Mar 24, 2015

Kashi Yatra- Canines of Kashi :)



Austere clad sadhus are favorite subjects to photograph in Varanasi? For me there were many favorite subjects including canines! I am sharing few pics here. Are you surprised? Why am I talking about dogs of all other sacred things in Kashi?

Mar 6, 2015

Kashi Yatra- The popular Ganga Aarti



Tons of websites appear in the result list when you google for Varanasi. And the most mentioned 'must-do' item will be Ganga Aarti in the evening on Dashashwamedha Ghat (Read more on ghats here). Well, it is a beautiful, grand, elaborate, touching event in Varanasi although it looks a bit dramatic and touristy. As I mentioned earlier my trip was for seven days in Kashi and every evening I watched this event with full enthusiasm and devotion. I didn't care about the mosquitoes, about the light colored clothes I was wearing, that stinking cow dung right beside me and the people who were determined to sell the music CDs to me. Everyday I was there at 5:45PM.

Mar 2, 2015

Kashi Yatra- One evening on Harishchandra Ghat



Well, Kashi is city of very interesting things. People come here- to die, to perform rituals, to pray, to get married, to smoke, to experience and what not! One evening I was walking back from Asi ghat to Dashashwamedha ghat and was immersed in some thought. I was walking near the Harishchandra ghat and a big crowd screaming with excitement brought me back to the world! Curious I was went looking for the reason for that kind of excitement near a cremation ground. Yes! Harishchandra ghat is a cremation ground. (Read more about Varanasi Ghats here)

Feb 27, 2015

Kashi Yatra- Kashi as I saw, a photo tour!

As I mentioned in the earlier post, Kashi is much happening place. For tourists, ghats (see post Experiencing Ghats)are the main attractions though there are few other attractions like Banaras Hindu University campus which is walkable from Asi Ghat. Kala Bhavan museum and the new Vishwanatha temple built by Birlas are located here. The Durga Shaktipeeth in the city too is quite popular ancient temple. There are few other temples in the city. But, after visiting the ghats and Kashi Vishwanatha Temple nothing seems very interesting. I was quite amazed to see the inflow of foreign tourists here. Sometimes tourists make great pictures too :) Here I am sharing 20 pictures of Kashi Ghat as I saw! 

Boats everywhere!

Feb 23, 2015

Kashi Yatra- Experiencing the GHATS!


Varanasi Ghats

Well, what are ghats? In simple terms, they are just very wide flights of steps to go down to the river for a holy dip or bath! Many things happen here. In fact, the whole city (not Varanasi, but ancient city of Kashi) was built around these ghats and the Kashi Vishwanath temple. There are innumerable temples at every step. Submerged, mutilated, destroyed, rebuilt and non-existant ... there are many states to assign! The whole stretch of ghats from confluence of river Ganga with rivulets Asi to Varuna is of about 4KM. Dashashwamedha Ghat is the main and much happening ghat. As you walk away from here in either directions the ghats get less crowded, less expensive and less clean. Every step you walk there is a Shiva temple. The functioning temples are closed in the afternoon. Some temples have huge lingams.

Feb 17, 2015

Backpacking India III- Classic Pilgrimage!




Backpacking India- Part III was much awaited. Two years ago I wanted a monsoon-visit to Maharashtra which didn't work as planned because my mother had to undergo knee replacement surgery. Many things happened after that! With the loss of a parent I found myself as a victim of a disaster. The feeling of void was paramount and I thought of finding peace in praying for my departed Dad. Couldn't really take the restlessness anymore and I started with the plan of visiting only Varanasi- that is what I told my family. But, then continued for almost 70 days until I was left with no money in hand. On my way, crossed the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu before reaching home in Bangalore!

Feb 14, 2015

Why specific destinations for Honeymoon?

Long ago my sister got married. Both she and my brother-in-law were very much excited about their honeymoon in Kashmir. And they came back with the same excitement to reach their home town :) I hear people going to Kodaikanal, Ooty, Pachmarhi, Kullu-Manali, Shimla, Goa, Europe, Hawaii and Alaska for their honeymoon. I wonder why those specific destinations!

Nov 29, 2014

Seven days of my Kashi Yatra!

Call it Kashi, Varanasi or Benaras ... it remains the same ... crazy ... captivating ... endlessly fascinating ... and holy ... One of the oldest surviving cities in the world- Varanasi is defined and protected by the rivers Varuna and Asi. These rivers prevent the evil from entering the holy city! Varanasi then was an important religious city surrounded by the complex Hindu mythological legends ... later became hub for foreign tourists ... the recent popularity being the general elections ... Yeah! In future, it will be a "smart city" of India!? I am in Varanasi. Actually, my trip is  to Kashi- The city from where one makes the final crossing to the far shore! 

Nov 12, 2014

Monarch Butterfly in Pacific Grove




Its November and time for going Butterfly Watching! Well, Monarch butterfly watching in Monterey, California! I am posting the pictures of butterflies which I took in the past years! You can get much info about this most familiar North American butterfly in Wiki. But, the amazing thing is that these tiny delicate living beings migrate from Canada to Mexico to escape harsh winter! Do they live that long??!!

Nov 7, 2014

Edinburgh Castle- Symbol of the city!


