Thursday, May 14, 2015

A trip to 'The Flower Fields' of Carlsbad, California

For a family of back packers and travel lovers, every destination of beauty and nature is a trip to rejoice.   It is during the summer of 2011, that we decided to go on to visit the flower fields...yes the real flower fields of Carlsbad.....It was an awesome experience getting on to the tractor in the flower fields with smells of scents and fragrant air,  wagon rides, orchid greenhouse,  artistic gardens,  the confusing but fun filled sweet pea maze,,,where I  and Ajay got lost and had to call for help to get out...the beautiful display of poinsettias and wise farming and the wind mills giving the feel of a dutch colony.   It is one of most colorful trips we had and loved being there..  to know more about the place, visit their website

http://theflowerfields.com/







Post Trek Write up to Parvathamalai, Tamil Nadu

Parvathamalai is located near Thenmadimangalam Village, 20 kms from Polur. It is part of Javadhi Hills and accessible through Kadaladi village 25 kms north of Tiruvannamalai or through Thenmadimangalam. Parvatham means mountain and Parvatha Malai as it is called, connotes “Hill of Hills” or “Queen of Hills”. Parvathamalai presents eight different shapes from eight directions around the hill. 
At the summit of the Hill is the Mouna Guruswamy Ashram and more importantly a very powerful Temple at which resides the Siva aspect in the form of Lord Mallikarjuna (i.e. White Jasmine) and the Sakthi aspect in the form of Parvatha Rani or Parvathammal. Parvathammal is also called Lordess Brahmarambika (and Maragathambika). Inside the sanctum sanctorum there are also idols dedicated to Sri Ganesha and Lord Murugan. 

Pictures to speak of the beauty of the place ...prepare for an amazing trekking and divine experience and to cherish every moment of the effort....for it is worth doing it as part of the self-realization

Parvathamalai- One of the trek which blended with nature n religious beliefs...Parvatham means hill and 'Parvatha Malai' as it is called is the Hill of Hills or Queen of Hills at the top of which resides the presiding deity Parvatha Rani or Parvathammal. She is the Sakthi aspect and the 'Siva' aspect is Lord Malligarjun. 'Parvathammal is also called Lordess Brahmarambika' (also called Maragathambika). It is not known when exactly the temple was constructed at the top of the hill ( about 4,000 ft. high and a difficult terrain with 'almost' vertical rocky cliff called 'Kadapparai Malai'. But pre-historic record (Malai Padu Kadaam) shows that a king called 'Maa Mannan' who was ruling that area, during the year 300 A.D used to visit this temple frequently and worship the lord and lordess. It is said that even 2000 years ago the great yogis (Siddhas) constructed this temple at the top of the hill for doing  meditation. 

 There are three places from where the 'peak' of Parvatha Malai can be accessed. One is from a place called 'Then madhi mangalam' the second from Mambakkam and the third from Kadaladi. Normally the first and the last routes are chosen as the second one is very steep and difficult to climb. Out of the first and the last, the first route is comparatively easy to climb as half of the trekking distance (12 km) is mostly plains and the rest is also not very steep. Most of the visitors / devotees take the first route to climb and while trekking down, prefer the Kadaladi route more so since the setting up of the 'Ashram' at Kadaladi region. i choosed Then madhi mangalam route while climb the peak and while coming down i choosed kadaladi route. Thiruvannamalai GIRIVALAM path is 14 kms and i took 2.5 hours to cover this distance.


On top of the Parvathamalai....with the view of Arunachala at the backend....temples of Lord Shiva and Goddess Brahmarambika

Climbing up the Kadaparai Mountain -with support of crowbars

View of the Arunachala hill

Trek of the Parvathamalai









A Tribute visit to Birla House, New Delhi- Gandhi Smriti

The 'Martyr's Column' at the Gandhi Smriti, the spot where Gandhi was assassinated.

Gandhi Smriti formerly known as Birla House or Birla Bhavan, is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, situated on Tees January Road, formerly Albuquerque Road, in New Delhi, India. It is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It was originally the house of the Indian business tycoons, the Birla family. It is now also home to the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum,which was established in 2005

For more details:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi_Smriti

Chain of Unity...lights up when you hold hands

Gandhi with Kasturba

Peace be with you

Gandhi Smriti, the spot where Gandhi was assassinated

Peace Gong with flags of all world nations

Worldly remains of Mahatma Gandhi



 

A visit to Mount Baldy...Falling in love with mountains, brooks and nature

As we wanted to go ahead with unplanned drive across the mountains of California, we took the drive to Mount Baldy....a silent mountain with its own beauty and untouched by human chaos.   We loved being there with no plan and defintly would love to go again....unexplored avenues of California








Mt Baldy is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino CountyCaliforniaUnited States on the border of Los Angeles County. Mt Baldy is 12 miles (19 km) north of Ontario


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A trip to Wayanad (Kerala) -a nature lover’s destination and sheer indulgence!



