Qutab Minar – Delhi

May 24, 2014

An oasis of serenity, tranquility and beauty in the midst of the eternal hassle, noise and chaos that is Delhi.

qutub minar first photo

The impressive architecture, the intricate designs and carved works on the structure walls and pillars….all are quite amazing

I visited here last October with my friends, and this is also a great time of year to tour Delhi as the weather is quite pleasant.

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No matter where you stand in the compound, you can feel the power and energy radiating from this impressive architectural feat.

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Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India.

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An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

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DSC04256note the jet….quite amazing to see this structure still standing after all these years
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All in all it was an lovely day with my good friends, Preeti and Sudeep Lal (they can be seen in the photos below…waiting on line, and in the shadow of the impressive arch

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If you are in Delhi, this is definitely a must see!

DSC04237Namaste

Jane

 


Delhi Oct. 2013 #2

March 20, 2014

Masjid Fatehpuri at Dusk

Just some photos.  It was so beautiful….no words are necessary here I think!

Masjid Fatehpuri

Masjid Fatehpuri
Masjid Fatehpuri
Masjid Fatehpuri
Masjid Fatehpuri
Masjid Fatehpuri
Masjid Fatehpuri

Namaste

Jane


Delhi-October 2013 – #1

March 20, 2014

Chandni Chowk and Spice Market

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As promised, I will begin posting stories and photos (mainly) from my recent sojourn in India.  I found blogging to be a true intrusion this trip and did very little posting while actually there.  So I will now begin trying to catch up, for myself as well as for my followers.

Spice Market

Spice Market

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I blessed this year with an amazing first time adventure of experiencing, and exploring Delhi with local friends, rather than as a tourist, and it was a whole new experience for me.  I will begin this post with my first days in Delhi.
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I explored places I’ve never beendto before, travelled on the Metro for the first time, saw some of the new wonderfully modern areas of Delhi as well as the traditional markets and local antiquity sites.  I hope you will enjoy the next few posts which will hopefully tell this story, mainly in photos.

Spice Market

Spice Market

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Here are photos from a day spent roaming Chandni Chowk Shuk and the Spice Market, mostly on foot, but with the help of bicycle rickshaw as well. It was a very long but very beautiful day.

Spice Market

Spice Market

Spice Market

Spice Market

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Lunchtime in Chandni Chowk

Lunchtime in Chandni Chowk

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Signs of a Splendid Past

Signs of a Splendid Past

Red Fort on a Very Hazy Day

Red Fort on a Very Hazy Day

view from Jama Masjid

view from Jama Masjid

Namaste

Jane


A Cow Story in Photos

February 26, 2014

This will be a story in photos of one particular cow, on one particular day, in one particular place, ….
cow at ram jhula

But first, just a few words in general about cows and India.

Cows are everywhere in India.  It would not be India without cows. Cows roam the streets, walk on main highways, pop in to have lunch in restaurants, stroll through open shops, take naps in the middle of the street…there is no place where you will not find the cows.  The amount of photos of cows I have is exceeded only by the amount of photos of monkeys that I have!  🙂

Some cows seem mean

12-mean cow
another mean cow

Some are regal

11-regal bull

Some are motherly and loving

13-mother and baby
Some are just an integral part of the scenery

part of the scenery

But this cow seemed to enjoy the energies along the Ganga, and to enjoy interacting with those who had come for prayer and devotion, or just for fun, along the ghats of Ram Jhula.

At first, she came straight up to me to say “Hi”….

1-checking me out

Hi There… Namaste

She seemed to be most curious, and quite intelligent.

2-inteligent

…and then headed down the steps to check out the other people and see what they were doing.

6-checking out people

7-checking out people

What’s This Guy Doing?

At one point she seemed to be posing for photos along with the tourists

8-take my photo too

Take My Picture Too Please

9-nice lady

Or asking to be included in someone’s devotional prayers.

10-say a prayer for me too

Say a Prayer for Me Too Please

In short….an interesting cow day….

There always seems to be something happening wherever you happen to find yourself.  The trick is to be mindful, to be grateful and to appreciate and enjoy everything to the fullest.

