The much revered waters ( and now in the thick of controversy) of Kaveri ( or Cauvery) irrigate the fertile lands near Somasundhar temple, Mysore,Karnataka, India.
The beautiful lush green landscape dotted with Coconut Trees & Paddy fields is crowned by Sun Rays which shower Light on the lands on the much celebrated day of Dusshera. ( you may have to tilt your laptop or move sideways to the right to appreciate the beautiful Rays in the picture below)
Diwali, the Festival of Lights ( do read a blog posted yesterday titled LIGHT IT WITH FLOWERS) is celebrated exactly three weeks after Dusshera on a Pitch Dark Moonless Night.
The festival symbolizes many things, one of which is that Light dispels Darkness and brings forth Joy & Happiness dispelling the darkness of Sorrow ,Poverty & Illness.
I am sharing these very appropriate and symbolic pictures on Diwali as the dark clouds are pierced by Rays from Heaven.
Be Enchanted and Blessed under the Heavenly Rays. Happy Diwali to All.
Diwali or The Festival of Lights is a festival of Love, Joy & Sharing. Darkness is dispelled as Light enters every corner of our being, dispelling all negativity.
For many readers who are not aware of this Indian Festival, it is similar to Christmas or the Chinese New Year and accompanied with a lot of Lights, Gifts and Delicious Food.
As a departure from the years gone by we celebrated it with “Flowers” and Lit up our home with potted flowers.( all the Marigoldsor Gaindas were potted and we avoided using cut flowers)
The terrace garden attached to the living room at home has two new floral members in Red this Diwali.
Poinsettia ( Scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima ) in the picture above is associated with Christmas Decorations and adds colour to our Home in New Delhi, India this Diwali alongwith the traditional Marigolds.(do read up previous blogs “AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS“ & “GOLDEN FIELDS“ to see as to how they were so called)
What I did not know is that their milky sap contains deadly toxic esters, so if you have pets ensure they keep away from the Stunning but deadly Poinsettias.( an earlier blog titled “Euphor(b)ia” showcases a very dissimilar family member )
It is Diwali Morning and I was might pleased to see these lovely Crimson flowers with Ivy like leaves being checked out by Sunbirds ( you can see them in a post written almost a year ago titled ECLIPSED) under the gaze of the Morning Sun.
I rushed to get my camera but by then the Sunbird had gone yet the Lens captured the Morning Dew on the flowers ( see the featured image) along with the Buds which were bursting to transform into Crimson beauties.( picture below) .
“The Cardinal creeper or Lady Doorlys Morning Glory (English) , Ipomea horsfalliae ( Scientific name) is a spectacular creeper covered with Splendid Tubular Crimson Flowers and traces it’s origins to Brazil.”
The Crimson flowers are yet to be identified by me but am sure my enlightened readers will help me as more Flowers Bloom and Light up the Festival of Diwali.
“After sweating it out have now finally identified the plant . This most beautiful and relatively rare creeper belongs to the family Convolvulaceae.( many previous blogs have covered other members of this family) The leaves resemble those of the Chinar or Maple tree and are a lovely Olive Green which offsets the splendid Crimson colour of the Cardinal creeper.”
I hope, by the time Diwali re-arrives next year, the Crimson creeper would have covered a major part of the terrace wall.
Happy Diwali and May the times to come bring Joy & Happiness to one and all.
Diwali or the Festival of Lights will be celebrated across India on October the 30th this year. Three weeks before Diwali, another Festival called Dusshera is celebrated which earmarks the Victory of Good over Evil.
The pictures that follow are from the magnificent Mysore Palace,Mysore, Karanataka, India where Dusshera is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur.
Jumbos or Elephants (English), Haathi ( Hindi), Elephas maximus( Scientific name) are at the centre of the Dusshera celebrations. ( do read previous blogs titled GENTLE GIANTS ,BABY ELEPHANTS and MAMMOTH TASK )
They are the guests of the Royal family for several months as a consequence of the celebrations.
You can see the historical and Grand Mysore Palace in the backdrop and a heavily decorated Male Elephant in the foreground which awaits it’s turn to go home.
The Magnificent archways of the Mysore Palace bid adieu to the Jumbos who board large Trucks for their ride home.
The Female and Male Elephants can be sized up in the picture below as they are cajoled to board the trucks .
As they were guests of the Royalty of Mysore, they were fed hearty and rich meals. Consequently most of them gained close to 500 kilograms in weight.
For now the festival is over and they get ready for their Ride Home in Open Trucks.
It was by sheer chance that I photographed the entire process of transporting the Jumbos. I was looking for the oldest temple in the palace and stumbled upon an amazing sequence of a Jumbo Ride.
