Dandeli, Karnataka

Dandeli is a town located on the Western Ghats region in Karnataka. The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest in Karnataka and houses tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, bears, and deer amongst other mammals, several varieties of reptiles and over 250 different birds. The Kali river flows through Dandeli adding to the scenic beauty of this space. I spent my time here at the Dandeli Mist Jungle Stay. They offer three types of accommodation – tree-houses, luxury cottages and tribal cottages. Every meal provided was an excellent buffet of local dishes. We were taken on night safaris and to various view points around Dandeli. Every moment spent here was one with a view. I’m so glad I found another beautiful location so close to home. ❤

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves, Odisha

The Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are one of the earliest groups of Jain rock-cut shelters in India which were built to provided dry shelter for meditation and prayer. These caves are located about 6 kms away from Bhubaneswar in Odisha. They are situated on two adjacent hills, Udayagiri and Khandagiri. Udayagiri has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves. The caves have plain interiors, but their facades are encrusted with sculptures depicting auspicious objects worshipped by Jains, court scenes, royal processions, hunting expeditions and scenes of daily life.

A quick tour of the Indian Museum, Kolkata

The Indian Museum is the largest an oldest museum in India. It was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Calcutta. The museum has 6 sections namely Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Economic Botany. I only had an hour to spend here and the following are a images of a few of the galleries I managed to explore.

Chilika Lake, Odisha

2015-01-21 08_Fotor

With a nice cold, foggy start to the morning I headed to Chilika Lake, Odisha from Borra caves On the 21st of February. The journey was less than 400km in total. Initially I drove through a ghat section that had beautiful roads all the way to Odisha courtesy of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.

2015-01-21 08.52.06

2015-01-21 08_Fotor..While driving around the country I have always come across situations in which people lose their patience and it has always left me wondering where everyone was in such a rush to get to. Right before entering Odisha a few of us on the highway were stopped at a railway crossing for about 11 minutes. People in larger vehicles had no option but to wait but most of those on bikes kept ducking under the barricade with their vehicles to get to the other side. Being in the ghats we did not have much of a visual of the train tracks as they curved with the mountains. Sometimes I really feel like telling all these people that being safe is so much better than being impatient.

2015-01-20 15.32.20As I entered Odisha there was a complete scenic change. From the hills and mountains of northern Andhra Pradesh to the flat plains of Odisha. I passed by so many water bodies, so many rice fields, and so many Toddy palm trees. This state seemed to be so wonderfully lush and green.

2015-01-19 16_Fotor

2015-01-20 15.25.35

2015-01-20 15.25.54

2015-01-20 15_FotorI reached Chilika Lake just in time for a quick coffee and then begun my exploration of the space.

2015-01-19 07.48.06

_DSC0587_Fotor

_DSC0589_FotorChilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon which is spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha. It covers an area of over 1,100 kmsq making it the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the world. The lake has a vast range of fish making it an ideal place for small fishermen villages to flourish all around it. Chilika Lake also has the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent, sometime hosting over 160 species of birds in the peak migratory season. Tragically I managed to lose over 100 pictures I took here due to some technical difficulties so I am unable to give you a full visual of my experience here.

_DSC0592_FotorOTDC (Odisha Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.) provides a range of rooms and cottages located by the lake starting from Rs.800 a night. Their development at this location is called Panthanivas Barkul. It is extremely clean and is safe for everyone.

2015-01-21 17.08.36I stayed in the room at the top left of this construction and this was my view –

2015-01-21 16_FotorAfter a long highly productive day I watched a beautiful sunset and got a great nights rest.

2015-01-21 17_Fotor

Borra Caves, Andhra Pradesh

Borra Caves are located about 90 kms north of Visakhapatnam in the Ananthagiri hill range of the Eastern ghats, located at Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh. These limestone caves were discovered in 1807 by the British geologist William King. Borra Caves are naturally formed and are believed to be over 150 million years old. Small streams flowing down the Ananthagiri hill range towards River Gosthani are what have formed these caves over the years. The humic acid in the water reacts with the calcium carbonate in the limestone and dissolves the minerals causing the rocks to gradually break.

The main entrance of Borra Caves is located at an altitude of 705 meters above MSL while the interior goes down to 625 meters above MSL. The total length of these caves are about 200 meters, but you can walk around exploring over 350 meters of the space. Surrounding these caves are breath taking hilly terrains that are covered in forests filled with a vast population of wild fauna.

This cave is one of its kind in India and is open to tourists between 10am and 5.30 pm everyday.