Namaste

Jane


RETREAT MODE-NOV 20 2013

November 20, 2013

Retreat Mode-Nov 20 2013
I’ve been finding it a definite challenge to get back to my daily postings…it’s not that I have nothing to write about, or share…there are always wonderful stories to tell while in India and insights to share…
But at this point, I feel I need to be in “retreat mode” to fully benefit from my time here at the moment.  So what I WOULD like to do is share some of my favorite photos from time to time…they may come with narrative or story line, or may just be posted as is as the mood strikes me.
I will begin today with some of the photos from the past three weeks, in no particular order, and hope you enjoy.
those in this post are just to give you a small taste of the Chandi Chowk Market streets, and the Spice Market in Old Delhi

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Namaste
with love light and JOY
Jane


Favorite Shots of Magical Rishikesh

August 15, 2013
Tapovan Village scenes

Tapovan Village scenes

I’ve been away a long time and feel the energies of Rishikesh calling me back each day.  Won’t be back for a couple of months, but would like to share some of my all time favorite shots of Rishikesh with you for the time being.  Hope you enjoy!  Check out the full gallery at the end for more photos.

colorful terrace view

village scenes18

village scenes7

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view down towards laxman jhula

reading morning news

sun setting2

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ram jhula14

 

new ganga views (1)

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devotion on the ganga2

home from the forest2

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colorful Saturday Tourists On the Way Down to the Ganga3

baba with bike

life along the ganga (2)

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happy babas

head load 2

crossing Ram Jhula-Neelkanth Temple in Distance

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Family Dipping Together

selling bread to feed the fish

local tourists2

just enjoying the view2

ram  jhula sunset3 good

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Namaste…see you soon in India!!!   Enjoy the full gallery below for lots more shots….sooooooooooo hard to choose from the hundreds that I have!  🙂

Jane


Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

December 1, 2012

Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

I was invited to Dr. Arora and Manju’s for dinner together with my friend Michal.  I usually spend quite a lot of time visiting with Manju while I am in Rishikesh.  Daytime visits where we just chat and I watch her in the kitchen-best cooking lessons available-and these visits were missing during this short stay.  But at least I would get to spend the evening with her, and I was excited about going.

We wound up spending the evening in prayers, chanting and singing with all the female members of the communal family dwelling (5 sisters-in-law, a couple of THEIR daughters-in-law, a visiting sister of Dr. Arora from Delhi, and even one baby granddaughter).  I couldn’t have found a more suitable, uplifting and beautiful way to spend my last evening in Rishikesh, or better company.  I have no photos, as it seemed neither appropriate nor necessary at the time, but the wonderful pictures will remain in my mind for a very long time.

It seems over 30 years ago, Dr. Arora’s father decided that every Tuesday there should be an evening of Kirtan (sacred chanting) in the family temple situated in the center of the family dwelling, and the women at the time decided they would be the ones to do it.  And to this day, this is precisely what happens every Tuesday evening.

There is nothing that compares with the power, and empowering energies of the prayers of women.  The chanting was done joyfully, sometimes playfully, sometimes with deep serious mindfulness and devotion, but always directed directly towards the deities.  I felt it on a deep soul level and felt myself being swept away with the power of the connection to God felt in the small room.  Since the chanting is repetitive, and the women took turns leading it, I was very often able to join in. And from my years in India, several of the chants I realized I actually knew the words to myself!  This surprised me and of course brought great joy and approving pleasure to the faces  of the women. And of course, clapping along with everyone else was a no brainer, even for me!!  🙂

The visit afterwards with Manju and the Doctor was thoroughly enjoyable as always, with good conversation, seeing the beautiful wedding album from their eldest son’s wedding last year (the daughter in law of course now living there with them) and of course a superb light dinner.  With soup, idlis, subji, shahi paneer (Manju makes the best in India for sure and she always remembers how much I like it and makes it for me when I come), chutney and of course chapattis with ghee . Dr Arora drove us home, quite late…tired but with full stomachs and happy hearts.

Now having my last breakfast here at the Pundir Restaurant after being treated to a wonderful whole wheat chapatti and homemade ghee when I stopped by Seema’s house earlier.

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The sky is cloudy today for the first time in 6 weeks.  I feel “cloudy” myself. Must be raining somewhere up in the mountains to bring the clouds and colder weather today.

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

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And somewhere deep inside of me there is a “rainy” feeling as well.

evening clouds

evening clouds

The day continued quietly, with goodbyes to everyone, always difficult, but even more so after such a short stay, and of course packing up my stuff for storage as well as for taking home.  The sky was beautiful to watch during the day and evening,

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and before heading off to Delhi by taxi, I had my last supper of schnitzel and chips!!  🙂

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The ride on the new highway took less than 5 hours….

