on a scenic road lined up with shrubs laden with a rich harvest of juicy berries, the golden Hisalu (Rubus Ellipticus), the purple Kilmoda and the red Kafals (Myrica Esculenta). Even the desire to reach Jageshwar well in time could not stop us from taking a break here and there and accepting nature’s bounty of delicious offerings.

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Patal Bhuvaneshwar caves: Treasure trove of Indian Mythology

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While we were planning the Kumaon itinerary, research on the net did not convince us to include the cave complex in the trip. Few bloggers felt it was unsafe, slippery, and muddy and for those who liked it, I was not sure if it was due to their religious inclination or were the caves really worth a visit for a secular tourist.

I discussed these apprehensions with my friend Mona, who belongs to that region. She insisted that we must include them in the itinerary and added that some of her old relatives visited the caves and found them scintillating. So even with all the reservations, Patal Bhuvaneshwar was not completely striked out from the plan.

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The honest Junagadh

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The room was clean and spacious matching with railway superintendent’s comment. As soon as the kids lied down, they fell asleep. The train finally arrived at mid-night. Luckily, by that time the kids managed to sleep for a while and looked better.

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