Kamakhya Devi temple, Guwahati

Northeast Vol. 1 | Guwahati A Welcoming City of Ancient Temples on the Bank of Brahmaputra

It would not be fair to say that Guwahati was never in my wishlist, but certainly not on top, since I expected it to be yet another city. It remained such until I decided to visit Meghalaya and started checking for flights; I researched more on it. As rightly said, Guwahati is an entry point, a vanguard to the rest of the northeast of India and thankfully, I did visit this progressive city which has got some beautiful touristic destinations and especially the temples that make for a pleasant sight.

I covered the aerial distance of approximately 1400 km, travelling from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati; approximately 2 hrs. and 30 mins. journey. You’ll not see much scenic beauty while landing but do not get disappointed as Guwahati withholds multiple layers that it unfolds the more you spend time here. I wanted to start my journey from Guwahati because of the much famous Kamakhya Devi Temple.

Kamakhya Devi Temple in Guwahati, Assam is known for its Black Magic Art and Tantrism.

The Kamakhya Devi Temple is an ancient and renowned Hindu temple and is one of the oldest of 51 Shakti Pithas. Situated on Nilanchal Hills, the temple witnesses thousands of pilgrims and devotees daily. Its construction dates back to the 8th-17th century and it is said that the temple has undergone renovation a couple of times. Though the temple holds its significance because of its Black Magic and Tantrism, there’s an air of tranquil and positivity in the ambiance in and around this temple. Devotees visit this temple with a lot of faith which is seen when they patiently wait for their turn in endless queues for hours. These queues are to reach to the kund, believed to have dropped Goddess genital parts after she chose to become Sati and burn herself in a pyre. India, as we all know, is a land of rich culture and heritage and has lots of interesting and mystique stories from the historical period and this is one of them. One disturbing yet important activity is the animal sacrifice within the temple complex that happens on a frequent basis. Nonetheless, as every religion and culture have a story of its own, this is one of those. You may hold faith or just visit this temple to learn about its architecture, beautiful surroundings, management of thousands of devotees; certainly, there are multiple reasons not to miss visiting the Kamakhya Devi Temple if you are staying at Guwahati or nearby destinations. Best time to visit is 6.00 AM or even early. The temple’s visiting hours are 6.00 AM – 6.00 PM, however, to avoid the long queues one must visit at the earliest.  

Basisth Temple dates back to Vedic age and is built on Saint Vasistha’s Ashram

Basisth Temple or Vasistha Temple as one would like to call this saffron colour nicely built temple at the outskirts of Guwahati in a small town of Beltola. It is a 45 min. long drive from the city centre and is advised to visit during the daylight. The route, however, is completely safe and housed by local residents so I did not personally see any issue. On way to this temple are Garbhanga Reserve Forest and Asia’s biggest proposed Butterfly Reserve. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and as the name suggests it dates back to Vedic Era, situated on Saint Vasistha’s Ashram where he used to spend time meditating. In addition to Lord Shiva, the temple also houses Lord Ganesha, Goddess Durga and a standing statue of Vasistha. It is said that carvings of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga emerged on rocks on its own. Surrounded by lush green trees, this temple has magnificent and natural water streams originating from Meghalaya mountains. These streams gush through huge picturesque rocks, contributing to River Basisth and Bharalu flowing through the city. You will find people soaking themselves in the sun, water or simply sitting under the trees, unwinding themselves after visiting the temple. Basisth Temple for me is the kind of divine place where I can spend hours peacefully and energize my senses. Since Basisth Temple is a nice, quaint and not so crowded temple, the best time to visit is anytime during the visiting hours i.e. 6.00 AM – 9.00 PM.

Some other popular temples in Guwahati are Bhuvaneshwari Temple and Umananda Temple.

