Flowers of Shiva

Enchanted Forests

Was I Lucky ?

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.”

numerous Cascades of Buds

A Soft picture of the Lovely Pink Flower along with Buds in very stages.

” The name Nagalingum (…

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ATOP A HILL, DIVINE SHADOWS & FRAGRANT FIELDS are three previous blogs which will help the readers appreciate the wonderous location of the Mystical Bhuleshwar Temple near Pune, Maharshtra, India.

Nature is a creative expression of the Divine and all Living Beings are a proof of the Existence of the Supreme.

Even the Doorways leading to the  unusual Bhuleshwar  Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva are symbolic expressions of the Enchanting World we inhabit.

The  Doorways  or main Entrance leading to the sanctum sanctorum of the  Bhuleshwar Temple. 

Doorways Atop a Hill

As you enter the Front Doorway and look to your Right you see Light and  Trees ( Banyan and Peepul trees both belong to Genus Ficus ) while you stand in darkness. Walk through and you would be privileged to see a breathtaking view of the surroundings.

The Featured image showcases the Oversized Temple Bell which one sees through the Main Doorway.

I may mention this is an extremely Unusual and Mysterious entry into a Hindu Temple.

Light, Nature and  Ficus Trees 

The Ornate Carved  Doorway made of Stone is  Intentionally small compelling the Pilgrim to Bow down as you cross the threshold of the Temple.

Lord Ganesha  ( Elephant headed Lord who removes all obstacles)  can be seen in saffron at the Top Centre of the doorway.

Carved Doorway or Entry to The Shiva Temple

The Mystery and Magic of the Temple is enhanced as it is Pitch Dark and there is a Stone Wall  in front with a near invisible engraved Statue of Lord Hanuman ( the Monkey headed Lord who dispels darkness ) in the centre.

Dead End and Pitch Dark

Thus far there  is no obvious symbol of Lord Shiva or the Sanctum Sanctorum and one has been through multiple doorways. All is dark, and it is a dead end….or is it??

Please see the picture  above carefully and do read the blogs to follow to fully  appreciate the Mystery and Marvel of the Temple Atop a Hill  which is wrapped in layers of  Nature.


The All seeing Eyes of Lord Buddha on a Stupa in Ladakh.

Interesting to note is the Crescent Moon a Symbol used by Tantrics in Hinduism or from Islam ?

All seeing Eyes 

The Tantric traditions of Tibetan Buddhism borrow the Trishul of Lord Shiva worshipped by Hindus.

The Trident

The  Fluttering Dragon Flag of the Drukpa Lineage of the Hemis Monastery at the 3 Idiot School  & Hemis Nunnery during the Winter Festival in Shey , Ladakh.

The Willows have shed their leaves in Winter  when temperatures call fall to – 25. C

Flying Dragon

This is in continuation of the post yesterday titled HIMALAYAN SYMBOLS.

The Enchanting Colourful Prayer Flags are all over and are in sharp contrast to the Beautiful but Arid High Altitude Desert that is Ladakh. ( the featured image says this better than my words) 


Ladakh  ( numerous blogs from FEB/MARCH 2016 will reveal more) is an unusual and Wondrous Region in the lap of The Himalayas in Jammu & Kashmir, India.

However here I am focusing on one Symbol in particular which you will see strike you between your eyes repeatedly in Buddhist Ladakh.

This was hand painted on the Wall of the Dining Room of a Hotel in Leh, Ladakh.

Symbols from Nature around a Chakra

The “Dharam Chakra” is seen again on a Curtain in the Hemis Monastery  ( see earlier blogs on the Monastery) in the main courtyard. Do notice the Wheel or Chakra always has Eight Spokes.

In Black & White

The featured image is a zoom in of the top of the gate which welcomes you to the “3 Idiot School” ( do see an earlier blog on the school to know more)  in Shey, Ladakh. The Chakra is held  aloft between Two Mighty Dragons.

What do the symbols signify, what is the message they convey to you ?  Three pictures, three depictions , three different locations and three different materials, yet the Symbol is Constant.

A subsequent blog will reveal more symbols seen along with the spectacular terrain of Ladakh.


