ATOP A HILL

It was a Journey , a short one I admit, I undertook on my own . The experiences  to my Final destination were captured  by my soul  and in part by my Camera.

Usually a spiritual awakening or a desire to overcome some troubles in our daily lives take us to places of Worship.

My trip to the 1200 year old Bhuleshwar Temple, 50 odd kilometers from Pune, was motivated by  a mix of faith and a desire to explore.

fields-and-hills
The Floral Fields and Hills of Bhuleshwar Village

I let the cool Monsoons Winds caress me while  I gazed at the awesome Beauty of Nature that spread out till the Horizons far and beyond.

I was experiencing a touch of the divine even though I had not even  seen a glimpse of the  Ancient Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that I was heading to.

road-to-the-hill
The Path to Bhuleshwar Temple

I would strongly recommend this trip even to the staunchest atheists ,do undertake the short Journey to the Bhuleshwar Temple near Pune, Maharashtra, India.

A glorious drive through Floral farms and Nurseries , gentle rolling Hills , Monsoon clouds and a glimpse of the countryside make it a fascinating region to head out for a day trip. ( do look up an earlier post titled DEVIL’S TRUMPET )

The First Glimpse of the Ancient temple which sits atop a Rocky Hill surrounded by Spectacular views.

The Temple is dwarfed by the Enchantments of Nature, or is it a Mirage and my Imagination?

rocks-and-a-temple
The  Bhuleshwar Temple Atop the Hill

The photograph posted as the Featured Image was  taken through a window inside the  gorgeous Bhuleshwar Temple.

Keep a watch out as we continue our Journey into the Temple that sits Atop a Hill.

ROCK OF FAITH

The River Neyyar in Kerala, India merges gently into the vast Arabian Sea.

Tranquility, The Tranquil Merger, Patient Hunter and The Sea Crow are  blogs posted before that highlight The Beautiful and Tranquil region of Poovar.

The White Surf in the background is the Arabian Sea separated by a slim Beach from the Mouth of the River in the foreground.

the meeting point
The End of a River

A Elephant like Rock at the meeting point of the River Neyyar and the Arabian Sea.

the rock
The Witness to the Merger

The Divine witnesses the merger of the calm tranquil fresh Waters of the River with the Turbulent and Restless salted water of the Sea.

cross
Rock of Faith

The Enchanting region was photographed from a Boat.

TRANQUILITY

Meandering through the coastline at Poovar, Kerala  are backwaters, Mangrove Forests and the Estuary of the River Neyyar.

Tranquil , Peaceful and Calm the waters gradually flow to meet the vast Arabian Sea unveiling an Incredible region of India.

Far from the Himalayas experience the diverse Flora and fauna of this Enchanting and Fascinating Land.

The River Neyyar  and the region it traverses is host to numerous Unique Flowers and Plants many of which resemble those depicted in the movie Avataar.

the river at poovar
Tranquil Flow

While Coconut trees dominate the landscape you will spot interesting Birds as well, watch out for the blogs to follow . A traditional Kerala wooden boat approaches the river, in the picture below, from the well shaded backwater channels.

traditional boats
A Calm traditional Wooden Boat

Mangrove Forests and Unique  Screw Pines line the Banks creating a Unique and Distinctive Ecological Region.

One can spend hours watching the Lush Green Terrain as the waters are extremely gentle and peaceful.

Listen to the the Gentle winds and the Calm flow of the River as the Boat lulls you into an Enchanting Slumber.

mangrove and screw pines on banks
 Peaceful River Bank

Go with the Flow and be overwhelmed by the Spells of Nature. This is after all Kerala, “God’s own Country”.

THE KING AND I

India is the Kingdom where Mangoes rule the World of Fruits, undoubtedly the King of Fruits.

Mangoes are the compensation to this land for bearing the Hot Summer Months. The Scorching heat fills these scrumptious Fruits with the Sweetest of Juices. The Hotter the Summer the sweeter  are the Mangoes.

Mangoes ( English), Aam ( Hindi), Mangifera indica ( Scientific name)  are native to the Indian Subcontinent and entrenched in the the History of this Ancient Land. It is from this ancient Land that they spread to the rest of the World.

The Mango Tree is revered in India and forms part of all auspicious functions like Inaugrating a New Home or A Wedding.

Garlands are made from Mango leaves and hung on the Main Entrances of Homes symbolizing Fertility and Good Luck.

mango tree
The Tree of the King of Fruits

Spring covers the trees with blossoms , the fragrance of which drives the pollinators like Bees wild.

The famous design called Paisley ( Kairi in Hindi)  owes it shape to the King of Fruits , Mangoes. Have a look at the Mango on the Left  below and turn it 180 degrees clockwise. Behold the Paisley.

the blooms
The Blossoms and Raw Mangoes

Raw Mangoes form the base of numerous mouth watering Pickles and Chutney. Each region of this Land has a different species of Mangoes and thus  naturally hundreds of Recipes abound.