Edinburgh Castle as seen from Arthur's Seat
As seen from Arthur's Seat

The magnificent castle stands atop a volcanic crag towering over the city skyline. Scotland trip is incomplete without visiting this massive medieval castle which is 'the best' attraction of Edinburgh, in fact- is the symbol of the city :) From here visitors have spectacular panoramic views of the Edinburgh city in every direction. Situated at the beginning of the Royal Mile, the castle displays the 'Honours of Scotland' (royal jewels).

Oct 25, 2014

Scotland- Edinburgh, the ancient modern city




Edinburgh- the capital city of Scotland is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. Skyline here is full of medieval buildings and the city gets a unusual unique look because of the hills formed by the ancient volcano in the middle of the city and the castles, the important buildings and the monuments built on them. Taking a stroll on the streets lined with medieval buildings was like Time Travel :) I visited most of the attractions, but most of them are either museums, war memorials and castles.

Oct 17, 2014

Pap of Glen Coe!



When we were driving near Glen Coe our tour guide/driver pointed at this hill and said "see on your right ... Pap of Glen Coe". At first I thought it was one of his numerous cheap jokes. Then checking on internet proved that there is one mountain with this name which is a very popular trekking destination but, not sure this is the one! Or I might have seen from a different angle! Whatever ... here is the Pap of Glen Coe which I saw :)

Took this picture from the van as a record shot and so there is some reflection. Blue sky, clouds look nice and interesting hill huh?
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Oct 13, 2014

My trip to Scotland


Typical scene of Highlands Scotland
Typical scene- Highlands, Scotland

I had been to Scotland few years ago and happened to visit again recently which refreshed my memories all over again. But, never got a chance to blog about my experiences in the country abundant in history, castles and ruins. The history and legends make the wild beauty of the highlands and the islands of Scotland more special.

Oct 10, 2014

Modern Architecture- Mary Avenue Foot Bridge



I have a fascination to shoot bridges at night! I have taken too much of risk to be all alone in pitch dark near the water getting bit by millions of mosquitoes. But, still I do take pictures of these modern architecture masterpieces. 

This is Mary Avenue footbridge  with a span of 325ft across 10-lanes of interstate 280 connecting Cupertino and Sunnyvale in California. It is the first cable-stayed foot-bicycle bridge across a highway in California. At night the bridge is lit up and is a beautiful sight!

Oct 8, 2014

Flying home ...


Heron at Salton Sea California

One pic from archives ... My trip to American SouthWest last October. I was at Salton Sea, California, the last pit stop of the trip. Very interesting place starting from its creation, formations and birds. Beautiful bird huh?

Oct 6, 2014

Moaning Cavrens- An amazing vertical cave!


Moaning Caverns Calaveras County California
When I lived in California I had been to many hidden gems of this golden state. California is much more than amusement parks around Los Angeles, Golden Gate bridge, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite national park. It extends to badlands, high Sierras, wonderful waterfalls, forests studded with brown bears, sky kissing coastal redwoods, beautiful shorelines, caves, lakes and great cities! One such small hidden gem is Moaning Cavern in Calaveras County. ! It is a vertical cave chamber where one can go rappelling 165 ft down! 

I visited this place and few other very interesting nearby places sometime last year which I am posting now! I have been to many caverns but Moaning cavern is amazing because of the rappelling experience.  Those rock-mushrooms on the walls as you descend! To add to that in this trip, I camped at Calaveras Big Trees State Park and visited Natural Bridges where I swam across the cave, Columbia State Historic Park and drove all those 61 miles on Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway where the elvation ranges between 4,000 to 8,7000ft! This area is surrounded by the Gold Rush towns, mountains and alpine valleys!

Oct 3, 2014

Lake Powell and the sky ...


Lake Powell and sky Page, Arizona

This picture is from archives ... an year ago ... late October in Page, Arizona. I took a boat ride to Rainbow Bridge National Monument ... the bridge is accessible only by a boat. For around 9hrs I was surrounded by this scenery ...Cool huh?
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This post linked to Skywatch Friday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sep 29, 2014

Street food from Gujarat


Khaman dhokla Street food from Gujarat
Khamman dhokla

Gujarat is one of the vibrant states of India and gujarati food is unique! Here street food is dominantly popular and mostly vegetarian. I am fond of Gujarati food because I visit Gujarat frequently, at least twice or thrice a year! I love to go out in the evening, because afternoons are extremely hot, to eat pani-poori roadside! Well, I am talking about snacks not the thali (full meal) here.

Sep 26, 2014

Stormy evening- Tornado or smoke?


Arizona Page Tornado or smoke

Well, very gloomy picture huh? But, it is interesting too ... at least for me for the adventure associated with it :) I was driving past Monument Valley towards Page, Arizona in late October last year. It was stormy. First I passed through light sand winds which might have caused millions of microscopic scratches on the windshield of rented car!

Sep 24, 2014

Pigeons, nest and pigeon mites!


Pigeon nest and mites
Mommy pigeon feeding

Couple of months ago when I returned to my apartment in Bangalore with my Mother, I saw a pigeon nesting in an orange bucket which I had left in the kitchen balcony. I saw two little eggs. The pigeon had made a mess in the whole area with its poo. I wanted to get the balcony cleaned but, decided against it thinking it may disturb the hatching process! Was that my mistake?!