The following photographs were taken in the Suchindram Temple Complex in Kanyakumari district  , Tamil Nadu ( was in Kerala 60 years ago) , India..

suchindram temple
The Gorgeous Suchindram Temple

The Black Spots are Cormorants.

pelican in pond
The Sacred Pond 

Fish in Temple Ponds flourish both in numbers and Size. However our Feathered Friends are unaware of Rules laid out by Humans.

fish for food
Fish Frolic in the Sacred Temple Pond

The Pelican is unaware Fishing is Prohibited in the Sacred Pond.

the pelican
Fishing all Alone

Enjoy the Solitary Pelican having a Hearty Meal in an area where Fish are protected by The Divine.

Third in a row, promise to fill in the blanks later in the Week.


The Palm Family, Areceacae, encompasses a vast range of Plants including The Toddy Palm and the Coconut. ( do check out  previous blogs titled THE ENCHANTING WORLD OF NUTS & INDIAN NUT to know more ) .

Two Common Names of the Unique Palm you see in the Featured Image,  The Rajah Wax Palm or Lipstick Palm  ( English) collectively combined to give me the Title of this blog. Rajah means King in Hindi

The Lipstick Palm bears no Fruit , Flowers .or Timber and is cultivated Primarily for its Aesthetic Appeal or simply put; its Looks.

Stunning Looks

Cyrtostachys renda ( Scientific name) is a Tall Tree  introduced  from Indonesia and is widely cultivated in Gardens across Kerala, India as a decorative Plant.

The Characteristic Scarlet or Red Coloured Central Shaft or Mid Rib gives this Palm Tree several interesting names such as Red Sealing Wax Palm , Lipstick Palm and The Rajah Wax Palm.

hidden red
Lipstick Red at the centre of Feathery Leaves

If you recall Proclamations in Former Times were always made Legal with a  Royal Seal .

In India even today many Legal Packages/Letters are sealed using Lac or the Red Sealing Wax.

The Red Wax on which the Royal Seal was embedded  was the same Scarlet Colour as The CrownShaft of the Rajah /Sealing Wax Palm.

Fascinating how  common names and history combine to make these Palms Enchanting, which but for the Red Lipstick would go unnoticed.

Pictures above were taken at THE UDAY SUITES, Trivandrum and THE MAHINDRA RESORT, Ashtamudi. Both these Lovely Resorts  are in Kerala, India.


Once Upon a Time ,Wild Deer , Elephants and Tigers would have roamed these Hills now overtaken by domesticated Cattle and numerous “Crying Trees “.

The Para Rubber Tree ( English), Hevea brasinlliensis ( Scientific name)  was first planted in India by the British  from the Americas ( Brazil in South America)  in the early 20th Century .They felled the Naturally Occurring Rainforests and replaced them with Rubber Plantations to harvest Natural Latex. ( this act was replicated across South East Asia as well )

A  Rubber Plantation on the slopes of the Western Ghats in District Pathnamthitta, Kerala, India as it exists today after over 100 years.

This Plantation is close to the  Konni Elephant Rescue Centre  mentioned in previous blogs titled BABY ELEPHANTS and MAMMOTH BATH.

miles of rubber
Rubber Trees replaced Rainforests

The Rubber Trees in Plantations across Kerala are native to the Amazonian Rain forests and a  rich Natural Source of Rubber.

The trees are wounded by repeated Cuts to release a Milky latex which is collected in Coconut Shells.

Is it a wonder they are  called “Caotchoue” by the Native Americans which literally translates to Crying Tree.

Bleeding and Bandaged Trees

As you can see in the picture above there are several angled cuts on the Trunks of the trees.

Vast Lands which once supported an astonishing range of Flora of Fauna were laid waste and replaced by Rubber Plantations to commercially harvest Natural Rubber which oozes from the Core of these Crying Trees.

The Milky Latex is collected in little Cups made from Coconut Shells.

drop by drop
Collection of the Sap

First the Rainforests were felled and replaced by Plantations, then the forest dwellers like the Elephants chained and finally the Trees were made to Bleed.

