Varanasi

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I do not care for the ‘truths’ they have faith in or the ‘lies’ they spread. This is not the first cremation that I am descrying nor shall it be the last, but in this moment, I’ve understood the human endeavor of fighting death with life. The answer to the fears of our faith is in welcoming it with our arms wide open and embracing it like a long lost brother. It’ll be perhaps in this gesture that the faithful shall be granted nirvana.

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Around a 1000 strong crowd has gathered to see what is a daily ritual but is as powerful and enchanting as it must have been a 1000 years ago. The spiritual seekers have loaded the boats – some to get a better view, some for better pictures and some for their beliefs – an adventure of a lifetime. The head priest is crying hoarse asking people to sit down calmly – all the skills of a masterful showman.

So much for the lonely moksha… (sigh)

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Skydiving Experience

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I opted for the tandem jump. On the assigned day, I reached Mysore airport. Staff from Kakini enterprises, organizers of the skydiving arrived later. There were about a dozen participants that day and my turn was at the end. That day’s group had some air force personnel and some adventure seekers like me.

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A Fun-filled Weekend at Mandarmani

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Every year during the Durga puja we plan a short trip to some nearby places. This year it was no different as we planned a two nights stay in Mandarmani. It is a small seaside hamlet situated in the Midnapur district of West Bengal.

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Visit to Lothal near Ahmedabad : An introduction to Harappan Civilization

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Excavation site is walking distance of half km from there. Sun is at its peak but cool breeze was maintaining the temperature. At most 20-30 people were there including the staff and visitors. We first visited the Archaeological Museum and it’s better to visit museum first because it contains a lot of information about the site and that will help you to understand and visualize the whole architecture at the site. As photography is prohibited in the museum so no snaps are available inside of it.

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A weekend trip to digha. The Journey.

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When in Doubt, ask again. Ask someone else if you feel that the shmuck you just asked for directions was an inebriated nincompoop. I believe that even now, in the age of GPS and other bond gadgetry, the ultimate GPS is still the roadside paan wallah. Such is the level of accuracy & dependability, that i think they should be hired to proofread the local Google maps data.

You stop by a tapri/ khokha (as referred to in mumbai), light up a smoke, order a sweet paan, strike up a light conversation about how good or bad the weather is, and that’s it. Camaraderie set. The paan wallah will now easily divulge even the most complex info about the routes to take, routes to avoid, probable shortcuts & other awesome places to see in between. Screw you, GMaps !! I got my own local wiki/GPS/navigator/tour-guide.

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Little Rann of Kutch…the land of the Indian Wild Ass

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It was well past 2PM when we finally reached the camp area,our stomachs had started growling by then. The camp is surrounded by vast desert area and tidbits of small villages nearby.We quickly retired to our colourful round shaped huts with straw roofs,got fresh and dashed for lunch.The lunch served by the hotel staff was a bland affair and we couldn’t find too many vegetables included.

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Experience Darjeeling Toy Train Joyride

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Recognized as the first and most important link for traveling within the town, it offers a great ride on a heritage mode of transport. You can absorb the most magnificent view of the mountains, visit beautiful villages, and local markets on this unique ride. The facilities on the journey of this private trip include basic essentials like water bottles. On the other hand, you may not find services regarding food and drinks or any kind of accommodation. Just take a trip through the hilly region and grasp the most picturesque view of nature through the windows in the Darjeeling Toy Train.

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गढ़वाल घुमक्कडी: कर्णप्रयाग – विष्णुप्रयाग – बद्रीनाथ

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चूँकि आज हमे सिर्फ़ बद्रीनाथ ही पहुँचना था (जो की यहाँ से मात्र 125 किमी ही है), इसलिए हम संगम पर काफ़ी देर बैठे मस्ती करते रहे. संगम का आनंद लेकर और दोनो नदियों के जल से विशुद्धि व उर्जा पाकर हम लोग आगे की यात्रा पर निकलने को तैय्यार थे. ढाबे पर नाश्ता करने के बाद, हम लोग सीधे बद्रीनाथ की बस लेने आ पहुँचे. थोड़ी देर इंतेज़ार के बाद, एकाध बसें आई पर सब खचाखच भारी हुई, पाँव रखने तक की जगह नही थी, यात्रा सीज़न मे ये एक आम नज़ारा है.

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अयोध्या नगरी – प्रथम भाग

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शायद उस नन्हे से टीले को वे कोई बड़ा पर्वत ही समझ रहीं थीं और बड़ी खुश हुईं. टीले के ऊपर भी एक मंदिर है, जिसमें सीता-राम का नयनाभिराम विग्रह है. मणि पर्वत के बारे में जनश्रुति है कि हिमालय से संजीवनी बूटी ले कर लंका जाते हुए हनुमान जी ने पर्वत-खंड को रख कर यहाँ विश्राम किया था. अन्य लोकोक्ति यह कहती है कि राम विवाह में राजा जनक जी ने इतने आभूषण इत्यादि दिए थे कि अयोध्या लाने पर उनका एक पर्वत बन गया, जिसे मणि पर्वत कहते हैं. मणि पर्वत से नीचे उतर कर मैंने महसूस किया कि माताजी के मन में पर्वत चढ़ने से थोड़ी थकान छाई हुई है. शायद जिसे मैं नन्हा-सा टीला समझ रहा था, वह उनके लिए किसी पर्वत से कम नहीं था.

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