Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Times Four Tag

I was tagged by SAI at Beyond Barriers ....thanks a lot Sai...here i am with my list of fours
Four movies you can see over and over
1.Mama Mia
2.Bridget Jones Diary
3.Sense and Sensibility
4.As Good As It Gets

Four places you have lived

Four places you have been on vacation
1.U.S.A......Washington d.c.,St.Louis,Boston,New-York,Florida(disney-land)
2.The Nilgiris....India

Four of your fav. foods
1.Paneer(cottage-cheese) dishes
4.Idlis...specially rava

Four T.V. shows you love(d ) to watch
1.Ramayan...by Ramanad Sagar
4.Alley Mc,beal

F our websites you visit daily
Four places you rather be
3.Our village
4. with my family...anywhere

Four novels you wish you were reading for the first time
1.Rage of angles.....Sidney Sheldon
2.A woman of substance....Barbara Taylor Bradford
4.Kasap.....Manohar Shyam Joshi

Monday, June 29, 2009

War Memorial Namgyal Chorten - 1962 Indo-Sino War

This war memorial commemorates the bravery of the indian heros of the INDO-SINO WAR 1962...it is also known as NAMGYAL CHORTAN in local language as the structure is designed as a STUPA.The war memorial is blessed by DALAI LAMA in 1997 who sent holy scriptures and idols of Arya Avlokiteshwara and Lord Buddha.
It has names of 2420 dead soldiers etched in gold on 32 black granite plaques.
A war bunker.....there are countless bunkers one notices if travels by road.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lakes And Waterfalls in Tawang

Today i am posting few pictures of lakes and waterfalls in Tawang One can enjoy nature in its purest form This lake is named  Madhuri Diit lake (movie Koyla was shot here)
This is P.Tso Lake :

Snow touched peaks
 Another picture near Madhuri Lake

Jang waterfall :

                                    pretty sight                        

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tawang Monastery....Galden Namggyal Lhatse

Tawang monastery was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in the year 1860-61 A.D. It is an epitome of Buddhist archi tecture and belongs to Gelukpa section. It also hols the distinction of being the birth place of 6th Dalai Lama.It is the largest monastery in our country and the second largest in Asia.A massive richly adorned statue of LORD BUDDHA stands in the middle-the statue is seated on a platform and its body rising up ends up in a huge head above the first floor.
The inside walls are painted with murals of various divinities .
It also houses a rich collection of invaluable manuscripts.This one is a 300year old golden-scripture.
The monastery has a centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies-the place where the young monks are taught Arithmetic,English,Hindi besides monastic education.It has a capacity of housing 700 monks.
The monastery is so vastly expanded that it is difficult to write about it in short......i have more than 50 photoghraphs and it was very difficult to choose.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tawang...Land Of Dawnlit Mountains

Tawang is also known as the land of mompas,hidden paradise and land of dawn lit mountains...it has countless monasteries,nunneries,several lakes,many waterfalls andd hot water springs too.It offers breathtaking views,fresh mountain air,unexplored scenic beauty,challenging treks...very old valuable scriptures are kept here in the monastries.One of my blogger friend asked me if the air is too thin here......yes it is ...on our very first trip my kid sister fainted while we were crossing SELLA PASS(14000ft).......it was army troups posted there who helped us.....we were asked to gulp down the Brandy they offered us...and we were strongly adviced to warm up ourselves with little dosage of either brandy or rum...my lips were chapped so badly that it was hard to speak even.But now with air travel and global warming things have changed a lot.......very recently a group of some elderly ladies had a great trip luckily none of them faced any problem.

Inhabitants of TAWANG are of MOMPA-TRIBE....they belong to mongoloid stock and are very religious.Lamas hold a very important and respectful place in this society...their advice is seeked in every sphere of life here.It is believed that the name TAWANG was given by MERA-LAMA of 17th century.
YAKS....they are spotted everywhere here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guwahati To Tawang

TAWANG is a very small and beautiful town situated at a height of 10,000ft.in northwest part of Arunachal-Pradesh.It is approx.400 km. away from Guwahati.It takes nearly 16-17 hrs. if one travels by road...it is a very tedious journey but at the same time adventurous too.Since June 2008 a govt chopper service i.e. Paramhansa Helicopter Service is available on daily basis from Ghy.to Tawang....it is an hour journey by air.As my father worked as an engineer for the govt. of Arunachal-Pradesh all his life....i have been to this place several times....Raja(my brother-in-law) and his two other friends..all dentists in making are just back from Tawang and have been raving about this beautiful place since then.They opted this chopper service at a rate of rs.3000 per head(one way) and boarded the helicopter from Ghy airport.Here is Raja(navy blue tee) and Gunajeet posing for a pic before boarding.After an hour Tawang airport is visible.Ready to land......these flights are very weather sensitive so if the weather is unfavourable flights are suspended.One very important thing is to get an inner line permit before planning to visit here...it is issued by the Govt. of Arunachal-Pradesh ....permit is available in Kolkatta,Guwahati,Tejpur and New-Delhi.
This is beautiful Tawang.......it has many monasteries,lakes and other beautiful spots which i will bring to you in series.Tawang is known worldwide for its 400 year old buddhisht gompa.As Tawang is a very cold place one must be fully stocked with good warm clothings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gamosa -Its Undeniable Importance In Assam