Sachin provided me with a pillow so I could sleep in the car on the way.  I dozed on and off…and to my great surprise was in delhi in less than 5 hours!!  New road is good for sure.
Found a nice bench in the departure lounge to lay down on for another hour until they opened the RJ check in counter.  They really hassled me about my carry on- it didn’t fit into the “rack” which measures them.  Finally they called the supervisor, and she allowed me to take it.  What a pain in the ass.  The whole thing took over an hour but luckily I was first on line and when I got to the gate, there was even a free bed to lie down on which I did of course.

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Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

the flight was fine but it seems the AC as not working….it was really hot on the plane.
Good flight to amman but it is over 7 hours going back.  The plane was not full so there was no one next to me which made it easier to  sleep a little with my legs over the handle of the next seat.
1/2 hour delay in Amman but that meant yosi actually got the airport in time to pick me up.  It was nice.
We went and had a nice breakfast in Yehud and then headed home and got stuck in a HAIL STORM!!  Thought the car windows would crack the pieces were so big!
And then later on in the evening, my house was struck directly by lightning and my phone went dead while talking to yosi.  and my cellphone needed to be charged but I had no electricity, so we couldn’t talk.  It was easier talking to him from India!

And now I am home, a week later, writing this last post!!  I will be posting several more photo posts, and then saying goodbye until next year!  Look forward to seeing you all once again then!

Namaste from Herzlia, Israel


Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

November 29, 2012

Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

I just ate the perfect paneer parantha.  (You can see a perfect aloo parantha Here )

 Would have been the perfect aloo parantha if that had been my choice today but I felt like paneer this time.

VERY thinly rolled, not doughy, not greasy, lots of turmeric and cilantro and the slightest hint of chilly powder.  And lots of paneer.  So different from what most places serve.  Just as good as any I make myself at home.

Got up this morning-my last “real” day here before leaving tomorrow evening for the airport in Delhi..  Got dressed and decided to out for breakfast in Laxman Jhula. Below some of the sites I saw and pretty much the last photos of this short visit to Rishikesh

early morning family outing

 

On the way down to the Ganga

stuff to buy along the way

colorful surprise

 

Stoppedby Dr. Arora to make final arrangements for dinner tonight at his house.  Really excited.  Manju is THE best cook I know personally in India!

And weighed myself.  I could tell from my jeans this moring that the results of the final stage of panchakarma, rejuvenation, are finally clicking in.  My body is finally beginning to get slowly back into balance.

Well, I got on the scale and to my great joy and surprise (as well as the doc’s-he gave me a huge grin and then hugged me), I gained 5 kg in the last 10 days or so.  And it is the first time I’ve managed to put weifht back on since my digestive issues began more than a year ago! Went from 47 to 52 Kg!! My normal weight is around 56 kg so I am on my way.

Despite the setbacks during panchakarma this year, and it being soooo difficult, I see for sure tht slowly the full impact will be felt in the final results.

So I now sit at the Ganga View Restaurant, across Laxman Jhula to the left past the jeep stand.

breakfast view Laxman Jhula

My View While Eating Breakfast just One Week Ago

 

This is a place I usually come to eat often, but will not have the time this year.  They have the best iced coffee, toasted cheese (made with yak cheese), tofu and veggie dishes, and to my surprise, have now added bakery items to their menu.  And of course a wonderful Ganga View to enjoy.

Today I found a lovely spot in the sun to enjoy.

peek at laxman jhula

Had the wonderful paneer parantha and masala chai, and for dessert had a delicious chocolate/banana muffin which was perfect!

morning music

early morning ghat view

lady on crutches navigating ghat with child

 

Final Look Towards Laxman Jhula

 

Heading home to rest and finish packing and be ready to go to the Arora’s for dinner. Hope to write about it in one more post, as well as post several photo posts with shots that didn’t make it into any of the posts from this trip,

Namaste (but now in Israel  🙂   )

Jane


Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures – Nov 12 2012

November 15, 2012

Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures –  Nov 12 2012

Today is the first day I am beginning my day with no thought of panchakarma.  I officially finished yesterday after deciding the the doctor to cut it short by 3 days and begin my recuperation period before heading home.

APPLE CRUMBLE

I still have 3 “fun massages” coming to me later on, just before I go home which I can still take advantage of  if I choose to.

The sense of freedom , of having no responsibilities, of there being nothing I “have” to do (even though everything I was doing was for my own benefit), makes me feel almost giddy with joy.

