October 9, 2015

Including stomach problems in India!!



In the 15 years I’ve been coming to India, despite having an extremely sensitive stomach (or perhaps THANKS to it because it makes me super cautious), I have never once experienced any sort of stomach discomfort….UNTIL TODAY! Actually, it didn’t surprise me…two days ago, I went down to eat at one of my very favorite restaurant for truly fresh food and delicious dishes…The Ganga View Restaurant. When I arrived, I didn’t see one familiar face, and something looked different…the bakery display was empty, as was the restaurant. THIS should have been enough for me…as this was a place where sometimes I might have to wait for a place to sit!!! But I went down to my comfy place, saw the menu (completely different), and already realized that it had changed hands. I was very specifically “told” to get up and leave, but I was tired, hot and very hungry and decided to stay figuring “how bad could it be?”
That same evening my stomach was slightly upset, and yesterday I didn’t feel up to doing anything at all, and this morning, woke up with “delhi belly” and a general weak feeling. Immediately went down to Dr. Arora, my ayurvedic doctor. I was planning to go to him today anyway for a general consultation….but obviously that wasn’t going to happen. He checked my pulse and immediately said “what have you eaten the last couple of days that wasn’t good for you?” Gave me some pills, which I am to take for three days, and keep eating my regular, good for me meals of porridge, steamed veggies, fruit salad and kitcheri in the evening, and all will be well.
Not a very interesting post but waking up to the blessed view above was definitely compensation!
I am always blessed by God and the Universe
Much love light and JOY


December 1, 2013


Dawn of a New Month

Dawn of a New Month



Woke up this morning to the first chill and sign of approaching winter. It’s as if the weather realized today is the 1st of December!

But also woke up to this beautiful view of the new moon setting over the mountains and the dawn of a beautiful new day and new week and new month.

How appropriate that it also began with a NEW MOON




A Blessed Day from Sunrise to Sunset – October 24,2012

October 25, 2012

Blessings from Sunrise to Sunset

It is actually the next day, evening time, and I am now getting ready to go to sleep.  I had two amazingly beautiful and active days….so full that I have had no time to write or post.  But tomorrow I begin the more difficult part of panchakarma, and wanted to take best advantage of these last two days…and  I DID!  I will have lots of time resting over the next days, so will have plenty of time to write, post photos I have shot over the past couple of days, and tell you about all my lovely adventures.

You may remember that the day yesterday began with a beautiful sunrise (above) .  Well, I was still out and about late enough to also enjoy a spectacular sunset,

and in between also was able to enjoy the Vijayadashmi festival, which ended the 9 day Navrati festival.

Will be posting photos and video from this as well.

So here is just a quick post to let you know all is well , and that I just have had better things to do than “blogging”  the last couple of days.

Me Enjoying the Sunset over the Ganga

Namaste from Rishikesh


Sunrise through Clouds-Dawn of Another Day-October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012

Sunrise through Clouds

If there were no clouds, we would never have beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  I woke early this morning and was blessed with these beautiful views out over the mountain.


Namaste from Lovely Rishikesh

First Sunrise –October 16, 2012–10–16

October 16, 2012

The Joys of Waking Up Early

I awoke this morning to birdsong.  Long before life in general begins its daily process, with all its accompanying noise, I find myself awake.

And the only thing I hear are the birds.  No traffic noises, no people noises.  Natural silence accept for the birds-all chattering away saying good morning to each other.

And of course the added blessing of sunrise over the mountain.

Hope there will be many more of these to share with you.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

October 14, 2012

Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

View from Guesthouse at Dusk

I write this as I sit outside in the morning sun which warms my bones after the chill of the evening, night and early morning.  The sun is not too hot to be uncomfortable or prevent hours of happily walking around.  And it’s heat is felt truly for only about 3 hours a day.  It is a beautiful time of the year to be here…before the need for warm clothing, uncomfortable layers etc., of the winter weeks, and without the scorching, debilitating heat of the hotter months.  And of course without the rains of the monsoon.

Everything is still very green and lush and walking around is just complete pleasure.

At night and early morning it is already fairly cold with the strong winds which are so typical of Rishikesh…but of course, the sun rises just over the mountain , (now at 7:20 but it is getting a little later each day), through the window which faces my bed and gently pulls me awake (if I happen to still be asleep), with it’s shining kiss.

