Monday, February 19, 2018

Experiences achieved in Gorgeous Golden Temple (Harimandir Sahib)

Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) is the first pilgrimage site built for Sikhs by Guru Arjan, fifth Sikh Guru. Gurudwara, the main temple is made of gold and houses the holy “Guru Granth Sahib” – the holy book of Sikhs. Gold is the symbol of purity. Sikhism was founded after a movement led by Guru Nanak where people from all the other religion came and formed it. They were disappointed with their own religion and joined together to make a better system. These people wrote the book under the supervision of Guru Nanaka after huge discussion among them about the good practice of all religions. This is the reason Granth Sahib is the book that consists of best of the best principle to follow. So, in other words Golden Temple symbolises the cultural richness of Sikh religion.

Golden Temple (Harimandir Sahib)
The temple area is one square kilometer in size and the main temple is centrally located inside a sarovar (pond). There is a bridge between the temple and the main sanctum.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Larger than life experience in Langar - World's largest kitchen

More than 50,000 people have meal in a normal day inside this dining hall and in the weekend the number can go up to 100,000!!!

The Dining Hall
Googling about Langar can give you some dry statistics about this world’s largest dining hall, but the larger than life experience can be achieved only after visiting, volunteering and dining in this institute. When I was a student of class 6, first I heard about it and right from that day, it was in my bucket list. But it took 23 years to visit there.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hitchhiking to Dhauli

Hotel manager asked me not to visit Dhauli alone. It might be too expensive (almost 600 bucks) for a solo traveller as there was no bus service even no shared auto rickshaw service is there. People either go via car or reserved auto rickshaw.

In my previous post I told you the story of my solo trip to Bhubaneswar. I had ample time after visiting the Rajarani Temple and thus decided to visit Dhauli. It was almost 9.30 am of a winter morning. I had a confidence that the entire day was in my hand, so by hook or crook I could visit Dhauli.

Dhauli War Monument
I opened GPRS. Google Map showed me the distance of Dhauli is not more than 9.9 kilometres from Rajarani Temple. I have a practice of walking, more over I trek in Himalayas. 9.9 kilometres in plain land is nothing to me. To be very honest, the discouragement of the hotel manager whetted my desire to visit Dhauli with myself only.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

My solo trip to Bhubaneswar

It was my first solo trip. Bhubaneswar was my choice to celebrate a trip with myself only. Right from my teen age I had had an interest about architectures and sculptures. Though I had already seen Indo-Islamic era of architecture but did not visit to any pre-Islamic architectures in India. In that age of architecture, sculptures were depicted in the temple. There are several genres of pre-islamic art, one of them is Kalinga Architectures (Kalinga is the name of Orissa in ancient India). Bhubaneswar is regarded as the birth place of Kalinga Art.

Panel on the wall of Rajarani Temple
I think, I should give you some historical background of the temples of Bhubaneswar. Orrissa has its own cultural identity from its very ancient days. Mouryan King Ashoka the Great conquered Kalinga. The brutality of war impulsed him to leave Hinduism and started practicing Buddha religion. Ashoka created the first architecture at Dhauli (near to Bhubaneswar). It was the holy beginning of the cultural journey of Orissa.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Har Ki Doon Trek – A journey to the Valley of Lord Shiva

Har Ki Doon means the valley of Lord Shiva (a Hindu God). I am not sure whether god exists or not, but if he exists, Har Ki Doon valley must be one of his addresses. The trek is known for its grand vistas. An easy trek, over major portion along river, up above are azure blue sky, backdrop is snow-capped mountains and foreground has lush greenery. Though it is a popular winter trek, but we (my friend Avra, his wife Shipra and myself) decided to visit to Har Ki Doon in May, 2016.

Har Ki Doon Valley
At the beginning of this travelogue, it is better to say you the location of Har Ki Doon valley. Located in the Tamasha valley of Western Garhwal, Har Ki Doon can only be reached by trekking from Taluka, a small village inside Govida Ballav Pant Wild Life Sanctuary. Which in turn is accessible by bus or car from Mussourie/ Dehradun. Har Ki Doon is the last shelter before crossing Borasu Pass to reach Kinnuar Himalaya.