Most people are usually living either in the past or in the future by thinking about the past and imagining the future.
It is important that you live in the present moment by being witness to, the perceptions of your 5 senses now i.e you must be aware of your environment, what are your hearing, smelling, touching, seeing and tasting (if eating). While being mindful of your observations in the present moment, DO NOT BE JUDGEMENTAL, be in the witness and acceptance mode.
Innumerable times in my past, I have done activities, of which I rarely remember any details, such as driving without having noticed the beauty en-route, eating without being mindful of the taste of the food and so on. However, over a period of time, I have practiced this living in the moment exercise a number of times in the day and slowly, have now fallen into that mode of Living in the moment.
During the next couple of days we travelled to various places around shillong, a trip to the Bangladesh border and thereafter made a trip to Kaziranga forest resort. The places visited were, the elephant falls, the seven sister falls (Nohsngithiang Falls), Arwah Caves, Living root bridge, Mawlynnong Village (declared the cleanest village in Asia in 2003).
The Elephant Falls : These are three step falls, located, 12 kms from Shillong. They fall beautifully between fern covered rocks in three steps. The British named it such, since a rock adjacent to the water fall was shaped like a elephant head, however this rock was destroyed during one of the earthquakes but the name still remains. Here are some photo graphs
Nohsngithiang Falls (also Known as the Seven Sister Falls) : This is a seven segmented falls lying near village Mawsmai, in the East Khasi Hills of Shillong.
Arwah Lumshynna Caves : Is a cave, at a distance of about 54 Kms from Shillong. The cave which lies just before the town of Sohra, is a treat to watch. First of all my concept of a cave, a small place within the mountain walls which is crouched and cramped, changed after seeing this cave, it is a huge cave, where you can walk in tall and standing and there is a stream flowing within the cave. The cave has levels where you can climb up on a stair case and get to another level within the cave. The cave is known for it’s fossil formations, limestone structures, stalagmite and stalactite formations which are considered to be millions of years old and naturally carved. Here are some photographs
Bangladesh Border (Dawki) : Our next stop was the Bangladesh border, at Dawki, the drive was beautiful and the border is a friendly border with lot of stones/rocks exported to Bangladesh through this border. The Umngot river at Dawki prides of emerald green water, the boat ride was just too good, people were also swimming around in the river. Here are some photographs
Live Root Bridge : We went to a live root bridge near the village Mawylnnong (which was declared the cleanest village in Asia in 2003). A live root bridge is a type of a simple suspension bridge formed of ariel roots of rubber fig trees. These are man made by the Khasi & the Jaintia people of the mountainous terrain, who use these roots to build these natural bridges across rivulets. Here are some photos
Mawylnnong Village : Our next stop was at the Mawylnnong village it is beautiful and clean, declared as the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Have a look
On the 7th of Nov. 2019, we took our planned family trip to Shillong, with my brother Vinod, his wife Kapila and her sister Mona. Before I start writing this blog I must say that please visit the far east, it is just wonderful and beautiful, especially for nature lovers. Our first destination was Guwahati, we took a flight from New Delhi to Guwahati. Chandigarh to New Delhi we took a cab, about 5 hrs drive.
Landed in Guwahati around 9.30AM, flying time from New Delhi to Guwahati is 2hrs 30mins. From Guwahati to Shillong we travelled by road which was about 3hrs 30mins . In the evening went to a very bustling Shillong market which is called the Bara Bazar and surprisingly most of the shops are run here by Women. Here are some photographs
Please realise that your life is such a wonderful gift and the present moment is so beautiful and enjoyable, you are part of the cosmic consciousness, which is all that is.
The cosmic consciousness manifests itself through the human nervous system to become self aware as an individual, which you perceive yourself to be, which actually you are not, YOU ARE THE COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS.
This cosmic consciousness is self regulating and self evolving, hence as an individual just live in the witness mode, enjoying every moment of your existence. Love all, bless all you are eternity.
Our next stop was Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace at Sirangapatna. Daria Daulat Bagh, as it is also known, is beautiful with a vast surrounding of Gardens which further accentuates it’s beauty. Hyder Ali Khan started it’s construction in 1778 using Indo Saracenic style of architecture using teak wood, stone, mortar and plaster. It is a beautiful place, definitely needs a visit if you are in that area. Some photographs
From Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, we straight drove into Bangalore, with a target to eat lunch at the famous MTR in Lalbagh. I had a thali which cost me Rs. 250/- ( this thali used to cost Rs 80/- way back in 1978 when I was training here in ITI, Doorvaninagar, Bagalore) and Harleen had a dosa. Nice meal, enjoyed thoroughly.
Taken the car from Vroom was a great experience drove it around for 659 Kms, it cost us (including fuel) lump sum around Rs. 10,000/- ( Rs 8000/- for the car rental and Rs. 2000/- for the fuel). The car was taken on the 23rd afternoon and returned on the 27th Morning. I dropped the car at the airport, where we had to wait for the collection of the car, for nearly and hour, despite the fact that I had given the time well in advance. This needs to be corrected, the car can be dropped off at the airport at any time. Otherwise our experience on the self drive car was enjoyable.
On 26th Feb we started our last leg from Mysore to Bangalore with the same idea of site seeing on our way to Bangalore. The first stop was, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. It has a wonderful story, in around 1600 A.D, a small dam was built on river Kaveri which caused the creation of this bunch of 6 Islands. On account of efforts of the world famous Ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, this was declared a bird sanctuary in the year 1940. The sanctuary is named after a Hindu God Shri Ranganatha Swamy, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Here are some photos
On the 25th Feb., we started our journey back to Mysore, where we had booked ourselves at the Country Inn & Suites. On the way we intended to visit as may site seeing places as we could. Our first stop was the Raja’s Tomb or the Gaddige as it is called. These are Hindu Rajas Tombs, The Royal Kodavas. The Tombs are built with Muhammadan architecture, with a central Dome and Turrets on the four corners, the tombs have carvings of Nandi and Shiva since the Raja was a Hindu.