Welcome to Wayanad



One Team-   One Family - One Big Outing!

What makes one a friend in life; is knowing them in and out, true self? .When you work along in the office space; Professionalism and decorum is in grace. Friendship blossoms as we know each other; and takes on to the bonds of share and care. When you spend most of your life at work; Making work life better is the only lark. That too given a chance to cherish the moment with the spouse and children, it becomes a heaven! When Colleagues turned friends, get on a trip, what else you need than cheer and happiness around. 

Initiation, Planning and Execution is the job we mastered to do, monitoring and control, our spouses too! This time, away from the technical hum bucks and gadgets glues, we got into the freeness of Nature true. Together, we boarded the train, started to know each other truly and better towards the real YOU! Families and children were added fun and happiness, as we explored the greenery of God’s Own Country.

Journey towards Wayanad, beauty on earth with its natural abundance and mystic beauty of mountains and valley, what else can you ask for than a breath of fresh air.  Food, Fun, Games, Jokes, Romantic stories, songs unwinded with few steps of surprise dance moves. Creativity and comedy unfolded without asking and entertainment went to its peak.

Crown Jewel of Kerala- Wayanad, a nature lover’s destination and sheer indulgence!

Curves of the road massaged our bodies but did not strain our spirits or togetherness.   The happiness of the trip to Wayanad lies in its beauty of the valley, the tea estates, the coffee gardens, the long betel trees, making you indulge in the serene heaven on earth.   It will also give you ample space to spend time in your own silence and recognize the inner self, calmly, slowly and peacefully.   Indulgence is just a short word when you make a trip to Wayanad.

Love for Earth, the greenery, the love for nature, bio-diversity and hearing the sounds of various birds and watching out for animals, make you feel the forests completely.   The gushing sounds of waters around make you take the treks in search of the brooks and possibly waterfalls.  The hanging jackfruit gardens around, the swaying coconut lagoons,  trek inviting slopes and man-made paths to walk, the flowers of all colours around is just an immense joy to experience.    Kerala, is as such the lap of Mother Nature.   Wayanad is just the crown jewel of Kerala.   

One destination for Nature Lovers, not to be missed!

Tour Operator Wayanad Package: Itinerary: 2 Nights & 3 Days

Day 01: CALICUT - WAYANAD
From Calicut  Railway Station, wash & fresh with breakfast at Calicut and drive to Wayanad on the way visit Banasura Sagar Dam,  check in to resort and overnight stay.

Day 02:  WAYANAD 
Morning after breakfast go for Sight Seeing visit  Kuruwadweep Island and Tolpetty Wildlife sanctuary , Evening back to Resort and Stay overnight.

Day 03: WAYANAD - CALICUT
Morning after breakfast check out from the resort visit  Eddacal caves  and pookot lake and in time drop at Calicut Railway Station to board the Train for return Journey.
Tour ends…

What we did and what we learnt!

We visited the Banasurasagar Dam and Day 1 plan went on as the tour operator planned.  We ended up at resort late in the evening and retired for the day.  

Day 2, we decided we will enjoy the pleasure of the Meenmutty Heights resorts we have taken to stay… 4 hours of playing and moments at Swimming pool and an entire evening of games, songs, dance and fun.  Children had the best time on Day 2 with so much fun and rain god’s ensured we do not get around the bonfire, but stay close and tight in the roof top indoors where we continue to cherish every moment.  The resort itself was in the lap of Neelimalai Mountains, tea gardens and coffee and betel trees around and surrounded by mountain valleys, brooks, tall trees and lovely gardens, swings and birds, and play area.   Trek trails and walking paths, and cycling for children.

Day 3, we visited kuruwadeep island and had authentic Kerala home food before we returned to Calicut.

Definite do’s and don’t

Do’s
  • Keep your gadgets away.  Mobiles work with limited access
  • Going in groups is enjoyable with kids and also safe as the place is inside the forests and there is less to access on your own
  • Drink plenty of water, watch what you eat and give time to relax and sleep
  • Use the nature at its best, take some silent moments, enjoy the long swings on the trees
  • Keep the place clean. 
  • Take first aid and medical kits as needed. 
  • Take enough clothes so that you do not spend time at laundry
  • Keep your family back home informed that you may not be reachable as mobile signals are weak and give them landline emergency contact numbers
  • Take loads of photos.  Wayanad is a photographer’s heaven too!  
  • Take home good spices, loads of tea, specially authentic green tea, buy memorabilia of the place and look out for Kattan Chai ( Black Tea specially available in Kerala)
  • Carry enough cash and good shoes. For ATMs are far, and shoes make you walk in comfort
  • Take swim suits or life guards for non-swimmers so that you can enjoy the natural and swimming pools
  • If you love Kerala Ayurveda massage, give it a sure try.
Don’ts

