GERBERA IS THE NEW FLOWER

I got up in the morning, opened the door of my room to go in my lawn and what I saw there was absolutely wonderful. I exclaimed with joy,”WOW ! There is a new flower in my garden.”DSC_0651

I was so thrilled to see my striking two lipped-ray florets in red, orange and dark pink color.DSC_0652

Fresh gerbers against the green backdrop were looking lovely and vibrant ! DSC_0670I never expected such big size gerbera flowers here when I bought them from the local nursery. Probably good amount of manure and rains did the magic.DSC_0663

I just loved their texture and colors. Without wasting time I took out my camera to take picture of those blooms.

Enjoy the close ups of my precious gerbera flowers.DSC_0660

Teal or Turquoise around me ( Cee’s Fun Foto )

This week’s theme is Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Turquoise or Teal. I looked around to click few pictures with specific color and the moment I saw this painting of Buddha in my living room I knew it was perfect for the theme. Isn’t it ?DSC_4983

This fruit tree is growing in my garden. Custard apple, one of the local fruit of this belt, grown in abundance, is very sweet in taste. DSC_4733

Look at the Arabian Sea ! The water is giving the perfect reflection of greenish blue color. That’s called Turquoise color, right?

Mandavi Beach
Mandavi Beach

I feel like jumping into the pool ! Crystal clear water ! I can see the tiled floor 🙂

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Turquoise Information board @ a resort

Simply Best View From The Khuldabad Ghat

Serendipity Photo Prompt: Small Town Summer

India is diverse in culture, topography and climate. Rightly so.The most hectic season of this tropical country, summer scorches almost all the parts of India with sweltering heat.

Those living in north, central and south India are feeling the heat of summer and waiting for the divine showers but western India is wet thoroughly. Monsoon is here in Aurangabad, a comparatively smaller city than near by mega cities like Mumbai and Pune. It is presently our home town.

Surprisingly this year is not as hot as last year. We came here last year during same time on posting.  We had come from Shillong and badly missed it for long. Slowly this place has started growing on us. This year weather is exactly like Shillong. Very cool and rainy. The rain has drenched us to our bone.

Yesterday we went for a drive. In fact this is the time when one must go for long drives as nature is at its best in Aurangabad, Maharashtra ( this state It lies in western ghats of India )

Ghats were covered with mist. I could feel soft drizzle on my face along with the breeze. How could I miss taking pictures of the ghats ? I shot sitting in the car while Tarun was driving and he bluntly rejected my request of parking the car to a side as the road was too curvaceous to halt.

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The Western Ghats or Sahyadri are a mountain range that runs almost parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, located entirely in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. DSC_4654. The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India.

This ghat is very close to our house, known as  Khuldabad. We frequently drive on our favorite route. The frequency increases during rainy season which is from June to September.
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Khuldabad is surrounded by a high fortified wall built by Aurangzeb. It has seven gates. The gateway in the direction of Aurangabad is approached by a paved ascent which continue inside the town for about 200 to 300 feet. The wall has collapsed at many places and may collapse totally before long.DSC_4652

We came back after spending an hour in beautiful and mystic surroundings. It was simply the best day.

Some more information on Khuldabad Ghat:

KHULDABAD – “MECCA” OF THE EAST
The ancient walled town of Khuldabad, near Aurangabad is where the Mughal Emperor Aurangzab was buried. It is a place of pilgrimage for the Indian Muslim community and a major centre for the five-day “Urs” celebrations held annually.DSC_4656

AROUND KHULDABAD
Aurangzeb Tomb :- This is located within a fortified city with 7 gates built by Aurangzeb.
Bani Begum Garden :- The Bani Begum Gardens are located about 24 km from Aurangabad. The fluted pillars, huge domes and aesthetic fountains showcase the architectural splendour of a bygone era.
Shri Bhadra Maruti Temple :- The only temple of Lord Hanuman of its kind outside prayag in Allahabad
Malik Amber Tomb :- lies on the way to Mhaismal
Mhaismal :- A Hill station of Marathwada
Shulibhanjan :- The Summer capital of the Satvahan dynasty has 7 different ponds of a water system.
Pariyon Ka Talab :- It has a Dargah and old amphitheatre of the Satvahan time. Source: Visit IndiaDSC_4657

FOURTH WALL: FORTIFIED WALLS OF DAULATABAD FORT

Yesterday I shared my experience of medieval castle hike. Today I’m going to share some more pics of Daulatabad Fort.

The fort is a place of extraordinary strength. It has very thick and elevated walls convoluted on the outer faces and is defended by large bastions both without and within the courts. DSC_0222

The defense system that made Daulatabad virtually impregnable comprises fortifications with double and even triple rows of massive walls. In addition, there are ingeniously built mazes with a complex arrangement of entryways and deep rock-cut moats and trenches which can be crossed only at one point, over a drawbridge.

The narrow bridge to reach the main fort
The narrow bridge to reach the main fort

Defense mechanism of rock-cut subterranean passage is unbelievable.The only means of access to the summit is by a narrow bridge, with passage for not more than two people abreast, and a long gallery, excavated in the rock, which has for the most part a very gradual upward slope.DSC_0480

The steep hillsides at the base of the fortress dropping to the moat were so smooth that no hostile troops could scale the heights. But the fortifications were now extended well beyond the core of the original citadel.