The central Tomb which is the largest is of Kodava King Doddaveerarajendra and his wife Mahadeviamma, the right tomb built in 1820 A.D. is of Lingarajendra, the left tomb of Rudrappa, was built in 1834, who was the guru of the King Veerarajendra. Here are some photographs
There after we visited the Government Museum, which contains the costumes of the Coorg (Kodavas) rulers & the British, bronze Scriptures, Statues, Coins, inscriptions, armaments, sculptures & Wooden Cravings from the 11th Century A.D. No photography is allowed inside, hence the only photograph
The next stop was the Abbey Falls. Abbey falls are a part of the river Kaveri, and are in a private property located between coffee plantations and spice estates. There is a bridge in front of the falls but it was closed when we visited the falls and it seems from the look that it is closed permanently. Here are some photographs
There after we drove towards Mysore and reached Kushalnagar (30Kms from Coorg) on the coorg Mysore Road, here we found the cafe levista, a great place for coffee which was served in brass cup and saucer, great coffee. After a hot cup of coffee visited Nisaraga Dham. Nisargadham is an Island formed by river Kaveri, it has lush foliage of Bamboo, Sandal wood & teak trees. The approach to the Island is through a hanging rope bridge.There are boating options also. There are deer, rabbits & peacocks. We had delicious sugarcane juice from the market at the entrance. Some photographs
There after, we went to the Golden Temple, the Namdroling Nyingmapa Buddhist Monastery. It is the largest teaching centre of the Nyingm lineage of Tibetan Budhism in the World, located in Bylakuppe it is home to Sangha community of over 5000 lamas (both monks & Nuns). It was really worth the visit, beautifully built and very soothing. Please have a look at the photos
After enjoying the visit to the monastery, and some lunch en route, we headed to the Virandavan Gardens. These gardens were built in 1932 by the Diwan of Mysore Sir Mirza Ismail, spread over 60 acres 21 kms from Mysore. The Gardens are built along the Krishnarajasagara Dam which is a dam across the river Kaveri. The gardens are really beautiful with well manicured lawns, a vast varity of flowers, fountains, a musical fountain and a lake which has boating facilities. Here are some photographs
Thereafter, we drove to our Hotel Country Inn & Suites and had dinner at their restaurant Mosaic. The end of the day.
I believe in oneness of the Universe of which you are a part and the co-creator. It is your perception that you are the doer, it all happens, you only perceive that you are the doer. The truth is that nothing is yours and you do nothing, and this will remain the truth. However your perception of things otherwise is what is to be corrected within you.
On the 24th Feb. 2020, we started our journey from Mysore to Madikeri (Coorg), which is 118 Kms and takes about 2 Hrs & 30 mins. However we were driving leisurely and enjoying the wonderful Sugar Can juice and coffee available on the way, at the road side restaurants so obviously would take longer.
On our way, we planned visit to the Dubare Elephant camp https://www.dubareelephantcamp.com/, we visited the place and attach some photographs, however did not stay too long, since we did not find enough avenues of spending time there and the place was not developed too well and also a little tardy and unclean
We started our drive from Dubare Elephant Camp to Madikeri.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH HOME STAY BOOKING AT BOOKING.COM
I had first time booked a Home stay through Booking.com at Madikeri. First of all it was a herculean task to find the place and it nearly took us 2 hrs to reach the place and then coming to know that the booking is not there, it was disappointing. As I understand, what happened was that Booking.com in turn gave the booking to OYO.com, who did not confirm the booking hence the fiasco. Booking.com was very kind to offer us the expenses, of our alternate stay arrangement that we made ourselves, but I did not bother to pursue that path.
All that happens, happens for good. We looked for a place to stay and found this place https://www.kstdc.co/hotels/hotel-mayura-valley-view-madikeri/. This is very conveniently located to a number of sight seeing places close by, hence after reaching this pace around 5 PM and checking in, we started our walking trip to near by places.
The first place we walked to was 400m from the Hotel the Raja’s Seat. It is a lovely garden which over looks the valley, some breath taking view and sunset. Here are some photographs
There after we walked to the Omkareshwara temple, which is another 800m. The temple was built in 1820 by King Lingarajendra II built with Muhammadan style architecture, central dome and four turrets in the corners. Some photographs
On the 23rd after the marriage, we were delivered a car, Honda Amaze, by Vroom at our Hotel in Phase 6 JP Nagar, Bangalore. The car was hired from Vroom online on self drive basis excluding fuel, I paid Rs 7095/- and got the car with full fuel tank, with the understanding that I have to return the car with full fuel tank.
Self & my wife-Harleen started our drive to Mysore at around 2.30 PM. We were booked at the Country Inn & Suites (https://www.radissonhotels.com/en-us/hotels/country-inn-mysore) Mysore. On the way we had sugarcane Juice from road side thela (as it is called locally). The juice was just too good, my mouth waters as I write this, with the thought of the juice. We reached the Hotel at around 7 PM. Check in and were told that the lighting at the Mysore Palace will only last till 8PM, and the Palace was 30mins drive from our hotel. We decided to straight away drive to the Palace and see the lighting, which we could barely manage.
It was a great day, the car drove well, we attended a wonderful marriage in the morning, had some great south Indian food – my only regret I could only eat 1 paisam out of the three (since I am a slow eater and did not want to occupy the seat longer, my loss), in the lunch menu capped with a delicious PAN, drove to Mysore and could also have a look at the Mysore Palace that too lighted