In our part of the world Tulsi is considered a very sacred plant and it is mostly planted in the front of the main entrance of the house. It is believed to be sacred not only due to its religious importance but also for the medicinal value. It can cure cough, cold, fever, flu, chest congestion, throat infection, joint pains and many more. It is a cure for almost every type of fever. You can just chew the leaves or make it’s paste to apply on skin or just boil the leaves in water to drink it as a tonic. Fortunately I have got this Tulsi plant near my kitchen garden, beautifully maintained by the previous occupants. I was so happy to see this small pillar surrounded with green hedge. I daily water the plant and lit a diya. You can call it sacred, let me call it a habit, a ritual I have been doing it since my childhood. I believe that in our religion why they must have called a number of trees sacred so that the coming generations keep on planting these species. Even if they do so please Gods there is no harm until they become superstitious. We have to draw the line and understand the difference between sacred and fear of religion. Hope I conveyed my point.
Rajasthan, a colorful state of India has a diverse collection of musician castes, including langas, sapera, bhopa and jogi. The region’s music shares similarities both with nearby areas of India and the other side of the border, in the Pakistani province of Sindh.
The people of Rajasthan live life to the hilt. After working day and night in the harsh desert sun and the rocky terrain whenever they finally come home to relax they let themselves go in gay abandon. There is dancing, singing, drama, devotional music and puppet shows and other community festivities which transform the laborious Rajasthani into a fun-loving and carefree individual.
Each region has its own folk entertainment, the dance styles differ as do the songs. Interestingly enough, even the musical instruments which are simple but quite unusual and handcrafted by the musicians themselves. Some of them are the Morchang, Naad, Sarangi, Kamayacha, Rawanhattha etc. There are dozens of other instruments which are unique and exclusive to Rajasthan only.
The music includes typical folk songs which are being sung by every household. The musicians, dancers and singers are invited to heritage hotels for performances organised for tourists staying there. Indian as well as overseas tourists can be seen dancing and singing along with them at Umaid Bhawan, Taj Palace and other tourist spots.
I met this family during my recent trip to one of the forts in Jodhpur. The entire family was singing a famous folk on tourist’s demand. I quickly took out my phone to record this melodious song. sharing with you all. Enjoy and sing along if you happen to belong to this amazing land of music and dance.
Sorry my video is not being uploaded. I am not able to compress it. I made 22 seconds video on iPhone 6 and it is of 50 MB and is taking ages to upload. Tried compressing but it was still 48 MB. Andy and other bloggers keep on uploading their personal videos, may be they can help me in this case. I will be sharing it soon.
Audience showing rejoice, clapping hard to watch these great performances by renowned Indian classical dancers. The dancers on the other hand are jubilant to display their talent and years of hardwork.
Today I will take you through an interesting pathway which goes up till beautiful Jakhu hills, Shimla and you won’t have any scars of tiredness after climbing it with me. So here we go !!!
Shimla offers some of the most fascinating treks and the town can be easily called “The Trekkers Paradise”. We both as a couple did early morning treks on all three days during our stay in Shimla, making the most of our trip. We were missing this activity in Aurangabad as it was extremely hot there.
Jakhu, the most famous temple, situated on the top of Jakhu hills at an altitude of 2455m above the sea level, is a steep 30-minute uphill climb from the east end of the Ridge, It is one of the most refreshing and strenuous hike I had done in last six months. The trek serves two purposes: you can check your physical fitness by calculating how much time you take in completing it as well as it has spiritual flavor as you visit the temple also. The sound of bells and chanting of shlokas fills you with peace and tranquility at that height.
The temple is dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman. O yes, you guessed it right ! Hundreds of monkeys loiter around, looking for prasad packets in devotees hands(temple-blessed food offerings), never leave an opportunity to snatch anything be it glasses,binoculars,caps,meal packets etc. leaving harassed devotees, tourists stunned and helpless.
Outside the temple premises 108 feet world tallest, orange statue of Hanuman looms above the treetops and watches Shimla day and night like a protector of the city. The illuminating statue looks amazing at night.
This trek was around two and a half kilometers but very steep and exhausting one. The view was fantastic. The smell of pine was refreshing and the green forest was a soothing scene for eyes. Lord was much closer to us now.
Thankfully we were just eighty meters away and had to take few more steps to reach at the destination on top. The stairway was about to finish.
Finally we did this trek in record 30 minutes, Tarun literally dragged me enroute whenever I was tempted to relax on a bench, being totally out of breath. Actually he does everything as if he is on his army mission,phew !
You can see the parking lot for those who prefer driving over walking on foot.They come up till the temple entrance without huffing and puffing but cannot enjoy the way trekkers do.
On the way up to the temple, one comes across the gates of Rothney Castle , built for colonial reformer and naturalist Allan Octavian Hume, the founder of Indian national Congress party, He gathered the world’s largest collection of stuffed Asiatic birds here, later he donated it to the British Museum.
Word of caution: the monkeys on this route can be a menace, so walking stick would be the best thing to carry along to drive them away. Enjoy the full snap shot of Lord.
We both were spellbound by the fabulous view at the top, felt rejuvenated, happy and believe me there were no scars of fatigue on our faces. We kept on clicking pictures to cherish beautiful memories later on !
Snaps can transform us to any era and place
Snaps are valuable resources to find and trace
They become memories, they are evidences
They reflect culture, individual perceptions,
Here are two, straight from the Indian soil
Ahead of a big gathering, saints flock
They are being welcomed by the cheering crowd
I enjoyed the procession and roaring sounds
Enjoy the saffron flavour 🙂 🙂
Rather than sharing one more time hate to love stories I would tell you a new story without any guilt pleasure.
Today after a gap of three months we both went for a LONG drive. Tarun drove 150 km. to reach Shirdi, the famous town where the Indian spiritual master Sai Baba stayed and finally was buried. People come here from all over the world to get a glimpse of their God, Sai baba. People regard him as their guru, saint, fakir or father. Sai means ‘poor’ in Persian language and in Banjara language it means ‘good’ thus Sai Baba denotes “poor father.” or “Holy father”.
Entire world love Sai Baba and he loves as well as blesses the world. A divine soul, a kind heart, no love for perishable things Baba was a saint whose sole motive of life was self-realization. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru.
According to Baba the only way to find God was to spread love and help the needy. He opposed all persecution based on religion or caste. He was an opponent of religious orthodoxy – Christian, Hindu and Muslim and he combined the elements of these religions to create a new religion called humanity.
Who doesn’t know his most popular epigram, “Sabka Malik Ek” (“One God governs all”), which is the crux of Hinduism, Islam and Sufism. He also said, “Trust in me and your prayer shall be answered”. He always uttered “Allah Malik” (“God is King”)
We came out of temple premises after spending an hour with Baba, blessed and satisfied. I thanked God for Tarun’s safe arrival and also prayed for flood victims. Photography is strictly prohibited so I used Google images of Sai Baba. The images below are mine.
On our way back I observed the landscape that looked dry and brown. Along side the road ripen sugarcanes were being loaded in the truck for processing. Other rabi crops were adding green color in otherwise brown land. Cotton flowers were next to be harvested. I will share the pics of loaded cotton trucks in my next post.All in all a fulfilling drive and Baba has showered his blessings too. Om Sai Ram !