Monday 20 November 2017

 Reference map of travel from Pushkar to Chittor, then Bundi, down to Ujjain, and off to Omkareshwar.

Sunday 19 November 2017

  A sample of two sacred river centers in the state of MP, India. November 2017.

Ujjain and Omkareshwar have both river systems that are sacred to Hinduism. Ujjain is a major modern urban center as well as having a river that's a pilgrimage site for Hindus.

 Sacred river at Ujjain where pilgrims bath at the Ghats.

 Omkareshwar in contrast is an island village surrounded by water. A short film depicts
sacred/secular activity.

I visited many temples in Ujjain, this one has two black stone towers with dazzling lamps.

 Ujjain city

 However, in contrast, its the road side shrines that place Omkareshwar in another category, and one that demonstrates how broad Hinduism can be through modes of expressions and activity.

Impressions of two medieval fort towns set in Rajahstan. november 2017.
   View of Old Bundi from across the lake with Palace above, and fort above the Palace

Chittor and Bundi are the general hustle and bustle urban centers replete with satellite towers and ATM’s. Cittor attracts traditional pilgrims and the constant flow of Indian nationals. Bundi's appeal was more in the what's known as Old Bundi that's reminiscent of a Rajput era implied in the murals on Havelis.

Both cities are set within a nostalgic backdrop of hills with forts and palaces. Bundi's fort ( rambling tour through fort on u tube) and palacegive a sense of the workings of another society that is not so easily grasped when surveying Chittor's fort that covers a larger expanse of territory.

There's a lake on the edge of Old Bandi where locationally a long narrow boat appears from behind some cement outcrop, also there's the main temple, and busy CBD that present perspectives on lived spaces.  Bundi'sannual festival brings in an influx of people from the region and abroad that seem to be a mix of civil advocacy on issues that morphs into quirky completions, like the moustache contest. 

Pushkar and the Camel fair. October 2017.

Arrival at the Pushkar Camel festival time from an austere Himalayan tranquillity is a jolt to the senses

The population rapidly increases in this small lake side town when thronging pilgrims converge with the annual influx of camels that are bought and sold. The reasons for pilgrimage varies, though for Pushkar its the holy lake and Brahma temple.

Itinerant traders set up stalls along the urban periphery selling Camel accessories as well as other trinkets, garments.

There's devotional singing and chanting, camel fair festivities, and popular music. However its the Rajasthan desert folk and their camels' that captures the imaginary of foreign visitors'.

 The short film gives an impression of the sense of place.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Ascent into the preliminary Himalayan region. October 2017

Ascent into the preliminary Himalayan region. October 2017 


Vistas of snow caped peaks contrasts with a previous visit to Manali. The town was then covered in a carpet of snow, though its brightly colored dwellings and orchards this time round. Tiny flags hang off buildings, fluttering, as a signature of Buddhist influences in the region.
Shops close for the season in Old Manali as the temperature drops. The folding bike is for up to 15km, but to go further, I hired a 350 Royal Enfield.

Also there are walking trails to neighboring villages with interesting histories like the one that became the residence of a famous Russian Artist.

At the top end of Old Manlai there's remnants of traditional dwellings which are precariously juxtaposed amidst the gradual development of apartment block styled structures
The Hindu Manu temple is situated in Old Manali where a great walk joins to other villages.

Though its the valleys' of higher altitude that could be a topic for future travel to the state of Himachal Pradesh.