GAMOSA...A Gamosa is basically a hand woven white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on three sides and a red woven motif on the fourth.In Assam it is equally used by all irrespective of status,religious and ethnic backgrounds.One can't imagine any kind of social-events,religious ones,cultural event  or even important official-or political meetings taking place in Assam without a Gamosa. Gamosa is of great significance for the people of Assam.A Gamosa has many uses....in a general Assamese household it is used like as a towel ,i use or prefer them to towels as gamosas are very soft because they are cent-percent cotton made,easy to maintain,take very less space in a washing machine and dry pretty faster than a regular towel.......i am little uncomfortable in using hotel towels so i always carry a couple of gamosas with me.My folks at Delhi have already informed me to bring them new supply of gamosas as they are running short of these.

Gamosa is used to cover the altar at the prayer halls and the holy scriptures are covered by it...Farmers use it as a waistcloth(tongali)and a bihu dancer wraps it around his head into a knot.Guests are welcomed with the offerings of Gamosa.....so anyone of you who plans to visit me is ensured one....this is really practised not only at my house but in each and every Assamese household.During our Bihu festival we offer gamosas(BIHUWAAN) to the elder members of our families or to even family friends and elder people in neighbourhood as a mark of respect.....we dont just give it just like that ,its a tradition to first touch their feet and than present them gamosa.This bihu we bought more than 50 gamosas(my ma-in-law was not very happy about it as her loom was not assembled ...she loves to weave gamosas and before bihu arrives she is ready with a gamosa for each member and relative of our family).The gamosa shown below is woven by her.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bhut Jolokia The Hottest Chili In World

Bhut  Jolokia a  Chili Pepper  Which  Grows  In  Assam  Region  Of  NE India  Is  Confirmed  by  Guinness World  Records  To  Be  The  Hottest  Chili  In  World in the year  2007,replacing Red -Savina SHU scale (.Scoville Hotness Scale is used for testing its hotness) which comes to near a million as double compared to 577,000 SHU of Red Savina.

It has many names like ghost chili,california death pepper,naga chili etc.We had a plant of bhut jolokia at our house ,but since my kids started playing too much near the plant we uprooted it..Once our one of the house staff Mahendra insisted on preparing a vegetable curry by adding just one of these.We had to throw the curry. as it was too hot . As the curry   touched the mouth a very fierce burning sensation was felt..But this amazing 26 year old lady named Anandita  Dutta  Tamuly ate 51 of these to claim a place in guinness world record book in April 2009....Chef  Ramsey (hell's kitchen fame)who was in India at the time for filming a channel four programme

too witnessed this and was completely awestruck as he could manage to eat only one and screamingly asked for water before yelling"ITS TOO MUCH".Apart from its hotness this chili is believed to have some medicinal benefits like curing some stomach ailments,helpful in relieving flu symptoms etc.In many parts of ne India fences are smeared with this chili is used in smoked bombs to keep wild elephants away.

Updates ... in last few years the title of world's hottest chili has seen many changes ,in fact it is in a very controversial stage now .To know more read this great article

Naga Morich and the quest for the world's hottest pepper ,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ambubasi mela Kamakhya Temple - 2009

Ambubachi mela is the most important festival of the Kamakhya-Temple(situated atop Nilachal-hill).This year the mela starts from 22June and ends on 25June.It is believed that the goddess of the temple DEVI-KAMAKHYA(SHAKTI) goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time.The doors of temple are closed for three days...no farming,no daily worship or any other religious activities are observed during these days.O n the fourth day after the whole temple is purified ..the temple is reopened.It is mainly a TANTRIC-FESTIVAL.
This mela attracts lots of media,forgeiners,curious-visitors because of a very,very huge presence of tantrics,sadhus,sanyasis,sadhavis,aghor-babasfrom India,neighbouring countries and abroad too.Some of the sadhus and tantrics appear before general mass only during these four days.This year more than eight to nine lakhs visitors are expected.

I had never seen this mela before because my husband and many other local people have always discouraged me to do so.......i always wondered why......until today.

(We visit Kamakhya always as it is one of the very important shakti-peeths.......all the dignitaries,v.i.ps,movie-stars,politicians even many royalties visit this temple quite often.....and it is a very wonderful experience.) This evening we visited the temple and .......the crowd was phenomenal,it was hard to find a parking spot.Once we managed to park our car ...we had no idea where to go as the whole place looked very different because of many new stalls etc.

There were people and people everywhere ....it was hard to stand on one place for more than five sec....trust me....clicking pic was like impossible .....most of my pics are shaky because of the constant push from the crowd.....after good fifteen min. we decided to give up the idea of going to the main temple premises as it was tooooo crowded and suffocating.I saw many media folks,forgieners struggling too.

