My entry for this Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting.
The pictures are from the Kundala Dam Lake area in Munnar, Kerala, India. I found it to be a very beautiful spot that instantly charmed this city dweller who got drawn to this serene, peaceful place and felt the perfect nature’s paradise. I wished we could stay longer and explore the area, do the boating, but we could not. The boating was closed and we could not enjoy the water more. The extremely tall Nilgiri (Eucalyptus) trees all around, and the thick forest with different variety of trees some with colored leaves (we had visited Kerala in March month) reflecting in the water below, it was a very silent and soothing time for me, perfect escape from bustling madness and traffic chaos of the place where I live.
The Houseboat stay and ride through the backwaters in Alleppey in Kerala too was thoroughly enjoyed, calming and soothing with fantastic view all around, a must include.
I would highly recommend a tour of Kerala, rightfully called as Gods own Country, if you have not yet visited it.
This picture is from my most recent India visit, returned home just last week. This was clicked when visiting my dad’s village near the banks of the river Wainganga, around noon with the summer temperature being above 43+ deg C. The huge tree provided the must needed shade when we got down from the AC cars and took shelter under the tree. Most were unawares of the danger lurking around with the creepy crawling creatures moving nearby, my eyes caught this little fellow changing color and I quickly captured the picture.
(Can you all spot the Chameleon in the picture ?!) 🙂
For this weekly photo challenge I have decided to share some pictures from God’s Own Country 🙂 , yes our Kerala tour, capturing nature’s bounty of some of the dense fruits and flowers that were seen around the cities in Kerala, India.
I have always been fascinated to click pictures of the road that lays ahead or passed by while I am sitting in the passenger seat of the moving vehicle. These pictures are from our Barbecue picnic outing with friends in the month of January 2017 to the Jabal Al Jais mountains in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. We have to crisscross through the mountains to reach to the point at the top until where the road is open for public use, construction is still seen in progress further up this point.
The Jais mountain is part of the Hajar mountain range bordering Oman. The tallest part of the Hajar mountain range lies in the neighboring Oman and the Jais mountain is the second largest of it that lies in the UAE.
This is the view from one of the mountain top that we had hiked to after parking the car at the end of the motor-able road that is open to public. The view is breathtakingly beautiful to see from here; the cotton candy clouds, the sun rays giving a golden glow, the blue clear skies and the chilling winter air that sends a shiver through us, it indeed was a beautiful long drive that is worth driving on.
You can check out my post on the Jabal Al Jais mountain here.
This picture is from my recent travel to India. While visiting the Ganpati temple in a city in Maharashtra, India, I stopped to chat with this smiling lady, a fruit and vegetable vendor. I requested her for permission to click her picture, and she smilingly agreed telling me that many stop and click her picture 🙂 .
The old lady is portraying the Maharashtrian look of a married woman, wearing the traditional nine-yard sari called ‘Navvari, the Maharashtrian jewelry-the Mangalsutra, the Motiychi Nath (Pearl nose pin), the green glass bangles called ‘Chuda’ with the gold Patli (bangles) and the red Kumkum (Vermilion) on her forehead. It felt wonderful to capture the warmth and happiness in her smiling face, the long journey of hardship of life seen in the somewhat tired eyes, yet the pride with which she wore her traditional attire. For me this was a graceful and elegant old lady, hence my choice of photograph for this WPC.
My entry for this week’s photo challenge: Relax are a few photographs from my visit to the beach near the Burj Al Arab hotel, Dubai, UAE.
I enjoy and always look forward to visiting the beach. Just standing on the beach in the sand near the waves that are lashing the feet, the feet sinking further into the sand with me completely engrossed looking out ahead at the vast stretches of the sea and the distant horizon, totally lost to the world around, the perfect moments that make me happy and totally relaxed. Dubai and also some other places in the UAE have amazing beaches and parks to visit to.
For this entry I have selected pictures from my visit to the open beach near the Burj Al Arab hotel, one of the most famous Dubai landmarks. It also has a long jogging track, a fantastic place to visit for walking or jogging on weekends or on any other day for that matter 🙂 if one stays nearby.
As I thought about the things that matter so much during this festive time, the November & December time of the year, so many things came to mind to post about without which it can never be this season of the year. Selecting just a couple of them for this post.
