Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Almora This Time For Muharram

This time I again got chance to go to Almora. Reason was Muharram, The 10th day of Muharram is known as Ashura all over the world. Muslims highly respect the significance of this day and commemorate the death of Imam Hussain in Battle of Karbala by the army of the tyrant Yazid.  My friend told me – On this occasion, Taziyas, an effigy of Imam Hussain’s mausoleum, made in Almora, are very special, decorative and beautiful. 

I reached Almora by 12 noon. After some rest, I moved to market.  Almora is a historical place and very rich for its wooden architect work, which I always love to see. When I was strolling in the city, I saw so many houses with wooden architect. Some of them are still intact and maintained but many of them are now going to destroy.
I was strolling and taking pictures.  I noticed many people were indulging in playing cards, which is very favorite time-pass here.  There was not very much hustle-bustle in market because of Sunday. 

I came across with first Taziya. Taziya artist were giving it final touch. When I saw it I got excited to see them in night because I came to know that they illuminated when it becomes dark. After this I saw 3 more Taziya all were about to ready for the evening parade. 

Here not only Muslims but Hindus Also participates in this procession.  Even many Hindu take parts in making of Taziya also. Taziya made from paper and wood and can be different in shape and size but every Taziya should have a Tomb, Which I came to know from school going girl Shaheen.

Each Taziya takes atleast one month to get complete and each Taziya cost almost 25 thousand rupees.  By the 5.30 it became chaotic and every Taziya were collecting in one place. Taziyas were illuminating in night, which were looking very beautiful. 

Wooden Architect  

Destroying Now

Time Pass with Cards

Final Touch to Taziya

Evening Parade

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

From My Roopkund Trek

Friends, In September, i have completed my Roopkund Trek (4,800mt.).

I will write down deatil travelogue after some time but this time I am uploading some of my trek pictures...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

When I was in Pithoragarh – Part 4

After taking little rest I went for trekking. My host and his friend were waiting for me at market. To save time we decided cover road area by car and then almost 12km we will trek. By 4 O'clock, we reached at trek point. Sun was bright but not scorching. We started trek and came across with a village called Sunkadiya. Though the villages are changing and adopting a city culture now but still I can sense the aroma of village from little distance. When we entered in a verandah of a house, dog started barking. Lady with two kids came out, kids were hiding them behind their mother. Lady was in traditional dress. She had covered her head with a printed cloth and was wearing a traditional Dhoti. She was speaking in Regional Language, which I couldn’t understand but my host talked with her easily.  She stared at me, giggled and then said – come come !!!  He won’t bite !!!  Two kids were still hiding behind their mother…

Architect of the house was Kumauni but made by cement not by stone. Outside of the house, 2-3 cattle were chewing fodder. Field was covered with yellow mustard flower and in little distance; I saw a village temple also. We crossed the village and walked upward. Far from distance, a red colour's monastery attracted me. Red architect of monastery was looking gorgeous with Himalayan background. Though the Himalaya was not clear but still it had its own charm…

Slowly-slowly we were moving up and city left behind. 

My host shows me a closed Magniz factory and said - It was a bad luck for city that the factory got closed. He said with disappointment - The city people and city politics itself responsible for this. Workers cheated the factory owner badly, he became bankrupt, and he has to close the factory… Now only remnants of factory are there …

 Here I noticed some strange structures on the stone. On one stone I found crocodiles’ skin which was beautiful. 

We were moving up to our destination. Now scenario has changed and we entered in a dense Deodar jungle. Weather became cold here. My host told me - The point we are going is called HUPANI. Its local word and the meaning of this is Snow Water. This place coldest like snow and if we will be lucky we may see the bear also. I said – we will be happier if bear will let us all go. All started laughing. From here I saw Bhrigu peak also, Bhrigu was saint and used to sit here for meditation. 

Well we reached our point safely though I wanted to spend some time here but sun was going down and bear could hug us any time so we thought to cross the area in light.

When we turned the light was very soothing and everything was bathing in sun rays. I took some pictures of the city in this light. We met with some ladies also who were cutting trees. I did try to threat them but my host stopped me and we turned back. By the time we reached to car it was pitch dark. Without wasting any time we drove back to city. This time again, I went to market and saw the mall of Pithoragarh, which was not very big but good enough for city people. Market was about to close now and some guys were enjoying fire on road. I bought some local snacks, eat some betel-leaf, and back to hotel. Next morning I had to return to Nainital so I arranged a ticket shearing cab for me. My return journey was again very adventures so I want to share this also…

Cab driver reached sharp 4:30 at morning. I was ready so came out and entered in cab. Cab was already full. I said goodbye to Pithoragarh though Pithoragarh was still in deep sleep. It was only 10 minutes drive and lady sitting behind has started vomiting. She was making noise badly and all other was getting irritated. Everybody start giving their own advice to stop her vomiting. There were so many ideas coming but two funniest ideas, which made me laugh, were like this. Man sitting next to me said – you must sit on newspaper to stop vomiting. Before I could react on it second idea came from the man sitting behind and said – you must drink a glass of beer.

