Journal Page 4
November 3, 2017
Chattardi in Bhuj is a small yet wonderful place to experience the history of Kutch. These Chattardis or umbrella shaped domes were built around 1770 AD to glorify the tombs of the Royal families of Rajput lineage. Surrounded by sea on one size and the grim Rann mountains on the other, Kutch remained cut off from the rest of India, in a time-wrapped cocoon with its amazing culture and art confined within these natural boundaries.
May 13, 2017
Today we ride to a 16th century temple in Lepakshi. Hidden away in the suburbs of Andra Pradesh, this small town was sufficiently influenced by the stone sculptures of Vijayanagar Empire and includes a huge monolithic bull that sits staring at the Temple.
January 2, 2017
We drive deep into rural Bengal to witness the exquisite terracotta temples of Bishnupur. These extensively decorated temples were created during the 17th century using only baked mud and have somehow managed to survive the ravages of time.
August 26, 2016
While on my evening walk today, I dropped in at Ukimido Pavilion. Umikido is a hexagonal gazebo over the Sagiike Pond in an aloof area of Nara Park. During summer evenings the floating pavilion is illuminated and it feels very relaxing sitting in the center of the pond surrounded by enchanting lights.
August 24, 2016
Tojinbo Cliffs enjoy the dubious distinction of being the most loved suicide spot in Japan. For the wandering souls like me, the enthralling, rugged cliffs eroded by the raging waves of the Sea of Japan combined with the mesmerizing sunset is certainly more than likely to cause skipped heartbeats.
August 20, 2016
Mani & I took the train to Kobe to check out the stunning illuminated harbor but we were sucked into the Bon Odori festivities happening on the same day. Food and beer stalls were everywhere. Surrounded by a sea of Kimono clad couples, on a small wooden stage, a group of lovely ladies were dancing to traditional music. It was great fun watching this 500-year-old tradition that is celebrated yearly to honor the spirits of their ancestors.
August 19, 2016
Suizen-ji Jōju-en is a traditional Japanese garden landscaped around a natural spring pond. It was built by the Hosokawa family in the 17th century. The most interesting aspect of the garden is that it reproduces the 53 post stations of the Tokaido, the road, which connected Tokyo with Kyoto during the Edo Period, in miniature form, including a small Mt. Fuji.
August 18, 2016
I love walking around Osaka Castle in the evenings. The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century. The stone walls and moats surround the castle separating it from the bustling city. As dusk sets in, the sodium lamps light up the pathways surrounding the castle. The weeping sakura leaves along the wide moat briskly sway in the wind and the castle itself looks like a fantasy structure from the mythical age of dragons.
August 16, 2016
We head out to the Shorinzan Darumaji Temple in the Takasaki countryside. Constructed in 1697, the Zen temple is the birthplace of “Takasaki Daruma” dolls used as a talisman for good luck. In January, many from all over Japan gather here every year, seeking the divine protection of the temple’s deity through its lucky charm, the Daruma.
August 16, 2016
Today we visit the Matsumoto Castle, one of four castles designated as ‘National Treasures’ of Japan with over 400 years of history. With the Japanese Alps in the the background and a red bridge connecting the surrounding moat, it is one of the most picturesque castles in all of Japan.