And then I sit in it’s warm embrace as I do my morning prayers and meditaion. Could there be any better way to begin a day?

There are of course changes, as there always are in India, and yet things continue to feel like ‘time stands still” in most things.  The first shocking change was a wall which was put up on one side of “my” rooftop by the neighboring hotel, which completely blocks one of my views…very disconcerting but doing my best to come to terms with it.  If you can’t change something, learn to accept it and change your perception of it!

And all the local places are now setting up WiFi which is lovely, but still not truly working well yet.  Perhaps by next year.

And then of course more new rooms, more new guesthouses and a lovely surprise.  My friends who run the wonderful Pundir Provision Shop

Pundir Shop Tapovan Rishikesh , have now opened a restaurant upstairs.  We have eaten their twice and the food was superb!  AND, it is air-conditioned!!!  It was actually so cold we had to ask them to turn it off!  J

But of course tomorrow I am starting Panchakarma, so no more of the lovely food I’ve been eating up until now.  I had my full of yummy stuff over the past few days…am sure I gained at least a kg., and will now be able to settle into my very boring and limited diet for the next month.

And of course hearing the lovely news from my friend Devi that her sister is getting married!  Just wonderful.  This is a family of 5 daughters, the father has not worked in 15 years.  The oldest daughter was already married but the others were sure they would never marry because they would never have enough money for a dowry.  This sister has found an arranged match with a wonderful man who wanted a very limited dowry, just for appearance sake, and everyone is extremely happy as you can imagine.  The bad part is, the wedding is 2 days AFTER I leave.  If I had know, I would have flown in a couple of days later.  I cannot extend for even one day due to problems with my government pension…really sad.  However, the owner of the guesthouse has already invited me to TWO weddings of his niece and nephew, and so once again I will get to go to the production that is called “India Wedding”.  Should be fun.
Indian Wedding

Walking through the streets here is like coming home.  So many friends to see, from local shop keepers, to beggars and rickshaw drivers.  And of course my dear local friends and their families, who I will see often and visit over the weeks to come.

And then, to my great surprise, I am being recognized as a “celebrity” in the area and didn’t understand why.  Seems the guesthouse has finally put up a website, and they used MY photo (from several years ago-don’t know where they got it) as part of the cover photots of the website.  So when I walked around the first day I was hear in my red “suit”, the same one I am wearing in the photo, people were pointing at me until someone finally showed me what was going on.  It is soooooo  funny.   Here is a link and if you check out the dots under the cover photo, you will come to one of me.  You can see me in my red suit on the rooftop and the room behind me to the left is my home here in Rishikesh.  http://newbhandariswisscottage.com

And that’s about if for today.  Hope begin getting out and about and getting back to my camera over the next few days.

View from Guesthouse at Dusk



Back in Rishikesh October 9-13 2012 Part 1

October 13, 2012

Sunrise over India

Well, I’ve been here now for just three days but it seems like I’ve been here for a couple of weeks at least.  I am now sitting in my room with Tata Photon+ mobile broadband service stick which my friend is lending to me whenever I want it so that I can use internet in my room.  The wifi services here are not working well enough for me to take advantage of them in my room, so this is a real blessing from him to me.  I am listening to lovely Israeli folkdancing music (which I love), and eating Besan Ladoo…which I also love!!  Heaven on earth.

I honestly haven’t felt like writing since I arrived, but have many things written in bits and pieces in my notebook….hope to eventually get them all up here.  And to my great surprise,  I haven’t taken (hardly) any photos either. But I won’t force anything to “happen”.  Just flowing with things as they go.

Sunrise over India from the taxi window

I arrived in Delhi on Wednesday morning at 4:30, with my friend M.  We were picked up by a taxi which I had ordered previously and began our journey to Rishikesh.  And to my great surprise, it took a long time for me to feel like I was actually in India!  Everything has changed so much over the past year and 8 months.  It took hours before my friend had her first traumatic meeting with Indian culture shock.  She was beginning to become complacent, maybe even bored, but India being India…it will finally find its way to you in all of its glorious, and not so glorious ways!!

what a unique idea!

At the airport there was no initial assault on the senses as there used to be.  We could have been in any lovely airport in any country in the world.  The new terminal has nothing to give you the feeling that you are truly back in India.  My friend was pleasantly surprised, and happy, but I was actually disappointed.  .  Pleased of course that progress is moving things forward, India as always moves ahead while standing still….But I wanted desperately to “feel” India on a gut level, in my soul!