Hmmmmmmmmm I was feeling like burst out with laugh but somehow controlled myself and suddenly second problem arrived and driver said – Mam can you please open the window of your side. I looked at him with wonder and said – why ?  He said - AC is not working and moisture is collecting in front window.  I said – but it’s too cold, how can I open window ? He requested me so I opened it with little disappointment. After that, I was shivering through journey and voice coming from behind was making me more upset. Well,  I think this is the real fun of journey which I enjoyed…

On the way I saw a big group of sheep moving downwards. 2-3 people, who were in different dress, with this group. Driver told me - They are nomads and coming from Munshyari. They will spend whole winter in warm places and in March-April they will return to their places. Nomad word made me curious to know more about them. I asked detail about them. Driver said – They will sell wool, herbs, milk product etc. They always walk in-group of sheep, 2-3 ponies, 1 dog. They don’t use any vehicle and pitched their tent in jungle but don’t harm jungles.  Well it was a my good luck for the journey…

One more thing happened with me at Ghat. As Pithoragarh attach with Nepal boarder so some security persons wanted to check our luggage, specially mine. Well I had only one problem, which was cold. I came out and started shivering badly. Driver also came and said to security person – Mam is journalist, show him my tripod and said - she has a big camera also.  Well by the time I opened my bag and show him. He got satisfied and was sorry for the trouble. I said - its all right I have no problem but tell me why you only wanted to check my bag ?  His reply made me amused. He said – your bag was very good in quality. I was so surprised with this reply. Now the sun was rising and weather become warm so open window was not bothering me. At Danya we took paratha in breakfast again then headed to Almora. From Almora I made my way to my city Nainital…


Thursday, 16 August 2012


This post is part of the Capture the Colour competition 

Have posted 5 colours of Nainital City  that I see daily as I travel and commute in this lovely city.






To enhance the colours of the competition I nominate the following 5 to participate and show their true colours!

Friday, 20 July 2012

When I was in Pithoragarh – Part 3

After finishing breakfast I went on the roof of hotel and view the city. People were busy for their daily work like going to office, kids were going to school and shopkeepers were busy  decorating their shops to attract the customers, Sweepers were cleaning the roads etc. etc. Everything was going on like a film and as a good viewer I was watching it very seriously.  

Today I had to go for cave so after spending some time to watch this movie I off  to market where my host will pickup me. This time market was busy with lots activities. I had to wait for my host so I decided to stroll in market. Though the market was small but one can get his daily use things here. Mostly shops were vegetable shops, fruit shops, artificial jewelry shops, small restaurant. I found that everything is available in this small market. After strolling in market I back to the point where my host was waiting for me. With him I got chance to see inner streets of Pithoragarh as well. Well after roaming around we headed to the Chandak again where the cave was situated. It was sunny and little hot also. 

When we were going to our destination, we took another road and went to village called Chhada. View of Himalaya was again stunning form here and the village itself was also very beautiful. It seems that entire village is resting on the lap of great Himalaya.  On the way, we saw a BhimShila but the Shila has broken now. From here first we went to my hosts' shop where I drunk buttermilk and talked with some local people on a silly topic. Then we went to see cave. We have to drive for 3 km. and then we will have to go for a short trek. After half n hour drive we reached to the point from where we had to start trek for cave.

Though the trek was only around 1 km but the route was very exciting. It was going between the dense broad leaves jungle. I felt cold here. Trees were so high that sun rays were not able to touch the earth. Ground was moist and route was interesting and adventures. After some slips and slides we reached at cave point.  Temperature was chilled here and a thin water stream was coming out from the cave which was making ground mucky and more slippery. Well my host handed me a head torch and said – it’s dark inside the cave. Now I was getting more and more curious to go inside so without wasting any time, I went to entrance but before this we took off our foot wear outside the cave. I could feel the chilliness of ground.

This cave is in under of Archeological department but the condition of the cave is still the same as it was at the time it found. When I entered in the cave I saw a bet was hanging on the wall of cave and he was not bothering about our presence well I did not disturb him and made my way ahead. Cave had three parts. First part was quite narrow and short height that we scrolled to cross this stretch. My head and hands were scratching badly. My head was hitting on the roof of cave. Temperature was chilly here and the path was muddy and slippery. We had to be careful coz it was dark also. Somehow, we crossed first part and entered into second part. In this part, we can walk but had to bend half. This part was again narrow so I had to look forward though I did try to take some pictures. After little walk we crossed second stretch and entered into third part of cave, which was apparently good. Here we can walk properly but this area was badly narrow. We were walking touched our back with caves' wall. Thank god, I am slim enough to walk. When we crossed the area we entered into wide and round area. Here we saw a natural water pond. I saw some statues also, which were looking like Hindu God Shiva and Goddess. I touched the water which was very much cold. On the wall of this pond, I saw calcium layer. I don’t know how much deep we were from the earth that time but that all was sounding like discovery channel. It was very adventures and I enjoyed a lot. After spending some more time we came back. Bet was still resting in his place. I said goodbye to him and came out. (I have no permission to post cave pictures on the internet.)