I understand that the closest competitor to Natural Rubber is Synthetic Rubber which is derived from Petroleum. Thus when the prices of Crude Oil fall so do the prices of Rubber.

As we all know Crude Oil prices are scraping the bottom of the Barrel and that spells a death Knell for the Rubber Plantations as well.

Is this the Revenge of the Bleeding Trees ?



“In Asia, from the Peninsula where Three Seas Meet , Comes the Ruler to whom Thursday is Holy, His Wisdom and Might all Nations will Greet, to Oppose him will be Folly Indeed.”

Am Overawed by the above prophesy of the famous 16th century European Seer we know as Nostradamus . The Prophesy was posted in similar but not exactly the same words by my friend Ranjit Devraj on my facebook account yesterday after he had seen my Post titled “Lost at Sea”.

The featured image above is the Southern Tip of the Indian Peninsula where  Three Seas Meet. It is called the Vivekananda Memorial Rock at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu ,India .

the Indian Ocean
Land gives way to the THE THREE SEAS

The Ancient & Holy City of Kanyakumari is located between the Cardamom Hills and the Vast Seas. The Catholic Church seen in the picture below however preaches Sunday to be  Holy.

kanyakumari Church
Our Lady Of Ransom Church at the Tip of India

The name Kanyakumari is however  derived from the Virgin Goddess in the Hindu Pantheon. The temple in the picture below at Kanyakumari  is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati who slays an Evil Demon fulfilling a prophesy.

To date the majority ( over 80%) in India are Hindus and Thursday is a Holy Day on which certain  deities are worshiped across the  country.

The Temple
The Temple at Sea

Am fascinated how a Prophesy could so accurately describe a region I was blogging about hundreds of years ago.

Believe Him or Not, Nostradamus has me Spellbound. Thank you Ranjit.


When you stand at the End all you experience is The Vast Oceans and Seas till as far as the eye can see.

Standing at the tip of  Southern India at the Vivekananda Memorial Rock at Kanyakumari am overwhelmed by the Vast Oceans and Seas that stretch beyond the Horizon.

vast ocean
The Vast Indian Ocean and Beyond

As the Crow flies there is no land mass between Kanyakumari, the last Indian Town of Southern India , and The Ice Continent Antarctica.

Only the waters of The Laccadive Sea and the Indian Ocean separate the Indian Sub continent and Antarctica.

a mere speck
A Mere Speck

With the Indian Ocean to the South, the Bay of Bengal to the East, the Arabian Sea to the West and Monsoon Clouds in the Skies above, the tiny  Blue Fishing Dhow is happy to scurry home to the Indian Land mass in sight.

Blue Dhow
Land In Sight

“Kanyakumari”  is a Spectacular Coastal Town  steeped in Mythology and History.

As I gazed out at the Never ending Waters on all Sides  I was simply “Lost at Sea“.


The Adorable Babies you see in the Pictures in the Blog are of two orphans who were rescued by the Forest Department from the Konni Forest of Kerala.

The Large Wooden Cage you see in the background  called Aanakoodu in Malayalam ( the local language in Kerala)  is the current home of these Babies located in the Elephant Rescue Centre in Konni,Pathanamthitta District, Kerala.

elephant out
Seems Thoughtful or Maybe Sad ?

A Large Open Enclosure outside the Aanakoodu  is the Play Ground for these Baby Elephants who seem to enjoy  the freedom from their respective cages.

fun time
Play Pen

A She Elephant was also rescued from a nearby forest , but her heavy metal chains and her reaching out to me (for Help ? ) make me wonder if they are Really Happy being Rescued.

Observe Her Eyes in the picture below, they seem to Speak Volumes. What do you read??

mamma elephant
Rescued ???

Have posted a blog titled MAMMOTH BATH from this very Rescue Centre a few days ago with pictures of a Tusker having a Bath, who was also in Chains.

I wonder what Ominous Futures hangs over the Baby Elephants who will be used by the Forest Department to promote what is labelled ECOTOURISM.

Tourist will Ride on these Elephants after being trained by a process which is both Cruel and Torturous.