The Brijrama Palace is one of the finest buildings along the banks of the Holy River Ganges at Kashi ( Benaras or Varanasi).
The picture above and those that follow were taken at daybreak from the Terrace of this Ancient Palace which as you can see gives a wonderful overview of the City and the River Ganges.
Previous blogs titled BLISS IN KASHI, DAYBREAK IN KASHI & INVOLUNTARYDIP IN KASHI would help you connect the dots.
A wonderful capture as the Rock Pigeon tilts his head while perched on his bath tub as if viewing the hustle bustle of people on the River banks below through the Ancient ramparts of the Brijrama Palace.
The All Marble Bath Tub is filled with the Holy waters of The River Ganges and covered with auspicious Marigold petals.
The Royal Rock Pigeon (English), Kabootar ( Hindi) ,Columba livia ( scientific name) seems to be in a State of Bliss, what say you?
Iron chains keep Curious Visitors Off the Edge and provide the Pigeons some privacy as well.
What an Enchanting Morning to sip a Cup of Hot Tea after a cold dip in the River and watch the Pigeons bathing in absolute luxury along with the Rising Sun.
The White Solitary Posts are Poplars , a high altitude tree you will see covering the the entire Landscape of Leh, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
There is a huge and exciting controversy brewing on the scientific name and I have honed onto the scientific name Populus parmirica.
As I have only seen and photographed them during the Winters when not a single leaf adorned them, let alone bear a flower or fruit, it is hard to key on the species with precision for an amateur like me.
I understand these Ghostly white posts have separate male and female trees and are an intricate part of Ladhakhi life.
Willows and Poplars dominate the winter landscape of Ladhakh.
The Ladhaki Frass or Ladakh Poplars or Populus pamirica can be seen only at altitudes above 2000 m.
Leh is at 3800 m and thus home to vast Poplar plantations.
I hope you will help me identify the species in case I have blundered . Am certain the Genus Populus is however correct.
From an Altitude of 215 metres at New Delhi ( 24 degrees C) to a dizzy 3800 metres at Leh, Ladakh ( -10 degrees C) within an hour meant the first day was reserved for the entire group to acclimatize to the drastic change.
The breathtaking views and rarefied air at an high altitude left me gasping for air.
All the photographs were taken from the Mahey Retreat Hotel , Leh ,Ladakh on the first day of an Enchanting trip.( please check out my blog titled LEH TEASER at http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com)
The landscape at Leh is amazingly stunning and unique.
Behold the Snow Clad and Mighty Himalayas viewed through a screen of leafless trees.
It was so Enchanting to see the Himalayas close at hand. I felt I could reach out and touch the mysterious Himalayas, home to the mysterious Snow Leopards.
The intensity of the Sun is multiplied manifold as the Rarified Air does not filter sunlight. The result is that Snow dissolves leaving barren Mountains like the one in the picture below.
The picture was taken from the window of the Hotel, the rooftop of which can be seen in the foreground.
Leh during the winters is Spellbinding and leaves you Breathless literally and figuratively .
I was fortunate to go on a fascinating drive to Nazarbagh Palace , Jaipur which took me through the amazing and aromatic Golden Fields of Marigolds or Genda Phool.
I had promised in my blog AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS( Please check it out for information on these flowers which I am not repeating in this post) that I will redeem myself by posting better photographs.
However I did not even imagine in my wildest dreams that I would visit a Field of Golden Flowers within the week itself.
Nazarbagh Palace is located a mere 20 minute drive from the center of Jaipur..
The Golden Fields as I call them are in fact a commercial plantation of Marigolds which are sought after during the Wedding Season in India.
The entire drive from the Highway to the Nazarbagh is through the awesome rural countryside of Jaipur dominated by Marigolds and Mary’s Gold ( the name for Calendulas on which I will post an article in the blog to follow) .
The picture below typifies the beautiful countryside complete with a Cottage and a Water Buffalo in the background.
A closer look at the flowers reveals various Shades of Gold. Many of them will be converted into Garlands which will adorn deities in various temples in and around the city of Jaipur.
A closer look at the Golden Flowers
The Indian Honey Bee tests the nectar of a bicoloured Genda Phool . ( Hindi for MariGold).
The Petals grow from an edible Off White Central disc which is relished by children.
As the Marigolds belongs to the Asteraceae Family it exhibits many of the unique features that are characteristic of the Sun Flower or Daisy family.
Am sure many of the regular readers of these blogs are by now familiar with these enchanting characteristics.
We have through this blog and the preceding AUSPICIOUS MARIGOLDS experienced various types of Marigolds or Gendas. Am hopeful you have enjoyed these flowers which find an important place in Mexico as well during the Festival of the Dead.
The area is also rich in Birdlife and highly recommended if you wish to savour the flavours and EnchantingSpells of Rural India. ( do keep a watch out for a write up on NazarbaghPalace in http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com)