A drive on Indian Roads/ Highways is equivalent or similar to the joy of a treasure hunt .
There are beautiful treasure boxes waiting to be opened and discovered all along the way . All you need to do is to look and watch the package dramatically open. The titles of each post/blog are teasers which you need to discover and unravel yourselves as you read on.
Having taken you to a vast number of destinations , it is now time for Shinrin-yoku.( a lovely Japanese term for Forest bathing ) . I loved the expression from the first day i heard it.
We are off on a drive from Bhopal ( do see the blog:http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com) to the unknown forests of Satpura National Park , both located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the Heart of India.
It is usually a 180 km drive but we are on a treasure hunt, ( and we do not want to do the usual) so we stretched it to 220 kms. Now the adventure begins.
A mere 28 kms from Bhopal and on a slight detour we discover the ancient capital of Raja Bhoj ( 1010-1053) , BHOJPUR.
We unravel the” first package”, a strategically located temple on a hillock . The Bholeshwar temple has the largest single stone Shivling but was left mysteriously left INCOMPLETE.
I will write on this architectural marvel and mysterious area in a separate blog, as we move onto package two of our treasure hunt.I thus give you only a glimpse.
Do not sleep whilst you are on the highways (Indian roads are not endless runners of emptiness) , a blink and you will miss the unusual. Lord Shiva and the egrets chill out under a Banyan tree.
The drive to this unknown forest in the heart of India is undertaken by crossing the vast River Narmada.
The River Narmada is the center of numerous myths and stories that knit this land. Do unravel these stories and tell us about what you found on your trip.
“Narmada, is the river which cleanses the Holiest of Indian rivers The Ganges.” ( more on this story in another blog)
The red fruits placed near the potatoes are called “Ber” in Hindi and are a treasure trove of Vitamin C . My camera turned to her and I got this gorgeous smile. Can there be a bigger treasure than bringing Happiness to another human ? Observe her lovely silver anklets.
Do keep looking out of the windows and you will be richly rewarded. I spotted His Highness the King Fisher on his Perch.
It is often that you will need to wait at Railway Crossings in India . So did we and discovered yet another treasure.
A Spotted OWL carefully observes all our movements from a roadside tree near the Railway Crossing.
The final package we discover before we reached our destination was this family: The Black Buck and his Harem. They had decided to pay this farm a visit from their homes in the forest.
This charming blue cottage and a well were located at the edge of the forest and close to our accommodation.
Jingles welcomes us at THE FORSYTH LODGE at Satpura National Park. We are now ready for the ultimate treasure and our only planned aim of FOREST BATHING ( Shinrin-yoku).
A process of cleansing the mind by visiting the forests. But for that you must wait for another day.