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The dry moat around the fort

While climbing up when we reached on a bridge, it looked as if we were in some other country. The view was totally different what we generally had seen. The effect of monsoon was very much evident.  Small wild plants, bushes and creepers had grown on withered walls. The combination of brown black and green was looking very unusual.DSC_0184

DSC_0189The moat (a deep wide ditch surrounding the castle) was filled with dark water covered with bright green moss floating on the surface and looked lovely from the top. There were steep walls, green wild flora and lofty walls of the fort which was an ideal site to take few more pictures. I think these walls befitting today’s prompt Fourth WallDSC_0193

To know more about the history of Daulatabad fort you can read my previous post  Weekend Trek: The impregnable Fort

My last year’s response to this prompt can be read here

Weekend Trek: The Impregnable Daulatabad Fort

This weekend trek took us to famous impenetrable medieval fortress which is 15 km drive from our town on the road to Ellora.

We left after having light breakfast. It was my turn to drive the car and I loved it as the weather was great. Drizzling made it more enjoyable. Moreover the earth looked greener after considerable amount of rains. IMAG2718

The monument is one of the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan.It stands high on a conica hill known as ” Hills of gods” which is 200 m high. The entire fort complex consists of an area measuring approximately 94.83 hectares and represents a unique combination of Military engineering, amazing town planning with unique water management system and architectural marvels with strong religious and political hold.

The great pyramidal shape is visible from a good distance as it dominates the landscape. The picture below is of mobile phone as it was raining and I didn’t want to take out my dear camera.

Pyramid shaped fort is visible from the good distance.
Pyramid shaped fort is visible from a good distance.
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One of the important feature of fort- Minar. In the background the highest point of the fort can be seen. Trek finishes there.

It was founded by The Yadavas of Devgiri ( “Hills of Gods” ) during their kingdom in 11th century. After various attacks, the Khilji dynasty annexed Daulatabad in 12th century A.D. Devgiri became the capital of Sultan Muhammad-bin-Tuglaq who renamed Devgiri as ‘Daulatabad’ which means “Wealth of Abode” in 1328.

In further successions it also became the capital of Nizams of Ahmednagar during 1607. Currently this fort only stands as ‘Daulatabad’. Rest has been slowly merged into Aurangabad township.

The staring point
The staring point

After parking the car we both geared up for trekking. Weather was great and we couldn’t hold our excitement ! Being Sunday there were many tourists and local crowd who had come to peep into medieval grandeur.

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The three encircling fortification walls with wall walks, machicolations bastions at regular intervals, zigzag and lofty gates with iron spikes, gun turrets and Andheri. The combination of Hill and Land Fort, is divided into small sectors encircled by fortification walls.

The lofty gates and narrow entrance
The thick timber gates with iron studs and long spiked nails

Because of the strategic location and its strong protective defenses it is aptly called as an impregnable fort and its possession was craved by most powerful dynasties ruling between 12th – 17th century A.D. Its ownership became a matter of pride and prestige and haughty arrogance.

Gates with iron spikes

It carries a distinction of being undefeated and was not captured in battle. When we saw the solid rocky walls and the tunnel entrance along with strong defense system consists of dry and wet moats and a glacis we had to believe that.
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From here the Sufism spread in Deccan.There are many significant monuments in and around the fort like temples, court chambers and Char Minar is the most famous landmark of this fort which was now right in front of us. We were about to finish our trek to see the entire landscape from the top.DSC_0200DSC_0534The outer wall of the fort is 5 kms in circumference, has an average height of 6 -9 mtrs and 2-3 mtrs in thickness. The three encircled fortification protected the fort from all sides.

Encircled fortication
Encircled fortication

Finally we reached the summit and it was a delightful moment. We captured few more pics from the top.Everything was looking so fresh and green ! Monsoon is the best time to visit this place and we were fortunate to make it during ideal season.DSC_0306

view from the top
view from the top

We as a couple came back with lots of good memories and hundreds of pictures. It was like a sweet dream. Will share in next post. DSC_0166

To Err is Human……Let Them Learn

Daily Prompt: Tell us about something you’ve done that you would advise a friend never to do.

140962008410196Firstly I never give advise unless someone asks for it. 

Secondly Who cares? Will my friend listen to my advice?

Won’t he/she want to learn her own lessons in life? 

To err is human. It is a typical human nature to do those things about which they already have been cautioned.

Look at the child ! Mother tells him not to touch the glass of hot milk. Still he will go and burn his fingers. That is his experience of life. We all learn from our experiences, good, bad, ugly whatever but we all learn by doing.

Therefore my friend would definitely give it a try no matter how much I convince him/her not to do certain things. 

It is not necessary that if didn’t had a pleasant experience doing something then it would be same for everyone. 

Once I watched a movie and I found it terrible. I advised my friends not to waste money watching it but next day two of my friends went and watched it. They appreciated it so much that I felt embarrassed though I knew that they were actually saying it to prove me wrong. I decided not to give advice to others unless I have faith on a person that he/she will value that advice.

Now a days if you tell anybody that it is not at all worth going to that saloon, the prices are exorbitant then he will make it a point to get a hair cut from that saloon just to belittle you. May be they think that I don’t want them to get a same cut as mine, huh ! Why people are so complicated?

Why some people do exactly opposite of what they have been advised not to do? 

Still one advice for friends those who care:

Never buy a jeans or dress one size small IN HOPE to shed your weight to fit in that. You may take so long to wear it.

Most of us have not yet discarded our college day jeans, right?

I'm sorry, they don't make dresses large on the inside and small on the outside!
I’m sorry, they don’t make dresses large on the inside and small on the outside!