I now sit at the Pundir restaurant, the weather much cooler than even last week, although the sun is still  beautifully warm.  I am waiting for my paneer parantha. Yesterday I ate pasta – TWICE- and am already feeling my strength come back.  Although fruits and veggies and of course kitcheri are the healthiest foods for me – my comfort food-my soul food- is carbohydrates.  Breads, pasta, anything doughy.  And as Dr. Arora always reminds me – this is not cheating – cravings come from a soul level and if the soul is denied what it needs – the body will never be completely healthy.  So now I will be taking good care of my soul until the cravings end – probably around 3-4 days from previous experience. (today is actually the 15th-and I no longer crave these things!)

Not quite as energized as I imagined but just feeling wonderful being out.  Had this dream of “redecorating” using colored pillows and a throw on my sofa.  And today finally was able to these things.  Took me ages to choose with so many to choose from but think I will be happy when I get it all home.

DIFFICULT CHOICES-HUNDREDS TO CHOOSE FROM

PILLOW SHOP

MY PURCHASE-CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT AT HOME ON MY SOFA

 

But I am not a good shopper and am now exhausted.  Not ready to eat yet so sitting on a bench just next to Laxman Jhula bridge watching the sights of local tourist groups going by with their guides. Will relax here for awhile.  Lovely breeze coming up off the Ganga- Most refreshing!

TOURISTS LISTENING TO GUIDE’S EXPLANATIONS

Went up for a snack and had lovely apple crumble, (shown above) but was really tired.  Rested for a long time and finally made it up to my place.  Not before watching a film or TV series being filmed on the street.

FILM CREW

DIRECTOR COMING OVER TO GIVE DIRECTIONS TO ACTOR

DIRECTOR AND ACTOR

PRACTICING SCENE

GETTING READY TO SHOOT

“LIGHTS!”

ACTION

Home at last, tired but happy.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

November 10, 2012

Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

Well, the first shift is actually my being without internet for the second day in a row.  The local server “fell” and although it has been repaired, the mobile stick I have been using for some reason was effected and the number is no longer in service.  They say it will take a couple of more days to repair it (Update:  this is not the case…but it is a long story not for now, but apparently I won’t have this lovely service available to me for the rest of the time I am here)  😦

Photos Taken on the Way Down to the Clinic

This in itself is no big deal, as there is plenty of internet service available, but during the same period of time, I was also going through a “healing crisis” (which I thought was a stomach virus at the time) and so was unable to leave my room.  All in all, it was a blessing as I was able to completely rest without the distraction of the computer the whole day  Hopefully today I will feel like going out, but at the moment, I will probably just leave all of this until the connection in the comfort of my room is restored  So if this post is late in coming, you will understand why.

It all began on Sunday (today is Thursday), when I went down to the market and all of a sudden felt extremely weak and decided to head home without completing my errands.

The next day I felt even weaker but attributed it to the water enema and just went to my room to rest  But during the day I had diarrhea several times (highly unusual for me-actually, never happens) and that night could not sleep due to a pounding, debilitating headache which painkillers did not ease.

Reported into the doctor next morning, and apparently I looked like “shit” because he was not pleased when he saw me.  Checked my pulse, was disturbed, and surprised, to find my Vatta very high, and gave me some herbs to “fix” things  Went back to my room, rested all day, but was feeling really bad by then, particularly in my stomach.  Felt like I needed to vomit, but could not (another thing I never do)-I would have felt much better if I had, and ate a little during the day but felt worse and worse as the day wore on  By the nighttime, I had developed a fever, chills and general “fluey” feeling and didn’t sleep much at all

There was no way I would find my way down to the clinic, so called the doctor at 9 in the morning, told him my symptoms, and he said he would send meds up to my room  He advised me to eat just fruit juices, fruit and soup during the day, which I did.  Several glasses of apple juice, a fruit salad, which lasted all day, and later in the day, I asked them to prepare chicken broth for me which was wonderful and made me feel a lot better.  Some toast and butter in the evening and that was it  I developed a fever again in the evening and by 8 was back in bed, actually quite worried about the whole thing.

A couple of hours later, I began to feel better, and to my surprise, the fever was gone, my stomach felt like new and I fell asleep, sleeping well until the morning. (Update: The fever was only gone because of the meds the doc gave me turns out..it didn’t dissipate for real for another 2 days-But since yesterday –Nov 10- I am fine-just still needing a couple of more days of rest)

I realize now that this is a final “cleansing push” of the panchakarma.  Makes sense that the cleansing would be equally difficult to the illnesses which preceded it.  I had a very difficult year healthwise, making the “cure” more difficult than usual.

I am feeling really hungry now for the first time in days, and will go down and order breakfast, and then head down to see the doctor.  I’m sure when he checks me things will be back in order, but will update later.

And perhaps I will also have internet.

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