The crowd was mostly of bengali people...this mela is very popular among bengalis. We saw many interesting looking sadhus,tantrics (from tomorrow our newspapers are going to give them good coverage).Finding our car back was another good experience......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Junbiri - traditional Assamese jewellery

Traditional Assamese jewellery is completely hand made ,and only specialized hands can do it.This particular design shown here is called JUN-BIRI(means half-moon like jewel)Here jewellery is mostly influenced by nature( e.g. birds,grains,animals) and others by musical instruments (drums etc)and few more by things daily used in an assamese household(japi...a handmade headgear).Here the main frame is silver made and finally it is covered with very thin gold foils or LEAF-GOLD(paat-sun).This particular kind of jewellery are very affordable and easy to maintain...and they go very well with the local attire mekhela-sador.

When i was very new to blogger-world i had published one post completely dedicated to this subject...i had very few blogger friends then....if interested you can check 16th May post.Below is the pic of leaf-gold being used for this purpose.S ince i published this post i am getting a lot of mails regarding the contact details of this shop...so with the owner's permission here is her cell no....9864023446.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Doul Gobinda Temple -North Guwahati

GUWAHATI is often called gateway of North Eastern Region of India.The Ambari Excavations trace the city to 600 A.D.It used to be known as Pragjyotishpur as mentioned in Mahabharata.

Guwahati is divided by Bhramaputra river in two areas South(greater) Guwahati and North Guwahati.Most of the buisness establishments,offices ,bus station,airport,railway station etc are in South side.

The area on the north side of the river is known as North-Guwahati.One can reach here by the ferry services provided by the government or some private ones.By crossing Sariaghat Bridge one can reach here by road too.North Guwahati is a small town in itself and is mostly known for this very famous temple named SRI SRI DOUL GOBINDA TEMPLE devoted to lord Krishna.Every day hundreds of devotees gather here to offer pujas and bhog .History of this temple is as old as150 yrs.but this new structure was erected in the year 1966 by devotees by collecting public donations.

We have been visiting this temple for last 15-16 years,recently we have been visiting here more frequently as my sister-in-law Mamoni is married here and lives very near to the temple.This area is very beautiful with lots of greenery around.We go in the morning by 10 and lite diyas(earthern-lamps),and for bhog(a sweet payas made with milk,rice,sugar and dry-fruits)we buy coupons ,earlier we use to carry rice,sugar,milk everything from home ,since temple authorities started this coupon system its got very convinient.We wait till puja is finished and lord is offered bhog...once done the bhog is distributed amongst all the devotees.Temple has ample space to accomodate all the devotees.Eating prasad and bhog at the temple premises is a very beautiful experience......once the prasad and bhog distribution is finished one can collect a pot(a container) full of bhog to carry along to home on showing the coupon bought earlier.
During the hindu festival of HOLI (the color festival) the temple observes a five day long celebration.......it is during this period inside photoghraphy is allowed.DEWTA(Mamonis pa-in-law) has promised me a detailed insight if i visit the temple next Holi......which i am really looking forward to.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mighty Bhramaputra this June (2009)

BHRAMAPUTRA means son of lord Bhrama.....this is the only river in India bearing a male name as most of our rivers bear female names.It is a transboundary river of Asia originating from glaciers in western Tibet as TSANGBO,running east through Tibet ,turning south as Dihang(Arunachal-Pradesh) it enters India and flows into Assam valley near Sadiya.It flows approxm. 1800 mile sand finally meets The Ganges and its other dis tributaries to form the largest river delta of the world.This river is an important source of irrigation and transportation.
This view is of our last evenings wallk to the riverside area .Rains are less this year so very less water is seen.
We live in South banks of the river......North side of Guwahati is visible from this end.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gandhi mandap Guwahati - walker's paradise

Gandhi-mandap is a memorial dedicated to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.It is located in the very heart of the city,right at the top of the Sarania Hillock.It was built in year 1969 and was opened to the public in 1970.As newly weds it was ours favourite morning walk track, it still is but since we shifted to our new house,we come here only on Sundays because it is little far from our home.

This morning too we came here....it was a very cloudy day,we parked our car as always at the base of the hillock and on our way i clicked some pictures as the track provides an ideal view of our city Guwahati.

It is approxm. 2km distance from base to the top of the hillock...it was 5.30 in the morning and visibility was very poor.Few years back this hillock's existence was in danger due to continuous soil-erosion.Our district administration(Kamrup) and soil consevation department launched an advanced anti-erosion scheme.......and the good results are evident.When we were regularrs here my husband Chandan planted many plant saplings ......he loves this place and encourages my 5years old daughter's involvement in his secret mission(lol).
This is Nehru Stadium ,it was built in 1962 and it can hold 25000 people.(At this point it started to rain but we continued to walk......we had company.....a many regular morning walkers.)

Guwahati is an ever growing city being the main commercial hub of north east region of India.Every other day we see another highrise building in making.....mushrooming malls,office complexes,hotels,educational institutions etc.A view of Peacock Island from top.I have a post dedicated to this beautiful island in the month of May.

Saturday, June 13, 2009