Madhavpur

There is a serene beach at Madhavpur on the road to Somnath from Dwarka. It lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. We stopped here to enjoy the beach for a moment and to have a look around. There are a few shacks and some vendors in open selling green coconut. We had green coconut at the beach. The coconut water tasted sweet. We opted for the ones with flesh too. The flesh was also nice. According to folklore, Krishna married Rukmini at Madhavpur after first kidnapping her. This event is memorialized with a temple dedicated to lord Madhavrai and by an annual fair held in the village. The original temple has been badly damaged in attacks by Muslim invaders; however a ruined structure is still present. After getting refreshed by cool sea waves and nice tender coconut, we proceeded for Somnath.

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Dwaraka

Jaya was planning for pilgrimage to Dwarka, but it was getting deferred. We planned this time for our visit to Dwarka. Located on the west coast of Gujarat, Dwarka is known as Lord Krishna’s adobe. Dwarka, the holy land surrounded with the legends of Lord Krishna, is a significant pilgrimage site for the Hindus. The city lies in the westernmost part of India. Dwaraka (also known as Dvaravati, both names meaning “the many-gated city” in Sanskrit. We reached Jamnagar by air via Mumbai. From Jamnagar airport, we drove down to Dwarka. On the route we crossed the famous Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar oil Ltd. We stopped at motel on the way for some tea and snacks. Only humans are allowed in. A photo posted by I.RoyChoudhury (@iroychoudhury) on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:48am PDT We had our stay arrangements at Govardhan Greens. It’s a nice, tiny resort just at the outskirt of Dwarka. Dwarka is a relatively flat region at sea level, having an average elevation of 0 metres. It is one of the seven most ancient cities in the country.  it is considered to be one of the holiest cities in Hinduism and one of the Char Dham along with Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram. The city is especially respected by Vaishnavas. Adi Shankaracharya had visited Dvarakadisha Shrine and had established the Dwaraka Pitha. The others are at Shringeri, Puri and Jyotirmath. This legendary town is well-visited by religious travellers world-wide for […]

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Munching on Bamboo

Researchers from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies took this picture of a shark eating another shark near the Great Barrier Reef. The shark being eaten is a bamboo shark. The shark doing the eating is a tasseled wobbegong(!!), a type of “carpet shark” that will hang out, camouflaged on the floor, and then munch the hell out other sharks. Nature is crazy!

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Gangasagar

Gangasagar is a charming tourist destination, which attracts both pilgrims and adventure lovers. Located on an island in the Sunderbans, Gangasagar offers the charms of an un-spoilt beach on the estuary of the river Ganges. Gangasagar has acres of silver sand and clear blue sky, and the calm sea to spend the time in tranquillity. Gangasagar is about 135 km away from Kolkata. The island of Gangasagar is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage centers in India. Every year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), pilgrims from all over India, gather at Gangasagar for a holy dip at the confluence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Gangasagar Mela is organized in this island, which is one of the biggest fairs in West Bengal. Gangasagar finds mention in many tales of Hindu mythology and in ancient Indian literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata. To avoid the rush, my friend Rina, his son Soumya and I went to Gangasagar in December. We went there in a steamer after reaching the ferry point by car. We had some jhal-muri on the ferry. On reaching Gangasagar, also known as Sagardwip, we went to the estuary where the holy Ganga River meets the sea – Bay of Bengal. We dipped in the water and enjoyed at the beach. Then we went to the temple of Kapil muni. After worshiping at the temple we moved to return to our […]

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Byblos, Lebanon

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Today, we had off-day from meetings. We will resume tomorrow again. It is still raining in Beirut. Rafeef, Waddah and I decided to hit the road for Byblos. I like going to Byblos; it is a journey down the history of civilization. Byblos is one of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is believed to be founded in […]

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Harissa, Lebanon

Visit to Harissa: 2011-01-22

Today, I visited Harissa, an important Lebanese pilgrimage site high above Jounieh, located at 650 meters altitude from the coast and 20 km distance from Beirut the capital city. We went up the hill by aerial lift — “Téléférique”. There’s a lovely view of Jounieh Bay as we go up the gondola. It attracts both pilgrims and tourists. The views of […]

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Pondicherry

Old Lighthouse

Pondicherry has now been renamed as Puducherry in 2006. It is affectionately known as Pondy. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture, virgin beaches and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied city. Pondicherry was designed on the French grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. We were planning […]

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