We were taken to our taxi, and to my total astonishment, there was AC working!!   And it worked most of the journey to Rishikesh!  Quite unbelievable.  Not only is it obviously more comfortable during a hot drive, but it keeps all of the dirt and dust out of the car!

I was already told that the new highway is open and running between Delhi and Rishikesh, but had no idea what to expect.  Well, the first 150 KM of the 250 KM journey took under 2 hours, Then we stopped for breakfast and toilet and lovely Cheetal Resort.  When we got back in the car, the driver explained that the highway only continues for another 10 KM and then we are back on the old road for the last 90 KM of the trip to Rishikesh.

So, finally, we would “feel” India!!  The highway is approached through a bypass road from the airport, so we didn’t even get to ride through Old Delhi or New Delhi on our way out of the city.  And all of the hussle-bussle was truly missed by me.

Once off the main highway however India finally “hit” with full force.  I was ecstatic, my friend traumatized.    We were back to the horror and magic that is travel on Indian roads.  (You might remember the previous post- Rules of the Road).

The last 90 KM took well over 3 hours of nerve-wracking driving, noise, smells, near death passes, a cacophony of humanity coming to life in the morning hours.  Just wonderful! But my poor friend!  I think you NEVER forget your first drive on Indian roads.  Just like you never forget childbirth (!).  It finds a place of honor in your soul and stays there forever, but hidden enough to allow you to venture onto the roads again for travel in the future!!

I am going to end this post here so that I can finish it up and post it.  And hope to continue either tomorrow or later today with one more catch up post about our first two days here. They have been a blur of sensory, culinary and physical stimulation…exploring, showing my friend the local sights and also how to find her own way around, eating wonderful food, enjoying the perfect weather, see all my wonderful friends again and just feeling peaceful and tranquil and back home after much too long.



March 6-7, 2011- Vacation Days 5-6 – Knees, Books, Kitcheri, and Ram Jhula on a Sunshiny Day

March 7, 2011

March 6-7, 2011- Vacation Days 5-6 – Knees, Books, Kitcheri, and Ram Jhula on a Sunshiny Day

Sunrise this Morning

I have just finished reading a book “Dog Boy” by Eva Hornung and am speechless.  I sit here in shocked silence, choked with tears.  All I can say is, if you can find this book, you must read it. It was published in 2009 so should not be difficult to find. I usually just post the books I read with short comments on the tab marked “What I am Reading” at the top of the blog, but this time I MUST say a few words here.  There ARE really no words I can find to truly portray the stunning beauty and sadness of this book. It is sobering to say the least, the concept for the story not a new one, but the author has realized it magnificently.  Do your best to find this one!

Now let’s head back to yesterday.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my knee had been complaining after my long day of walking, so it was obvious to me that today would be a close to home day.  The knee was actually worse than I had imagine, and I found my self limping even when walking a short distance, and the stairs up and down from my room were really difficult and painful.

I spent a good part of the previous night, and the rest of today, doing Reiki, but then realized that the pain originated not in my knee but in the calf of the same leg.  I began to think that perhaps I had overdone something in yoga yesterday morning, and then the extended walking just aggravated the problem. (Good news is, the next day, when I am writing this, my knee is good as new and I will go out walking soon).

The day dawned beautiful and sunny again, and I was able to do my morning meditation, pranayama, prayer etc. outside in the sun.  Had a very light breakfast of hot milk with my chawanprash and dried fruit, and di a lot of reading.

And then a lovely young Israeli girl who had “heard” about me, came up to meet me, and we wound up having a lovely and intense (for both of us) session.  I received a powerful channeled message for her, and also was “adopted” by three angels at the end of the session.  It was really wonderful!

Then I went down for a light lunch of steamed veggies, but wound up eating a vegetable burger on a roll, with salad and chips!!!!  I just couldn’t resist and it was soooooooooo delicious.

Came up to my room and slept for a couple of hours to my great surprise, probably a result of the long day out the day before.

When I awoke, was outside again in the sun, and offered to cook dinner for my neighbor and me if she would do the shopping for the veggies…she happily agreed.  Just then, someone else came up to talk to me (the wife of the guy who I had emailed for quite some time – the yoga instructor who mentioned me on her ABC interview…this all in a previous post).  We had a pleasant talk for awhile but then the neighbor came back with the veggies and I had to excuse myself to cook kicheri for us.  Which I did!  And it was really nice cooking for someone else and eating with them…first time this trip I did this-forgot how pleasant it is to be able to cook for other people once in awhile.

