Spot On

Spotted Dear ( English), Cheetal ( Hindi), Axis Axis ( Scientific name) .

Spotted in a Tiger Forest in India.

The Eyes say it all
                                                        The Eyes say it all

The Impressive Headgear is changed every hear.

Take a picture of my profile
                                            Take a picture of my profile

WITNESS THE BIRTH OF THE RIVER KRSNA

India is an ancient and enchanting land. A living museum where reality and mythology have merged  over thousands of years.

Rivers are revered and worshipped as Goddesses In India.The River KRSNA or THE DARK ONE is however an exception.

There are numerous spellbinding and fascinating  tales going back to the time of  CREATION   when LORD VISHNU himself is transformed into the RIVER KRSNA (the DARK ONE) .

However I was witness to the birth of THE DARK ONE, a river that runs deep ( upto 75 feet)  and across the breadth of the country for 1300 kms ( 800 miles) , It brings fertility and prosperity to all that it touches starting from the lofty peaks  of the Western Ghats ( the home to Shekru, the Giant Squirell) and merging with the Bay of Bengal where   mangroves ( home to the estuarine crocodiles) emerge.

The path to the mysterious temple where the river is born can be judged by the following picture.

a road forgotten
Incessant rain converts the footpaths to little rivers

It rains in Mahabaleshwar  without a break  during the Monsoons.

Visibility was low as the clouds had  descended over all of Mahabaleshwar.

I could discern only the outline of another  green. hill. The sense  of adventure and mystery was creeping up my spine as I realized they were the outlines of a temple.

Was this the fabled land of  the  river Krsnavena from the Puranas or Kanhapenna from the Jatakas ?

KRSNA DEVI TEMPLE
KRSNA DEVI TEMPLE

A closer look and an ancient temple overgrown with vegetation emerged. I pinched myself as I was transported back in time.

Observe the spire , it has been weathered by elements of  nature and time.

The picture is telling many stories. Are you listening? ( read on)

THE MAIN SPIRE
THE MAIN SPIRE

The Kund or the pond is where the water collects  from the GAUMUKH ( Mouth of the Cow) . The circular SHIVLING ( with flowers) is the fountainhead of the migthy  river KRSNA.

THE KUND
THE KUND

You can actually see the sheets of rain .

The Western Ghat is the catchment area for several rivers. Mahabaleshwar itself being the origin of five of these rivers.

The Hollow Nandi  ( the vehicle of Lord Shiva) at the top centre  of the photograph  , not to be confused  with the cow at bottom centre  ? , is another mystery which we will unfold in the following article.

THE ORIGINS OF THE MIGHT RIVER KRSNA
THE ORIGINS OF THE MIGHT RIVER KRSNA

Behold the wonder of the birth of the RIVER KRSNA.

Goodness Gracious we were at the Origin of the River Krsna. The water flowing through the Sacred Cow and flowing from its mouth was  the River Krsna  being born.

We were informed the water flows under the sanctum sanctorum of the KRSNADEVI temple and emerges as a spout from the mouth of the cow into the KUND.

The temple is thus incredibly built over a channel of water ensuring the Origin of the river is protected for all time to come.

From the KUND  the new born  river plunges down the mountainside. A fence behind the hollow  NANDI ensures you do not follow the path of the river.( see picture above)

GAUMUKH and THE RIVER
GAUMUKH GIVES BIRTH TO THE RIVER KRSNA

As we walked back to the  wonderful HOTEL LE MERIDIEN SPA & RESORTS , many questions puzzled me.

Fables and stories of the demons Mahabal and Atibal, of Lord Brahma and yagnas, of battles, curses and boons,  churn in my head.

The featured picture is of the Shivling inside the KRSNADEVI  temple. I draw your attention ( for now) to  the base of the Shivling.  .

I will try to unravel these mysteries  and tell you many stories as we travel together through this land of wonder and magic.

BE ENCHANTED IN THE FORESTS OF MYTHOLOGY in Mahabaleshwar.

THE LADY IN PINK

Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) share a strong bond with their owners.

They trust them with their lives.

In these pictures the owner protects the goat  from the cold with a  pink crochet dress.

Hold it, do not be shy
Hold it, do not be shy

Pictures tell so many tales. The strong bond between the keeper and the Goat pours out of  the picture.It  lovingly nudges its head against the knee of the owner who hold it by its ears.

ALL EARS
ALL EARS

Have a look at this gentle and beautiful lady in pink. Look at the eyes .

Do observe how it’s hair has been braided and decorated as well.

See how one of the forelegs is but one step behind the other leg. So feminine, so dainty.

Does it know where it is being taken?

show your face pertty girl
show your face pretty girl

The picture shows the pots and pans of a famous shop selling an assortment of  Mutton dishes.