Bhuvaneshwari Temple is famous because of its world acclaimed Ambubachi fair. It is dedicated to Goddess Bhuvaneshwari and people travel to participate in this fair from far and wide as it has a huge religious significance. The temple gates are always open during the day, however, the best time to visit this temple is during the Ambubachi fair or Navratri.

Umananda Temple is situated on Umananda Island or Peacock Island on Brahmaputra River for which the last ferry leaves around 4.00 PM so you must try reaching on time. The temple is open all days of the week between 5.30 AM to 6.00 PM. Depending on your wish to see the sunrise or sunset, or maybe both if time permits, you can plan your ferry rides to this temple. It is known to be one of the best temples in Guwahati so do not miss it.  I missed the opportunity to visit Umananda Temple by a fraction of seconds so I don’t want you to miss a chance, hoping to cover the details to its fullest.

I wish I had more time to explore the city of ancient temples, sited in the lap of nature. It’s a rare combination and Guwahati is a perfect destination to experience this.

For more information and pics visit gallery and follow on: https://instagram.com/appy_tales/

Advertisements

Northeast calling~The mountains, waterfalls and some peace

Let me not talk about how busy I had been in the last 6 months. It was exasperating yet nice. Nice because hardships and toil make me better. All’s well that ends well and this time it’s ending up into a Northeast trip.

This will be my first ever trip to Northeast and I’ve been planning for it since last 2 months. I’ll be visiting the valley in the first week of June and planning to cover places like Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunji and Kaziranga National Park, if time and weather permits. Also, planning to have a perfect vacation with loads of relaxation and soaking myself in nature.

Forgetting the toil in the last few months which was crazy, I wish to come back all charged up to take double the toil to further elevate myself.

Suggest me some good escapades. Stay tuned and follow me on Insta and Twitter for some live updates:  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/appy_tales/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anupriya_Mishra;

After A Break…

AnupriyaMishra_Blog

It’s been a long break from writing! Where have I been?

In a cocoon introspecting or constantly battling to go higher and higher in a fast-paced world? Yes, I believe the latter kept me busy.  So busy in fact that I started realising day in and day out, how distant I have become with all that I called to be my happiness and passion.

I spent years on sharing my thoughts on this platform and suddenly, I was so busy in the daily tussle that I just forgot about it or ignored it like it never existed.

This morning when I woke up, thoughts were gushing into my mind. What all have I left behind in pacing up with the world and unbelievably the list was long. Long enough to give me a jolt and question myself, “Who’s responsible?” and my inner voice retaliated saying “You”. “All the choices you made in life are yours”, said a voice showing me the mirror. Well, yeah!

You become so busy in your life, so bound to duties and responsibilities towards your own self and serving people, who constantly urge you to be someone else rather than accepting the way you are, you forget the real you. You forget and leave behind things that matter to you. You forget those who love you and long for you and moreover who seek your happiness.

A little introspection does no harm! I did. Sharing my two bit with those who dream of living a happy life and then get busy in making others happy.

  • Do not waste time in keeping others happy as time flies and never comes back. Those who mean, will be happy anyways and those who don’t will never be happy irrespective of you making sacrifices all your life.
  • You can’t change the circumstances for sure, what you can change is your way towards a situation. Yes, you have a job, you have liabilities, you have a life which may or may not be the way you dreamt, but what you are losing in keeping pace with day today needs is the time which is never going to come back. Spend time with your loved ones, do the things that bring a genuine smile to your and their faces. People who love you will love to see you smile and those who don’t, shouldn’t really matter.
  • It’s important to  pursue all your passions. The world wouldn’t stop if you give yourself some time. Take care of yourself because it’s your life and no one else is responsible for it but “you”.

I wrote a poem Fly Without Wings years back, which is beautifully framed in my house till date. What changed since I wrote that poem is the realisation that your happiness lies with you and no one else. Serve yourself and what serves you!

