Sunday, December 8, 2019

From my archives: North Kolkata Durga pujas 2019, the popular ones

Ahiritola durga idol
I am posting from my archives some of the popular Durga pujas from North Kolkata. Creativity as usual is at its peak in Kolkata during this time.

These Durga puja pandal pictures below are of Ahiritola, Ahiritola Jubak brinda, Kumartuli Sarbajanin,Kumartuli park, Nabin pally, and Nalin Sarkar street Durga pujas. Kumartuli park created a space like Durga pandal; it was awesome!

Ahiritola Durga Puja 2019

Ahiritola Jubak brinda durga puja

Kumartuli sarbajanin Durga puja 

Kumartuli park Durga puja-space station-brilliant

Nabin pally Durga puja 2019

Nalin Sarkar street Durga puja 2019

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Happy Diwali; May the blessing of light be on you

I wish you a bright, prosperous, peaceful, and awesomely happy  Diwali. May the light always shine upon you.

I am taking a break from my travelogues to post a little something on Diwali:) 
In my subsequent posts, I will post some of the Durga puja pandals that I loved. Even though it is delayed.... I would still love to share those...some of them are so unique and out of the world, it makes it all worthwhile:)

On the occasion of Diwali, here is a paragraph from a Scottish prayer that I love. 

May the blessing of light be on you
-Scottish  Prayer

May the blessing of Light be on you
Light without and light within,
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart till it glows like
A great peat fire, so that the stranger
May come and warm himself at it,
And also a friend.
And may the light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in two windows of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka is a must visit

Dambulla, the Golden temple
Dambulla cave temple complex (the Golden Temple) in Sri Lanka is a World Heritage Site dating back to the  first century BCE. Dambulla has one of the best preserved cave temples in Sri Lanka. The five main caves have exquisite paintings and beautiful statues.

Dambulla is located around 160 km from Colombo, and is well connected by road. It took us around 5 hours to reach Dambulla by road. After resting a bit we set off to see the cave temple complex. Our plan was to do Dambulla caves first, and Sigiriya first thing in the morning the next day.

We started for the caves around 5 pm which was quite late.The temple complex is open until 7 pm, but it is best to do the caves during daylight hours since climbing down may get a bit difficult with less or no light.

This place is a must visit if you like ancient structures, paintings, and sculptures. There is a bit of climb involved...around 360+ steps to reach the caves, but believe me you would be happy to have taken those steps:). It is totally worth it. Shoes are not allowed inside the complex (the climb to the temple complex is done barefoot).

I am posting pictures below, my camera does not do justice to Dambulla (I think my camera was as awestruck as I was!)  However, you can still make out the beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings of the caves, so well-preserved, and so so awesome!

Golden pagoda
View on the way up

Entrance to the 5 caves
One of the beautiful entrances

The painting on the ceiling is well-preserved

The caves are full of such beautiful intricate paintings

The black and red squares are not paper or cloth, that is a painting!

Beautiful sculptures
I love this one

These are just so pretty!

The work on Buddha's pillow is so intricate
The painted ceiling looks like a beautifully printed cloth!

 There was some restoration work going on...the ceiling has beautiful paintings but could
not capture those 

Bodhi tree

You may like the following post on Sigiriya which you can visit while you are in Dambulla. I would recommend you do because that is another spectacular place:

The Spectacular Sigiriya rock fortress in Sri Lanka will leave you breathless:)