The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a railway in Tamil Nadu, India, built by the British in 1908, and was initially operated by the Madras Railway. The railway still relies on its fleet of steam locomotives.In July 2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the site then became known as “Mountain Railways of India. The famous Hindi song Chaiyya Chaiyya from the film “Dil Se” featuring Shahrukh Khan was shot on the roof top of NMR.
One of the most beautiful train journeys I have undertaken till now. We went in NMR from Ooty to Coonoor.
Alpana is a kind of folk painting traditionally made in Bengal during festivals. Usually rice paste is used to make these designs on the ground/ floor. much like the rangoli. This alpana design was made by my mother in 1960’s on canvas, when she was at Shantiniketan. The colors used in this are not readymade ones, rather they are earth colors that she prepared by griding stones (a very tedious process!). The binder for the paint was egg white.
The word “Deepavali” means row of lamps. Diwali or Deepavali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or deep) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. It is a major Indian festival that is very significant in Hinduism.
May millions of lamps illuminate your life
with endless joy, prosperity, good health and peace forever
Wishing you and your family a very
In Hinduism, Maa Durga is a form of Devi, the supremely radiant goddess, depicted as having ten arms, riding a lion or a tiger, carrying weapons and a lotus flower, maintaining a meditative smile, and practicing mudras, or symbolic hand gestures; created as a warrior goddess to fight an asura (an inhuman force/demon) named Mahishasura.
Stretched over many months, the procedure of making idols is an elaborate one. It involves creating a basic structure with straw or jute and slapping wet clay onto this. Fleshing out the body comes next followed by paring and patting the limbs into shape. The entire body surface is then smoothed. A coat of flesh-coloured paint is applied and the lips and nails painted a bright red. “The mythological texts describe the goddess as having ‘a complexion like unbeaten gold or morning sunshine and long eyes that stretch till the ears.’ The clothes and ornaments represented by the snowy white filigree work done in shola (the pith of river rushes) which, besides exquisite craftsmanship, possesses an ethereal kind of beauty.
At midnight when the eighth child was born, the guards fell fast asleep and Vasudeva’s chain fell off his hands and feet. Wasting no time, Vasudeva picked up the newborn baby, and carrying it in a basket, he started towards Gokul. Gokul was a village of cowherds, located across the Yamuna river, where his friend Nanda lived.
It was a dark stormy night with blinding rain continuously pouring from the sky. When Vasudeva reached the river bank of Yamuna, the river was in spate. The wind and storm were blowing wild, and Vasudeva was in a fix.
“Lord, what should I do,” said Vasudeva in a hopeless voice.
Suddenly a miracle happened, the river parted and Vasudeva walked over the river bed. Throughout the way Vasudeva and the baby were protected from rain by the hood of the great eternal snake, Vasuki. Finally, Vasudeva reached Nanda’s house.
Thus goes the Legend of Lord Krishna’s birth.
An idol depicting Vasudeva carrying his baby, Lord Krishna, in a basket protected by Vasuki. Taken at Millennium Park, Kolkata.
The Raas Lila is considered to be one of the highest and most esoteric of Lord Krishna’s pastimes, in which he danced with young cow-herd girls, called Gopis, in the village of Vrindavan.
In the Bhagavata Purana it is stated that whoever faithfully hears or describes the Rasa Lila attains Krishna’s pure loving devotion
Taken at Champaran, Chattisgarh, India
Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and
drowns things weighty and solid. ~ Francis Bacon
River Krishna taken at Mahabaleshwar