If you are happy to hear from me after long, do like my post. Cheers! 🙂

STROLLING THROUGH THE MUGHAL GARDEN

Rashtrapati Bhawan_Mughal Garden_Anupriya Mishra

On a bright sunny day, when winters are on the verge of bidding adieu and summers at the onset, there cannot be a better sight than Mughal Garden at Rashtrapati Bhawan. And of course, none other than this does one get an opportunity to have such a close view of the President’s House and to walk around it.

Mughal Garden opens every year for public and welcome visitors, far and near to gaze and appreciate the spectacular beauty of a variety of flowers and herbs. This time it’s opened for visitors from February 14 to March 15. This period would undoubtedly see the fleet of audiences admiring the beauty around the Bhawan. The miraculous pomp and show this year could be described as being royal, magnificent and vibrant with Tulips sticking out.

Interesting Herbs and Weeds
The garden is precisely divided into different divisions or sub-gardens. The first segment is right after the entrance, which displays all the interesting herbs and medicinal weeds like Jaborandi, Brahmi, Lemongrass, Ashwagandha, Aloe Vera. Some of these herbs are the most heard of, however, rarely seen. The little placard mounted on each herb displays the beneficiary medicinal usage of each plant. This part of the garden is interesting and imparts knowledge. All that’s required is keen to learn about some unique medicinal plants, most of which are often read on the labels of Ayurvedic medicines, we are aware of.

Musical Fountains and Bonsai

Fountain_Mughal Garden_Anupriya MishraPaisley flower bed_Mughal Garden_Anupriya MishraFountain_Mughal Garden_Anupriya Mishra
This furthers to another part of the garden that holds an air of romanticism because of the musical fountains at the center and huge banyan trees in one corner, giving ample shade to cool your senses. This part of the garden also holds in itself a collection of Bonsai. The very sight of these Bonsai is jaw-dropping and leaves you staring them for several minutes. The arrangement of big, bright Marigold in orange and yellow alternatively followed by colorful Paisely in white, purple, yellow and multiple shades are seen to be arranged geometrically aligned in fine patterns. Towards the end of these fountains come with a small gate that leads to a few steps through golden lilies on both the sides. The iron gates, painted in green, blend perfectly with the spectacular greenery.

A True Marvel
You must now hold onto your breath and control your heart as it may skip a beat for what you see beyond these steps is completely out of this world. There comes the magnanimous view of Rashtrapati Bhawan with an enormous stretch of green land upholding the breathtaking view of colorful patches of flowers in all shades and forms, amazingly done. The surreal beauty of this place makes you feel as in heaven, leaving you awestruck.

Tulips catch the eye

Tulips_Mughal Garden_Anupriya MishraIMG_20150214_134225IMG_20150214_134314IMG_20150214_135623IMG_20150214_135749
Some flowers like Tulip, quite uncommon in India, is seen fluttering through length and breadth. These seem to be the center of attention this time and are present in all pastel colors like pink, yellow, red and in double shades mostly in contrast with the white. The picturesque view of these Tulips looks more like a painting and if you get to click a flick, you would find it to be as perfect as a postcard. Undoubtedly, Tulips grab the eyeballs, nevertheless, flowers like Marigold, Rose, Lily, Paisley are seen in sizes bigger than what we normally see and in big bunches making them look all the more exorbitant.

Amidst all this greenery and vibrance, Rashtrapati Bhawan stands tall and loud. The domed architecture looks stunning surrounded by the velvety green of grass, the cool blue of ponds, pools and fountains, and the radiance of exotic flowers. The spectacular view of this segment of the garden acts as a soothing balm to your eyes and is worth the wait and all the efforts that you put in reaching up to this place. It further leads you to a circular arena with a fountain in the center and deep-colored high Dahalia plants at the circumference on one side of the pavement and some exotic white, flowers on the other.