I think it was an unnerving experience for these Large Mammals as many of them had to be prodded and coerced to board the trucks.
I wonder was it a celebration for these Enchanting and Lovely Mammals ?
All that took place was by chance in the quaint Gokulum area of Mysore,Karnataka, India.
Most eating places listed by our now perennial friend “Mr.Google” and whatever local knowledge the driver had came to nought as they were closed on account of the Dusshera festival.
The Gokulum area is famous for Yoga centers and people from across the globe throng here for months at a stretch.
It was during this stretch that we chanced upon a almost magical place which has No Name board and looks like any other home in the locality. You cannot ever guess by the exterior that there is a flourishing Restaurant in it’s midst.
The little eatery run by an interesting couple with an extremely friendly atmosphere is called “Santosh” and known only by word of mouth.
“Santosh” when translated literally means Satisfied, which you will be when you taste something from their interesting menu.
I met an interesting elderly gentleman from faraway Serbia who sat cross-legged and has been practicing Yoga for 40 years.
It is sometimes a matter of Wonder how you miss very beautiful things when you arrive at a venue. I plead guilty I missed this lovely plant bearing very tiny white flowers and Red Berries.
The Red Berries stand out against the Stark and bright Orange wall of the House that encloses “Santosh”.
The Interesting Pink-White flowers, hairy heart shaped leaves and Red Berry like berries have me “Wonderstruck”as I am clueless on the species /genus or even family name.
I bid adieu Dazed and Enchanted by Red berries, I hope someone will give a clue.
The Lower Himalayas from Sikkim till Uttrakhand are covered in a cloak of Pink immediately after the lofty mountains are touched by the first drizzle brought forth by the Monsoons.
The Pink Rain Lily , Storm Lily , Rose Fairy Lily (English) , Zephyranthes rosea( scientific name) bloom into vast stretches of Pink as the first rain drops touch the topsoil of The Himalayas.
The following picture of a hillside covered with Pink flowers was taken in Kalimpong, West Bengal,India.
A close cousin the Zephyranthes candida ( also called Rain Lily in English ) was seen by me in Pune and extensively covered in a previous blog titled “SIX POINTED STAR”. The dexterous labeling by the Gardners of The Corinithian Resort & Club, Pune helped me discover the botanical name of these Pink Lilies.
However besides the difference in colour the Pink Rain Lilies on the Himalayas you see in the pictures here were growing in the wild in free abandon and in vast numbers carpeting the Hills in Pink.
The Pink Rain Lily like their close cousin The Six Pointed Star belongs to the Amarylis Lily familyAmaryllidaceae.
These Beautiful Pink Flowers however hide a deep and dark secret in their bulbs which are hidden in the soil from which they spring forth as they contain deadly toxic alkaloids.
The alkaloids lycorine and haemanthamine present in the bulbs can cause severe vomiting and convulsions and even lead to death .
If you read earlier blogs you will realize that many deadly toxins exist in their natural Form in Plants, yet these very toxins when used by professionals are converted into medicines and cure many ailments which affect us Humans.
After over a year of blogging and learning I am increasingly Enchanted by the numerous forms and ways of Wonderful Nature.
I must admit it was these Large Seed Pods which resembled Alien Space Ships that attracted me to this Solitary Vine near Bhuleshwar Village ( near Pune), Maharashtra , India.( there are several blogs on this region including the last one titled TEMPLE “TWEETS” and ULRAMARINE BLUE )
On drawing closer they jostled a memory cell and I recalled seeing these Purple VioletFlowers first near Rao Jodha Park, Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur , Rajasthan, India almost a year ago. ( Do read a previous blog titled GOLDEN GRASS which introduces the Rocky Deserts of Rajasthan)
The Indian Rubber Vine ( English) , Cryptostegia grandiflora ( Scientific Name)though often seen in India has it’s origins in the African Island of Madagascar .
The English name of Rubber Vine orRubber Bel in Hindi is derived from the fact that it secretes a Milky sap which is the basis of a Rubbery Latex.
The flowers resemble the Purple Allamanda ( Origin in North America) which also belongs to the Oleander Family, Apocynaceae much like the Indian Rubber Vine.
The Rubber Vine like most family members of the Oleander Family bear highly poisonous toxins.
The Leaves contain cardiac glucosides which can cause severe poisoning leading to death if ingested in large quantities. The Milky Sap exuded by the Leaves, Stem and the Seed Pod can cause dermatitis and trigger off various allergies. ( do read a blog titled ” BLEEDING TREES “ which showcases how Natural Rubber is tapped in Kerala, Southern India)
Despite the rather frightening details mentioned above the Indian Rubber Vine has been used by Traditional Medicine in various countries across the world.