It would take a lifetime  to discover and taste all the recipes.

plenty of mangoes
Curvaceous Mangoes

For me personally Mangoes are my favourite Fruit and of the hundreds of species of mangoes, Chausa rules my Taste Buds.

Are you still reading the blog, go and grab a Mango. The King of Fruits will disappear within a month.

ANGELS IN PINK

The Splendour of Large  Pink Pendants  is Enchanting and a sight extremely difficult to miss.

Have a look at the Inquisitive Grasshopper in the Featured Image who is mesmerized by THE ANGEL’S TRUMPETS. ( Do check out a previous blog ENORMOUS TRUMPETS to know all the scientific facts). The hyperlink is https://wordpress.com/post/enchantedforests.wordpress.com/12114.

The Lush Green Hillside at Gangtok, Sikkim, India  is Painted Pink by these magnificent Angelic Pink Trumpets.

full of blooms
PINK DIVINITY

All the pictures while taken in and around  Sikkim are of the same species but in different locations.

twirls of fun
THE TWIRLS OF TRUMPETS

The Shades of Pink  of these Gigantic Blossoms vary much like shades of Lipstick. The Camera virtually looks down the throat of this Baby Pink Angel’s Trumpet.

inside the bloom
PEERING INTO THE ANGEL’S TRUMPET

Pollinators must be Enchanted too as they go deep down the tunnel in search for Nectar.

These blossoms are after all Angel’s in Pink.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

Half a Dozen Blogs on these SO HUMAN LIKE beings and I feel I still owe them more. ( Previous blogs on the Common Langur are titled GHOST TREE, IN THE MIDST OF TREES and LANGURS)

Taking on from a previous blog titled Himalayan Oaks & Langurs. am sharing pictures of this sweet Himalayan Langur I caught Red handed with his entire Being in the Till ( here a Dustbin).

It is your choice whether you wish to go by his READ MY LIPS Innocent looks ( please check out the featured Image)  or the Pictures that follow in pronouncing him INNOCENT or GUILTY.

First spotted on a Large metallic Dustbin with dried leaves of the endangered Himalayan Oaks on the Hillside.The Himalayan Langur is unaware of my presence in this picture.

dustbin in the hills
Examining the treasures of a Public Dustbin

Unwilling to share  his newly discovered Treasure of Food the Langur warns me to Stay Off . Not looking so Innocent now is he ?

stay away
BUZZ OFF

This Picture  is the Nail in the Coffin, not only is the Thief Caught Red Handed his entire  Handsome Face, actually entire BODY,  is in the Till.

head in bin
GOTCHA !!!

Well here the Tail , oops sorry TALE  ends.

I pronounce him INNOCENT, what say you friends ? How can someone so cute be GUILTY.

“TROPHIES”

When you travel through India and see the Beautiful and Majestic Palaces and Forts you will also see countless “Stuffed Animals” which were heartlessly Hunted to decorate these Royal abodes.

Many species like the Asiatic Cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus ventaticus)  have been driven to extinction in India, whereas some species like Tigers are now  restricted to Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries. 

Stuffed Heads of Animals are mounted onto wooden boards ,as is the Head of the  Gaur ( English)  , Bos gaurus ( Scientific Name) in the picture below,  and are called “TROPHIES”.

These “Trophies” are then proudly displayed in the abodes of esrtwhile Maharajas and Kings symbolizing  the valour of their Forefathers.

bison
INDIAN BISON

The Featured Photograph has Mounted Heads of  the Graceful and Majestic Deer “Bara Singhas” ( that with 12 horns) , Swamp Deer ( English), Rucervus duvaucelli ( Scientific Name) which is now constricted to the Terrai region ( Dudhwa Wildlife sanctuary) , a spot in Central India( Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary) and Assam( Kazhiranga ) . This Unique Deer once roamed across the entire  Indian Subcontinent but is now extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Indian or Asiatic Lion ( English).  Panthera leo persica ( Scientific name) can today  be found ONLY  in the Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat, India. The Indian Lion is still Endangered and was on the verge of Extinction.

This Specimen is now in a Glass Box marked Number 26 and must survive on Grass.

lion is box number 26
Asiatic Lion in a Box

The River Monster , the Giant Devil Catfish (English), Goonch Fish, Bagarius yarrelli ( Scientific Name) also inhabits the fast flowing and deep waters of the Chambal River .

A Stuffed Indian Leopard ( Panthera pardus fusca) can be seen in the background in the picture below.

Fortunately both are neither Endangered or Extinct.

fish and cheetah
GOONCH Fish on the Table as a  Leopard looks On

While Smoking did not Kill the Gharial ( English) , Gavialis gangeticus ( Scientific Name) in the picture below, hunting for “Trophies” surely has driven them to be Critically Endangered.

The Gharial is a unique fish eating crocodile which is Native to India and now found in the Wild in the  Chambal River. ( please checkout earlier posts titled CURSED YET ENCHANTED RIVER , OVER THE CLIFF, EGYPTIAN ROOST and THE GREAT CANYON OF INDIA)

gharial
Gharial

If you are Enchanted by Trophies , skip going on Safaris as you may not find what you seek in Forests.