The next exit to this phase takes you straight to a pathway with rose beds of roses in different colors on each side. Towards the periphery, you would find trees overloaded with tiny oranges again on both the sides of the garden. This particular area takes you back in time of a Bollywood era with duo singing and dancing in the middle of flowers; looks extremely admirable. Taking you towards the exit and slightly a few steps down the lane, you will find Adhyatmik Udyan orSpiritual Garden on your right. This is an abode of plants and trees that have a mention in various religious texts. Plants like Sita Ashoka, Sandalwood, Shami, Tulsi, Rudraksha and more.

Stalls to Shop from
Towards the end, there are stalls with manure, plants, seeds for display and sale. The manure they sell is of kitchen waste and garden waste, which costs you Rs. 20. And, the vegetable or medicinal plants like Aloe Vera also at a very reasonable price. So, if you are fond of gardening, this is a place to be.

Security and Other Amenities

Security_Mughal Garden_Anupriya Mishra
The security is seen to be full fledged and the personnel on their toes right from the entry up till exit. The only possible drawback could be the parking space as there’s no fixed parking and you need to be vigilant and park as soon as you find someone vacating. You are not allowed to carry anything other than your wallet and mobile phone. The camera is completely prohibited, however, surprisingly you are allowed to click photographs through your mobile handset. There’s an arrangement of clean drinking water jars at regular intervals, so you can easily manage on a bright day for the entire long walk without a water bottle. You can find stalls and eatery towards the exit and hence you can satiate your taste buds or fulfill the craving of your stomach. The entry to this place is absolutely free. All it costs is your energy, which is worth spending to have a glimpse of this glorious place.

Image Courtesy: Ashish Verma

Season of Love


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Image courtesy: Pixgood

Image courtesy: Pixgood

As January is all set to bid adieu giving way to February, there’s more ‘Love’ evident everywhere. Love is not just in the air, but can be seen in every nook and corner of the markets and multiplexes-showrooms, card and gift galleries, restaurants displaying Valentine’s Day posters and placards. The hype is also apparently because of the online media.

Seasons come and go, however, the season of love remains forever. And, it is a good way to express your feelings in full zeal and vigor on a day specified for it. This gives us an opportunity to wait for one entire year to showcase the lovey dovey side of us; on the special day of love, in a special way to that special someone. However, there comes a time when love is not about that one glimpse or a smile or a heart melting feeling.

The perspective changes as one evolves and grows into a mature person. Goose bumps and butterflies vanish into thin air as one understands the deeper meaning of love, which is attained through simple acts of caring for those who are in need of your love and attention. Making them feel special is a feeling that gives utmost happiness and satisfaction as compared to love that’s superficially superfluous.

Today, when I sit and give it a thought, I realize how the feelings within me have transformed severely from a love that was self-centered to a selfless one. Hence, for me, Valentine’s Day is a day to show I care. And, this caring is not only for a special someone, but all those who touch my life in some way or the other. Starting from my parents who fought all odds to give me a good upbringing to my beloved partner who is there through my thick and thin, there’s more to it. I feel love for all humans who nurture noble thoughts, children-for they are the most innocent souls on this earth and, animals who play a major role in keeping me humane.

It’s a strong statement when I say that love is losing its charm. I say this perhaps because the stories of heartbreaks, betrayal, back stabbing are commonly heard nowadays. I believe, “It’s easier to break a relationship, but takes a lifetime to make one.” On this note, I would love to share a composition written by me and dedicated to all those who are in love, irrespective of what your definition of love might be:

Be with those you love, walk by their side;
When you say you love someone,
Don’t keep them in disguise.

When they falter, hold their hand;
Don’t leave them or ignore them;
If they are in a moment; bad.

They might act vulnerable at times,
Or showcase their worst side,
Believe, they are still the same you liked;
Don’t judge them in their difficult times.

None can be smiling all the time;
If you accept their goods,
Accept their weaknesses underlying.

Love demands an understanding divine;
It’s a fixture that strongly unites.

Let not the feelings of hatred seep in,
Because, it’s easier to lose, but hard to find.