The Taj Mahal in Agra, a World Heritage site, was built by Shah Jahan (1628–58) as memorial to his wife Mumtaj Mahal. Perhaps not…Read More
As mentioned above, on the first day floral tributes were paid at the Dargah and on the second day at the Temple. The second day was also a “Mela Day”, with lots of fun and frolic at the large park on the southern side of the monument.Read More
The village head, Ram Dayal requested us to help with the health-care, which was non-existent in the village. The nearest place to get even the basic medicines was Talha, which was twenty five kms away.Read More
We thanked the museum staff for the courtesy extended to us. We went to admire the lush green Boboli Gardens, the mid sixteenth century garden style which incorporated longer axial developments, wide gravel avenues, a large amphitheater built of stone and the lavish statuary and fountains.Read More
Zurich (“Zu-reich” in German means too rich), the business and cultural capital of Switzerland, lies at the north end of Zurich Lake, in the…Read More
As we had a flight to board the next morning, we left Canterbury at four in the evening, passed through the Dover Castle, saw the port through which the majority of cross-channel traffic passes and reached our friend’s house at Norwood Green, right on time to grab some good liquor and a delicious Punjabi meal.
After a long day’s excursion, soaked in the mystic grandeur of Canterbury, floating in the splendid aroma of the fine French wine served by our hosts, what could be more blissful than to slip into a warm bed with one’s adorable wife.Read More
Despite the grandeur of ISKON Temple, the Banke Bihari Temple, built in 1864 is still the most revered and vibrant shrine in Vrindavan. The temple was originally established by Swami Haridas, a great Krishna devotee, known for his soulful devotional bhajans (was also the guru of the famous musician Tansen). He discovered the sacred deity of Banke Bihari (also popularly known as Thakur ji) at Nidhivana, where Banke Bihari was originally worshipped.
The deity was moved to Vrindavan on completion of the temple in 1864. The most interesting thing about this temple is that, unlike most of the other temples, the curtain is not left open. The curtain is put shut every few seconds and drawn back with a great chanting of Thakur ji. This is probably done with a view to shroud the icon for a moment. It is believed that the brilliance of eyes of Thakur ji can make a person unconscious, if seen for too long a stretch. Another notable feature is that the lotus feet of the deity can be seen only once a year, on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls sometimes in April / May.
Lucerne (Luzern in German), is situated on the western tip of Lake Lucerne, which lies at the geographical and spiritual heart of Switzerland, where…Read More
It was close to 9.00 p.m. and with hunger cramps, I told Rajah to stop at a good eating place in the next town en-route. We landed at a small time restaurant – Shanti Bhawan (?) at Sayalgudi, a very small Panchayat town. The place looked clean, but the restaurant owner told us that the place was “full”. There were around 40 Ayappa Swami Devotees already seated and they were to be served first and our waiting time could be more than half an hour. While talking to the owner I was surprised to see the pictures of Kabaa, the holiest place for the Muslims along with some of the Hindu Gods. I asked him if it was a Hindu hotel. He said it was a Muslim Hotel. When I pointed to the wall hangings, he said “Sir, we worship all the Gods”. I was touched by his reply to the hilt and almost embraced him. I wish people all over the country had the similar feelings and then this divide between the religions would probably be non-existent. Thankfully the things appeared to be much better in Tamil Nadu as people of all the religions eat the same food, drink same toddy, speak Tamil and wear the same dress – lungi / dhoti and shirt.
Outside the restaurant, a group of Swamis (devotees of Lord Ayappa) were standing. I was told that they were coming from somewhere in North Tamil Nadu (after a couple of drinks, one tends to forget the names sometimes) and were heading for Kanyakumari,Read More
Although all the Gurdwaras and temples have an equal reverence, some of them do leave an ever lasting impression. One of these holy places…Read More
I had heard of Isle of Wight way back in 1973 during my first visit to England. I was lunching with a Gujju friend,…Read More
My wife is a person of few words; very few words. She rarely asks for anything and whenever she does, it becomes a commandment…Read More