  • Please do not liter anywhere in Wayanad, especially plastic bags, covers or water bottles
  • Do not make noise when you are in the forest for sightseeing as you will be intervening with the privacy of the birds and animals
  • Watch out of sign boards before you enter any trek path or water body for any specific instructions
  • Do not enter any restricted areas, for it is for your own safety
  • Do not disturb the animals and go near them, throw stones or even offer food.   Especially Elephants
  • If you are planning to take a walk, in the nights, please ensure you do it in a group and do not go alone
  • Do not pluck fruits or plants without required permission inside the resort.  Even the tea leaves.
  • While driving up the mountains, do not over-speed, over-take and use seat belts and follow traffic rules
  • Keep your partying private and do not disturb other tourists
  • Do not eat food that you are not comfortable or too spicy during travel

Bottom-line:

Wayanad is sheer destination for nature lovers.  It is full of calmness, peace and gives you a kind of satisfaction of having visited Kerala to enjoy its beauty.    Just go ahead, plan and enjoy...just like how we did!   Capture your moments of happiness!


Few Glimpses of Wayanad

Second Largest Earth Dam in Asia-  Banasura Sagar Dam

Meenmutty Heights Resorts

9 hairpin bends of Wayanad

Cottage at Meenmutty Resorts

Tea Estates

Valleys in Wayanad

View Point, and Hairpin bends


  Disclaimer:  This is purely based on our tour experience and pictures of the team are not shared hear keeping their privacy in view.  





Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prayer - in total surrender to myself

30 April 2015

Prayer in Total Surrender to Myself



God, give me the affinity to accept the things
that I cannot change
The courage to change the things
that I can
And the Wisdom to know the difference

God, give me the strength be at serenity
with the wisdom to control my irrational thoughts
Intellect to overcome the past
courage to control the negative emotion
And
Conquer the fears of failure and loss
 
God,  give me the pleasure to enjoy life
to cherish the positive things you blessed me with
accept people as they are
Empathize with those who cannot change
First most, give me the strength
to change within for all good

God, give me the affinity to be at peace
To understand
You inside me
To believe that you will guide me right
keeping me away from evil
both thoughts and deeds

God,  give me the wisdom to cherish
that there is remedy to every trouble
cure to every disease
hope to every fall
to raise again and shine
In your name and mine
In your path

God,  give me the calmness of mind
to think in the right way, rational way
logically understand the difference of well being
to think differently and think rightly
for my thoughts make what I am
God, Guide my thoughts

God, I used to surrender to you 
when ever it was beyond me
Now, I realize that I bow to you in devotion
not because I cannot handle it anymore
But, it is because I believe in total surrender
To you and to my wellbeing
Sincierely searching for you within

God, You had been my guiding light
My biggest hope and biggest path
Never Ending Strength
Strong will
and a powerful force
guiding me and guarding me 
Now and Always!

In total surrender to God,
Surrendering to the well-being of me!

Prayer!
Strongest word in the world
To heal
To hope
To health
To harmony
To healthy living
Towards Happy Life!




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

29 April 2015 Dance- Evolution to Innovation

29 April 2015

Dance-   Evolution to Innovation




Dances that evolved to express joy
Folk and tribal dances on every occasion
Celebrating the arrival of seasons
Birth of a child, wedding and festivals
Even dances around the final good byes
Dances that are simple, steps and movement
Dance bursting with verve and vitality
Performances that make stories marvelous
Songs that go along with the dance moves
Accompanied by artists on the instruments
Various dances with specific costumes
Flamboyant and extensive dance jewelry
From just the evolution of joyful dancing
To innovating ways of telling stories
Of the improving mankind and tales
Skills and imaginations influences
The dancers and their dance performances
Started with the dancing statues of Mohenjadaro
And Devadasis in our Kind and queens courts
Bharatnatyam that started as dasi attam
And Kuchipudi as a Brahmin story telling
Half Aryan and Half Dravidian Kathakali
Katha meaning story telling with Kathak
Gandharvas and Goddess of Dawn by Manipuri
Temples and Religion depicted in Odissi
Indian fusion with broader acceptance
Respect for cultural diversity and collaboration
Exploring expressive potential and traditions
Contemporary styles with modern dance
Inspired and equally acquired with meaning
Express new forms, with social systems
Culture, needs, exclusivity and audience
Dance will continue growing in dimensions
Of beauty, form and truth in expressions
Dancers will continue to give more and more
To the sentiments of love and the art
Dancers both women and men will make
The art live on for years and years to come