Mutton in India is usually not  Mutton from a  Lamb (Ovis Aries)  , it is the meat of THE GOAT.

Muttom Korma, Mutton Rogan Josh, Mutton Stew
Mutton Korma, Mutton RoganJosh, Mutton Stew

Had the Goat been ‘betrayed’ by the one it had trusted ?

IN THE MIDST OF TREES

Life in a forest revolves around trees.

The pictures that follow say so loud and clear.

The Cheetal or Spotted Deer ( Axis Axis) rests on a bed of leaves in the midst of trees.

stag
                                                                                Stag

Listen carefully, the Stag is saying something to the langurs above ? Watch how the sunlight filters through the trees.

Talking to me?
                                                          Quiet please, Siesta time

Our ancestors the Langurs ( Semnopithecus dussumieri) or Hanuman Langurs    in their tree house. 

langurs
                                                                    our ancestors

This Hanuman  Langur  hides  amongst the leaves of a tree  and keeps a careful lookout for predators. Their alarm calls  indicate a Tiger is close at hand.

hidden
                                                                     hidden

A grove of Jamun (Syzygium cumini )   trees provides a perfect playground for these peacocks

( Pavo cristatus) .

hide and seek
                                                                    hide and seek

New friendships in the thick of a forest.

forest
                                                                  enchanting  forest

A dove ( can you spot it ? )  keeps a Woolly Necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus)  company.

stork
                                                                               A woolly necked stork

The descendants of the apes try to make a “home,  of a tree” .

the descendants
                                                                                   the descendants

UNSEEN . UNHEARD . UNKNOWN.

I feel a bit like Columbus as i write this article.. Looking for Exotic Ancient Roots I stumbled upon a treasure of enchanting GREENS.

Spotted for the first time by me in a vegetable market in New Delhi, I share this new found treasure.

For ignorant me these green orbs clearly fall under the classification UNSEEN, UNHEARD of and hitherto UNKNOWN. Am sure the readers are wiser ( am I presuming too much?)

The featured picture and the one that follows is of a SPINY or SPIKY GOURD . Each orb is a packet of IMMUNITY.

These green vegetables  are native to South Asia and called “Junglee Karela” or “Kantola” in Hindi. AS the first name suggests it is a close cousin  ( as per scientists) of  “bitter gourd”  ( Karela in Hindi)

Prickly pear
Prickly   Pear  ?

Scientific name is Momordica dioica.  The well-known vegetables Broccoli, Zucchini and Carrots surround this relatively discrete vegetable in the picture that follows.

unusual karela
unusual karela in the company of the usual

These are called  Gentleman’s Toes  or Ivy Gourd in English. Locally in Hindi they are called Kundru . Native to the Indian Subcontinent these small inconspicuous vegetables ( Scientific name: Coccinia indica)  are in fact  a MIRACLE DRUG.

Known to rapidly reduce sugar levels they are a natural boon for numerous people suffering from Diabetes.

( check out http://la-tienda-ayurvedica.com and http://www.ayushveda.com ) 

Kundru
Kundru

This  green vegetable looking like a green apple of sorts  remains  a mystery to me.

I crown it the King of the three vegetables in the group :  THE UNSEEN . UNHEARD. UNKNOWN

Can  anyone  give this vegetable/fruit a NAME  ?

what is this
What on Earth  is this ?

On wards to the next treasure . I leave you with these wonders of the vegetable world.

For those visiting India: step into the UNKNOWN. Taste  the history  of this Ancient Land.

Hope to hear  from all those who read my blogs on similar food stuff in their Worlds.

MOON BEAM AND A BLOGGER’S EYE PACK

Vernacular Languages are so accurately  descriptive especially when describing native flora and fauna. 

Chandni in Hindi says it all. Somehow when translated into Moon Beam in English , it looses a bit of the moonshine.  The magical and enchanting Chandni bush is draped with these gorgeous flowers and is a romantic  sight to behold on a moonlit night.

chandni
                                                                     Chandni

I always thought these flowers were called Periwinkle. Don’t  they looked like the paper periwinkles ( fans you get for children all over India. Another thing to look for on your travels within India if you have not seen them thus far.

However I  discovered a beautiful name and an eye pack for my sore eyes. while I was hunting for the botanical name of  Chandni. Scientific name Tabernaemontana Divaricata.

Simply crush the Chandni flowers in a mortar and put the paste  within the folds of a very damp muslin cotton handkerchief. Place it over your eyes and all burning sensations caused by long working  hours in front of  the computer  will be beamed  out of the window.

They are also called Carnations of India. An evergreen tree , there is a magnificent specimen outside Hema’s house in GK 1, New Delhi.

the feather and the Carnation of India
                                        The feather and the Carnation of India

Can you guess the name of the bird which left a clue behind?