It will never be Diwali festivity without the oil Diyas, the floating candles, the fresh Marigold and Mango leaves garland to hang on the entrance door of the house, the rangolis, the Diwali faral/snacks etc. etc. and my list would go on and on 🙂 .
Maharashtrian Diwali Faral/snacks can never be complete without this goodie-Anarsa on the plate.
The winter season brings with it the seasons best fruits and vegetables, the holidays would not be complete without these fresh and sweet juicy Nagpur Oranges, the Nasik Guavas, and the Singadas. The taste of these delicious fruits is so badly missed every winter if I am not visiting India.
Finally, the December month brings to mind the memories of the house filled with divine & heavenly aroma of my homemade freshly baked cakes, the Christmas time would not be complete without the special Dry fruit soaked Cake.
For recipe of the Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf click here. Do checkout ashus other cakes and muffin recipes in the archives.
Just writing this post makes me want to bake something right away , but I know I will have to wait as I have other plans for today :), it is the 45th UAE National day today here in the UAE 🙂 .
My entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge- Magic dated November 18, 2016.
Walking through the Ancient city of Petra itself was a magical experience!
Petra in Jordan is a beautiful place to visit. We first walk through The Siq, a natural Sandstone gorge, a little over 2 Km or so walk winding through the ancient city of Petra to open into the most magnificent site that I ever saw -the treasury also know as Al Khazna, hence I choose a couple pictures from my Petra tour for this WPC-Magic.
After a 2 Km or so walk through “The Siq”, one gets mesmerized by this beautiful sight in front of our eyes, the most spectacular monument carved by the Nabataeans, it is 39.5 m high and carved out of a single block.
If you love travelling I would definitely recommend a visit to this fantastic place. 🙂
My entry for the WPC: Tiny dated November 11, 2016.
This beautiful picture is from my Nepal tour, took this out from my photo archives to share here.
We had just checked-in to our hotel in Nagarkot in Nepal and went out for a stroll in the evening, the sun was yet to set and we wanted to see around the neighborhood. This mother hen and her tiny chicks came walking along from somewhere, and the vast stretch of the road and dried leaves provided the chicks the perfect camouflage. It was a beautiful sight and I could not miss opening my camera to capture it 🙂 .
My entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge dated November 4th 2016 : Chaos.
This is the scene one witnesses as soon as a Mumbai local train halts in the station, rush and chaos of people on the staircase leading them out of the station. Those couple minutes on the train platform are truly spellbinding :). I too had just descended on the platform from the local train that is seen in the picture and was about to walk to the platform staircase, but then this scene had to be clicked first! 🙂
The pictures below are clicked during the boat ride in the Periyar Lake, in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, Kerala. It was amazing to click the birds that were perched up high at the edge of the dried tree branches that we saw right in the middle of the lake. As we took the boat ride in late afternoon, the light was not quite adequate in some parts of the lake to click perfect shots with the camera that we had. The pictures are from our 2011 Kerala tour.
This is the iron Handi that was part of my paternal grandmother’s belongings when she and dad settled in the city in his youth after selling away all the farmland and property in our ancestral village. This rare family heirloom that was once a part of our family and always seen in the courtyard is no longer with our family as it was sold away very recently while the house was sold and brothers moved to other cities. It was shifted to the backyard when the property was being sold away, and above is seen as a cropped part of a bigger picture, as this is the only picture of the Handi that I have now.
The picture below was clicked last year when I had gone to dine at the Handi Indian Restaurant at the Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai.
It is a nostalgic feeling to see these big cooking vessels or Handis, they are a rare sight nowadays, not seen regularly in the place where I reside.
This was the view of the Caucasian mountains that I first saw in the morning from my hotel window during my recent visit to Gudauri, Georgia.
Gudauri is famous for its Ski slopes, and the mountains were beautifully green in color at this time, which otherwise would be white as covered in snow during the winters. I could see the mountain tops covered in snow, some not even visible due to thick fog, moving clouds, in some parts the clear blue sky and the welcoming coldness in air. It was a beautiful morning, and I enjoyed soaking in the view.
As I reside in the UAE and currently experiencing the extreme summer months in this region, and when your morning starts with bright and harsh sun rays gleaming through the window and waking you , just close the eyes and visualize the perfect cold morning of Gudauri.