Another interesting feature of these hardy Shrubs or Vines is that they have extremely Deep Roots which can extend to over 13 metres ( 39 feet ) below the ground making them very sturdy survivors.
I have mentioned previous blogs so can relish the intertwining of various subjects and be Enchanted by the Marvels of Nature.
The Bhuleshwar Temple near Pune,Maharashtra, India is Embalmed by the Magic of Nature besides being a visual delight and an Architectural Marvel.
Nature and Mythology go hand in hand and this Wonderful Temple covered in various previous posts ATOP A HILL, DIVINE SHADOWS, FRAGRANT FIELDS,MAGICAL & MYSTERIOUS and PROOF in BLACK stands testimony to underline this aspect which I have attempted to Highlight repeatedly.
The Splendorous Floral Dome of the Bhuleshwar Temple which stands ATOP a HILL.
Sparrows and Parakeets flitted in and out of the this temple which Opens into a courtyard after engaging a serious of Pitch Dark Alleys and discrete doorways.
The following picture was taken from this courtyard within the temple as I doubled backwards during which my lens captured a Pair of Sparrows ( Scientific name :Passer domesticus )perched on the Head of the Vehicle of the Goddess.
Here is a better look at the Romantic Couple under the gaze of the Goddess on her vehicle , A Swan.
You can see the elaborate Floral details on every inch of this beautiful temple.
Mrs Sparrow decided to give me and the lens a look and perched herself directly above my head and this picture is shared in the featured image on Top.
I was delighted and Enchanted of course by the details I saw courtesy the Sparrows which I may have missed without their guidance.
It is rare to see The Cannon Ball Tree in India , but I was fortunate not only to see the Fruits, the Massive Cannon Balls , but the very pretty and Enchanting Pink Blossoms as well. ( do see the previous blogs titled CANNON BALLS)
The Tree Trunk is engulfed by Blooms from Head to Toe.
” In sharp contrast to The Fruits which are Dull Brown , the buds and Flowers are a Lovely Shade of Rosy Pink mixed with White.
The Large attractive and fragrant blossoms of The Cannon Ball ( English) tree, Couroupita guianensis ( scientific name) which literally encapsulate the entire length of the tree trunk make this a Gorgeous Ornamental tree when in bloom.”
Cascades of Buds
A Soft picture of the Lovely Pink Flower along with Buds in very stages.
I had only heard of this remarkable tree and was overwhelmed when I saw these amazing Cannon Balls hanging from a tree in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Spotted at the entrance of the Sathya Sai Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.
“As promised am Updating with missing details on the Fascinating CANNON BALL Tree which hails from the Amazonian rain forests of South America.”
I simply cannot digest this Enchantment alone and thus sharing the picture without the usual details and some interesting snippets. For that kindly wait for a week when I am back on my desk at Home.
“The Cannon Ball tree ( English), Couroupita gueanensis ( Scientific name) bears large brown Cannon Ball like fruits which create a thunderous sound like a cannon being fired when they crash to the ground.
These Large trees ironically line the Footpath along the frontage of a Hospital in…
Karanataka is a Large South Indian State which is home to a large number of Enormous and fascinating Tamarind ( English) Trees, Imli ( Hindi), Tamarindus indica.
The English and Botanical name Tamarind has it’s origins in Arabic and literally translates to “Dates of Hind” ( tamar-e-hind) ( India is referred to as Hind in the Arab World) .
Despite the certification by Botanists, it is interesting to note that the Tamarind Tree actually has its origins in the African Continent and not the Indian subcontinent.
The following picture was taken outside the Sriranganathaswamy temple, in the historical capital city of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatnam.
It is interesting to learn that the Tamarindus indica belongs to the Pea family Fabaceae. ( see the fruits and see the resemblance)
All the trees near Bangalore were laden with the leguminous fruits which form an integral part of South Indian cuisine.
The Tamarind trees are very large and grow to over 30 metres or 100 feet in this region. The following picture is of a tree which towers over a Siva Cave temple on the Chandi Hills and seems to touch the clouds above.
The Bean Like Brown fruits called Tamarind in English or Imli in Hindi are a rich source of Amino acids, Vitamin C and Tartaric Acid and form the base of many curries and chutneys in Indian cuisine.
This fruit laden tree was spotted on the banks of the Kaveri River, the waters of which are the basis of many controversies in recent times.
The Fruits are extremely sour and are used to make many delicious sweet and sour candies as well.
The entire Imli Tree; fruits, seeds , leaves and bark have innumerable Medical applications which I am not attempting to enlist.
Next time you are in this region do look up and you could be Enchanted by the small and pretty Pink & White flowers as well.