My clothes had been painted with mud and foot was numb through cold. I did not try to wash off my clothes but try to give some warmth to my feet. I washed off my foot and wore my shoes. I drank the water coming out from the cave and colleting into a tank.

Well after this fantastic time, we turned back. My host told me about Mostmaanu temple which was not far from here. So I went alone there. It says that the Mostmanu was the king of Kumaun region. Every year a fair also organize here. When I was entering into temple, I saw a huge swing was hanging on the veranda. From this swing, a view of Gangolihaat could be seen. Gangolihaat is a beautiful place of this region. Well when I entered into temple I became very upset because the temple is ancient and historical but now cement constriction and white wash was making its ancientness away. It was looking like a hotel more than the ancient temple. Inside the temple effigy of Lord Shiva was situated but there was no sign of any ancient thing, which was really heart breaking…

By the time I back to my host shop it was 2 o’clock and in evening around 4 O’clock I have to go for a trek so I decided to finished lunch, which my host had organized for me. When I back to his shop he and his wife was waiting for me for the lunch and my lunch was Puri, Aloo Gobhi ki sabji, Chawal, Rajma ki Dal, Chatni, Dahi. With this delicious food I finished my luxury lunch and back to my hotel.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

When I Was In Pithoragarh – Part 2

My host, who had arranged everything for me, had sent me a cab and I went off to Chandak Site. my plan was to go for Pashupatinath temple, coz from there I could get a magnificent view of Himalaya though it was it was dusky. Pithoragarh is an altitude of 4,567 ft from sea level and it’s like cup shape so weather stays almost pleasant here. This valley known as Soar Valley. Road for Chandak was very peaceful and beautiful. When I moved up city was looking pretty good from upward. 

Well temple had been closed by the time I reached there but the view of valley was superlative. Whole valley was looking gorgeous in dusky light. When I saw Himalaya, I got stunned for a while. Peak of Nanda Devi was bathing with sun rays and was giving awesome look.  After a while I keep my camera out and start taking pictures as much as I can in this short time.

Few minutes later everything plunged into dark and I decided to back. From here we went to a tea shop for a tea and also meet to shop keeper.  Some time earlier a cave came in existence which was in his field and my main purpose was to see that cave. When I reached his shop, he was bit buzy with his customers. When he got free he came to me with spoon full of honey. When I ate, I found it was like rubber and taste was absolutely different.
 I asked him – are you sure it is honey.
He said – yes its pure honey with wax, we don’t remove wax from it. Well no doubt it was very tasty and I experienced it first time.

I asked him about cave so he said – it is dark now so tomorrow afternoon I will take you there. He said, now if possible I can spend some time at Eco park.  I asked – What is this Eco park ?  He said – Park made for Eco tourism but it has no future coz nobody is here to take proper care of it. On my way back, I saw Eco park and went inside. I saw whole city flickering with the lights.

I took some pictures and then sit to watch stars, one of my favorite work. I stared at the sky, which was illuminating with millions and millions stars. I deeply engrossed by the moment. Everything was utterly still at that night. Though it was cold but I don’t wanted to miss this chance so kept on staring. Eventually driver came to me and said – Madam it's getting dark, we must go back now. Though I needed to stay there but unwillingly, I had to back. By the time I reached into city, it was late and whole market had closed. I back to hotel and order for dinner… Next morning my plan was to go to Bhatkot for a walk coz Bhatkot is also a good place to see Himalaya in Morning time.  After finishing dinner, I confined myself into bad…

I Woke up 5 O’clock next morning and got ready for a walk. When I came out, it was dawn and streets are almost empty.  Only few people were on the road. Weather was cold but not chilled. I moved to Gandhi Chauraha and took market road. This road was tiny and whole market was in a grip of silence. After crossing market, I reached at Siltham Churaha. Here I asked for Bhatkot. When I entered in the road of Bhatkot, I felt very tranquil. Many people were walking on this road so I was not feeling lonely… 

I found that Pithoragarh has become completely a modern city now. There was no sign of any old and traditional construction. All were new which atleast I don’t like. I met with a girl, who was going for tuition, she gave me a smiling look so I talked with her and asked -  How far Bhatkot is ? She said - After a short walk, I would be at Bhatkot. Well I just wanted to know that I am on right path… 

When I reached Bhatkot, I saw Himalaya but my bad luck that I couldn’t get sun rise. But still scenario was stunning and whole valley was bathing with morning light. I indulged with camera just then I heard a man shouting at a boy. When I enquired about it he said – this boy is taking liquor here and always bunks his school. When I scold him, he shouted at me and said – I will see you… Man was irritating badly and went off from there. After this hot-hot talks, atmosphere again became calm and I again got indulged with camera…

Now sun was bright so I decided to back. I felt that this area was posh area of city. I saw all high-class officers' houses here and place was neat and clean instead of other part of city. I really enjoyed walk. When I back to market, it was chaotic.  People were buzy in their work and whole place was bustling with lots activities. In this hustle-bustle I got confused and took other road.  Though I reached at hotel but this time, I couldn’t see Gandhi Churaha…