The day ended pleasantly, outdoors, and I had a lovely sleep last night, waking early to the beautiful sunrise at the beginning of this post!  Pays to get up at 6:30 and go outside!

It is now after noon and I will be heading out soon for a short walk to make sure my knee is really OK…and will be back later with perhaps something else interesting to write.

Back from my short walk…only out for 4 hours…and my knee is fine, thankfully.

Had a very expensive lunch at the “spa” restaurant in Ram Jhula, and it was interesting but not something I would ever order again.  A wrap, made in whole wheat chapattis (4 of them on the plate – too much for me to eat – of grated beets and carrots in tehini with mint chutney on the side.  It sounds much better than it tasted, believe me.  But it was a change and the place is nice to sit at, so I can’t complain.  Walked around the ghats in ram jhula for a while and then came back,


Ganga Panorama from Ram Jhula Ghats

check out more scenes from today’s walk here:


did some shopping for the next week, visited with some friends staying at Seema’s and am now happily back on my rooftop where I will relax and read and play and listen to music for the rest of this lovely day 6 of my vacation.

cross the ganga and succsss your journey

Don’t forget to check out this link for some more shots of today’s stroll along the ram jhula ghat.






February 20, 2011 – Hurray!! Panchakarma Day 23

February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011 – Hurray!! Panchakarma Day 23

Again woke up just before 7 with a start and looked outside and found this…I love the sunrise…it is beautiful but lasts literally for seconds….

Well, today I finished what for me is the most difficult part of panchakarma…the water enemas.  I finished my 5th today and from now on it is smooth sailing to the end on Friday.  Just a couple of more oil enemas, but those are child’s play, and now massage every day, some steam bath, shirodhara, basti and just pleasant stuff.  Can’t believe it has gone by so quickly.

And with the weather warmer, at least during the day, life is good.  I’ve been a little tired the past few days but that is normal.  In past years I was exhausted all the time, so 3 days of low energy is really a good sign for me that things are going very well this year.

With the change in weather, the tourists have returned.  Like overnight, the “joint is jumpin’”….the guesthouses are filling up, the restaurants have customers (which means you have to wait much longer for your food), and of course Hebrew is once again heard in the land!  Israelis are back in full and I can tell you, the restaurant owners are in heaven.  No other nation eats as much as Israelis…they order large amounts of food, finish it all, sit around talking, and then order more!

The wedding will finish up tonight and it should be a really big affair.  I heard them testing the sound system just now…and what they chose to test it with, and which really had me laughing, was a Hinid version of the Russian classic song Kalinka (which is a very popular song in Israel as well, as are many Russian original tunes translated into Hebrew by the original immigrants to the Holy Land).  When I mentioned it to an Indian here, his response, not surprising because this is the Indian way of seeing everything in the world, was:  “This is famous ancient Indian song which was copied by other countries”.  This is soooooo typically Indian, but in this case it was really funny as the music is so definitely Russian in origin.

Anyway, it’s been a relaxing day in the sun upon the roof, resting away the hours with reading, napping, needlepoint, cooking delicious vegetable soup, and writing…all outdoors and back to normal.

Hopefully over the next couple of days I will also have my energy back and be able to go out walking again…I am really missing it.


February 10, 2011 – Sunrise, Sunset…More Blessings!

February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011 – Sunrise, Sunset…More Blessings!

Sunrise looking North-West

Last year I wrote about the significance and importance of sunrise and sunset to our wellbeing, balance and health. If you would like read, or re-read this information, you can find it at this link:


It is quite interesting and thought-provoking!
For some reason I haven’t seen a real display since I arrived here this year. This morning I awoke suddenly just before 7 and a voice literally shouted at me: “Get up and go outside NOW!!”. And I did and  was rewarded with this as well as the above :

Sunrise looking East

I had already made plans to be outside at a good “sunset place” over the next few days but it means I have to come back to my room after 6 in the evening which I haven’t yet been able to because of the weather. Now it is a long day for me while doing panchakarma. But below is an example of what awaits me from one of last year’s posts!

And while I was writing this and posting….I was awarded with this without having to leave my room at all!!!


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