Yarn bombing at Vashi’s House of Jeans

I managed to finish on more yarn bomb before this year ended. It was a little complicated working out the exact shape of the mannequin heads but I’m quite happy with how it turned out 😀

20141231_144238_resized_Fotor_Collage

 

20141231_144238_resized_Fotor_Collage1

 

20141231_144238_resized_Fotor_Collage2

 

20141231_161115_resized_Fotor

Yarn bombing – Pune

I was invited to Pune to yarn bomb the Symbiosis School of Economics campus for their art festival “Brave”. This festival focused on the celebration of art and the empowerment of women. Overall I had a wonderful experience with the students. Everyone got involved and they managed to yarn bomb a tree all by themselves while I worked on another tree. Now that I have managed to take my yarn bombing to Pune I can’t wait for more travels to take me around the country so that I can spread the joy of colour everywhere 😀

image

image

image

tag

image

Bringing a little extra colour to our beautiful Bangalore!

image

image

image

image

image

image

I find yarn bombing to be a beautiful way to add colour to any space… let’s cover up the dirt and make every city beautiful!

Yarn bombing – MG Road, Bangalore

A few weeks ago I decided to yarn bomb one of the most crowded roads in my city, Bangalore. After deciding which poles I was going to work on I created 3 long crocheted pieces and tied threads along the edges so that mounting them would be easy for me. Early this morning, at 4.30 am, I packed my bag with the crocheted pieces, a pair of scissors and the 3 tags I had made for this.

IMG_6256_Fotor

Upon reaching MG Road I began to get nervous. While putting up the first yarn bomb I was constantly looking behind my shoulder checking to see who all were around me. Yes, even at 4.30 am there were quite a few people around, mostly watchmen, drivers and hotel employees. Thankfully no one really bothered me and slowly I began to  gain momentum.

IMG_6289_Fotor

After cutting off the extra yarn I added my first tag.

IMG_6295_Fotor

By the time I started the second yarn bomb a few people had come up to me and asked what I was doing and why. Thankfully I speak the local language and it was quite easy to explain the art of yarn bombing to them. This is when the most unexpected thing happened. One of the watchmen around me went into the hotel he worked at and got us free coffees. I love this form of kindness and interaction. It was such a happy moment :D.

IMG_6271_Fotor

After a nice hot cup of coffee I finished up this yarn bomb and added another tag.

IMG_6297_Fotor

IMG_6309_Fotor

I then moved on to my final spot. The last pole I was going to yarn bomb.

IMG_6317_Fotor

IMG_6280_Fotor

Overall yarn bombing MG Road was an extremely fun and comfortable experience. Cant wait to yarn bomb Bangalore again. I hope the colours put a smile on all the people who walked by it today… 😀

Yummy street food

Ramadan (more commonly known as Ramzan) is a month long Islamic festival that celebrates when Prophet Muhammad was blessed with the spiritual knowledge of Islam that formed the Quran. During this month muslims worldwide fast from dawn to dusk. It is said that a person is to spend his time performing the spiritual practices of the Quran in order to free themselves from worldly yearning and create a stronger platform between man and god. After 30 days of fasting the month of Ramadan concludes in Eid. The biggest reason this festival has become so popular is because of the food that fills the streets post dusk. After fasting for almost 12 hours no one would settle for average tasting food. There are rows of stalls filled with a wide spread of meats, rices, savories, soups and sweets located all around Bangalore. As the evening progresses into night the air fills up with smoke. So many flavorful smells. My favorite thing to do is to go from stall to stall tasting all the different kebabs. Other than the usual chicken, mutton and beef kebabs this time I tried emu. It had a similar texture to mutton but was much less fatty. So glad to be living in this beautiful yummy country!

IMG_6047Chicken kebabs, mutton liver kebabs and mutton chops.

IMG_6149_Fotor_Fotor_Collage

Melt in your mouth mutton kebabs

IMG_6045

IMG_6157_FotorBeef kebabs

IMG_6155_Fotor

Yummy Emu meat 😀

IMG_6048Pathar ka gosht (meat cooked on stone)

IMG_6149_Fotor_Fotor_Collage1

A wide range of seafood kebabs.IMG_6159_FotorBeef cooked on a slab of stone.

Balmuri Falls, Karnataka

Balmuri Falls is located on a portion of the Cauvery river that flows wide over a rocky bed in Karnataka near Mysore. This spot is less than a 150 km drive from Bangalore. It is not really a waterfall, but a long wall that was built in order to slow down the flow of water so that the numerous irrigation canals emanating from this spot can get a constant supply of water. When this dam is full water overflows in a neat long cascade resulting in the ‘falls’.

This was our first stop.

IMG_0646_FotorAs this spot turned out to be over crowded we decided to head up river and find a more secluded spot but before we headed on we decided to jump into the dam first.

IMG_0646_Fotor_Collage_Fotor

We then found the perfect spot less than a kilometer away where we had all the privacy we wanted…

IMG_0695

IMG_0662

IMG_0664

IMG_0650_Fotor_Collage_Fotor

IMG_0684_Fotor

IMG_0697

After playing around, hanging from some branches and watching the sunset we headed back to Bangalore. It was the perfect day trip 😀