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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 carefullyand 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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??
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.